How to Become an Illustrator


The creative disciplines are ruled by talent more than they care about what qualifications you have. Sure, being certified in knowing how to use industry-relevant programs and software can help you get in the door, but it is your portfolio that will help you land a job or secure clients.

Becoming an illustrator means working on your own personal brand. You need to find a niche and a unique style of art that is attractive and can only be done by you. Before you reach this stage, however, you will want to follow this guide:

Get a Laptop

The right laptop will be powerful enough to run software for illustrators and digital artists, as well as have the flexibility to help you unleash your creative prowess. Programs such as Photoshop, Krita, and Affinity Designer are superb tools, but you may need a higher RAM if you have more than one of these applications open at a time.

What’s more, investing in a hybrid laptop is ideal as it allows you to flip the screen backward into a tablet. By using a stylus, you can then draw designs by hand. This is perfect for graphic designers to tattoo artists, to illustrators.

Not sure which laptop is best for you? Choosist can help you find the best suited laptop for you, so it ticks all your boxes and helps you with your illustrations. ASUS, for example, have many Flip laptops if you want added flexibility.

Learn How to Use Photoshop and Illustrator

– 1. University
An art or illustration course at university will help you develop your own personal style, proficiency in a variety of software, and ideally provide you with business acumen necessary to make your personal brand profitable.

– 2. Short Course
Adobe’s products are often seen as industry standard, and therefore are good to know how to use. The best part is that you can actually gain a certificate stating your ability to use these programs in a professional setting. There are short courses that help train you specifically so that you can pass this certification, and though it might not help you develop your illustration skills, it help your chances of landing a job.

– 3. Online Tutorials
There are free and paid online tutorials out there to help you learn specific tasks, from learning the shortcuts on Adobe Illustrator to learning tips on how to create hair that looks like it is realistically blowing in the wind.

– 4. Through Trial and Error
Regardless of which option you choose, you will be learning through trial and error. Practice until using your illustration software is second-nature, and you are happy with your unique style.

Start Your Online Following

All artists have a vested interest in creating and managing their own personal brand. As a visual artist, you have it easier than most others. To start, you will want to create accounts on a variety of channels and start growing a following. This includes using social media like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest as much as it means using sites like Deviantart, Behance, or any other art channel you come across.

Doing this will attract attention. You could then start earning money by working:

– With Ccients
– As a stock illustrator
– As a published artist

Try to sell your art through a variety of different channels, such as creating a series of stock illustrations to improve your chances of creating a passive income for yourself. Once you are famous create your very own art book, and in-between these projects try to acquire clients or work with agencies.