Video Interview: Liza Donnelly’s Career as a Cartoonist

How can cartoons change the world? New Yorker political cartoonist Liza Donnelly shares the story of her career in this 60-second interview clip.

Liza Donnelly is a writer and award-winning cartoonist with The New Yorker magazine, where she has been drawing cartoons about culture and politics for over thirty years. Her TED talk about using humor to help women around the world has been translated into 38 languages and viewed over 1 million times. She is the New York Director for the international project Cartooning for Peace, and she is a cultural envoy for the US State Department (traveling around the world speaking about freedom of speech, cartoons, and women's rights). She is also the creator of a new digital visual reporting/editorial cartooning style she calls "live tweet-drawing."Learn more about Liza at, on Twitter @lizadonnelly, and in Skillshare's 5-minute audio interview with Liza — where she talks about her favorite drawing tool, the power of cartooning, and turning points in her career.


“I didn’t think I could be a political cartoonist. I really wanted to be one, but I didn’t think I could because I didn’t think I had enough experience. But we now know that’s not true. It just took a lot of time to keep experimenting. You can’t expect to get it right away.”

Liza Donnelly believes cartoons can do more than entertain. They can be a platform for social change.

“I almost gave up cartooning back after 9/11. Like a lot of people, it really shook me to the core. Then I did a drawing that commented on 9/11 and it was published in The New Yorker. It made me feel like I was contributing something, and it’s what got me back on track.”

Many of her cartoons address women’s rights across the world.

“With the cartoons I’ve done about women’s rights, I think it can open people’s eyes. You draw them in about something, and people love cartoons, so you can give them something that may be different from what they’ve thought of before and you can do it very quickly as well as make them laugh, hopefully.”