Career as a Cartoonist

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Career as a Cartoonist

No matter what a person’s age is, cartoons are something that is equally loved by one and all. Whether it be Tom & Jerry or Chota Bheem, we all have our favourite cartoon characters that are close to our hearts. But have you ever thought about the actual makers of these cartoon faces?  A cartoonist not only allocates a face to a character but defines the persona as well. Whenever we think of the great cartoonist, the first thought which comes to our mind is RK Laxman’s or Matt Groening. If you have the zeal for sketching and a mind full of creative ideas, then making a career as a Cartoonist is definitely your cup of tea!

Who is a Cartoonist?

A Cartoonist is a professional who provides faces to the cartoon characters. Depending upon the area of interest a person can make a career as a Cartoonist in Newspapers, Comic Books or TV Channels. Some people draw cartoons on various issues such as social, religious, political and environmental. While some other sketch advertising cartoons or characters that entertain the masses. Most of the professionals in this field,  draw cartoons to display and convey powerful messages which are of social importance.

Skills Required to Become a Cartoonist

One of the important traits of a cartoonist is that he must have a good sense of humour persona. If you have the passion to write and draw cartoons on various topics with creativity using hands or computer or both, this field is for you! But a cartoonist must have the ability to work under pressure and meet strict deadlines laid by the organization. A professional cartoonist is the one who can think out of the box and can constantly create figures that are unique. A career as a Cartoonist is for highly passionate individuals. 

Although very few universities around the world offer courses in cartooning itself, you can pursue a career in cartooning by opting for a bachelor’s or master’s course in the field of animation and other related fields that focus heavily in the aspects of drawing, illustration, anatomy, computer graphics, painting etc. Some of the study fields that aspiring cartoonists generally choose to pursue their degree in includes:

Here is a list of courses for those aspiring to become a cartoonist:

Level Courses
Diploma Diploma in 3D Animation
Diploma of Screen and Media – Animation
Diploma in Animation (2D & Stop Motion)
Diploma in 3D Modelling & Animation
Diploma in Character Animation
Diploma in Animation & Visual Effects
Bachelor’s BSc in Animation
BSc Visual Communication
Bachelor’s in Cartoon and Comic Arts
Bachelor’s in Illustration
Bachelor’s in Digital Painting and Expanded Animation
BA Hons in Digital Animation
Master’s MA in Animation
Master’s in 3D Animation and VFX
MDes in Animation
MA in 3D Computer Animation

Top Universities

There are various university and colleges abroad that offer certain courses related to cartoons and animation, where you would get practical knowledge about how to draw and present characters in an appropriate way for engaging the audience. Here is a list of educational institutes that would help you build a career as a Cartoonist: 

Top Universities in India for Cartoonists

  • Indian Institute of Cartoonists, Bengaluru
  • NIFT New Delhi
  • VELS Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies
  • Centre for Creative Arts and Design, Bangalore
  • Kerala Cartoon Academy, Kochi
  • Pearl Academy, New Delhi
  • Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
  • Antoon’s School of Animation, New Delhi
  • Zee Institute of Creative Art(ZICA) Studios, Mumbai
  • Apeejay Institute of Design
  • Toonz Animation Academy, Trivandrum
  • National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
  • UPES, Dehradun
  • Mayabious Academy, Kolkata
  • Image Creative Education, Chennai
  • Picasso Animation College, Bengaluru
  • Animation and Fine Arts Academy, Coimbatore

Career as a Cartoonist: Job Areas

There numerous employment opportunities due to the huge demand for a cartoonist in the industry. Here is a list of employment area where you can opt for a career as a cartoonist:

  • Publishing Houses
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Advertising Companies/Agencies
  • Television Industry
  • Film Industry
YouTube: NDTV

How to become a Cartoonist in India?

Pursuing a career as a cartoonist in India is exciting and full of versatile opportunities. It involves working on a number of skills, from honing your drawing skills to working on illustration, conceptualisation, storytelling, political satire as well as digitalisation, graphic designing and animation. Budding cartoonists need to possess a great deal of knowledge about current affairs, political & cultural life and trending events so that they can produce relevant and attractive pieces to gain a wider audience across the world. Working on developing your authentic and unique style is a great way to kick-start your career as a cartoonist in India. With the introduction of technological advancements, animation and digital illustration has replaced traditional ways of drawing. There are a plethora of courses related to illustration and graphic design offered by top universities, colleges and even online platforms like Coursera and Udemy; based on personal interest and convenience, students choose the right course for themselves. Here are some books you can take inspiration from as a budding cartoonist in India:

  • The Tunnel of Time: An Autobiography by R.K. Laxman
  • The Penguin Book Of Indian Cartoons by Abu Abraham 
  • Modern Cartooning: Essential Techniques for Drawing Today’s Popular Cartoons by Christopher Hart
  • Brushing Up the Years: A Cartoonist’s History of India, 1947 to the Present by R K Laxman
  • Conversations with Indian Cartoonists: Politickle Lines

Top Companies boosting Careers of Cartoonists in India

A large number of budding cartoonists and illustrators work independently as freelancers and interns in various organisations to build a strong portfolio and garner greater creative skills.

