June 6, 2005
By Mike Keefe, Editorial Cartoonist, The Denver Post
How to I get started in the business?
- Draw a lot and get your work published. If that means a school paper, fine. If that means a church newsletter, good. If that means spray-painting a bridge abutment, check your local ordinances first.
- If you have a portfolio of cartoons on regional subjects, you may be able
to convince the local newspaper that they need a hometown point-of-view on
their editorial page. Most small papers don't have full-time cartoonists and
subscribe, instead, to syndicated work covering mostly national and international
topics. That's your selling point. You can provide the local material. You
will probably be paid some insultingly small amount per cartoon but now you've
got your foot in the door. Then you can begin to broaden your range of issues,
building up the portfolio. Next step: take your cartoons to a larger paper.
- Get to know the cartoonist on your local paper. He or she is usually glad
to look over your work and offer constructive criticism.
- If you are already a working cartoonist, you are eligible to join
the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. The AAEC also accepts associate
and student members who have not yet landed a job. You may apply
for membership on this site.
- Also on EditorialCartoonists.com, you can learn about and register for the annual
AAEC convention held in a different city each year, usually June. If you
can attend, you will get plenty of advice from others in the profession.
- News of the AAEC is posted regularly on this site and in the quarterly notebook (included with membership.) More cartoon information can be found on the NSC (National Cartoonists Society) web site.