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  #91   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-25-2012, 11:28 PM
bhamfree bhamfree is offline
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Re: Question: What does it take to become an illustrator?

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Originally Posted by amo
What does it take to become an illustrator?

Customers.

My degrees are in fine art and art history, but I have always made my living as an illustrator. If you can draw/paint well, you should be able to mimic any style. Diversity is very helpful in illustration. Most of my customers ask if I can do X. I see working in diverse styles as a challenge. Many customers have asked me to develop a style for a particular project or to imitate a style they like.

This has worked for me. I imagine if you are locked into one style you need to be more aggressive in your salesmanship.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:25 AM
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CoolArtiste CoolArtiste is offline
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Re: Question: What does it take to become an illustrator?

I posted in this thread several years ago. I'm making t-shirt designs now and making a living from that. I'm self employed. I only make designs for myself to own the rights to. There's a tremendous number of people who try making tshirt designs but nearly all of them suck at it so they make little or no money. I'm one of the very few people who make a living at it.

George Carlin said that in every business field, nearly everyone in it sucks and there's just a few people who are great. So if you have excellent abilities and are willing to be flexible and cater to the customers tastes, then you'll definitely be successful. It's easy as pie. There's so little real competition in the world that if you're good, you can easily succeed.

After re-reading this thread, I'll also add: (1) I only took several art classes at a local community college and I bought a few dozen art instruction books. That's the extent of my art education. (2) I do not dress professionally at all. I work in my underwear because I make my money on the internet and I like it that way! I can do whatever I want.

Last edited by CoolArtiste : 09-26-2012 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:25 AM
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LMAshton LMAshton is offline
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Re: Question: What does it take to become an illustrator?

I'm coming from the business-doing-the-hiring end of things. I'm still only a wannabe artist, but my husband is a mobile developer who's worked with many graphic artists over the years. The graphic artists have been, quite literally, from all over the world. Some we've hired, some were hired by a mutual client.

Reasons why we haven't hired artists or haven't hired them again:

They didn't communicate effectively. Either too much text speak, no or improper punctuation, that sort of thing. Or they took days to answer a simple question. Or deadlines approached with no communication from them until finally, they respond to an email from us after the deadline to tell us that they'll be late on the project... If they respond at all... Bottom line, if you want to be hired, learn to communicate effectively. And don't just disappear.

They didn't have a professional-looking portfolio. Some had only one art style in their portfolio, but claimed they could do what we needed, which was a totally different style - we need to see a demonstration of that, which they could not or would not provide. With a few portfolios, we couldn't tell what art the artists had actually contributed to the design they present. Or the art in the portfolio was unpolished and unprofessional looking. Advice: put a portfolio together that shows several different styles of art and shows only your very best pieces. It's better to have 10 very strong pieces than 20 mediocre ones. If a piece in your portfolio is ambiguous as to what part you did (ie, a photograph with a logo and other graphics), then either be clear on what part of the piece you did or don't include it.


Please note that at no time did we ask what kind of degree they had or how long they've been doing illustration. That sort of thing doesn't matter to us. It's really all about whether or not you can do the job and do it in the time allocated. Also, given the choice between working with a great artist whose communication sucks or is late and a really good artist who communicates effectively and always meets deadlines, we'll take the latter.

Edited to add: Also, we communicate with everyone - clients, artists, everyone - over the Internet. Email, skype, whatever. We don't have in-person meetings. And we don't care if you work in your underwear or with a cat on your head.
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:40 AM
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Re: Question: What does it take to become an illustrator?

LMAshton, your experiences correspond with mine. There are many people in the world who are incompetent and/or are flakes. The competition is so bad that if you're a good artist, flexible, and responsible, then you're miles & miles ahead of almost everyone.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:49 PM
Love Illustration Love Illustration is offline
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Re: Question: What does it take to become an illustrator?

Hi All,

It looks like there are many experienced,passionate Illustrators here...me just a starter...I would like to ask few questions.....It would be great if someone help me!!

Is there any age requirement to become an illustrator?
Do I need to take formal education?


