How to start an illustration career
Being an illustrator is a fun job: you get to draw and paint all day long. It has a romantic, even iddylic tone to it. But where do you start? Is this the most romantic job you’ve ever had? This blog was written for individuals who are ready to delve into the realm of professional illustration.
Are you drawing or illustrating?
In the manner it communicates an idea or notion, illustration differs from fine art. Although fine art may ‘find’ an audience, it does not necessarily need to speak with them. On the other hand, illustration is developed solely for the aim of connecting with an audience and can be used as a stand-alone piece.
Are you drawing yet?
Renée van den Kerhof, also known as neetje, is a cartoonist and illustrator from the Netherlands. “Take your work seriously at all times. You have many reasons to be proud of your work; few people can draw as well as you can.”
Knowing what you’re doing
Darrell Rees is a photographer and illustrator who has won numerous awards. He offers advice on how to get started in the industry, including how to use a computer and scan work for print. According to Darrell, there are hundreds of books on illustration and the business side of things.
What does an illustrator do exactly?
Illustrating is a part of every illustrator’s profession; it’s not something you do all day every day while sitting at your drawing desk with a cat on your lap and a pot of freshly brewed tea. Illustrators must respond to emails, handle administration, pay taxes, attend client meetings, promote their work on social media, stress out, and buy supplies, among other things.
Getting familiar with your own work and wishes
Consider what your job can imply to a client if you wish to work for them. Make a list of everything you notice when you examine your own work. Make a list of magazine, publisher, and brand names so you can get started.
Creating a portfolio
An illustration career without a portfolio is akin to a physician performing surgery on a patient without a medical school diploma. Make a list of your top 15 items and create a portfolio website for them. Attend a portfolio review event to obtain valuable comments on your work.
Part 2 of ‘How to start an illustration career’ is posted here. Read along!
I’ll go through how to find paid jobs, how to deal with clients, and social media suggestions in the second part of this series. This blog is completely free! However, conducting research and writing takes time. If you wish to help me out, you can make a donation of your choice.
How do I start a career in Illustrator?
How to Get Your Illustration Career Off to a Flying Start
- Consider the type of work you’d like to do. The majority of the folks I know begin their careers in editorial illustration.
- Start sketching.
- Make a website for your portfolio.
- Set up your company.
- Use social media to promote your work.
- Begin hustling.
- Make friends with other artists who are also illustrators.
- Organize yourself.
Are illustrators in demand?
Artists are in high demand in a wide range of businesses, but it is usually up to the illustrators to generate this demand. Illustrators must not only be talented artists, but also have a strong business sense and know how to market themselves to others.
What qualifications do you need to be an illustrator?
Most illustrators have a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, while certain entry-level employment can be filled with just a high school diploma and great drawing talents.
Is an illustrator a good career?
A job as an illustrator can be extremely fulfilling, but it can also feel like chasing your own tail at times. Being a freelance creative might be a fickle business, but it’s a rewarding one. Never take it for granted that you will always have job; you must continually work at it. Make use of your imagination when looking for work.
Do illustrators get paid well?
Creating graphics for a local publication as a volunteer is another approach to obtain expertise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2017 that illustrators and other fine artists earned a median pay of $49,520 per year, with half earning less and the other half earning more.
Can I be an illustrator without a degree?
The answer is simple: yes! Without an illustration degree, you can work as a freelance illustrator. Many artists in the field aren’t illustration grads, and most clients will judge you based on the quality of your portfolio, not on whether or not you have a degree or diploma on paper.
Is graphic design a high paying job?
With a bachelor’s degree, you can get into the top five highest-paying graphic design jobs. Graphic designers earn a median of $56,750 per year, according to the 2020 creative and marketing wage guide from global human resource consulting firm Robert Half.
Should I do graphic design or illustration?
The most significant distinction between graphic design and illustration is in how and where they are used. Graphic design is typically more commercial, whereas illustration is more closely tied to fine art. As more commercial ventures require emotive and distinct images, the distinctions between them are becoming less noticeable.
Is graphic design a dying career?
Is graphic design a thing of the past? The response is a categorical NO. According to recent research conducted by IBISWorld, the business produced $15 billion in revenue in 2019 alone, with an annual growth rate of 3.5 percent. It is predicted to increase at a rate of 2.7 percent in the coming years, reaching a value of $14.8 billion.
Is it too late to become an illustrator?
It is never too late to pursue a career as an illustrator, regardless of age. Anyone can learn to draw and put together a portfolio of their work. If you put in the time and effort, you’ll be astonished at how good you can become.
Is a degree in illustration worth it?
Not at all. It’s a waste of money and time. You will require instruction, but you must select your master. A really skilled illustrator or figurative artist who also teaches, or working as an apprentice at an illustration or design firm are two preferable options.
How can I learn illustration?
Illustrators can benefit from the following 12 excellent learning resources.
- The Society of Visual Storytelling is a non-profit organization dedicated to the art of visual storytelling
- London Art College is a prestigious art school in London.
- Design Principles that are Universal.
- Illustration that is effective.
- Illustration that is unique.
Can anyone be an illustrator?
There is no one-size-fits-all path to become an illustrator. A degree in illustration or another art-related topic is common among illustrators. You can be successful even if you don’t have a degree if you have artistic talent, creativity, a great portfolio, and employers who enjoy your work.
What jobs are there in illustration?
Options for employment
- Artist who creates concepts.
- Designer of graphics.
- Programmer who specializes in multimedia.
- Theatre, television, and cinema production designer
How long does it take to master illustrator?
1–3 months, depending on the frequency of use (daily > a few times a week). Adobe Illustrator is one of the easiest programs to learn in its class. Also, because Adobe products have extremely similar user interfaces, learning Illustrator will be even easier if you’ve used other Adobe applications before.