Tag Archives: illustrator skills

How to Become an Illustrator

Illustrations make written and visual publications complete. Whether it is a concept, an idea or a story, it requires illustration for a visual interpretation. The illustration used along with the written text serves the purpose of getting the message across in a meaningful and effective manner. Illustrations are in different forms including drawing, photograph, painting etc. Therefore, the task of an illustrator involves a lot of creativity, because they are responsible for getting the point across effectively. They are a type of artists that create an array of visual images to accompany text.

Job Responsibilities
Illustrations have the job responsibility of creating communicative images for books, magazines, journals, newspapers, periodicals etc. Not only do they create images or illustrations for academic products, but they also create images for commercial products including calendars, textiles, promotional posters, stationary and greeting cards among others. Images help in describing a concept which is not expressible through written text. There are many illustrators that create images for children story books to make the stories come to life.

For creating the images, illustrators make use of a wide range of materials. These include water color, pastel, chalk, oil painting, linoleum cuts, wood engraving, pen, pencil etc. However, these are not all. With the advancement in technology, illustrators also create images using computers. Images created in digital format have opened new horizons both for the illustrator as well as the publications. It has led to a wonderful variety of images.

Educational Qualification & Training
Though there are specific qualifications required to become an illustrator, it is advisable to complete fine arts and visual communication courses to gain a competitive edge over others. Today, there are multiple colleges, universities and professional schools that offer courses and degree programs in visual communication, fine arts and animation. All these degree programs train students in areas like drawing, sketching and composition. Since you need to show your artistic talents to employers, you need to prepare a portfolio of some of your most impressive work. There are numerous bachelor degree programs that also help students create portfolios.

Career Prospects
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for illustrator jobs is expected to grow at 16% between the years 2006 and 2016. More job opportunities are created for computer illustrators as the web industry starts using a variety of detailed images. Candidates may need to face competition while landing jobs. However, trained professionals with a few years of experience will have no dearth of employment opportunities.

Annual Salary
The annual salary of illustrators ranges between $30,396 and $44,083. As you grow in experience and skills, you can earn a salary of up to $51,004 annually.

So, if you have a excellent ability and talent in the field of drawing, you can consider becoming an illustrator. Creativity, a keen eye for detail, perseverance, team playing and abstract thinking are some other essential skills you will need to establish your career as an illustrator.


Filed under careers, Journalism