Gain Job Experience through Freelance Illustrator Jobs

For freelance illustrator jobs, experience is absolutely essential. When you’re starting out, it’s a trade-off of time and effort for skills and resume materials, and this trade-off can be very much in your favor.

Illustrators love their work. The real issue is getting the work, and even in a market where demand is high, competition is intense. The other side of this market is an equally strong demand for technical skills and proven capability to do the work.

That’s where the job experience becomes particularly valuable. Even for truly brilliant illustrators, the technical requirements and the ability to work to contract specifications are critically important, particularly for freelancers, who depend on their contracts for income. Your job experience provides proof of your ability to do the technical aspects as well.

Job Experience Basics

An internship or a year or two on the graphic production “assembly line” can be the start of a great career as a freelance illustrator. This job experience is truly invaluable, and if you’re starting out your career, grab any opportunity for this work that’s available, because it will pay off well.

The job experience includes:

  • Layouts
  • Media types
  • Color
  • Publishing (a huge range of possible options)
  • Commercial graphic design

Most importantly it also includes first hand business experience in these areas:

  • Deadlines
  • Working with clients
  • Working with graphic media across the net and publishing sectors
  • Production problem solving
  • Specifications
  • Contract issues (the people you work for are also doing contracts)

Using the Job Experience for Freelance Illustrator Jobs

All this practical experience really helps when you’re going for contracts with professional media. You learn to speak their language, you’re familiar with their needs, and most importantly you understand the production issues.

The technical and production elements in freelance illustrator jobs are absolutely basic to any form of work in this field. You must be able to prove your ability to meet contract specifications when you go for a job. You’ll also find that you can do the work far more effectively when you’re talking to the production side about any issues.

Getting Freelance Illustrator Jobs With Job Experience

The job experience will actually help you get work. It naturally creates a portfolio as well as providing experience. You’ll find you can go for a lot of different types of work in your early days as a freelancer on this basis.

Important: The emphasis in freelance illustrator jobs is on published commercial work. You can use your own private work as part of a portfolio, but rarely as the whole portfolio. Nearly all contractors will want to see a professional track record in publication in some form. 

As your career progresses, you’ll find that you can use more original creative work in your job applications, but the basic requirements for contracts are always rock solid on the technical and commercial skills.

Be patient, get your job experience, learn your trade well, and you’ll find there’s no lack of freelance illustrator jobs for you.