Career outlook for illustrator
Average UK salary
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would draw the pictures or diagrams used in products like adverts, book covers, greeting cards and product instructions.
Your drawings, paintings or diagrams will help to make products more attractive or easier to understand. You could illustrate all sorts of products including:
- Book jackets
- Greetings cards
- Detailed technical diagrams
Your customer would describe their requirements –called a brief – and you would produce the illustrations. You’d need to use your imagination but also make sure that you meet the brief.
- Discuss the brief with authors, editors or designers
- Negotiate costs and timescales
- Decide on the right style for illustrations
- Draw or paint the illustrations by hand or using computer design software
- Speak with the customer and change the designs if necessary
- Make sure the work is completed within set budgets and deadlines
You may be able to specialise in one type of illustration. For example, in heritage illustration you’d design pictures for guidebooks, leaflets or maps for stately homes and castles.
If you work in educational illustration you could design websites, leaflets and publications for an academic institution.
Other illustrators create archaeological illustrations and children's books.
If you are self-employed, you’d also have to market your goods and services, deal with your business finances and promote your business.
UK employment status
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- Attention to detail
- Working with technology
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