How to Become a Cartoonist

A cartoon is a drawing that reflects humor. A cartoon can be a single strip panel to a three or more panel strip cartoon. There are other forms of cartoons including comic strips, animated cartoons, editorial cartoons, political cartoons, and caricatures. Humor often helps our everyday existence. It gives warmth to our hearts and bonds us with like-minded people. When things go wrong, humor goes right. You can be a part of the cartoonists and illustrators who brighten the drab days of people in desperate need of a smile.

Get educated

Learn to draw. You can enroll in college and take cartoonist or illustrator courses. There are other ways to learn cartoon drawing as well. Enroll in courses, read books, practice techniques from workbooks, and practice drawing by emulating the techniques of other artists. Through this process of learning, use your creativity to develop your own style.

Character sketches

Observe your environment and draw your own characters. Imagine what they want in their life, what their motivation is for wanting this goal, and what opposing forces will stop them from obtaining their goal. Daydream about your characters. Get to know them well.

A strong part of drawing cartoons is the writing process. Consider taking continuing education creative writing and grammar classes. Your writing needs to be strong for your cartoons to sell.

Practice the craft 

Practice, practice, and practice. Drawing continually will increase your talent. Purchase a sketch pad or book, map pencils, sketching charcoal pencils, and a black outlining pen. As your skill increases, consider purchasing a binder and page protectors to create your own portfolio of your drawings. The cartoons you place in this book need to be your best work and most professional. This portfolio will be what you use to sell yourself and your skill to newspapers, magazines, and advertising agencies.

Network

Iron sharpens iron. Find other cartoonists to meet and talk with. Form a local or online critique group. These cartoonists will help you in probably the hardest part of learning to write and draw…accepting criticism. Critique partner’s comments prepare you for an eventual editor’s comments which have been known to be tedious and stern.

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