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How to become an Illustrator
The first step to becoming an Illustrator would be to find a college that has an extensive art program. There are many such colleges and universities offering these types of classes but make sure you find one that has a degree program in the arts and specifically in the field of illustration that you are interested in.
There are many fields of work associated with illustration, from medical illustrators to comic book creators and animated motion pictures to technical drawing or storybooks. So decide where your personal interests and abilities lie then find a college that offers classes in that field.
It is best to find a college that offers at least a Bachelor's Degree in art with a major in Illustration. Then when qualified assemble a portfolio of your best work and start marketing yourself to the industry of the field you have chosen.
What does an Illustrator do?
Illustrators utilize creativity along with their technical skills and natural artistic ability to draw or paint to create pictures that communicate ideas, sensations, facts, feelings and emotions. An Illustrator works to create commercial images to inform, persuade or entertain their client's intended audience. They must also make adjustments in the mood or style of the images accordingly.
Most Illustrators work as freelancers. Meaning that they are not actually employed by a company but rather are hired to do a job and are paid accordingly. Some of the possible markets include magazines; books, newspapers and comics. There are also positions available in advertising such as posters and storyboard creators. The fashion industry uses Illustrators to show the vision of a finished garment before the fabric is ever cut. Other fields include merchandising, such as greeting cards, calendars, t-shirts and ceramics. Corporate work includes brochures and catalogues. The fastest growing is multimedia with video games, websites and animation or animated movies.
Specialists in the field include scientific, technical and medical illustrators. Here Illustrators create work for text and reference books. These may show new products, processes or techniques.
What skills or qualities do I need to become an Illustrator?
The primary skills or qualities would obviously be those of an artistic nature. Creativity and imagination are also essential qualities for a successful Illustrator. The desire to be an Illustrator cannot be realized if the individual simply has no artistic abilities or skills.
Other less obvious skills and qualities include being good at liaison with clients, editors, and authors. The Illustrator needs to understand and interpret the needs of the client to successfully produce a product that will satisfy their needs. An Illustrator will also need to know what style is appropriate for the work and have the ability to negotiate pricing and deadlines.
Sometimes the Illustrator will need to analyze the specificatio...