How to start as an illustrator ~ Frannerd
How to Be an Illustrator
Illustrators create images that complement or help to clarify written text in books, magazines and online. Illustrators make work in pen, pencil, chalk, paint, computer graphics or other media, and they tend to have a distinctive style. Some illustrators work in art or graphic design departments, while others freelance for a number of companies. Read on for information on how to start a career as an illustrator.
Becoming an Artist
Take art courses in college.Even if you have natural artistic talent, it's a good idea to go to college and take art courses, or even major in art. If you're certain that you want to become an illustrator, you may want to look into going to an art school. Learning from professional artists is an invaluable experience. Your work will be critiqued, which will give you a chance to hone your skills and develop as an artist.
- Take courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, and art history, as well as any specialized courses that interest you. Learn as much as you can about as many mediums as possible before you settle on a favorite to focus on.
- You'll learn more if you're open to feedback. Take critiques with a grain of salt, but don't entirely dismiss them over hurt pride. The point of critiques is to help you improve as an artist, and without them you wouldn't be getting your tuition money's worth.
- If art school or college isn't an option, find other ways to gain an art education. Take art courses at your local community college, seek out an apprenticeship with a local artist, or try to land an internship at a museum or studio. You may also take instruction from books, online tutorials and other resources.
Learn how to use graphic design software.Most modern illustrators have a strong background in graphic design. Even if you don't create your art online, you'll still need to know how to use software to format it according to the specifications required by the client. Get familiar with the following graphic design software:
- Adobe Photoshop. This is considered the industry standard for photo manipulation, which is often a part of illustration projects.
- Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. These programs are used for manipulating images and laying them out with text.
- Corel Painter. This is the industry standard for digital painting and drawing.
Decide what media you want to specialize in.While many illustrators today work with computer programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator or Freehand, there is still a market for more traditional media such as pen, pencil, watercolor, oil paint, chalk, wood and linoleum cuts and other non-computer methods, depending on the subject matter you choose to illustrate.
- While you won't be equally good in everything, it helps to have some sketching skill with pen and pencil as well as more labor-intensive media so you can communicate your ideas of the finished artwork to others.
- Illustrating books, magazines, and other media is often a collaborative effort. You'll need to be able to factor in outside opinions and have the ability to use a broad range of techniques to achieve the effect that a client desires.
Decide what kind of illustrator you want to be.Technical illustrators tend to work with graphs and charts, illustrators for children's books are more likely to draw people and animals, and commercial illustrators may be called upon to draw a number of different things. What you most like to draw will determine your career path as an illustrator.
Building a Portfolio
Develop a personal style.Many illustrators are capable of drawing a beautiful, life-like portrait or image based on a text. What makes your illustration different? The world of illustration is quite competitive, so it's important to have a signature style that stands out from the rest. Eventually you'll develop a reputation for making illustrations of a certain type, and clients who want that style will commission work from you.
- A personal style can convey a certain mood. The work of , for example, portrays expressionless figures often standing alone or apart from other figures. Publishers and companies seeking to illustrate text that is similar in tone know what to expect when they contact Isip.
- Your presentation of ideas can factor into your personal style. is known for making simple concepts seem unique and catchy.
- You may want to specialize in a certain type of content. works with text to create book covers, fonts and websites.
Do free work to gain experience.When you're just starting out, any experience provides a welcome addition to your portfolio, even if you don't get paid for it. Find creative ways to collaborate with people so you can start getting your work out there.
- If you have a friend who is a writer, illustrate her story and create a cover.
- Work with musicians on album cover materials.
- Design flyers and postcards for art galleries, book stores, coffee shops, and other local businesses.
Create a .It's important to have a professional-looking website to showcase your work. It's easier to send people a link to a website than it is to mail them printed copies of your work. Clients will expect to be able to quickly access your work online, and with so many other illustrators competing for jobs, you don't want to keep them waiting.
- The look of the website should match your signature style. Take as much care with the banner, font, background, and other website components as you would with any other work of art.
- Your portfolio should include examples of each medium in which you work and may also show some of your illustrations progressing from individual to final form.
- Your URL should be either your name or the name of your business, with separate URLs for each page, and ideally separate URLs for each piece so that an art director can forward it on to the editor of the publication for which you may be working.
- Be sure to include your contact information and a short biography of your life as an artist.
Marketing Yourself as an Illustrator
Look for employers who use work like yours.You can find this information by looking for art directors' names on the mastheads of magazines available at either your local library or bookstore, consulting reference books such asThe Artist's and Graphic Designer's Marketor the Thomas Register, or through web sites such as the . You should also develop the habit of looking at such things as posters, murals, restaurant menus, comic books and other items that you work might be suitable for, depending on the kind of illustration work you do.
Compile a list of your best prospects.Your list should focus on primarily on the subjects you most like to draw. For example, if you prefer to draw animals, your list should include magazines about animals and magazines for children, and other publications likely to use such drawings. If you have a large list, break your list down into groups of 5 or 10.
Send out samples.Target your samples to the publications or employers you've identified as the most likely to need your kind of work. Choose one particular style of rendering your subject matter and stick to that; don't send both a cartoonish lion and a realistic lion to the same publication. (You can of course send one style to one publication and the other to another, provided you send each publication a style appropriate to its needs.)
QuestionHow do I become a manga artist out of high school?CasMangaArtCommunity Answer1. You'll need to be able to draw manga-style, with correct proportions and anatomy. 2. You'll need to learn how to plot a story and create pages. 3. You'll need to find a publisher. There are quite a few outside of Japan. I'd recommend Saturday AM, a growing shonen manga magazine that has a program for newbies to trial their work.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I actually go and get a job from someone?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry calling animation studios, like Disney, Nickleoden, Rooster Teeth, Fun Animation and Cartoon Network.Thanks!
How do I get the money?
How do I get in touch with authors or publishers?
What kind of illustrator will I be if I prefer to draw graffiti?
To be an illustrator, find ways to learn from professionals, either by attending art school or seeking out an apprenticeship with a local artist. You can also read books about art or watch online tutorials to get new ideas and try new mediums. Once you’ve decided what kind of media you want to specialize in, offer to do some work for free to build up your portfolio. For example, you can offer to design flyers for art galleries or design album covers for bands. Finally, create a website to showcase your work so you have something to show to potential clients.
- When approaching a client on a specific project, get both a sense of the direction the client wants the project to go (what to emphasize and what not to emphasize), as well as the stages in the project (roughs, final sketches) and when they're due.
- One way to practice your illustration skills is to join a group of illustrators who get together regularly to draw. These "artists' jams" may be found such places as college campuses or comic book shops, and provide illustrators the opportunity to learn from one another, network and support one another.
Sources and Citations
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