Business Overview

As the owner of a cartoon service, you can take your talent for drawing and perhaps writing cartoons in a number of directions. You could create art for greeting cards, books and magazines, digital clients, animation studios, ads, comic books, merchandise, cartoon syndicates and almost endless other sales channels both online and off.

Who is this business right for?

First and foremost, you must have a talent for cartooning. For many kinds of assignments, the ability to write—especially in a humorous vein—is also necessary. Beyond that, your marketing skills and self-promotional instincts will help you commercialize your talent in a number of ways.

What happens during a typical day at a cartoon service?

Your typical day will look very different depending on the direction you take your talent. But regardless of direction, your activities will fall into three basic areas.

  • Marketing your services and constantly soliciting business and originating new markets and ways of doing business
  • Working on your commissioned or speculative projects
  • Invoicing clients and keeping your business afloat

What is the target market?

About the only way of defining your clientele is that it consists of anyone or any company that has an interest in your art. This could include publishers, newspaper syndicates, non-profit or political organizations, website owners, bloggers, merchandisers, Hollywood studios and consumers.   

How does a cartoon service make money?

You’ll charge a fee for your work. In the case of cartoonists who sell online, they might provide art to enliven blogs, newsletters or websites. You might sell your products on a per-cartoon basis or by a monthly or annual fee or even in bulk quantity discounts. Here’s one example of a price list provided by a cartoon service that sells via a subscription model.   

What is the growth potential for a cartoon service?

That would depend on the direction you take your business. Since newspapers are an endangered business model today, the market for newspaper-based syndicated cartoonists is quite tight. However, online markets continue to open up (though the pay can be low). If your talent can find an audience, you can thrive, but most cartoonists have day jobs to pay the bills while their cartooning is completed on a part-time basis.