What An Illustrator Actually Is, And How To Become One

It’s a great time to be an illustrator, thanks to the internet making mediums like e-books more common. From icons, to drawings for books, illustrators like Maria Rabinky are now more needed than ever.

Of course, becoming an illustrator is not something that just happens, there’s a lot of work that goes into it.

What is an illustrator?

One of the good things that the internet has done for illustrators is change how people see them. A lot of companies now have illustrators on hand to create their logos, marketing materials, and other important visual media.

Illustrators create illustrations, naturally, but this is actually a very varied field. From drawings for children’s books, to forensic illustrations, to stationery design, there are a lot of options for illustrators looking to fill a specific niche.

Becoming an illustrator

Of course, enrolling in art school is an option for becoming an illustrator, but it’s not the be-all, end-all. Truth is, there isn’t really a straightforward path or shortcut to becoming one. A lot of advice online can be somewhat intimidating, there are some things that you can do to help.

First off: the basics

The best place is to start is the very beginning. The obvious first step is to learn the basics, which means it’s time to brush up on digital illustration skills and techniques.

There are a lot of courses that can help you with that, reading up is a good place to start.

Next, start drawing what you want

Now that you’ve gotten an idea of where to start, what to do now? It’s easy; draw what you want.

If you’re looking for a start, then you’ll find low-paying gigs that don’t demand experience, however, they’re a bit of a beginner’s trap. If you just roll for what pays, then you might find yourself stuck with a lot of good work that isn’t what you want.

Make sure that you’re drawing the things you want as well to build up your portfolio so you can carve out your own niche, like illustrated map makers like Maria Rabinky, and the like. They know what they’re about, and they know their clientele.

Talk to other illustrators, but don’t compare

Meeting other people in your field is great for finding inspiration and getting networking done for future employment opportunities. Find other illustrators to help you ease into the profession and pick up useful skills.

However, you don’t want to compare yourself to them negatively; that’s a trap you don’t want to fall into. Other illustrators are competition and rivals, but they should be a source of inspiration and motivation, not despondency.


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