How Much Does A Cartoonist Make? | Creative Cash Ep. 1

How Much Does A Cartoonist Make? | Creative Cash Ep. 1

It’s not that common to be… sort of a fully employed 22 year old cartoonist Rosemary might be the first I’ve ever heard of. I read comics forever. And I didn’t make the connection for a very long time that, if these books, physically existed, you know, sensibly it was someone’s a job to make them. There are real people out there in the world that are doing this… Maybe I can too? Minneapolis is a great place for young artists. Specifically young cartoonists. Some of the biggest names in Mainstream Superhero comics are here. Some of the biggest names in terms of alternative auto-bio comics are here. Part of the reason why is because of the relative cost of living maybe compared to a place like New York or LA or San Francisco or something like that. It’s a little bit easier to get on here than maybe some other places. My expenses right now, I think compared to a lot of people’s are pretty minimal. I’m pretty good about keeping a budget you know you kind of have to as a freelancer. I live in an affordable city with a lot of roommates; I don’t own a car; if I can make a grand a month then I’m good. My bread and butter right now is a graphic novel that I’m doing with Mariko Tamaki. The book is called “Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me” and it is about this high school girl Freddie and her… complicated relationship with her on-again off-again girlfriend Laura Dean. It’s a book about learning how to take care of the people in your life that are good to you and What to do with the people that maybe aren’t so great to you. People do not go into comics for the money. It’s more sort of like a slow drip of… several different things sort of adding up to what can support themselves. I generally at any given time have between… two and six different freelance projects going while I’m working on “Laura Dean”. Editorial illustration, cover work, custom screen prints for comics or magazines. Sort of whatever comes my way. I don’t think I know a single person who is my age that does not have multiple jobs. It’s very easy to overwork yourself because you don’t have the option not to especially if you’re just starting out like no one’s going to… pay you enough to live so you have to take on more work than you can physically do just so you can make enough money to get yourself through the end of the month. It’s a lot of, you know, physical stress too if you don’t have the right posture or if you don’t have like the right setup for your own body you could very very very easily break yourself. And I remember hearing that you… something was wrong with your hand. Yeah. Yeah, I fucked up my hand really badly. Like I went and saw doctor and she was like, “If you don’t rest it you’re gonna do some permanent damage- So stop for a while.” I do have a hard time sometimes – I think – saying no to… Paid gigs even when I am fully booked like at maximum capacity, don’t have the hours in the day for any other projects, partially because, you know, I’m… Responsible for how much money I’m able to make as a freelancer. Last year, I only worked full-time half the year. I was sort of doing… Part-Time freelance in between finishing up my last year of college. I had made about Thirty-Thousand ($30,000) a year. And this year. It’s probably going to be at least double that. I am breathtakingly lucky to be in that earning bracket, drawing… cartoons and… sort of having been at it for… as short of a period as I’ve been at it. If no one ever paid me for comics again if no one ever looked at my comics again. I would still be making them because I can’t not, you know


  1. Orion6699 says:

    Big difference between what CAN a cartoonest make and what does the average cartoonest make that is actually employed.

  2. Ali Hassan says:

    the reason why creative professionals get so little is because under sell themsleves. Its sort of in the culture. That culture ecourage people to do for “passion” and not “for the money” which is why they are so under paid. I know this first hand becasue I am an architect, and I feel betrayed by my own community of shitty culture established, low pay and long hours

  3. walmartninja says:

    Mmm Rosemary's nice and curvy.

  4. Selvyn Quijada says:

    suck a fattie in Hollywood, you'll be rich.

  5. NR says:

    Bit shocked and sorry at how little such talented people are paid.

  6. Elijah Melendez says:

    I want her fucking babies immediately

  7. Johnny Rico says:

    "If I can make a grand a month I can make it". Wow.

  8. unknown c says:

    She might not make a fortune but she's happy doing what she loves. What more could you ask for? She lives well enough, draws her life away. Money isn't everything.

  9. Elliot Harkin says:

    when she said "30'000 a year" i was like wtF that's shittones, in the uk i used to make like 20'000 a year working 14 hour days 6 days a week lmao if I could get back into drawing and make that much a year I'd do it straight away lol

  10. Adnan A says:

    I wish I could do this. I'm making about $0 from art at the moment.

