How Much Does the Average Cartoonist Make?

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The average cartoonist can earn anywhere from $14,000 to $150,000 depending on their specific job, as production artists make less than concept artists. Work independently as a cartoonist to make more money with art instruction from a professional cartoonist in this free video on drawing lessons.

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Video Transcript

Joel Hickerson and Today we're going to talk about how much an average cartoonist makes. It's a pretty broad spectrum. I could tell you, or I will tell you that if you're working for someone else as a cartoonist you're not going to get rich. It's a tough market. It's a market that a lot of people want to do so that drives the price per hour way down. Different kinds of cartoonists that in different rates would be like a production artist who does what someone else tells them basically inks or even scans and traces, isn't going to make as much as say a concept artist who has to actually create the characters and the scenes and the different acting out of the sketch. They make a little bit more. Also if you work for yourself, you're going to make a little bit more than if you're employed by another company. The big houses, they hire a lot of artists and it's like everywhere else the more you get the less you're able to pay. What else? Things to make yourself more valuable would be to stay abreast of the technology, and if you're an animator learn the animation programs and not just one because a lot of companies use different, or different companies use different animation programs. Know the past, present and the future of your craft. Study where it came from, when animation began, and take it all the way through to the technology that people are using today to create it. Oh, to give you some numbers, oh I guess you can look at and it's a broad spectrum and it also depends on what you choose to do, whether you're in the production side which you could look at anywhere from fourteen K per year to the good ones, you might make enough to make a living at thirty, forty. They usually, the companies will bill out your time of production artist at twenty five to seventy five dollars an hour. And it's usually in the middle somewhere. And it also depends on geographically where you're at. The problem with production now is a lot of it's going over seas anyways so that's a tough gig to get. The creative guys, they can make more, anywhere from ninety five to a hundred and fifty dollars an hour if you're really good. The problem with, by the time you get really good, you've spent a long time in the trenches and hopefully you survive to get that good. But there's a lot of variables. But basically a cartoonist can make anywhere from about fourteen K per year to a hundred and fifty K per year and sometimes, if you're a cartoonist and you sell your own work, it'll put you over the top. And there's a lot of examples like that, but they're very rare. So going in to it as a cartoonist, know that you're going to have to pay your dues for a while and you have a lot of competition. But eventually if you are talented, and you are educated and do your homework, you could actually make a pretty good living at it, but it won't be overnight. That's pretty much all I can tell you. Good luck.


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