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Career as Cartoonist

Last Updated By Samiksha Rautela on 05 Sep, 2022

How to Become a Cartoonist

About Cartoonist

Whenever we think of cartoons, the sight of the witty R.K. Laxman’s cartoons in the newspaper pops into our heads. In the past few decades, cartoon journalism has emerged as a platform to voice a social or public message. People who draw political, social and advertising cartoons are known as cartoonists. Most cartoonists draw to convey a powerful message that is of social importance. Majority of cartoonists work for newspapers, magazines, television, the film industry and other print publications. Their job is to create comic strips, illustrations, animations, portraits, create images, etc. Read on to find out everything about career as a Cartoonist.

Responsibilities of a Cartoonist

The duties of a Cartoonist may vary depending on the industry and client. Some of the general key responsibilities of a Cartoonist are provided below:

  • To brainstorm ideas for drawings and sketches

  • To do the required research

  • To design and outline comics as well as cartoons

  • To generate commission-based work

  • To send comics and portfolios to clients and publishers

  • To create personal projects

  • To communicate and share ideas with clients and customers

  • To collaborate with other artists including writers and producers

  • To market their work through the help of social media and advertisements

Eligibility to become Cartoonist

To become a cartoonist, there are no strict educational requirements as such. Usually, cartoonists are gifted artists. They may also take a few courses in drawing or illustration in order to enhance their skill sets and understanding. Provided below is a detailed eligibility criteria to become a Cartoonist.

Educational Qualification
  • There are no set educational qualification or technical education requirements to become a Cartoonist.
  • Candidates are free to take a few courses in drawing or illustration in order to expand their skill sets and increase their knowledge in the domain.
Skills Required
  • Artistic talent and excellent drawing skills.
  • Wit, good sense of humour & great observation skills.
  • Creativity, imagination & originality.
  • Good communication and negotiation skills.
  • Ability to accept and understand the criticism.
  • Self-motivation
  • Flexibility and good organizational skills.
  • Computer drawing skills
  • Business & Entrepreneurial skills for selling work and finding clients
Work Experience
  • Not a compulsion, however, an experienced individual may obtain bigger and higher paying opportunities.

Steps to become a Cartoonist

Here is the step-to-step guide that an individual can consider to become a Cartoonist:

  • Pursue a relevant degree in arts, graphics or animation. Candidates can also go for a certificate or Diploma course to acquire a specific skill set.

  • Learn multiple cartooning styles and technical skills.

  • Build a portfolio with all the best samples.

  • Identify your favourite genre or the kind of work you want to do.

  • Apply for open positions for full time jobs or become an intern.

Courses to become a Cartoonist

There are numerous certificates, diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate courses available for candidates who want to become a Cartoonist. Check out some of the top courses to become a Cartoonist underneath:

Course Name

Course Level


B.F.A. Drawing and Painting

UG course

3 Years

B.A. Drawing & Painting

UG course

3 Years

B.Des Graphic Design

UG course

4 Years

B.A. Fine Arts

UG course

3 Years

B.Des Animation Film Design

UG course

4 Years

B.F.A Painting

UG course

3 Years

B.Sc Animation

UG course

3 Years

M.A. Fine Arts

PG course

2 Years

M.F.A Drawing and Painting

PG course

2 Years

M.Des Digital Game Design

PG course

2 Years

M.Des Graphic Design

PG course

2 Years

M.Des Animation Film Design

PG course

2 Years

M.A. Drawing and Painting

PG course

2 Years

Diploma in Graphic and Multimedia


1-2 Years

Diploma in Sketching


6 months- 1 Year

Diploma in 3D Animation


6 months- 1 Year

Diploma in Fine Arts


1-2 Years

PG Diploma Multimedia Design

PG Diploma

1 Year

PG Diploma in Animation Film Design

PG Diploma

1 Year

Certificate in Painting


2 months- 1 Year

PG Diploma in Painting, Sculpture and Applied Arts

PG Diploma

1 Year

Certificate in Cartooning


2 months- 1 Year

Certificate in Graphic Designing


2 months- 1 Year

Certificate in Drawing and Animation


2 months- 1 Year

Top Colleges to become a Cartoonist

Some of the top colleges to become a Cartoonist are listed below:



