Freelance Illustrators: Setting Career Goals

Freelance illustrators may have any number of career goals. Illustrators are true artists, often from an early age, and career aspirations run deep. As a profession, however, career goals need to be working propositions. There’s nothing simple about being an artist, and paying bills has its place in the career motif.

This is a good time in history to be an illustrator, and demand for their services is very high. However, the demand for quality is also extremely high, and this is a pretty competitive field. There are a lot of talented, highly motivated people working as illustrators, and freelance illustrators really earn their credits and money.

Setting Personal Career Goals

Personal career goals are based on personal aspirations and professional achievements. In the current market, freelance illustrators can achieve a lot. The type of career achievement, however, can vary a lot.

For example:

Illustrators commonly work in publishing, where their graphics can be major efforts. They can also be huge selling points. Top freelance illustrators are actively commissioned in their specialties, which are usually the subjects they love. This is the heart of career goal decisions. Highly motivated artists can fly high where their talents and goals are in harmony.

Setting Professional Career Goals

The other side of the equation is finding a career goal which meets both creative goals and professional business needs.

Business and professional goal issues are defined by the market. Illustrators have to be well qualified and experienced with very good portfolios to get their dream jobs. That involves a whole work history of skills, experience and in many cases very demanding contracts.

If you check out your dream job illustration gigs, you’ll find there’s a very clear lineage of jobs, qualifications and experience involved. If you look at the work advertised for illustrators, you can actually track the professional requirements for getting your dream job.

This is a simplified version of some job requirements, which may require a range of technical skills:

A children’s book and online games illustrator required for new children’s adventure book range series:

  • Age group 3-5, boys and girls

  • Vector based illustrations and formats
  • Adobe Illustrator CS4 or higher
  • Familiar with interactive children’s electronic books
  • Familiar with early childhood game graphics and sprites

This work relates to children’s pets stories and games based on the stories. The preferred artist will have a strong track record in children’s illustration, particularly in layout, color, line drawing and drawing animal characters.”

This type of job is one of the higher paying, best portfolio content jobs in this area of commercial illustration. You can see how the job criteria are created, and why.

That’s how you can establish your professional goals to match your personal creative and artistic goals. The typical freelance illustrator’s qualifications and portfolios reflect a very solid background in their preferred areas.

Career Progression and Development

This is a true “portfolio profession”. Freelance illustrators develop their careers through a range of work and professional credits, awards and commercial contracts. Many move on to publish books of their own work, or exhibitions of their art as fully fledged professional fine artists.