A cartoonist works in animation, creating either still works (such as comic strips) or animated pictures. A cartoonist can create their images using a variety of techniques, in most cases decided on by the cartoonist personally – though working as a part of a team in a studio usually poses some restrictions on what materials and techniques can be applied. A cartoonist can also be self-employed, especially today with the popularity of the Internet, which has served as a solid base for some cartoonists to show their works.
Becoming a cartoonist takes practice and experience. A degree in some form of visual arts can help attaining employment at a high-ranking studio, but is usually not strictly required. Prior experience and a solid portfolio are what primarily decides a cartoonist’s potential for success, and being able to show a long line of previous works is the best possible asset a cartoonist can display. Knowledge of different animation styles and the ability to adopt new styles quickly is also usually of benefit to the candidate.
The salary of a cartoonist is very variable. The less successful ones earn no more than $40,000 a year, while some of the professional cartoonists and animators employed by large corporations can easily earn over $60,000 – $70,000 a year. Strong experience and understanding of the concepts of animation add up greatly to the salary of the cartoonist, as does the tendency to show innovation and creative thinking. A cartoonist can easily find employment after building up several years of experience and a good portfolio.