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Ten things every illustrator must know to become successful


The designing world has changed a vast amount in the previous years—from taking painted portfolios and paintings from place to place; you can globally send out your portfolio link in a matter of minutes. However, the key is to embrace the change and appreciate the work of an artist through the medium.

There are endless ways and tactics for an illustrator to be successful, with many new apps, and software present in the market, it has become easier for the illustrators to make a work of art and share it through the digital world. You can use them to make your portfolio and use to get clients through various online platforms.

Being an illustrator, you must understand that success doesn’t come overnight. You need to do some leg work and invest some time to market yourself as an artist, so your potential clients can trust your expertise and provide you with projects to work on. So without further ado, let’s discuss ten things that an illustrator must understand and require to be successful in the industry.

  • Learn to draw

An obvious trait of an illustrator, however, many illustrations can be seen without this fundamental skill. Being incredible at using Adobe doesn’t necessarily mean you can be good at illustration. The tools use to make illustration may evolve or change, but the foundation of the work stays the same.

  • Be consistent

Sometimes illustrations can be imitated, but they are never replicated. Being an illustrator you need to develop your signature style of work—be it children book illustration, digital designing or concept art—you need to apply your expertise to a wide range of subjects. Figure out you’re a way in which your style can translate people to an animal to maps, icons and more to build a solid portfolio.

  • Personalise your style

Never be afraid to show your personality in your work. It is likely that you’ll be judged and criticised on your style, but that a part of being a creative person. It might not be an accurate reflection of who you are but a little part of yourself to describe your work of art.

  • Focus on what’s hard to get

Once you have designed a good looking portfolio, you need to concentrate on getting clients who pay you for your skills on their projects. You don’t need an expensive website or spend a lot of revenue on marketing yourself, neither do you require to have many followers on your social media accounts, you just need paying clients to start working and get paid for your services. This can be a tough job, so you need to put your effort into getting customers instead of working on what’s less important.

  • Keep polishing

If you have received at the desired position because of your hard work, you must not stop working. The trends of the designing world keep on changing, and you need to adopt them to work new and unique art for your clients.  

  • Never permit copyrights

As you move forward in the industry, you’ll experience that some people include this in their contract, some demand the rights, and some can be reasoned with it. You can make a choice of giving the copyrights permit to the clients until they are paying you well for it.

  • Be straight forward

It is better for an illustrator to communicate the complexity level of the project beforehand instead of promising and trying to deliver on time. You are not expected to know everything, so you can simply ask for assistance.

  • Learn to say no

It is true that saying yes has its benefits, especially when you are starting out despite of the difficulty level of the situation. You’ll probably learn this with experience. However, a rushed job never benefit you in the same way as a well-thought-out disagreement.

  • Be professional

Professionalism is important when you are communicating with your client and presenting your work to get employed. It is your skills of time management and the clarity of your communication that describes the professionalism of the illustrator.

  • You need to work hard

If you are passionate about your work and love to be creative, then being an illustrator is the perfect career choice for you. It can sometimes get hard to come up with ideas according to the requirements of the clients, but your passion and hard work are what draws the inspiration to create something out of the box every time.


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