Improving Your Work as an Illustrator


Professional success requires constant growth in any field, it is basic knowledge. But it is much more important in trending and highly competitive industries, one of which is illustration and design. Whether you work for web/game design or your skills and aspirations lay in printables, there is no rest for the wicked since the sheer amount of rivals on the market leaves no time to procrastinate. So what steps can help you in your craft?

Do Sketch

Digital world makes everything so much easier that some designers decide to ditch drawing by hand. Not the brightest idea, honestly. Get into the habit of sketching first, it brings several benefits: sometimes thinking with your hands is much more fruitful than doing it with your head. It also helps you focus better and who knows, random doodles can suddenly become an inspiration for your best illustration ever.

Go Physical Even If You Draw Digitally

You might spend quite some time checking out all-in-one printer reviews to find a decent model and then some money buying it but at the end of the day, it might save you big time to print the design you’ve created to see how it looks. More often than not, it is darker in print than it is on your monitor, for example. And who knows, maybe your employer decides to make posters from your illustration for their website?


As we’ve said above, rest is for those who do not need success. When you take a break from actually working, take up some courses to up your skills, study some famous illustrator’s works, read a book on the craft. A regular movie watching can be a study session as well, after all, they all have decorations, ads, and posters. Notice things, keep track of trending topics and styles, copy someone else’s works (just don’t promote it as your own, these things always get revealed).

Learn to Manage Your Time

Giving your productivity a boost is not as hard as it seems. Or, more like, it’s only hard when you start. After you actually power through the distractions and procrastination cycles, you will find out you can do more and better in a day.

Track New Software

Big-name companies like Adobe and Corel upgrade their software constantly and with a significant market research. A lot of thought and work go into the up-and-coming graphic design software, and the results might become a life savior in certain situations. By keeping your head level with everything new on the software market, you simplify your job. You’ll be glad you did when some revolutionary piece of software pops up.

Use Photos for Help

Don’t frown upon photo manipulation artists, this is also a skill worth learning even if you won’t use it in your job assignments. Working with photos, manipulating them into a concept and tracing them can enhance your working speed, help you correct your mistakes, and teach you some new things. Use photos for inspiration and to develop concepts you might or might not use later. Practice.

Challenge Yourself Constantly

Learning means falling and standing up to try again. This concept works for everything in life, including being an artist. Staying on the safe side and only doing what you’re good at makes you fall behind everyone else, behind that person who for so long was trying to do something “out-of-their-league” and failing.

You might not want to try and sell something you’re bad at but instead take time to get to the task again and again and look for what you’re doing wrong. Picking up a skateboard typically ends in a number of nasty falls at first but after days and months of training you’ll find yourself jumping the ramp. Illustration is the same, basically. Sans all the broken bones.