OFO No: 216602





What is an Illustrator?

An Illustrator is a specialised artist who creates art through drawings, paintings and other mediums for a specific illustrative, commercial purpose. 

Illustrators are usually freelancers.

Areas where Illustrators could specialise:

  • book illustrations
  • advertising agencies and design studios
  • medical and industrial illustrations
  • fashionmovie or television story boards
  • botanical etc

Illustrations can be done by hand in colour and black and white or on a computer. 

Some hand rendered techniques include:

  • pen and ink
  • pencil
  • cut and paste
  • mosaic
  • water colours
  • brush and scratch
  • dots and stipple
  • prints (etching, linocuts etc)

What does an Illustrator do?

  • constantly hones and perfects their skill
  • meets with clients to discuss requirements
  • does background research to the project, if necessary
  • does rough sketches and scamps
  • does final rendering

Are you … ?

  • passionate about drawing and art?
  • a good drawer?
  • able to draw straight from your head?
  • detail orientated?
  • deadline driven?
  • responsible?
  • good with colour?

How do I become an Illustrator?

Most Illustrators are extremely talented to start with.  They may even start their art career by taking art-related subjects at school.  They more techniques they master the more likelihood they will be able to get work.

Practice, practice and practice – that is the key to becoming a good Illustrator.

Others may continue their studies.  Graphic Design and Fine Art are highly recommended.


  • 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:  Tattoo Artist … or … Body Make-Up Artist

Is becoming an Illustrator the right career choice for me?