Indian Institute of Cartoonists

Bengaluru, Karnataka

Picasso Animation College

Bengaluru, Karnataka

National Institute of Design

Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Anitoons School of Animation

New Delhi, Delhi

Mayabious Academy

Kolkata, West Bengal

Toonz Animation Academy

Trivandrum, Kerala

Zee Institute of Creative Art(ZICA) Studios

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Animation and Fine Arts Academy

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Image Creative Education

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Kerala Cartoon Academy

Kochi, Kerala

Types of Job Roles Cartoonist

Cartoonists are usually self-employed and there are no such broadly classified cartoonists' job profiles. They work as freelancers and devote a significant amount of time to building their careers as a cartoonist and promoting their work. Most of cartoonists seek out potential new clients either in the media or with advertisers looking for a cartoon character. Also, new opportunities for cartoonists are expected to arise, as the number of electronic magazines, video games and internet-based publications are in lot of demand in today's time. Some of the similar job roles are provided below:

  • Cartoonists: They use their design, drawing, sketches and artistic skills to create animated films, comic strips and more for movie studios, magazines, newspapers and other forms of media.

  • 2D Animator: They often outline as well as design a narrative and characters to digitally or manually draw a 2D animation frame-by-frame. 

  • Graphic Designers: They often use special computer software, techniques and equipment to curate images and graphic layouts.

  • Illustrators: They use their drawing skills and image creation to create products for different mediums, such as books, comics, websites and more.

Employment Opportunities for Cartoonists

Some of the popular employment opportunities for cartoonists are as follows:

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

Top Recruiting Companies for Cartoonists

Some of the top recruiting companies that hire cartoonists are as follows:

  • Cartoon Network
  • Times of India
  • The Indian Express
  • Amar Chitra Katha
  • Digitoonz
  • Ocean Bluee
  • Prayan Animation
  • Visual Connections
  • Citrus Inc Studios
  • Reliance Animation

Planning to choose Cartoonist as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Cartoonist

The salary of a cartoonist depends upon how often they work or the types of clients they tend to work with. Apart from geographical location, experience and many other factors are responsible for determining the salary of a cartoonist. Check the estimated figures in the table below.

Job Profile

Starting Salary per annum (in INR)

Mid- Level Salary per annum (in INR)

Senior-Level Salary per annum (in INR)


Rs. 2,54,772

Rs. 3,00,000- Rs.5,00,000

Rs. 7,00,000

Note: Most cartoonists freelance and their salaries keep increasing with professional experience and talent. Therefore, the above-given range is an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and the type of work he/she does.

Books & Study Material to Become Cartoonist

Cartooning is a huge field and requires a lot of learning. But with right study material, one can speed up the learning process. Listed below are the books that cover all the concepts and theories of cartooning:

  • Cartooning: Philosophy and Art by Ivan Brunetti
  • Modern Cartooning by Christopher Hart
  • The Mad Art of Caricature by Tom Richmond
  • How to Draw Cool Stuff by Catherine V.Holmes
  • Cartooning for the Beginner by Christopher Hart

Pros of becoming a Cartoonist

  • The biggest advantage of working as a cartoonist is that you get to work on new assignments unlike other desk jobs. You get to use your creative and fun sight.
  • The job of a cartoonist is very fulfilling in the sense that you get to see the final works being published. Cartoonists experience an incomparable sense of self-satisfaction seeing their work is recognized by the public.

  • The career of a cartoonist provides with them an opportunity to express themselves in front of a large and diverse audience.

Cons of becoming a Cartoonist

  • It is very difficult for a cartoonist to establish themselves in this field as there is very stiff competition.

  • The field is incredibly competitive and one requires a lot of skill and talent to progress.

  • It is time-consuming as at times it includes drawing individual frames for each and every scene.

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FAQs about Cartoonist

I am pursuing B.Des. (Bachelor of Design) to become a Cartoonist. What other career options do I have ?

You could become a Graphic Designer , an Accessory Designer , a Fashion Designer , a Footwear Designer , a Furniture Designer after studying B.Des. (Bachelor of Design).

Confused on what to choose as your career?