How to become an Illustrator

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: January 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • What are the main trading issues?
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Illustrators are creative professionals who produce illustrations for use in books, magazines, and newspapers, advertisements, greetings cards, product packaging and product instruction material. Although illustrators traditionally use artists' materials such as watercolours and pen and ink, illustrations are increasingly produced digitally.

Illustrators are typically contracted on a project-by-project basis by a wide range of commercial clients including publishers, advertising and marketing agencies, website designers and architects. Some illustrators specialise in scientific, medical or technical sectors, producing illustrations for textbooks, e-learning materials, technical manuals and academic papers and for use in medico-legal court cases. Medical illustrators are specialists working in healthcare settings, who use photographs, videos and graphic images to record patients' conditions and the progress of their treatment.

This profile provides information about starting up and trading as an illustrator. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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