Occupation Info

Animation Cartoonist

Overview: Animation cartoonists are artists who draw cartoons for use in motion pictures, television and computer programs. They design and draw a series of pictures of characters or objects in different positions, which appear to move when photographed and displayed at specified speeds.
Duties: They design a "storyboard" which is a series of of sketches to explain the plot, characters, actions and background for a video production such as a TV commercial, a Disney movie or a website.

Design and prepare drawings of background, characters and props needed to support the "storyboard". They listen to voice & sound scripts to decide upon the artistic moods and facial expressions.

To fully show each action needed, they must draw a sufficient number of detailed sequential cartoons for each person or object so that when photographed & projected, they will appear to move.

They use interactive computer graphic software for specific animation effects such as 3-dimension. They also color the cartoons by painting or through the use of computer software.

Degree(s): A.S. Music 
A.S. Digital Art and Design 
A.A.S. Internet and Information Technology 
A.S. Dance 
A.S. Art: Concentrations in Art & Design or Art History 
A.S. Theatre: Concentrations in Acting or Technical Theatre 
Job Outlook: Employment of animator cartoonists is expected to grow as fast as average through 2018 driven by consumer demand for video games, movie and TV special effects, and 3D animated movies. Additional job openings will result from an increasing need for computer graphics.
Salary Range (National Average): $33,000 to $45,000
Education Level: Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.
Additional Training/Education: A bachelor's degree from a college, university or art institute with a major in film, video and computer animation is the ideal training. Many community colleges also offer 2-year associate degree programs for entry positions. Course work includes animation production, hand drawn character animation and interactive computer graphics. Participation in internships will improve employment opportunities.
Advancement Info: Cartoonists and animators advance as their work becomes more widely circulated. If they can establish a reputation for a particular style, it may become easier to find work or get cartoons published. Cartoonists and animators can also teach in art schools or train apprentices.
Recommended Skills:
  • Analyzing requirements for a new product or service and creating a design to satisfy those needs.
  • Painting, drawing, crafting, sculpting and creative designing.
  • Using your hands to operated fine instruments and precision tools.
  • Composing and communicating your ideas in written form.
Recommended Values:
  • Being able to express creative ideas through the arts.
  • Create new ideas, programs, things, or anything else not previously developed by another person.
  • Doing something where you can physically see the results of your work.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreementswith other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.

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