I have done a diploma in multimedia three years ago..I knew to operate Adobe packages.....I don't have any bachelor's degree....I don't think I can get one....I don't have any work experience....My college degrees are from different fields..I'm in my late 20's...and I'm just looking to do some part time freelancing in my near future....if necessary full time...I think I lack drawing practices......
So now,am practicing drawing on my own with the help of library books,online materials.and planning to take some certificate courses if necessary....Is this enough to get into Illustration field....Please someone guide me!

Last edited by Love Illustration : 11-29-2012 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:39 AM
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Snow_tabby Snow_tabby is offline
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Re: Question: What does it take to become an illustrator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Illustration
Hi All,

It looks like there are many experienced,passionate Illustrators here...me just a starter...I would like to ask few questions.....It would be great if someone help me!!

Is there any age requirement to become an illustrator?
Do I need to take formal education?


I have done a diploma in multimedia three years ago..I knew to operate Adobe packages.....I don't have any bachelor's degree....I don't think I can get one....I don't have any work experience....My college degrees are from different fields..I'm in my late 20's...and I'm just looking to do some part time freelancing in my near future....if necessary full time...I think I lack drawing practices......
So now,am practicing drawing on my own with the help of library books,online materials.and planning to take some certificate courses if necessary....Is this enough to get into Illustration field....Please someone guide me!

I think the advice provided above is great advice but I wouldnít go as far as calling people names like incompetent and or sucking. That just makes people feel inadequate and make people give up too easily. There are more constructive and positive ways of explaining people who donít have enough life experience, confidence, organization and or lack of time to do multiple projects. If anything try to offer those people a positive boost of advice providing they are receptive in the first place. One of the problems with us self employed people is we get carried away with our selves and gain big heads with successes and have problems with issuing constructive criticism when needed.

Anyways to maybe answer your questions;

No there are no set age to become an Illustrator. Its only a title any how. Its all in how confident you feel, the love for your craft and your experience level.
If you feel you need more experience, go and gain it and donít worry about you not leveling up to another person. Besides there will always be someone with more experience then you. Just keep on gaining more experience, humble your self to some one with more experience and take the knowledge that you like and add it to your own collection. Take advantage of the situation.

Education is good to have. Again it gives you experience to improve you. Doesnít need to be fancy. I have some diplomas but I have learned more then I ever have in an institution by first working in-house in other words several jobs. Some of the jobs I have had in the past was designing a sports jacket for a motorcycle racing product company. I got that job though a college. Several non art jobs low paying jobs which didn't last long. Just as well. Last but not least I worked for a inflatable balloon company I did some product design work and airbrushed for a while. Made interactives, costumes, cold air displays and big helium balloons for parades. Got this job though some associates from collage. Word of mouth.

If you like to eventually do Freelancing for what ever, I suggest Elance or Guru.com. There are more places too. Once joined, learn the in and outs of the culture there like profiles and writing a decent proposal est. It will take about a year or less or more to get a first job. In the mean time like I said study the profiles of successful freelancers, other and to make your own sharp looking profile and portfolio cause the competition is tough. Helps to talk professional, patience and be nice too. Clients first! Like others have already said good communications are a must and being reliable. Try not to use excuses but there are some situations you canít help. We are human after all. Build a good reputation.

Got to recommend books like The Artistís and Graphic designerís market. Great yearly book with tips on selling your self and a directory of places to issue your work and skills. Business and Legal forms for Illustrators is another handy book and finally a book called Art office. Those will help you with forms and legal issues like copyright.

Of course there are different versions of the books I describe depending on the type of artist you are.

Oh yeah, if you want to make some money on the side( a bit of pocket moola) I suggest getting into MicroStock.

I hope that was helpful for you in some way.
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Last edited by Snow_tabby : 11-30-2012 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:58 AM
Love Illustration Love Illustration is offline
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Re: Question: What does it take to become an illustrator?

Thank you Snow tabby for your encouraging & kind words...I visited your website...Lot to learn from you...Thank you for sharing some books to refer
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:20 PM
john22 john22 is offline
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Re: Question: What does it take to become an illustrator?

Is there an easier area of illustration to start out in than others? Where is there the most and least demand?

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