Creating a cartoon requires 95 per cent imagination and 5 per cent execution, according to the Mercury's cartoonist Peter Broelman.
Coming up with an idea, a statement or an angle for a cartoon was the most important part of the job.
"I read a lot and I try to keep tabs on things going on, especially on federal and state politics and things in the Gong," he said.
The 45-year-old has encouraged Illawarra youth aged 15 to 25 to submit their own cartoon or caricature to the Mercury's cartoon competition, which closes on Sunday, May 25.
"It can be really poorly drawn but if it's funny or an opinion I will like it, that's what I'll be focused on as a judge.
"They can draw the Mona Lisa, by all means, but make it relevant and fun," he said.
Submissions must reflect a popular news topic or personality from an Illawarra Mercury news story during May.
The best entries will be printed in the Mercury and exhibited at the Wollongong Art Gallery.
The winner will receive $1000 cash.
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