Like most jobs out there today, there isn't necessarily one single path that people are required to take in order to become a successful cartoonist. People come to this career from many walks of life, but having some type of art degree can be extremely useful. Some schools offer degrees in animation, cartooning, or multimedia art that are specifically geared toward individuals who want to work in the world of creating cartoons. It isn't necessarily essential to focus on such a narrow degree, however. Many people become cartoonists with a degree in general art or graphic design.
First and foremost, to become a cartoonist a person needs to be able to draw well. Some people seem to be born with a natural talent for drawing, but virtually anyone can master the concepts and skills with some practice. Art classes can help in developing the level of drawing skills needed to become a cartoonist. They are available from beginning to expert levels, so anyone can start where they feel comfortable.
Cartoonists today also increasingly use computer technology in their work. For this reason, it's a good idea to become very comfortable with learning software programs and creating and manipulating art on a computer. These classes are available for all levels of knowledge. Some graphic design courses can be very helpful for becoming a cartoonist. Graphic design is also a possible field to consider when choosing a college major, especially if the coursework involves multimedia design.
For someone who is serious about their dream to become a cartoonist, getting a degree in cartooning or animation may be the best option. This type of college program can often be completed online if it is not offered at a local school. An animation degree should cover all necessities to prepare people to become cartoonists. This includes studying art concepts like drawing, color, developing characters and stories, designing backgrounds, and animation in 2D and 3D. In addition, computer skills such as using applications like Adobe Photoshop and other multimedia software at the expert level should be taught.
General art degrees help people prepare for a career in cartoons by offering a wider base of knowledge and skills. Individuals may learn about the broad principles of creating art and developing creativity. This is important, because a person cannot become a cartoonist without being creative. Being a good observer and translating the little things that happen in daily life into a work of art is a special skill that propels the most famous cartoonists to success. A degree in art will allow a person to study certain things in-depth, like drawing skills and understanding the principles of color.
Another important part of preparing for a degree in any creative field, including cartooning, is to develop a good portfolio to show prospective employers. A good school will help students achieve this as they progress through their studies in any type of art, whether the major is animation, graphic design, multimedia art, or some other specific creative focus.