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8 Steps to Becoming an Illustrator

8 Steps to Becoming an Illustrator

Hamsa Ramesha | ArtBistro

Congratulations on making the decision to pursue your passion! There are many ways to make it in illustration without succumbing to starving artist syndrome. Plus, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, illustrators can look forward to amazing job growth — especially in the digital field. Sounds like you’re in the right place!

Jump start your career with these eight steps to making it as an illustrator:

1. Decide on an Artistic Medium

There are so many mediums to choose from! Portrait drawing, Japanese anime, comic book illustration, academic diagrams, fashion illustration, etc. And have you considered commercial illustration? Whatever your medium is, focus on it. It’s easy to get caught up in several types of art forms, but it won’t do you any good. Honing your skills in one field gives you the expertise you need to make it big.

2. Get Educated

Some people are naturally talented. But most aren’t. To learn the finer techniques of your chosen style, find an art school that caters to your needs. This is especially important for digital illustrators who want to use specific programs to manipulate their artwork. While you can certainly make do with a high school diploma, advanced degrees give you advanced skills, especially in this hands-on field where technique is everything. Getting practical training in your medium is necessary for more technical areas like graphic design or medical illustration.

3. Develop a Personal Style

Artists are a dime a dozen. How do you stand out? What’s your artistic style? Developing a unique signature can be your ticket to success in this competitive business. Whether it’s drawing inspiration from nature, following in the footsteps of master artists before you, or studying the techniques of various art forms, find a style that suits you best and take it even further by adding a personal twist. You want your artwork to scream out your name, not remind your client of someone else!

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