The image worker par excellence: the freelance illustrator

An already old profession, the illustrator is a profession close to the world of press, publishing and advertising. They are primarily designers on paper. That said, with the development of the web, illustrators are taking advantage of this new craze to offer online services: the illustration of websites is now part of their prerogatives.

The job of freelance illustrator. The illustrator's job is to make illustrations. In other words, he transforms an idea, and often a text into an image. We are talking about illustrations in books, comics and advertising. The job of illustrator can thus be perceived as a translation by the image.

For a long time, illustrators have been characterized by the use of pencil and paper. Today, new technologies have equipped them with graphics tablets and software they must control: Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator ... That said, many workers (perhaps even the majority) continues to realize their works in pencil.

It should be noted that it is not always a question of pencil: watercolor, charcoal, pastel, acrylic, etc. Like any artist, a freelance illustrator must create his own universe: that's how he stands out. Moreover, beyond his talent, the freelance illustrator is characterized by his general culture, his creativity and his curiosity.

It is estimated that most illustrators are freelancers, with professionals often working alone. That said, it is perfectly possible for illustrators to practice in an agency: the tendency of the sector is also to regroup. Moreover, even freelance, the illustrator always depends on a client who is also his client.

In this competitive environment, now open internationally, freelance illustrators must now be versatile to succeed in an installation. Owning one or more niche specializations has become an asset.

The steps of creating visuals of illustration. Above all, the freelance illustrator meets his client. With him, he defines what his expectations are, and if necessary, he draws up a set of specifications. The supports are specified, the illustrator can intervene for print (advertising visuals intended to be printed in large numbers, such as posters or leaflets), in publishing or on the web. It is also at this moment that the illustrator appropriates the universe of the brand and the ideas that it will have to transmit.

The professional then produces various sketches and sketches. The goal of this "clearing" is to refine the customer's expectations, which are still unclear at this stage. The imagination of the freelance illustrator is the most solicited at this time: even with well-defined expectations, there is a certain creative part in this step. Moreover, we must think about the message we want to convey and how we want to proceed. Let's add that it works from what the customer has communicated about his brand: these elements can be other visuals, a simple text or multimedia content.

With the customer's agreement on his sketches, the illustrator can work on the final version of the visuals. Depending on the sector of activity, the content of this assignment may vary. For example, in publishing, the illustrator may have to do a layout job.

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This page presents an excerpt from the 404Works projects in the Illustrator category. Click on the link below to access the complete list of projects.

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