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Becoming a Cartoonist or Animator

Cartoonist vs. Animator

Both cartoonists and animators create comics by combining a story with a series of images. Generally, a cartoonist creates comic strips, while an animator draws cartoons for TV, movies and video games.


Education

Whether you want to become a cartoonist or an animator, the process is similar. You don’t technically need post-secondary education in this field, but like all jobs, more education means more experience and a better chance of landing a job.


A Few Tips

  • Present your stories in as few words as possible. Keep your dialogue short, concise and easy to follow.

  • Don’t rely on your dialogue to tell the story. Your cartoon images should have universal meaning. That way, even those who don’t speak English can follow along with just the pictures.

  • Observe people and nature. Exaggerate what you see when drawing your cartoons—emotions, movements, body language.

  • Find your unique style. Consistency in your art will make your work easily recognizable to fans.

  • Find your genre. What are your comics about? Everyday life? Politics? School? Finding your genre—or niche—and sticking with it (at least while you’re getting established) will help you build a fan base.

  • Prepare a professional-looking portfolio of all your quality work. Put emphasis on the pieces that you’ve sold or had printed in a publication or online.

  • Publishing Your Work

    There are two ways to get your comics into the hands of potential fans: freelance (selling by yourself), or with the help of an agent. You can sell your pieces individually to different publications. Or you can work for one publication on a regular basis. As an animator, you’ll work for a TV, film or gaming company rather than a publication.


    Salary

    According to salary.com, a cartoonist/animator can make anywhere from $37,000 to $68,000 with the average annual salary of about $50,000.


    Related Stories:

  • Becoming a Computer Graphic Artist
  • Becoming an Author
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  • Becoming a Professional Voice Actor
  • Check Out More Cool Jobs!
  • 7 Comments

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    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    PARTYHAT
    PARTYHAT posted in Family Issues:
    hey,  im so sorry about that, but one thing this reminds me of is my grandpa. he passed away when my dad was 12 years old and i never got to see him, he sounds soo nice. keep going  :thumbsup
    reply about 3 hours
    Littkekawaiiigirl
    I have a friend, she was so nice and funny when my best friend and I met her on the first day of school. As months passed she started getting annoying. The way she texts, acts, and talks is starting to get annoying. Then she is becoming such a drama queen now. What should I do?
    reply about 6 hours
    Kirsteeeeen
    Thank you for sharing something that has helped you cope with loss, and I'm sorry that you lost your friend and had to go through the grief and pain. I don't know what it is like, but I know there are a lot of people who do and would appreciate that you shared that way of coping. I hope that you are continuing to find more ways to deal with it, and don't forget those good memories you have with her. They'll always be yours to cherish.
    reply about 7 hours
    Kirsteeeeen
    Hi Wonderfulcalico, I'm sorry to hear you're in such a bad situation. It must be tough, and it must be having a profound negative impact on you and those around you. It sounds like your mom has some things she needs to work out. But know that this behaviour from your parents is not okay. You shouldn't have to be subjected to this type of environment, which is toxic for your health physically and mentally. It also sounds like it is physically dangerous and it is making you live in fear, which is not okay. It is NOT your fault. If you feel that you are being abused, please get another trusted adult involved. Don't act on things that make you feel unsafe or confront your parents directly if you know they will act in a dangerous way. Your safety is number one. Try contacting another adult such as a teacher, a nurse, a doctor, a worship leader, social worker, child protective services, or call the police. Remember that 911 is also an option in any emergency, and that includes yourself being in danger from physical abuse. You can also call Your Life, Your Voice at 1-800-448-3000 , message them online, or even text them, or contact another local help line that you know. Please take care of yourself and stay safe. I know you may not want to do any of these things, and it's okay to feel that way, but also remember how important your safety is and make that a priority. 
    reply about 7 hours
    KayKayZ
    KayKayZ posted in Friends:
    Hmm, okay, well I'll try to give you the best advice that I can, Error. So you say you don't like your friend for a number of reasons: Liar, bad influence, uses swear words, too blunt, etc. I feel like some of these could be over-looked, such as the swearing and the 'bad influence' part. Really, all you have to do is just not copy her actions, and they won't be influential at all. If you disagree, it shouldn't be hard to just refuse to follow in her steps. However, lying isn't the best quality I would look for in a friend.  She doesn't seem like an enjoyable person to be around in general, which is why you are making this post, obviously. But I'm gonna ask you something here. Don't you think that, in a way, you're lying too? You're pretending to be her friend solely for purposes of monetary value because, I assume, your family cannot pay for or get you to gymnastic class themselves. If this is true, that's kind of bad, isn't it? It sounds like, to me, that your friendship isn't exactly a healthy relationship at all. But I'm gonna sympathize with you, since I know gymnastics must be important to you, and you wouldn't be doing this if you didn't have a good reason. So, what should you do about it? Well, personally I think there are a few things you could do. You could stop being her friend, therefore no longer having to deal with her; but in the process lose access to your gymnastics class and have to look for it in another way. On the flip side, you could continue to put up with her, which would probably not be in your best interests, but you'd still get to attend your class. Or, you could try talking to her about it. Ask her what she really thinks of your friendship, if she actually values you as her friend. Maybe you two can talk about problems that you're having with each other and work on fixing them. This option could have negative effects, since she might want to stop being your friend or things could become very awkward after that. But it's probably your best bet to be honest with her, as you'd hope she would be with you. How about if you tried being really nice to her? Kindness is contagious, and perhaps if you treat her well enough, she'll start doing the same to you. I feel like maybe if you complimented her, told her things that you really like about her, maybe even got her gifts or made her food once in a while, that she would come to appreciate you and all that you do for her. And in turn, she might start to respect you more herself, and become a good friend. That's about all I can say. If you're close enough with her mom, maybe you could even try asking her about her daughter and see if she can give you any advice. Hopefully that helped in some way, but if it didn't, maybe it at least made you think? I hope your problem gets resolved, Error, and you can be content with the outcome of it. :-)
    reply 4 days