Cartoonists convey humorous insights into people, events or incidents on behalf of newspapers, magazines or companies. They prepare satirical or humorous cartoons for publication in most visual media. Different media require different skills and most cartoonists create characters and prepare models and sketches of them.
Cartoonists may write their own scripts or illustrate the scripts of others. They need art experience and some knowledge of writing techniques. Most cartoonists also have to keep up-to-date with politics, economics and social conditions.
Political cartoonists need to keep up-to-date with current affairs, politics and economics. Television cartoonists should be very versatile and able to draw anything from comic flash cards to animated cartoons. Cartoonists specialising in advertising must be familiar with selling and advertising techniques and trends as well as with art techniques.
Cartoonists need to be diligent readers of the different media, and listen as much as possible to the radio. They often sketch on their own initiative, but are also often requested to sketch cartoons of certain public personalities and events. Such requests usually come from news, art and other editors of daily newspapers or magazines.
Areas of specialisation include:
Schooling & School Subjects
Degree: BA (Fine Arts) - most universities, RU, UJ, US, UFS, NMMU, Wits, UCT, UP, UFH, NWU, WSU.
Diploma: N.Dip. Fine Art or Graphic Design - DUT, VUT, UJ, CUT, TUT.
Certificate: at most TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) Colleges.
Ideally the diploma or degree course undertaken will have subjects such as: Design, Photography, Layout, Painting (Art), History of Art, Anatomy and Perspective. Additional education in writing, advertising and selling techniques and economics, historical and political sciences would be helpful to those interested in certain specialities. Cartoonists usually assemble a portfolio to display their work. A good portfolio is essential for obtaining employment and freelance assignments, as well as for job changes.
National Arts Council
P O Box 500
Tel: (011) 838-1383 Fax: (011) 838-6363