If you want to pursue a career as an illustrator, you should meet the criteria. First, you should know how to become an illustrator. This post will provide you ample information about this. Read carefully. First, you need to understand the task an illustrator has to perform. It can be one or multiple, depending upon the nature of the job. 

What does an illustrator do?

Illustrator creates paintings, drawings, and diagrams. These make products more attractive and easily understandable. He can make illustrations on books, greeting cards, ads, and packaging. Some are simple drawings. Others are technical. His role includes these:

● Talking about requirements with editors, designers, and authors

● Price negotiations

● Discussing the right illustration style

● Producing illustrations with hand drawing, computer design, or painting

● Talking with the client and making changes in designs

● Completing the work within the budget 

● Doing the work within the deadline

Some illustrators are experts in design, such as heritage illustrations, leaflets, maps for homes, and pictures for guidebooks. In education illustration, there can be website designs, publications, and pamphlets.

Self-employed illustrators should have business skills to market their services and promote the business. There can be three types of designers. These include technical illustrator, archeological illustrator, and children’s book illustrator. 

You have read about the job of an illustrator. It’s time to know how to become an illustrator. 

Things required to be an illustrator

You have to be highly creative while considering the needs of the client. To meet the deadlines, you must know time management. It would be best if you had a degree in art or illustration. You can succeed without a degree if you have an impressive portfolio, creativity, and artistic approach. Degree subjects are these:

● Fine art

● Illustration

● Graphic design

For doing a degree, you should have five GCSEs. These include English, Maths, and three A levels. For entry, you need a foundation course in art and design. You can ask the university for the exact entry requirements. They may accept other qualifications. 

If you are working as a freelance illustrator, you need to develop creative ways to make your work prominent. For example, it would help if you built up a strong portfolio of your drawings to show them. 

You can create a blog or a website to showcase your artwork. Using video teaser for social media is a great idea to connect with people and convert them into customers. Illustrators also make promotional stuff. It includes graphic novels, postcards, and comics. 

You can also market your work by sending it to the company directly. Of course, it would help if you prepared a fascinating portfolio. 

You can find a list of agents, advertising agencies, specialist organizations, and publishers online. You can also promote your work online by displaying it on a website. 


These skills are required to become an illustrator:

● Communication

● IT

● Creativity

● Attention to detail

● Self-marketing

● Time management

● Technical ability

● Mastery in color theory

It would help if you had relevant qualifications. For example, a degree in illustration or another art subject is essential. 


You should have good communication skills. You have to convince the clients with your outstanding work. If you can’t persuasively talk to them, your talent may go unnoticed.  


Having IT skills at a professional level is essential. In addition, you should know how to operate an iPad, drawing tablet, computer, and other digital devices. 

Attention to detail

Good designers always pay attention to minor details and create unique art. 


As an illustrator, you should have the ability to promote your art and skills to get career growth. 

Time management

Clients need work to be done within the deadline. Therefore, you should finish the drawing within the time they have given. 

Technical ability

There are various techniques involved in making art. You should be familiar with all of these. 

Mastery in color theory

If you don’t know how to mix colors and use them in your illustration, you may end up creating a mess. It would be best if you had a sense of the color schemes and appropriate contrasts. 

Working as an illustrator is a dynamic, prestigious, and exciting career. 


Illustrators use these tools to make drawings. These are mentioned below:

● Drawing tablet

● Ipad

● Sketchbook

● Pencils

● Scanner

All of them are briefly described here.

Drawing tablet

Traditional drawing methods are outdated now. Instead, illustrators are using digital devices to create unique and impressive designs. The drawing tablet is a black square filled with tiny sensors. It is plugged into a computer like a keyboard or a mouse. It is used with a stylus to draw into illustration software. It is possible to draw detailed drawings through these tablets. They are used as standard devices in various industries such as photography and animation. 

You can also have standalone tablets, which are used without any additional device or a computer. 

The iPad

Recently, the iPad Pro has become a popular alternative to drawing pads. Professional illustrators and art students are using it extensively. In addition, there is an app named Procreate. It has replaced an old computer. iPad and Apple pencil are expensive but useful. They are versatile and convenient. 

Sketchbook and pencils

Besides using digital equipment, you require a sketchbook and lead pencils to make illustrations. You can put your ideas on paper when you are not using a computer. Observe things around you for excellent drawings. 


If you want to be an illustrator, you should have a high-quality scanner. Some artists like to work with physical materials. So they make digital scans of their work. A built-in scanner on a printer is not required. Buy an art scanner. This will match the quality of your drawing.  

Becoming an illustrator is a dynamic career. It requires creativity, skills, aesthetic sense, passion, and hard work. It would help if you had an impressive portfolio to grab the clients. Using proper tools is essential. Having a degree in art is also necessary. There are specific skills that you should have to become a successful designer. If you want to pursue it as a career in 2021, you have to be smart. Learning IT skills and using digital devices will boost your career.