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:

  • advertising

  • television

  • comics

  • editorials or politics

  • book illustration

  • animation and caricatures

Work settings vary widely. Cartoonists may work in spacious, well-equipped studios or in small rooms at home. They may work alone or in a workspace with others. The work can be stressful due to deadlines that have to be met.

Most cartoonists start out as assistants to professional cartoonists. Some start as comic book illustrators. With talent, ability and experience, cartoonists may advance to having their own cartoons published, or having their own animated television specials. There is a great demand for cartoonists because of the ever-increasing use of cartoon techniques in industries, educational institutions and associations. This is a highly competitive vocation in which only the most talented, ambitious and experienced cartoonists succeed. This work is not seasonal nor is it limited to a particular location, but competition is strong.


  • advertising agencies

  • public relations firms

  • newspapers and magazines

  • television and motion picture studios

  • publishers

  • motion picture studios

  • self-employment, freelance work

Where to Study

Papua New Guinea
University of Goroka

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