A cartoonist has the ability to reach a wide variety of people to provide humor and information. Some cartoonists publish serial type cartoons that provide a snapshot of the cartoon characters lives over a period of time, whereas other cartoonists provide commentary on current events or items in the news. Some cartoonists also work in the word of anime and computer generated cartoons and games. Regardless of the type of cartoon that is produced all cartoonists must have excellent communication skills, good drawing ability as well as a way to interpret various events in a unique and creative way.
The average cartoonist works from home and uses the news, day to day life, and special events in their community and around the world as a source of inspiration. Many cartoonists now use graphics and drawing software on computers to complete their final products. This allows the easy exchange of final cartoons using email and attachments rather than having to send hard copies of cartoons back and forth. Some cartoonists work for newspapers, magazines or other printed media and others work directly for customers looking for specific cartoon figures for advertising or promotions.
A cartoonist must have excellent drawing skills regardless of the type of drawing, either on the computer or by hard copy that they are doing. Most cartoonists have a background in art or a related subject area, however some are self-taught and have a natural talent for drawing.
Common work activities include:
- Reading, studying and learning about relevant topic areas to generate a cartoon strip or individual cartoon.
- Talking to various customers and clients and understanding the theme, characters and ideas that need to be addressed by the cartoon and the characters.
- Drawing, revising and modifying cartoons and developing a final product that meets the client, customer or publisher’s needs.
- Finding a humorous way to express even very serious issues.
- Networking, advertising and marketing their skills for drawing and cartoon work either within a particular business, on the internet, or through various channels.