Individuality. It's never too early to start developing your own style. Individuality is always something well worth cultivating, even for the new student. By studying established cartoonists/artists, and noting their particular peculiarities.
Even by repeatedly copying their works, you will get a feel for what makes the work "theirs", and you will eventually evolve a personal style of your own. Do not underestimate the value of having a recognisable style. This is almost like a signature, which stamps the work as yours instantly, and is invaluable in your future career as a cartoonist. If your style is recognisable and popular, your work will be sought after. Using a brush. Never use a stirring motion when using your brush.
This is an excellent way of ruining a perfectly good brush, and does not give a good effect. Make your strokes away from the point, this avoids bending and breaking the hairs. A simple point, often neglected in the excitement of finishing a piece of artwork.
Never leave brushes to dry with any ink on them. Rinse well in clear water and bring the hairs to a point before letting them dry. If a brush has become deformed it is often quite possible to restore them by dipping them in artists gum (such as cow gum). You can then straighten and point the brush and leave it to dry. When perfectly dry the gum can be dissolved carefully in tepid water, point the brush, and when dry it should resume it's original shape.
Don't dip your brush directly into the ink bottle. This is a recipe for disaster. Ink loves to spill and leap onto nearly finished artwork. Trust me, sooner or later this WILL happen.
Pour a little ink into a shallow container such as a saucer, and use it from that. It's also a good practice to have your ink at a lower level than than your artwork, for obvious reasons. Only pour a little ink at a time as indelible ink when dry can't be made soluble again. Only pour what you can use in say 15 minutes. You can always pour more and you will avoid wastage, and if there is a spill you won't have so much mess to clear up.
At the risk of stating the obvious don't make any corrections until the ink is absolutely dry, don't rush. As a final note on using brushes, never, ever, leave your brushes in water, especially with the hairs bent or spread. Although in many cases it is possible to rescue them (see above) it's far better not to let them get damaged in the first place.
Any tradesman will tell you "Look after your tools and they will look after you.".
Chris Haycock is an information publisher, one of whose hobbies is cartooning. For more information on cartooning, including details of a very special insiders course on cartooning, go to http://www.cartoonsforfunandprofit.com