A Day in the Life of an Illustrator

Working as an illustrator is exciting yet challenging. But do you know what a day in the life of an illustrator has? How many tasks do the illustrators perform?

You can find the answers here! In this article, I will describe my typical day as a full-time illustrator. So let’s jump right in!

An Overview Of The Illustrating Field

Illustrators are artists that create illustrations based on the provided concepts. These artists focus on making their stuff look good and attracting customers.

Companies need illustrators to promote their products or brands. The ultimate goal is to increase their sales. Thus, these artists are important in all industries.

There are different types of illustrators, such as book, product, technical, or medical illustrators. They specialize in aspects to offer value to their clients.

There are different types of illustrators

A Day In The Life Of An Illustrator

I have eight hours a day to work. Here are some of my daily tasks and how I handle each of them effectively.

At Work

I grab a cup of coffee every morning to stay awake during the long day ahead. Then, I go straight to my desk and check my to-do list. Here is what the list includes:

Check the project requirements

Before every project, I meet up with clients and project managers. We talk about the kind of artwork and its style, which means how the artwork should look.

Another thing we discuss is the tone of the project. It’s like the feeling or mood that the artwork should have.

And, of course, we talk about when I have to submit the artwork. I must manage my time well and finish the illustrations before the deadline.

After understanding their requirements, I research to learn more about the project’s details. For example, if it’s related to technology or medicine, I study more about those things. Then, my illustrations can look right for the concept.

If the clients and project managers agree on everything, we write it down in a contract. It’s a promise we all keep to make the project successful.

Develop the concept

The contract is set! Now, it’s time to come up with cool ideas for the illustrations. To do this, I work on the concept first, then determine which characters and colors to use.

But the most crucial part is the intended message. My illustration should convey the message that the clients want to highlight.

Additionally, I don’t stick to just one idea. Instead, I explore lots of different ways to draw illustrations.

Sketch and draft

After determining the concept, I draw the first version of the artwork with simple shapes and lines. These sketches help me picture how my illustration looks when I finish it.

Then, I share those sketches with the clients before I spend much time on the detailed illustration. This way, they tell me what they like and where to change.

Sometimes, my clients suggest the details they want to add or remove. And that’s totally okay! We work together as a team to produce the best illustration.

Create the illustration

Creating a real illustration is the most crucial task. I get to choose how I want to make it look cool. I often use digital software because it allows me to modify the details.

Adobe Illustrator is one of the most common software for creating vector-based illustrations. It helps me draw precise and scalable artwork, making it perfect for logos and icons.

Photoshop can also help. I usually use it for digital painting, adding textures, and applying various effects to the artwork.

Software helps me create the illustrations quickly

After Work

I like to stay updated with what’s trendy in the art world. So I’m always learning and improving myself by studying new stuff.

I also attend special art classes. And I love talking to other artists like me. It’s like chatting with friends who have the same interests.

After finishing all the work for the day, I relax. Drawing and creating can be fun, but it’s also nice to do something different. To me, watching movies is the best thing ever to unwind.

Additional Tasks And Schedules

As an illustrator, my schedule can be pretty flexible. Some days, I have many projects to work on, while others may be quieter.

There are a few additional tasks I get to deal with. For example, I regularly back up my artwork. Maintaining an organized file system helps me avoid losing important assets.

I engage in self-promotion activities, too. Then, potential clients may see my portfolio and contact me for their illustration projects.

There are tons of tasks to deal with

What Skills Does An Illustrator Need?

If you want to become an illustrator, you need some skills. First, you have to be super creative. Then, you need to excel in drawing or painting. Understanding how things should look together is essential, too.

Besides, you should be able to express your ideas through your illustrations. Then, when people look at your products, they can understand the message.

Another skill to hone is communication. Since you have to discuss your ideas with your clients and managers, ensure you know how to communicate effectively.

Is Illustrator The Right Profession For You?

Do you have all the skills above? If yes, then this career can be right for you. The skill set will help you excel in your role and bring value to your clients.

Another thing to consider when choosing this career path is your passion. If you love drawing and technology, you may want to become an illustrator.

Final Thoughts

An illustrator has a lot of things to do every day. But after years of working in this position, I know how to maximize my productivity. Then, clients can be confident when working with me.

Hopefully, this article can help you understand more about illustration. If you want to try it, hone your skills today.

Thank you for reading!