Illustrator_banner© Jean-Pierre Brungs

Illustrator

Industries:
Advertising and Marketing Communications
Personality type:
Creative
Departments:
Art | Design

The Lowdown

  • Using a keen artistic ability to turn a client brief into a dazzling illustration
  • Drawing with an unparalleled understanding of colour and composition

Is this role right for me?

For this role, you will need to:

  • Have a natural artistic ability
  • Be comfortable accepting client briefs
  • Be able to meet deadlines
  • Have a workable artistic style that you feel comfortable with
  • Work across artistic styles to fulfil a client brief
  • Market yourself to potential clients
  • Be fluent in illustration software packages and print specifications

What does an Illustrator do?

An Illustrator is an artist who creates images that match a design specification. In the marketing world, illustrators are behind a lot of the billboard and magazine adverts you see every day, turning artwork into marketing tools. Illustrators typically work freelance however, and their skills can extend across the creative industries, from book covers to business cards. It’s very rare that an illustrator gets hired full-time due to the specialisation of their craft, unless an organisation has a constant need for new illustrative work.

While artistic prowess is an obvious must for an illustrator, a keen understanding of colour and illustration software is also key for a modern day illustrator.

Will I need a qualification?

While simply being a great artist can seem like all that’s required, a degree in art or graphical design will help show that you understand the advanced skills and nuances of drawing, as well as giving you an opportunity to develop your practice.

Courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

What’s the best route in?

The first thing an illustrator needs is tools! It’s best to find out how you work best, whether it’s on canvas or on a computer screen, and invest in the tools you need. After that, it’s simply a matter of getting a portfolio together. Working for small businesses, charities, family and friends can be a good way to get started.

When you’ve got a nice collection of pieces, start putting your work out online, and sending emails to companies about your services. From here on out, it’s all about marketing yourself and operating as a freelancer.

Interested? Find out more…

For more information on job roles in the creative industries, take a look at Hiive's job roles.  

Websites

Publications

  • Campaign Magazine is the leading weekly magazine for the advertising, media and communications industry
  • The Drum Magazine aims to introduce those with great ideas to those who are seeking them in the advertising industry
  • Design Week is a journal of design trends and inspiration

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