Fashion Illustrator/Artist



OFO No: 216602





Other names for Illustrator:

  • Animator
  • Technical Illustrator

What is a Fashion Illustrator?

  • Are you artistic? 
  • Can you draw? 
  • Are you passionate about fashion? 
  • If you combine these two loves – a career as a Fashion Illustrator may suit you.

Fashion Illustration is the communication of fashion, or designs for fashion – through illustration, drawing, painting and other artistic techniques.

 A Fashion Illustrator is similar to a graphic designer.  They use various artistic methods to create graphics, patterns, textures, images etc which can be either printed on clothing items or used in fashion, newspaper, website articles as a form of illustration.

A Fashion Illustrator has an in depth understanding of the fashion industry and keeps up to date with new trends.
Sometimes a fashion designer’s and a Fashion IIlustrator’s jobs can overlap.

What does a Fashion Illustrator do?

  • discusses brief with client and or fashion editor and understands what is required
  • creates sketches by hand and/or uses a computer
  • selects colours and styles for the project
  • constantly researches and keeps up to date with current fashion trends
  • constantly hones their artistic skills and masters new ones
  • presents ideas to creative directors
  • makes changes or re-does illustration when necessary

Are you … ?

  • extremely creative?
  • interested in fashion?
  • detail orientated?
  • able to produce original work?
  • a person who will experiment with different techniques?
  • able to handle criticism?
  • able to meet deadlines?
  • self-motivated?
  • a hard worker?
  • stylish?
  • a person who’s adventurous with colour?
  • computer literate – can you design on a computer?

How do I become a Fashion Illustrator?

Besides having a bucket-load of artistic talent and a passion for fashion – it is advisable to have studied graphic design as many employers prefer to hire Fashion Illustrators who have had some formal training. 

This, therefore, will help you jump ahead of the rest in this very competitive career.


Training on the job


Diploma in Fine Art

  • Rhodes University 
  • University of Fort Hare

Bachelor of Technology in Fine Art

Master of Technology in Fine Art

  • Central University of Technology
  • Duran University of Technology
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
  • Tshwane University of Technology
  • University of Johannesburg
  • Vaal University of Technology


  • Bachelor of Visual Art
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Art


  • Bachelor of Visual Art
  • Honours in Fine Art


Bachelor of Graphic (visual) Design

  • North West University
  • University of Stellenbosch

Master of Fine & Visual Art

  • North West University
  • Rhodes University
  • UCT
  • University of Fort Hare
  • University of KZN
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of Stellenbosch
  • University of the Free State
  • University of Witwatersrand


Qualify as Graphic Designer



  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Make-up Artist … or … Fashion Stylist

Is becoming a Fashion Illustrator the right career choice for me?