  11. Maya Pastreich says:

    why no link to her website..?

  12. Mangzorz says:


    Says everyone who isn't an artist. Lol… Yeah, guys. It's possible to have a job doing what you love to do.

  13. bloo jkl45 says:

    Damn this is terrifying. If you have to work 20 hours a day and not even get by what’s the point. This is so sad ?

  14. Mete says:

    P R O S T U T I O N
    Just sayinn..

  15. DA VIEWZ says:

    I disliked this video because Rosemary said a cuss word.

  16. 3polygons says:

    1:52 …Not only of her age…oldies (compared to her) like me, too. Even seasoned in the job… at least in the field of illustration, comic, design… I need to do a bit of all, specially for times when a field gets more dry….. And this while also able to live with a small budget….

  17. Alexander Zinchenko says:

    Really honest and to the point. Thanks for the video

  18. Sergiu Somesan says:

    Part II oh chapter 1 🙂
    “Bruno, Bruno!” the woman shouted desperately, but nothing could be heard from the sphere.
    Curious, but also trying to remember as many details as possible for a future article, Viaceslav came near and took the woman by the shoulders, trying to pull her back.
    The woman struggled weakly for a moment, turning her head toward him, and looking at him with tears in her eyes.
    “My husband will kill me for having lost his dog. He told me not to take him, for I could not handle him, but I just wanted to take him out for a walk.”
    She leaned her head on Viaceslav’s shoulder and cried even harder, while Piotr, who was behind her, took some close-ups of the cut end of the leash: the slice was as fine and clean as if it had been made by a scalpel.
    Viaceslav turned his head and said to Piotr:
    “Get close to the sphere and take some pictures of the place where the dog disappeared. Maybe there is a trace….”
    Piotr shook his head.
    “If the lady’s husband comes up, the dog will be our least problem.”
    “What do you mean?” Viaceslav asked, confused.
    His friend explained:
    “The lady’s husband is Josef Sokolovski, a main pivot in the Polish rugby team. And he is famous for being extremely jealous.”
    Recalling several violent incidents in which the rugby player had been involved, and which he had written about in their magazine, Viaceslav tried to get the woman away from him, but at that very moment the crowd parted like breaking ice. The ice breaker was Josef Sokolovski himself, who regarded the embracing pair with a cold eye, thinking he would deal with it later.
    His priority was the dog, of which only a severed leash remained.
    “Where is Bruno?” he asked in a deep, baritone voice.
    When his wife pointed to the sphere, the man came near the black wall and shouted as loud as he could:
    The windows of the buildings around them rattled and a few car alarms started, but there was no sound from the dog.
    He looked at his wife again, his face black as coal, and stormed toward the sphere,, undoubtedly determined to destroy it.
    “Sir,” Viaceslav spoke hesitantly, “please be careful. If you get too close, it could be dangerous.”
    The main pivot Josef Sokolovski grinned sardonically and snapped:
    “You’ll see what a dangerous situation is as soon as I get my dog back.”
    He came closer to the sphere and shouted the dog’s name once again. He reached toward the black matte sphere, hesitated for a brief moment, and then plunged his hand into the pitch-blackness.
    Nothing happened for a couple of moments, but then his hand got pulled in. The Polish national rugby team’s pivot turned a desperate look toward the people behind him, maybe the first such look in his life. He tried to speak, but he was quickly pulled inside the sphere before getting the chance to say anything.
    “Josef,” his wife screamed frantically, and before Viaceslav could stop her, she pulled herself from his arms and ran toward the sphere.
    She disappeared inside it before anyone could say or do anything.
    “Get back!” the journalist shouted hoarsely, and after regaining his voice, he urged: “Take all the children and stand back! This sphere is dangerous!”
    No one needed further instructions, because before their very eyes, a dog, a mountain of a man, and his wife had disappeared into its darkness without leaving the slightest trace.
    The journalist took out his phone and dialed 911, his hands shaking with emotion.
    “Hello,” he said. “My name is Viaceslav Barela. I work as a journalist for Fakt and I want to report that there is a bomb in the Krasinsky Square, right near the Karpackie tap house.”
    He listened for a few moments and then confirmed:
    “Yes, Ma’am, I used to work as a war reporter in Iraq, and I know what a bomb looks like.”
    He listened for a few more moments and then said:
    “Certainly, Ma’am, I shall make everyone get away from the bomb, and I’ll wait for the police to get here.”
    He made signs toward people around him to step away, and in less than five minutes, the first police car pulled up beside him. A corpulent commissioner got out of the car and asked in a thunderous voice:
    “Where is Viaceslav Barela?”
    When the journalist raised his hand, he walked toward him and asked:
    “And where is the bomb?”
    When Viaceslav indicated the sphere, the commissioner burst out in annoyance.
    “Does this look like a bomb to you? Who knows what a bloody chewing gum commercial this is, and you make the police come for nothing!”
    “If I had said that in the square, there was a black sphere swallowing up people, would anyone have believed me? Or you would have sent an ambulance to take me to the madhouse?”
    “A sphere swallowing people…” the commissioner burst out again, even more contemptuously. “I am thinking that you will end up with a serious fine.”
    Piotr Lew walked over to the commissioner, played the recording in front of him from the very beginning, and after he watched it all the way through, he spoke compellingly:
    “Commissioner, my colleague used to work as a war reporter in Iraq, so he can definitely tell a dangerous situation when he sees one. I’d say you’d better listen to him.”
    Overwhelmed by the situation, the commissioner gestured to the journalist to take the floor.
    “Commissioner, I believe that you should call in backup, plus a team with barricades, to keep everybody at a distance. Then I would call in the army, as it is very likely we may be dealing with a new type of gun and we don’t know how dangerous it is.”
    Viaceslav let the commissioner think everything over for a moment or so, and then uttered another thought that had just crossed his mind:
    “Just think about it. What if at some point this sphere feels like moving and starts absorbing everything in its path?”
    The commissioner got chills at that thought and started shouting orders over his radio.
    People who overheard the journalist thought that would be a very likely scenario, so despite their curiosity, they started to back away, putting a safe distance between themselves and the mysterious sphere.

