CAREER OPTION > Cartoonist
Career as a Cartoonist
Being a creative storyteller with consistent work could be challenging. But as long as you enjoy the work and has got the talent to do it, being a cartoonist is the best career to choose for. Cartoonists are creative professionals who express their thoughts, feelings and ideas through drawing, sketches and cartoons. The work produced will be a combination of drawings and writings to convey humour about recent events, everyday life situations or current trends. As a cartoonist you can create a single frame drawing or create a series to show a story.
In a serial cartoon you will have characters and an interesting story line to follow. Your work can appear in newspapers, magazines, graphic novels, internet publications and computer games as well. Your work will comprise of drawing freehand using a pencil or any such medium to sketch your creation. These days, cartoonists prefer computer drawing softwares as well. Please note that your job will not be limited to magazines and newspapers, but you can also get involved with the movie and media industry. You can draw animated cartoons, prepare models drawings and sketches of characters and draw special effects for animated movies.
- As long as you have the talent without any formal education, there is no educational qualification required to become a cartoonist.
- However if you wish to learn about it and be professionally trained in courses like fine arts, there is a minimum educational qualification required.
- You need to have qualifying marks in your H.S.C. (10+2) exams in any stream under a recognised board of education.
- You must possess the ability to draw from your own perspective to create cartoons that entertain, educated and amuse the readers.
- You need to know on how to develop animated narrated sequences and interpret news or any other events in the form of cartoons to represent your ideas.
- You should be able to convince the editor or the publisher, understand his idea and needs and be involved throughout the process of making a story board, typesetting and editing.
- You must be able to assist in story development, direction, cinematography and editing since changes in drawing could come up then and there.
- You must be able to use computer drawing softwares or hand render drawings with immediate changes whenever required.
How to become a Cartoonist
STEP 1: Even though formal education is not mandatory to become a cartoonist, most employers prefer one today. In order to become a cartoonist you can pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, illustration, painting or animation.
STEP 2: It is a three years degree and will include topics like drawing, painting, illustration, anatomy, computer graphics and photography to name a few. You can apply directly in colleges for admissions. Some colleges however conduct an entrance exam before confirming admissions.
STEP 3: After the completion of your degree course, you can either start working or pursue a master’s degree in the same domain in courses like Master of Arts.
- National Institute of Design – Ahmedabad
- Academy of Animation and Gaming – New Delhi
- Indian Institute of Cartoonists – Bangalore
Mostly cartoonists are self-employed and dedicate a fair amount of time to being established and working on their own. You can start a website of your own and upload your cartoon works on products like t-shirts, mugs, footwear, bags etc. and sell them online. You can work as a freelance cartoonist in a domain of your choice. You can work for advertising agencies or publication centres and create book covers and illustrations. The advantage of being a freelancer is you can work from any part of the world. You can also work as political or comic cartoonists with newspapers and print media.
The income depends upon several factors such as the purpose, time, client etc. For a freelancer there is no fixed amount of income. The more work you get the better your income will be. However, if you are working for an organization, your income per month can vary between Rs.15, 000 to Rs.30, 000 per month in the beginning.