Bloghorn’s Artist of the Month, cartoonist Tim Harries, gives his tips for would-be cartoonists:
- Keep practicing. Nothing wrong with copying other people’s work for practice if you want to learn, as long as you don’t try to pass it off as your own. You’ll find your own style as you progress.
- If you’re aiming to become a professional cartoonist, you’ll need to get yourself a web site and get yourself advertised. If you want to be taken seriously put your best stuff on there, not some sketches you did for Auntie Flo when you were 10. You can save that stuff for your inevitable blog
- Nearly all work is done via the internet these days – receiving and answering enquiries, sending roughs and final art, invoicing are all expected to be done online, so be prepared for this.
- Don’t miss deadlines. Clients don’t like it and probably won’t use you again. Simple!
- Develop a thick skin. If you’re sending cartoons anywhere speculatively, be prepared for rejection somewhere along the line.
- Also be prepared to diversify – there is work out there, but if you’ve got your heart set on just working in one field of cartooning “Right I’m only going to draw gag cartoons… about Aardvarks!” it may be a struggle, so the skills you learn producing gag cartoons, comic strips and humorous illustrations can be used in all manner of work – greetings cards, calendars, advertising, comic books, trade mags. Some may not be the glamorous ‘high profile’ gigs you’d like but they pay the bills.