A Comical Career

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comic artist

All those doodles in your notebooks can indeed amount to something. Dushyant Shekhawat tells you how you can satisfy your creative needs by working as a comic artist

Career Facts:

Comic Artist

Job Profile:

A comic artist is someone who draws comics in two capacities: either with a writer where their job is just to illustrate or by themselves where they both write and draw comic strips and books.

Income:

Depends on portfolio and experience. Artists are usually paid by the page.

Skills Set:

Drawing skills that can create human figures, animals, objects, landscapes, locations, etc; a vivid imagination; writing skills (if you’d like to create your own strips or books).  Maintain a portfolio of your work.

Study:

* Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai
* National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
* Rhode Island School of Design, USA

Doodling in textbooks is a practice almost as old the system of formal education. It’s something most people have done at least once in their lives. Some people enjoy it so much that they make it a hobby. A smaller number goes beyond and begins to doodle professionally. And that is how a comic illustrator is born. Abhijeet Kini is one such person. The creator of Angry Maushi, an original comic, has been working as an illustrator since 1999, with publications like  Tinkle Comics and Mid-Day. He sheds light on the workings of the job with respect to his experience in the field.

First steps

Kini began his career with no formal background in art. However, he recommends you carry these things in good quantity: talent, flair, interest and guts. As a beginner, freelancing is a viable option. But you must ensure your portfolio is constantly updated. A good body of work is key to your chances of catching a break.

You gotta know…

Networking is equally important for success. Kini’s advice is to attend comic cons and meet like-minded people and share your portfolio. Another important skill is a knack for storytelling. Comics are visual, so being able to picture the panels in your head and narrate the story is pivotal. Always look for inspiration. Stay up-to-date with current events as you never know when an idea for a comic or a cartoon may strike.

You gotta have…

Back in the day, Kini would draw on high-quality drawing paper with fine nib markers. But in the 21st century comic illustrators have moved with the times. Today he uses a WACOM tablet, a graphics tablet, a graphics tablet with which one can hand draw images directly onto a computer. This helps save paper and speed up work as corrections and scanning the artwork are made easier.

Smiles & frowns

As a veteran of over a decade in the field, Kini uses his talent to step out of the rat race. He can work from home on his own terms. This boon can also be a bane as he has to shoulder the workload alone and even work on holidays at times. Physical and mental burnout is another danger.

What now?

You’ve got your equipment, put together some work and think you’re ready to make some money? Now is the time for patience. As Kini says,“there is a lot to accomplish before a comic artist can become a millionaire”.That said, good output and good clientele are necessary to earn money. As the quality and quantity of your work rise, so will the figures on your paycheques. The creative nature of the job means there will never be an end to your growth as an artist. For a fun, creative hobby that can be a profession, what more can you ask?

Life of an Artist

No more Rat Race!

Burnout!!

Work from Home!

All alone, all the time.

Featured Image-( Profile – Boo Cook – Comic Artist )

Volume 3 Issue 1