15 reasons it’s a great time to be an ILLUSTRATOR
1: Tablets! I think we can agree that tablets have revolutionized illustration, allowing creative freedom, portability, and ease of delivering files.
2: Web sites It used to cost a lot of time and money to build one, but now there are lots of free and low-cost options, from sites, to blogs. For example: WordPress, Weebly, Wix, Squarespace.
3: Social media it’s easier than ever to get the word out, and be part of a community.
4: Print on demand there are now lots of places to upload and sell your work printed onto goods or in digital form, such as Society6, Zazzle, Greeting Card Universe, Kindle, and more. You can sell and publish your own print and e-books.
5: Crafts sites You can sell your original art, crafts, and other handmade goods via Etsy and more, or locate art and crafts fairs to participate in in every place under the sun.
6: Conferences Conferences abound, including ICON, ComicCon, SCBWI, conventions, trade shows, and more, where you can network face to face with clients and fellow illustrators.
7: Art supplies You used to have to schlep out and stand in line to get them. If you’re not lucky enough to live near a decent art-supply store, you can simply order them online.
8: Inspiration with all the dramatic, bizarre, and sometimes humorous things going on in the world, there’s plenty to spark your work.
9: Art retreats Need a break from your studio? You can go to art colonies where your art comes first. Or try a yoga or health retreat–it’s all good.
10: Classes! There are more illustration courses than ever online, and lots in person, too. You can even teach your own courses via Skillshare, Udemy, and other venues.
11. Software There’s a ton of free art software, including GIMP, Krita, Mischief, and more.
12: Portfolio sites You can upload your portfolio for free on Coroflot, CreativeShake, Behance, and more useful sites such as Illustration Friday, where you might be discovered.
13: Career choices You have a wider variety of fields that use art skills–besides illustration, design, and architecture, there’s animation, Web graphics, special effects, gaming, and more. Virtual reality is getting bigger by the day. You can connect with clients. You can also teach, or in some cases do school visits.
14: Local community Meetups, art fairs, classes, and volunteering brings people closer together.
15: You’re now considered a real artist! The art world no longer frowns on illustration the way it used to, and artists and animators who straddle the line between illustration and fine art are some of the best known in the film, museum, and gallery worlds.
Illustration is still a difficult career, but now there are so many ways to promote and leverage your talent. Don’t get discouraged, you can find and, best of all, CREATE opportunity. Draw on!
See our gift guide for digital artists.
Find the best drawing tablet.