  19. spewaysealat says:

    Wow, she's unique and cute.

  20. Golden Sasquatch says:

    I was going to do Webtoon and make a comic skit about a relationship within a City in Auckland!

  21. Really Cool Stuff says:

    She says she hopes to make 1k a month to live. Basically it implies she is struggling and having to live with roommates. Yet at the end it says she made 30k last year after working only HALF the year at full time and now she is set to double that since she is yr round full time. OK wtf is the problem then? The video is saying she’s successful but also seems to show how “bad off” she is. She works herself to death but she gets so much work that she doesn’t have to. So basically she is a success story, she clearly makes enough to live in a city that has very low cost-of-living, and probably could without roommates even if she cut her work hours, which she could given that she is a freelancer. Unless you are neglecting to tell us she is paying for cancer treatments or something, what is up with the mixed message? You can’t say you are showing her as a success story but then also show all these negatives, so much so that most of the people commenting seem to think she isn’t getting paid enough. This is just bad video.

  22. Papershire says:

    Is that a shrine to Steve Buschemi? Cool

  23. Brad J says:

    Ya shes ok for a girl. Can you get a real comic artist?

  24. Mr KEem says:

    wow she is beautiful!!!!!!

  25. Daddy D says:

    As a twin cities native I will tell you, cost of living relative to comfort of living is pretty damn good here

  26. fanooch1 says:

    60K? Hmmm. Skeptical

  27. shadow Nx says:

    Wut college do u go to to become a cartoonist

  28. SPAEROE says:

    Hell House Rule #1 No Gays 0:56

  29. Khadijah Ruslan says:

    Im an animator and I get worked to the bone to try to make ends meet every month. My job is 9 to 6 but it's not uncommon to work up til 12 am to make that deadline all while not being paid overtime.

  30. Blade Runner 804253 says:

    Thanks vice for all the legs in stockings shots I asked for. JESUS…

  31. MrHyjac says:

    Anyone notice the no gays allowed as one of the house rules ???

