How do I Become a Political Cartoonist?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Images By: Spinetta, Bill Strain, Wojost11
  • Last Modified Date: 23 January 2020
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There are many careers for which a person needs to earn a college degree. Some career paths even require certification, licensing psychiatric evaluations, and criminal background checks. A person who wants to become a political cartoonist, however, can usually do so without needing to fulfill any of these requirements. What he will generally need is artistic talent, wit, knowledge of what’s going on in the world, and a way to make newspaper and magazines notice him.

A person who wants to become a political cartoonist typically starts by learning to draw very well and express his opinions through his artwork. He’ll also need the ability to make certain features on his political cartons stand out, such as a large nose or strange clothing. An individual may attend art school in order to learn how to draw and refine his skills. Others, however, may have a natural talent and develop skills on their own. In some cases, they may also have the assistance of books or videos on the subject.

Practice is also critical for a person who wants to become a political cartoonist. A person interested in this field may practice every day. For example, he may practice by drawing cartoons based on what he reads in a daily newspaper or sees on the news. He may do well to take some of his best work and compile it into a portfolio. Having an impressive portfolio may help him to secure his first job.


Generally, a person who wants to become a political cartoonist won't need a degree, but some people feel it makes a job candidate more attractive to prospective employers. A person might seek a cartooning or other type of art degree when interested in this field or even pursue a degree in journalism. Even a political science degree may be appropriate for someone in this field.

Once a person has created a portfolio and is ready to apply for a job, he may perform a traditional job search by browsing want ads in his local newspaper. He’s unlikely to find many advertisements for this job, however. Instead, a person who wants to become a political cartoonist may try to gain the notice of a small local or regional newspaper. To do this he may contact the newspaper and ask for an interview, taking his portfolio along to showcase his talent. After gaining some experience and building his portfolio with a small publication, a budding political cartoonist may be able to attract the interest of a larger newspaper or magazine.



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