Cartoonist vs. Animator

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Cartoonist and Animator is that the Cartoonist is a visual artist who makes cartoons and Animator is a person who makes animated films.

  • Cartoonist

    A cartoonist (also comic strip creator) is a visual artist who specializes in drawing cartoons. This work is often created for entertainment, political commentary, or advertising. Cartoonists may work in many formats, such as booklets, comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons, graphic novels, manuals, gag cartoons, graphic design, illustrations, storyboards, posters, shirts, books, advertisements, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, and video game packaging.

  • Animator

    An animator is an artist who creates multiple images, known as frames, which give an illusion of movement called animation when displayed in rapid sequence. Animators can work in a variety of fields including film, television, and video games. Animation is closely related to filmmaking and like filmmaking is extremely labor-intensive, which means that most significant works require the collaboration of several animators. The methods of creating the images or frames for an animation piece depend on the animators’ artistic styles and their field.

    Other artists who contribute to animated cartoons, but who are not animators, include layout artists (who design the backgrounds, lighting, and camera angles), storyboard artists (who draw panels of the action from the script), and background artists (who paint the “scenery”). Animated films share some film crew positions with regular live action films, such as director, producer, sound engineer, and editor, but differ radically in that for most of the history of animation, they did not need most of the crew positions seen on a physical set.

    In hand-drawn Japanese animation productions, such as in Hayao Miyazaki’s films, the key animator handles both layout and key animation. Some animators in Japan such as Mitsuo Iso take full responsibility for their scenes, making them become more than just the key animator.

  • Cartoonist (noun)

    One who creates a cartoon or strip cartoon.

  • Cartoonist (noun)

    One who both writes and illustrates comic books or graphic novels.

  • Animator (noun)

    One who animates something; one who brings something to life or the appearance of life.

    “The android turned to gaze at its animator.”

  • Animator (noun)

    One who creates an animation or cartoon; a cartoonist.

    “In recent years, animators using computer rendering have largely superseded artists working by hand.”


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