If you’re good with a pen, paintbrush or other art tool, a job working as an illustrator, may be the job for you. Using your natural abilities, you could see yourself working for magazines, publishing companies, online organisations, merchandising or an advertising or animation agency. Your job is to convey a message, story or idea in an artistic and creative way in either a physical or digital space. More than likely, you will work from a creative brief that is developed after discussing with a client what they require, so you will need skills in communication and customer service.
An illustrator aims to convey their client’s message – whether that be in an informative, entertaining or impactful way. Some illustrators work on paper but more and more, the trend is for illustrators to be competent in digital design programs as well. As an illustrator, you can find yourself working in a range of jobs, whether it is designing pictures for children’s books, advertising for a high-fashion or computer magazine, storyboards for animations, videogames, posters, greeting cards or apps – the list could go on and on!
As an illustrator, you will need strong talent in creative work, and be able to quickly pick up new tools or mediums. Design and illustration can often be frustrating if you don’t properly understand what a client is asking for, so you will need to have good listening skills, with the confidence to probe further for the information you require. If you work as a freelancer, you will also need to perform administrative tasks such as invoicing, quotes and general filing.
Nearly every business requires an illustrator at some stage, so there are a wide-range of specialties you can explore. You can work in animation, either in 2D or 3D, or hone your technical skills. For those who love construction and architecture, there are also opportunities available as an illustrator to help shape and design new building plans.
As an illustrator, you are not required to have a degree, but in order to stand out from the crowd, it’s highly recommended you would seek out some form of specialised education in this area.
Get started on your illustrator career by picking a course.
Hone your design skills with these courses.
Build your resume by acquiring additional qualifications, which should be coupled with a strong and unique design portfolio.
There are many professional design or similar associations who can connect you with potential work, as well as boost your skilled reputation with employers.
Here are some quick and easy example resumes and cover letters to help you kick start your career in illustration, keeping you one step ahead of the competition.
Thanks to technology, jobs in the design industry are expected to grow exceptionally into the future, however salaries are below average.