Do you love drawing? Then maybe you considering becoming a professional cartoonist. Drawing for a living and making people laugh is after all surely a dream come true.
Anyone can be a cartoonist and there have been some great female cartoonists over the years.
But the fact is that this is such a great job that everybody would like to become a cartoonist and it can be very competitive.
Luckily there’s a lot you can do to improve your chances. From studying a degree to perfecting your craft, here’s everything you need to know about how to become a cartoonist.
1. Practice Makes Perfect
Practice makes perfect when it comes to your professional cartoonist career. You can’t become a cartoonist overnight. You need to practice and determine what makes a good cartoon and what doesn’t work.
Try drawing cartoons of your friends and get their honest opinion on them. Listen to what they have to say and ask them to tell you the truth. Try to get them to be specific in terms of what the issue is with your work and how you can improve it.
But remember you need professional opinions as well. Try to reach out to cartoonists you really like either over e-mail or find out where they hang out and try to network with them. They might be able to give you some career advice. This is how to become a cartoonist.
You don’t need a degree to become a cartoonist and have a successful cartoonist career. The world is changing and people are fewer snobs than they once were about college degrees.s But having one is still a big help. This is because it can teach you valuable industry standards that it would be hard to pick up elsewhere.
Employers of cartoonists also like their workers to have a high level of education so that they know how to follow instructions and work in an office environment.
Enrolling on courses such as fine arts or graphic design are likely to serve you best. But ask employers where you want to work for some recommendations about what courses they recommend and what colleges you should apply to.
Be sure to check their website FAQs as they may have already answered these questions.
When you are at college don’t just think about the course itself. Try to build your network. Is there anyone on the course who is going to be able to help you get to where you want to go? Be sure to grab them on LinkedIn.
3. Build Your Portfolio
While a degree will stand you in good it’s no match for the experience. You need to build up a good portfolio to help you succeed if you want to become the next Gemma Correll or Matt Groening.
Unfortunately, this means starting to work for free. You are unlikely to become a famous cartoonist overnight. Try to take on some commissions from a few small publications and build it from there.
But don’t wait for someone to hire you even voluntarily.
Blogging and Social Media
Blogging and social media are the best way to gain experience and this gives you total freedom. You can draw whatever you want and put it out there. Instagram is a great place to start. You can set up a specific account for your art or you could venture into Pinterest.
You could then use other websites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to supplement and promote your work.
The more followers and attention you get then the more likely you are to get the attention you want from an employer.
Instagram and Pinterest are even a venture in themselves as you can fund your work through advertising and influence status.
4. Build That Network
Even if you are the best professional cartoonist on the market at the moment, nobody is going to hire you on your portfolio alone. You need to have a great network as well that can help you get through the door.
Be sure to connect with everyone you work with on LinkedIn and other social networks. Ask for references and remember networking is about making friends for life, not just a self-interested way of getting a job.
Try to think about what you can do for the other person as much as what they can do for you.
Don’t forget about meeting up in real life as well. This can create a better environment where you can get to know the people you are networking with on a deeper level rather than just chatting with them online.
You can make better connections if they can see the emotions on your face and hear your words rather than just reading your text on a screen.
5. Passion vs Money
Finally, you must realize that becoming a professional cartoonist won’t make you rich. Cartoonists are highly sought-after jobs so the chances are you won’t be able to command the salary of a banker or a mortgage broker.
But you will be pursuing your passion. You need to factor this in when you are making decisions about what career you want to pursue.
If at times climbing the ladder to ensure you get where you want to go feels like hard work then be sure to check out these Bill Watterson quotes to inspire you.
Becoming a Professional Cartoonist is Hard Work
Becoming a professional cartoonist is harder than any other job because there’s more competition. You will need to get a degree to be taken seriously and to build a network to get a good job.
But becoming a professional cartoonist can ensure that you pursue your passion in life and don’t spend your life doing a job you feel dispassionate about.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a professional cartoonist or how to write a cartoon then be sure to check out the rest of our site.
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