  32. Bellock_Grithlus says:

    i was like, oh wow nice a female artist. then she became the typical lesbian illustrator telling generic rug muncher stories

  33. Thao Doan says:

    HI! I live in Minneapolis and pursuing an art degree. It is nice seeing an artist in my city making it in the industry.

  34. karatepop says:

    My husband was working on a comic for a major publisher (Dark Horse, DC, Marvel big) – he was doing pencils, inks, colouring, lettering, and design. They were going to give him $500 for the entire book. DO NOT ACCEPT THESE JOBS. Call people out. That is unacceptable.

  35. J O says:

    Sponsored by Geico. I’m done lol

  36. Drunk in a Dark Room says:

    bravo cartoons…Minneapolis shoot me

  37. Paramesh Subramoni says:

    2500$ per month
    Wow that's great

  38. Your Mom's Tits says:

    heard horror stories of how anime artist in japan are paid worse that fast food jobs as college students. While the voice actors are paid the most.

  39. DJ&J says:

    Animators are just as important to! Without us you wouldn't have your big movies and Saturday morning cartoons! All artists work hard and are happy with what they do, and it'd be nice if people didn't see it as a weird thing that some of us chose our career path to be in that one. It's perfectly acceptable and a good one

  40. SonofCalifornia says:


  41. C O says:

    wait she said she made 1k/month then she says she made 60k…?

  42. art_i_hunt says:

    So how much does a cartoonist make? The comments are more precise.

  43. Pinky Rosenberg says:

    rosemary go om a date with me Pleeease

  44. Unlucky Cloverfield says:

    i hat emyself

  45. AriQuinn92 says:

    My PASSION is art and illustration but this economy and society just does not allow creative people to live a sustainable life. I watched my mom and dad both struggle with 2 jobs each just to keep the light on. In 2018 it’s even harder now. I do not want my children to grow up like we had to. I want to have enough money to give them choices. It brakes my heart that art is so unappreciated in our society. So many artist underpaid or taken advantage of, while fat cats up at the top and 1%ers line their pockets doing bare minimum. Creative individuals have to work sometimes 3 jobs just so they can keep doing what makes their heart happy while their mounting student debt eats up any chance they had to open a savings. I’ve had to look far and wide and compromise a lot of my passions to find a career path that comes close to what I really wanted to do with my life. It should not be this way. It takes talent,dedication, discipline, creativity, patience, and heart to do what artists do…..who decided that the price tag on that wasn’t even enough to live off of?

  46. Jin Seon says:

    If I could, I would start a company for illustration/graphic/comic/animation artists to do their work and get paid very well. There's an animation department which are grouped by the shows people are assigned in. Graphic artists are like the marketing team, they hype up shows by creating colorful posters of characters in scenes and can also receive commissions from other companies that want to be marketed that way. A comic department where anyone can make their pitch and the company can work as their brand/publisher. Something like that…

  47. Jim Barris says:


  48. Koolyococo says:

    A series by vice called Tell Me Something I Know

  49. jason! says:

    She made more money than me at that age… and I know people her age making more than her (they're my privileged co-workers)

  50. Jesse Friel says:

    Sponsored by Geico, who'll put every freelance artist in their third teir bracket based on credit, which will negatively affect their wallets and how theyre looked at financially for several years after dropping them.


  51. Bella Jenkins says:

    I’m starting an illustration degree next September and I’m really nervous I won’t be able to support myself.

  52. Paul Little says:

    60 grand at 22 years old is literally fucking LOL. I've been in this business for 11 years now, and I've never come remotely close to that number. Halve it, and you're doing INCREDIBLY well, sadly.

  53. Yikes! says:

    I plan on making this my career no matter what, if I can't accomplish this dream I have ultimately failed at life

  54. Strange Stranger says:

    I would still be making them because I can't not. Wow true artist she is

  55. victorvien says:

    what is that screen and tool she is using to draw with?!!

  56. bowtiesandcigarettes says:

    making 30k a year while still finishing up college is pretty impressive imo

  57. Speedytyperman Answers says:

    Anyone else clicked on this because she's so sexy looking? Those nylons, she wore them all day long and in the afternoon when she took them off, I bet those nylons would smell so good hmmmmnnn yesss

  58. Juan Zuniga says:

    She fine

  59. blech71 says:

    That’s amazing how people can make it work on a budget 🙂

  60. kpop memer dude // says:

    Thank you, I want to be a cartoonist when I grow up

  61. waje107 says:

    The girl is super cute

  62. Sirius says:

    You don't do this type of stuff for the money.

