Become a Comic Book Artist: Education and Career Roadmap

Find out about the requirements to become a comic book artist in this video. Learn about the job, its description and duties, and see how to start your career in comic book art.

Should I Become a Comic Book Artist?

Depending on the materials used by comic book artists, this work may involve exposure to chemical fumes. Opportunities in traditional publishing are declining, and artists may need to focus more heavily on digital media in a competitive market.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), although a postsecondary education is not required to enter this field, acquiring some level of training can benefit aspiring artists. In an art program, artists learn creative techniques, which can increase their career opportunities.

Career Requirements

Degree Level College or professional art school coursework helpful, bachelor's is beneficial
Degree Field Drawing, illustration, fine art, studio art, art and design
Experience Honing artistic skills, practice and training, art classes provides foundation, internship
Key Skills Artistic ability, creativity, manual dexterity, interpersonal skills, proficient in Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark Xpress and Indesign
Salary$43,890 per year (Median salary for all fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Formal Training

A formal training program provides aspiring comic book artists with the opportunity to acquire necessary skills. Whether attending art school or a university that offers bachelor's degrees in art and design, a prospective student should check that the program and its course offerings match up with the student's interests and goals.

Step 2: Gain Experience

Because this is such a specific concentration within the broader field of art, gaining professional experience while still in school can help immensely. Opportunities include internship programs that can provide on-the-job experience. Finding professional opportunities may require thinking outside of the box. You could draw a comic strip for the school newspaper or do illustrations as a freelancer.

Step 3: Apply for an Entry-Level Position

Your first job after college or art school may not be as a comic book artist, but it can offer valuable experience and allow you to further develop and sharpen your artistic and creative abilities. An entry-level art position in a publishing firm or film production house, for example, can offer skill-building work along with opportunities to network.

Success Tip:

  • Join a professional association. To advance to a position as a comic book artist, you need dedication and persistence. By networking at comic book conventions and other events, you can make important industry connections, which can lead to a job.

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