  • Times of India
  • The Indian Express
  • The Guardian
  • Doordarshan 
  • Raj Comics
  • The Quint
  • Buzzfeed
  • Amar Chitra Katha
  • Cartoon Network
  • Penguin Random House
  • HarperCollins
  • Om Books Store
  • UDON Entertainment

There are ample opportunities in this field due to a boom in media and animation industry. According to various researchers across the world, today cartoons serve as a powerful communication tool to convey various messages and social topics to the masses through television, newspaper, magazines, etc. Cartoonists can convey happenings and situation to the government when they are not working for the betterment of society.

Before applying for a job or going for freelancing job as a cartoonist, do a full-fledged undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the field. Since there are both part-time and full-time opportunities available for those wanting to establish their career as a cartoonist, you need to keep furnishing your skills ithrough additional Animation courses as well. Send your work to editors or design heads of newspaper agency who might hire you on the basis of your work. In the same way, provide cartoons samples to the publishing and media houses which are to be published or presented on TV.

Salary of a Cartoonist

The salary of a cartoonist depends upon various factors, thus, it varies to a large extent. Earnings can be considerable and good if the characters gain popularity among the audience. Nowadays, you can pursue your career as a cartoonist by working on freelance projects. In India, the starting salary of a Cartoonist is around 180,000-2,50,000 INR p.a. and can extend upto 5,00,000-7,00,000 INR p.a. for senior-level positions. According to Bureau Labour of Statistics (BLS), the US, a median salary of a cartoonist can be between $30K-$60K/annum.

FAQs on Career as a Cartoonist

What does a cartoonist do?

A cartoonist commonly draws cartoons and stories for animations and can also work as an illustrator for books and comics as well as in advertising for creating visually appealing copy ads, banners, designs and images or draw political cartoons for newspapers.

How do you become a cartoon artist?

Many cartoonists generally have a bachelor’s degree in Animation as the knowledge of graphic design and animation software is essential for cartoon artists along with visual storytelling which is meticulously covered along with other aspects in Animation, VFX and Graphic Design courses.

What courses can I pursue to become a cartoonist?

For pursuing a career as a cartoonist, you can opt for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the fields of cartooning, animation, illustration, sequential arts, drawing etc.

What are some of the required skills for becoming a cartoonist?

Some of the key skills that would help you in your career as a cartoonist include:
-A sense of humour
-Great drawing or illustration skills
-A creative mind
-Ability to meet deadlines

What are the job options for a cartoonist?

There are numerous job opportunities that you can look forward to as a cartoonist. Some of the different employment areas for cartoonists include:
-Publishing Houses
-Newspapers
-Magazines
-Advertising Companies/Agencies
-Television Industry

What are the best universities for cartoonists?

Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
University of the Arts London, United Kingdom
Parsons School of Design at The New School, United States
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), United States
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States
Michigan State University, East Lansing, United States.
California Institute of Arts, United States
University of Derby, Derby, United States
University Of Oregon, Oregon, United States
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States

Is there a demand for cartoonists?

The demand for cartoonists is estimated to increase in the future. It is a highly lucrative field as more and more companies need visual aids along with written material to engage audiences across the platform.

What are the best colleges for cartoonists?

To build a career as a cartoonist in India, students can go for colleges like
Indian Institute of Cartoonists, Bengaluru
NIFT New Delhi
VELS Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies
Centre for Creative Arts and Design, Bangalore
Kerala Cartoon Academy, Kochi
Pearl Academy, New Delhi
Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
National Institute of Design

What companies in India hire cartoonists?

To boost your career as a cartoonist, you can look for jobs with top companies like
Times of India
The Indian Express
The Guardian
Doordarshan
Raj Comics
The Quint
Buzzfeed
Amar Chitra Katha
Cartoon Network

We hope this blog has certainly helpful in explaining about a career as a cartoonist. For pursuing a course in the very field from abroad, contact Leverage Edu. We will help you connect with a mentor who would guide you throughout the application procedure.  

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