  63. Lilly Rose says:

    She made 60k at 22 years old? Good for her!

  64. Trash Child says:

    Hey, I'm going into the Comic Arts major at MCAD this coming fall!!!!

  65. Yubi K. says:

    I love being a cartoonist! It’s great!

  66. Jojo JN says:

    For an individual with no debt that's good money 🙂

  67. Coffee Cake says:

    I finished a bachelor in Accounting and Finance. After school i said i dont know what to do but i wanted a family and i needed to support them. Yet i was drawing all day but mostly as a hobby, Now i m working 2 Jobs plus i m attending an art school. because its all about doing what you love. To all of you out there its gonna be hard you will get tired and disappointed but if you are doing what you love then you know and you will find a way to survive!

  68. DJSiQRiQ says:

    I draw for fun

  69. AliteralPilloe says:

    heck! i didnt know before this but one of my comic collections are illustrated by her! Gotham Academy x Lumberjanes mashup series! she's so talented!

  70. Dan Hoffstrom says:


  71. Mac Kobalt says:

    Who isn’t a cartoonist look for a 20 year old hipster they are an artist in their mind

  72. NightIsRight says:

    Not one mention of Charles Shultz when they talk about Minneapolis .Shultz lived there and he made it famous

  73. Oscar Astorga Fernandez says:

    a lot of money for a cartoonist.
    living the "american dream"

  74. Troll Face says:

    Great artwork! And she is very sexy

  75. Trashcan Man says:

    Wow this makes me sad. I want to make comics for a living but it sounds like such a struggle

  76. danthe man says:

    sponsered by geico

  77. Tim Barnard says:

    this is so cherry picked no one out of art college makes 60 k a year she is a fuckin liar

  78. afro symphony says:

    i'm just here…to let y'all know….that rosemay can get it, ok i mean sheesh thats bad and boujiee right here.

  79. Arjun Arman says:

    she's pretty…

  80. Graham X says:

    Congrats to her, $60k/year is a great wage for an artist. Hopefully many other artists are able to find that level of success, even if it takes them longer than her surprisingly fast rise.

  81. CraftyArts says:

    Must be nice…

  82. Sebastian q says:

    That chick is hot?

  83. nick jobbings says:

    Funny that she's doing a book with Mariko Tamaki when her style so closely resembles Jillian Tamaki!

  84. Adnan A says:

    That Wacom Cintiq is goals.

  85. Frost Factor says:

    Thanks for the video

  86. Amp says:

    Yet all that spare cash was spent decorating such a perfect look room which would be a hipsters wet dream.

  87. ayush sharma says:

    really she is 22 year old.

  88. lil rascals says:

    Cartoonists sometimes get in to TV.

  89. lil rascals says:

    I make webtoons and I get money but I'm still in school so if anything happens to my tablet I can pay for it

  90. EG. M says:

    You know, back in the 19th/ early 20th century, cartoonists were paid good money for their work, writers too. You could make a living on one strip in the paper alone. Creators were really respected then. Seems like nowadays people don't really care as much about artists and it shows in the pay.

  91. falloutgirl902 says:

    60K a year!? ……..

  92. Seth Russell Art says:

    Would love to see some more/longer videos about artists from Vice. This was incredibly informative.

  93. dj.Ereck says:

    I draw comics too. Hello from San Jose California..

  94. Animado Arts says:

    She is cute

  95. Anime Cookie says:

    My dream is to make an anime that is super popular I’ve been keeping up with my goal and I hope it well happen and I hope you guys will too???

  96. Rücskös Tomi says:

    wow shes so hot i had to bust a nut

  97. StudioUAC says:

    so do you grow the beard, get the cat, and macbook before or after you become a cartoonist?

  98. Sidney Jacobina says:

    Amy Winehouse?

  99. Dallas Segno says:

    all money comes from sales. make sales, make money. done

  100. Mariana Freitas says:

    She is so talented and beautiful

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *