Ann Telnaes
Ann Telnaes

As an artist, you realize that everything you’ve learned in your whole art life will come back at some point; it has for me. It’s been amazing how my design training at CalArts has helped me in editorial cartooning for print.

Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes completed her BFA degree in Character Animation in three years, worked for different animation studios for the next years, and at Walt Disney Imagineering from 1987 to 1993. In 2008, she gave up her national and international print syndication contracts to focus exclusively on animated editorial cartoons. 

Telnaes grabs viewer attention with a distinctive drawing style, pointed political commentary and satire, a gift for caricature, mastery of visual metaphor, and sharp wit. Her quick jabs at social and political targets, ranging from corrupt public servants to blatant violations of the First Amendment and women’s and civil rights, reach across cultures and around the world at lightning speed via social media.

An outspoken advocate for what she calls “journalism’s bastard child,” Telnaes is also president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, and she speaks internationally on cartooning’s vital role in free societies. 

“Editorial cartoonists, as a whole, don’t take ourselves very seriously...But we’re serious about our work.” 

Excerpted from “Ann Telnaes Seriously Funny” by Stuart Frolick from the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of CalArts alumni magazine, The Pool.