Do you like sitting at your desk in your ‘me’ time drawing whimsical characters? Maybe a gigantic nose here and big pouty lips there…dabbing a bit of exaggeration to tiny features of a creature or inanimate object…  

Well if it is a yes, then cartooning might be the career for you…

Cartoons are an epitome of ART.

Cartooning is much more than simply drawing funny pictures or sketches. They should convey an important thoughtful message or point out some kind of irony. Cartoonists depict cartoons with truth and subtle humour. Humour. Having a good sense of humour is a MUST.

Cartoonists have a different perspective of life. It is like seeing the world through someone else’s lens or maybe through an enchanted glass. It is magical. They persuade people. Expressing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through their cartoons, they amuse and educate the mass- all at the same time.

Today’s top cartoonists- Charles Schutz, Rick Kirkman, Tom Wilson, John McPherson, Tom Cheney, Lynn Johnson, Mort Walker, Bil Keane, Bill Griffith, Bud Grace..they all had to start somewhere and then took their dream ahead. Most began working as something else( a day job ) until they could make a living out of their passion for cartooning. ‘Hagar The Horrible’ by Dik Browne is one example of a popular cartoon. ‘The Simpsons’ by Matt Groening made it big on television.

A cartoonist may work in a newspaper, a magazine , an advertising agency , a publishing firm or may freelance. He may also publish his cartoons in online publications such as blogs or websites. A cartoonist may tell a story, provide social commentary or simply reflect public opinion by creating illustrations for magazines, advertisements, newspapers,films, television, books, newsletters, greeting cards and other publications. He may work as a political cartoonist or a comic cartoonist. He may also seek employment opportunities in animation houses. The process of  cartooning is also used to create storyboards which are used when producing animated files and video games.

To start off your career as a cartoonist, you can sell your cartoons to magazines and other publishing houses, get in touch with the art directors of these publishing syndicates and show them your freshly composed cartoons. You may be on the receiving end of a lot of rejections…but never lose hope…continue composing new cartoons and mail them every other week. You should have confidence in your area of expertise. People will recognize that and it could potentially lead to opportunities. Intense dedication in your art will obviously bear fruit one day!

The average salary of a beginner cartoonist is Rs.10,000 to 15,000 per month. Cartoonists who have their comic strips syndicated make a decent wage. A cartoonist who creates storyboards, makes a good annual salary. It generally varies from cartoonist to cartoonist.

On one hand, an animator or greeting card artist who works on staff for a large company like Hallmark cards or Archies earns a traditional salary with benefits. On the other hand, a successful self-employed freelancer doing web comics, greeting cards, children’s books, advertising art, magazine cartoons, etc, may actually earn more than the average staff cartoonist or comic strip artist.

Cartoonists are gifted artists. There shouldn’t be a rule-book educational requirement to be a cartoonist. But unfortunately, there is. A degree in fine arts or story boarding is always appreciated. Creative thinking, technical expertise, excellent observation and artsy drawing are looked into while hiring a cartoonist. A perfect fusion of intellect and imagination is expected in an individual aspiring to be a cartoonist.

Some prominent Institutions providing such courses are:

In India-

Indian Institute of Cartoonists, Bangalore

Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Baroda

Industrial Design Centre, IIT, Mumbai

Kerala Cartoon Academy, Kochi

Arena Animation Academy, New Delhi

Zee Institute of Creative Arts, Mumbai

Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC)

Abroad-

The Kubert School , New Jersey

Ringling College, Florida

The School of Visual Arts, New York City

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Picture Courtesy- www.panelsonpages.com, www.kingfeatures.com, www.fanpop.com

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Antara Chakraborty

Antara Chakraborty

I act. I paint. I write. ^_^