How to Find Work as a Beginning Cartoonist or Illustrator

Beginning Cartoonist

Not everyone can draw or illustrate, and not everyone wants to take these skills and talents to a professional level, but if you decide you want to do this, there are many places to visit online that will help you find work.

In years past, about the only jobs for illustrators or cartoonists were newspapers or book illustrating. These jobs were few and far between, so competition was fierce.

But the internet opened up many opportunities. An illustrator didn’t have to relocate because he or she couldn’t find work in their hometown. All that is required now is to visit job boards on the web, see if the job is a good fit for you, and apply.

Of course the newspaper and book illustrating jobs are still there, in abundance, because a lot of newspaper and book publishers have moved online too. But today an illustrator has opportunities like illustrating for graphic novels, websites, and online content.

If you’re a beginning illustrator, then you know there are different views on how to start.

Some illustrators say you should attend college or obtain some sort of certificate or degree before job hunting.

This can be true, especially if you want to use illustration or design software. You’ll want to know exactly how to create a vector for an online comic or video game poster.

But formal training isn’t always necessary for a cartoonist or illustrator, especially if the job calls for basic drawings. This usually involves the tried-and-true pencil and paper. Or charcoal and paper. Or pen and paper. Whatever the case may be.

Pursuing a degree is up to you. Some companies want this in an artist. While other employers just want to see that you’re talented enough to do the job.

But regardless of whether you receive a formal education or degree, you’ll want to stay abreast of the fast-changing world of art, illustration, and cartoon-drawing. Software programs and design platforms can change daily. Your latest copy of Comic Life could be obsolete in three months. You may be a top talent when it comes to drawing, but you don’t want to be left in the dust by another artist who knows how to draw with a mouse or a computer program.

As with any job, the pay can vary when it comes to illustration or cartooning. The most important thing to remember is that art is a job, not merely a talent. And you deserve to be paid for your work just as a carpenter or plumber would be. Never sell yourself short.