Cartoonist: Overview of Education Programs for Cartooning
A cartoonist expresses thoughts, ideas and opinions through art and drawings. Many cartoonists use comic, critical or dramatic talents in addition to their drawing skills. Cartoons are often found in newspapers, magazines, websites and comic books.
Education Options for Cartoonists
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) links cartoonists to fine artists and other workers (www.bls.gov). The agency does not set out specific educational requirements for cartoonists, but notes that artists, including cartoonists, benefit from degree programs in fine art and illustration. A bachelor's degree in comic or sequential art may be available as well.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration
In this degree program, students focus on graphic design concepts, figure drawing and digital design. Students may choose courses specific to comic illustration or humorous illustrations. Often, they must choose a specific concentration, whether it be studio art or medical illustration. It's not unusual for students to take courses in drawing facial expressions and vector and raster imaging as well as multiple studio courses, where they will hone their drawing skills.
These programs may also include courses in art history and professional practice. Some programs focus on cartooning, although they are similar to general illustration programs, including courses in figure drawing, perspective and figure modeling. Required courses may include study of digital imaging technology.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art
These programs focus on studio art, where students use time in the studio to brush up on multi-dimensional drawing, concepts and theories. Students also learn how to develop an idea and how location may influence their drawing and artwork. Students can expect to take classes in art history and learn about the tools of professional practice, including presentations and websites.
Cartoonist Salary and Career Outlook
According to Salary.com, in November 2011, cartoonists and animators in the 25th-75th percentile earned between $39,058 and $56,646 annually; the median salary was $46,825. The BLS projects an eight percent increase in employment of artists and related workers between 2008 and 2018, accounting for an increase of 1,700 jobs during the decade.
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