This is probably one for the FAQ:

Dear John Kovalic

I am ten years old and really like your drawing. I draw my own monsters and strange creatures, but I really like your cartooning and would like to learn how to draw like you. Please can you teach me how? I am a big fan of Dork Tower and Munchkin and I really like the humour in your drawings.

Thanks

Daniel

Daniel,

Thanks so very much for your kind words.

I was about your age when I first started drawing cartoons.

If I have any suggestions, it would simply be to copy the drawings or the cartoonists you like. Eventually, you’ll develop your own style, which is what most cartoonists strive for. But this can take a long time. Don’t worry. You have lots of time, and it’s lots of fun.

When I first began drawing, I was a big fan of BC, by Johnny Hart, and Peanuts, by Charles Schulz. So I kept my cartoons simple, using a thin sharpie to go over the lines after I pencilled them in. Pencilling is very important – it allows you to correct mistakes before you commit ink to paper.

Be prepared to make MANY mistakes – I still do. And don’t get frustrated. If you keep drawing, it’s hard to get worse, and you’ll find you keep getting better over time.

I’d also advise you to keep a small sketchbook with you whenever you go places, so you can jot down sketches and ideas to remember them for later, and to practice new things. I still try and make sure I have a sketchbook with me whenever I leave the house.

If your school has a newspaper, you can usually do some cartooning for them, although most schools below high-school usually don’t have newspapers. Making homemade cards for friends and family is also a great way to get more practice, and you’ll find your family and friends will love them.

When you get to high school, art classes are the best way to get better at what you do.

Just always keep drawing! It’s fun, and even after doing it for so long, I still love it. I feel very privilaged to make a living as a cartoonist, and I’d recommend it to anyone.

John

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