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Advantages & Disadvantages of a Cartooning Career

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Cartoonists can work in many different ways. Some cartoonists create comic strips, while others animate for television and the movies. Creating political cartoons is also popular. The education of cartoonists can vary widely. Art schools and fine arts programs at traditional colleges are options. Political cartoonists might have degrees in journalism or in the area of political science. As in any career, there are advantages and disadvantages to having a career as a cartoonist.

Work at Home

Many cartoonists work from home, either freelancing or working on a series of comics. For some, this is a positive, as they enjoy the freedom and comfort of not needing to show up at an office every day. Others, however, need the daily contact with others that commuting to work provides. Working at home is best for those that can self-motivate.

Paid for Being Creative

Those that dream of creating comics or animation to entertain or educate might find being a cartoonist a dream come true. Creating cartoons allows for creative expression and can speak to people from all different backgrounds and walks of life.

Breaking Into the Field

Budding cartoonists can sometimes find it hard to break into the field or make a name for themselves. It’s a competitive field, and cartoonists must be creative and skilled to succeed. Successful cartoonists must be willing to put in the legwork to get noticed, and be able and willing to sell themselves to prospective clients. It’s a good idea to start small and work up from there, such as first approaching local newspapers and magazines with comics, recommends the National Cartoonists Society.

Pay Varies

The income for a cartoonist can vary widely. The pay will depend on the cartoonists experience and skill, whether a cartoonist is a freelancer or has an on-going deal, and what markets the cartoonist sells his work to. Pay may not be large or steady, especially in the beginning.


Kathy Gleason is a freelance writer living in rural northern New Jersey who has been writing professionally since 2010. She is a graduate of The Institute for Therapeutic Massage in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Before leaving her massage therapy career to start a family, Gleason specialized in Swedish style, pregnancy and sports massage.

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