How to Start a Career as a Freelance Illustrator

As a freelance illustrator, you use your creativity along with technical skills to convey specific facts, feelings, sensations, ideas and emotions through paintings or sketches. It is your responsibility as an illustrator to entertain and modify the mood of the client’s intended viewers according to the project you are working. As a freelance illustrator, you have to make use of various colors, shadows and light to deliver what is expected from the client. Your willingness to use recent advancements in technology to give form to your creative abilities is required to succeed in this field. If you are dreaming of beginning your career as a freelance illustrator, here is what you need to do it:

Know the Entry Level Requirements

This profession is open to graduates from any field, as long as you have what it takes to become a visual artist. If you want to increase your chances further in this field, you may be interested in following a few guidelines:

  • Concentrate on subjects related to art and graphics right from high school.
  • A bachelor’s degree in graphic design, illustration, printmaking, fine arts or fashion.
  • If your main area of study is different from this field, you will have to opt for short term or part time courses.
  • Participate in workshops, art exhibits and similar events that will help in enhancing your knowledge.
  • Be updated with the recent computer applications that aid your work as a freelance illustrator.

Formal educational requirements are not regarded as important as illustrative talent, promotional ability and work displayed in the portfolio. A portfolio is regarded as the measuring parameter for your ability in this field, make sure you put all your efforts in it. Your ability to create work in multimedia format will earn you more points than anything else.

Get Information about the Nature of Work:

Freelance illustrators work for publishing houses, magazines, newspapers, fashion industry and advertising industry. Your typical tasks include:

  • Liaising with authors, editors and other clients to have a clear view of their business requirements.
  • Negotiating about cost and deadline.
  • Producing images and designs through sketching, drawing, painting along with the help of modern methods.
  • Making use of computer aided design and other similar programs to scan, decorate and add other elements to the images.
  • Consulting with the client about further modifications for the work and working on them.
  • Managing the business on own and taking all necessary steps to develop the opportunities further.

Advancement Opportunities and Salary

It takes a minimum of 3 to 4 years to establish yourself in this industry. Most freelance illustrators have a successful career in with one employer, while some proceed to become art directors and design executives. One of the major advantages of this field is the flexible work timings and prospect to learn more while enhancing the business. A freelance illustrator makes approximately $52,000, on average. The income amount differs, according to the nature of project undertaken, experience and skills of a freelance illustrator.