Would you like to be a cartoonist?
Are you one of those people whose cubicle is lined with cartoons? Do you love to make people laugh? Do you dream of someday escaping your cubical and making a living as a cartoonist? This article won’t teach you how to do that (sorry about that) but it will show you how you can get started and make a name for yourself while making enough money to pay a bill or two.
Cartooning On the Internet
There are virtually a million ways to get your cartoons published on the Internet but not all of them will make you money so be careful how you approach publishing in this medium. One thing you should do, whether it makes you money or not, is start a blog. Most successful cartoonists have found them an important part of their business so what does that tell you? The nice thing about blogs is that it is possible to make money with them by setting up advertisements on the blog. There are many people out there who make a pretty good living just through commercialized blogging alone but the catch is that you need to build up pretty good traffic before you can expect to make any money this way. If you set up your Internet cartoon presence properly, though, you may never need to bother with any of the following publishing possibilities. If you do find it’s taking a while to get the money flowing, then you may find the greeting card industry a nice place for a you, as a newbie, to get started.
Cartoon Greeting Cards
Greeting card companies have been a traditional money maker for beginning writers and artists for many years. This is a great way to make a little extra cash and start building your publishing credentials. To set about getting published just do a search for Greeting Card Publishers or order a book with artist’s market information (or writer’s market information) and read each companies submission requirements to find out how you need to submit your work. If this is something you think you could really get into then you could even start your own greeting cards company and self publish (just be sure to do your research before you start down this path). If, however, the thought of creating yet another birthday cartoon bores you to tears you may find some excellent cartooning possibilities right in your back yard with the advertising industry.
If you are like most people these days, you are constantly being bombarded with advertisements. Business owners simply must advertise to get business (unless they are extremely lucky) and that creates a great opportunity for you. Keep your eyes open as you go about your day to day business. For example, say you drop off your dry cleaning at a dry cleaning store and you see that they have a uninteresting or badly drawn logo… offer to draw them a better one (for a fee of course or maybe even make a trade). Then the next day perhaps when you take your child to the dentist they hand you a brochure to teach your kids how to take care of their teeth and the brochure is so poorly done it could bore a patent examiner. You can then offer to help them create one with cartoons that will interest kids. The possibilities are virtually endless in this field and if you get good enough the income can go through the roof. If you really are not into commercial stuff, though, another great niche to consider is the book and magazine illustrations market.
Cartoon Book and Magazine Illustrations
The best category in book and magazine illustrations is, naturally enough, the children’s market but there are a few other categories (like politics) that usually make use of cartoons. When approaching this market be sure to make good use of your creativity since working for the large publishers can be very competitive. To get your foot in the door, look for smaller publishers and the internet e-zine publishers can also be a great place to get started. Yet another place you might want to consider looking are the self-publishing companies, it’s truly amazing how many people are getting into self publishing and never before in history have there been so many words being published yet most of the people publishing all those words can’t draw to save their life. These markets are just beginning to grow and I have even seen one or two low quality cartoon stock providers (sort of like stock photography) looking to cater to these types of markets. Now is the time to jump in before they start to get too saturated (like the stock photography markets is). If you decided to start a stock cartoon business you may not even need to know how to create cartoons yourself, all you need is the ability to judge what kind of cartoons your customers would like and then find cartoonists who can supply them.
Where there is a will, there is a way, but with all the opportunities that are available in the world today ‘the way’ shouldn’t be too difficult. A good sense of humor and the desire to draw cartoons is really all the requirements you need to get started. You don’t even need to know how to draw that well since great drawing skills have never been a really important requirement for the cartoonist (just look at some of the most famous cartoonists out there). There are also a lot of great tools available to help you learn how to draw. If you do happen to be one of those who is artistically challenged then check out my cartooning book and software [http://www.computer-graphics-haven.com/GraphicsHelpTopics/GraphicsResources/Beginning_Cartooning/BeginnerCartoonist.html] reviews to find some of the best resources to help you get started.