1. Description

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If drawing is your thing, take note: there are all kinds of avenues for illustrators. Whether used in medical textbooks, magazines, or children’s books, illustrations inform, educate, amuse, and, sometimes, just make the world a prettier place. Talent alone is not enough in this highly competitive field, but if you’re willing to work hard and apply your talents where they’re needed, you may not be a starving artist for long.

Illustrators create images for everything from books to greeting cards to advertisements. Many specialize, working mostly on children's books or medical illustrations, for example.

“[Illustrators] are concerned with what is the most appropriate image to help the reader fully understand or make an emotional connection to the author's point.” Dave, Editorial Illustrator

Are You Ready To...?

  • Adapt your skills to each job
  • Constantly improve your skills
  • Put art first, money second
  • Develop a thick skin
  • Spend a lot of time promoting yourself and looking for work

It Helps To Be...

Creative, talented, and committed to your craft: a lot of people may try to talk you out of pursuing this “impractical” profession. The ability to promote yourself is important, too, because competition is fierce.

Make High School Count

  • Take art classes, of course. They will help you develop a style while you learn the fundamentals of color, perspective, and form.
  • Learn graphic design and other visual display software. Computers are becoming more important in this line of work.
  • Get practical experience by contributing your illustrations to the school newspaper or other campus publications.

Illustrators get to explore and learn about subjects they might not normally research on their own.” -- Dave, Editorial Illustrator