Digital illustrator education requirements [Expert Answers]

Last updated : Aug 18, 2022
Written by : Yetta Brandis
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Digital illustrator education requirements

What type of education do you need to be an illustrator?

Postsecondary Training To find a salaried position as a general illustrator, you should have at least a high school diploma and preferably an associate's or bachelor's degree in commercial art or fine art.

How do you become a digital illustrator?

You should pursue a bachelor's degree in illustration or another art field. A degree in graphic design is also acceptable, but you should make sure to take classes that focus on the creative aspects of design as well. While education is important, you also need a strong portfolio of your illustration work.

Do you need a degree to be a graphic illustrator?

A bachelor's degree is usually the minimum education required to work as a graphic illustrator or designer. Bachelor's degree programs relevant to this career include those in graphic design and media arts, fine arts and art history.

How many years of college do you need to be an illustrator?

Options include four-year bachelor of fine arts degrees, two- and four-year graphic design degrees and degrees in specialized illustration. Whether you get a degree or a certificate, you should also have the skills needed to be an illustrator, like a keen eye for detail.

Do illustrators get paid well?

Freelance illustrator pay ZipRecruiter estimates a conservative average salary of $59,837 per year (or about $29 per hour) for freelancers. Indeed reports their estimate quite a bit higher, at an average of $45.61 per hour.

What do I need for digital illustration?

Stock your toolbox for digital illustration Computer – desktop or laptop, Mac or PC. Graphics tablet and stylus. Illustration software (Not your run of the mill paint software) – Corel Painter is available for both PC and Mac. Digital paint brushes.

Can I become an illustrator if I can't draw?

Definately YES! The fact that you can become an illustrator is more connected to your determination skill than your drawing skill.

How do I start a digital illustration career?

  1. Earn a relevant degree.
  2. Build a portfolio of your best work.
  3. Create a website.
  4. Share your work on social media.
  5. Network with other illustrators.
  6. Document your growth.

What is a illustrator salary?

The average salary for a illustrator is $44,167 per year in the United States. 889 salaries reported, updated at October 27, 2022.

Is it better to be an illustrator or designer?

If you like to draw and illustrate concepts, illustration would be a good fit. If you prefer to code, make websites, and do detail-type work, then graphic design might suit you better.

Are illustrators in demand?

The demand for Illustrators is high, especially in the creative industries. As technology advances and more people are able to create content, Illustrators are in high demand. There are many types of Illustrators, including commercial, advertising, editorial, and character.

Is illustration a stable career?

It is a good career if you love what you do, that is, creating. Illustrator is a competitive career but there is also a high need for it. Another good thing about being an illustrator is you can work freelance easily. For those of you who love freedom, it's a perfect job for you.

What are the 6 types of digital art?

  • Digital Painting and Drawing. Digital Painting is my personal expertise, and it's what I concentrate on giving advice about on this website.
  • Vector Art.
  • 3D sculpting.
  • Matte Painting and Photomanipulation.
  • Pixel art.
  • 3D animation.

Can I learn digital art if I can't draw?

It is possible to start creating digital art even if you can't draw. However, you won't go very far without any basic drawing skills. Modern drawing software such as Photoshop gives you tools to draw digitally and also use shapes to draw symmetrically even if you don't know how to draw.

Is digital illustration difficult?

Drawing Digitally takes as much effort to learn as drawing traditionally. In the end, when it comes to drawing digitally, don´t expect it to be any easier or harder than traditional drawing. You still need to learn all the fundamentals and you have to practice. There is no shortcut to learning how to draw.

Can I be a self taught illustrator?

What is the best way to become a professional illustrator? Don't start with a computer. You may end up there, but the skills you require start with being able to observe, and to do that you need to draw all the time. So take a sketch book with you.

Can you make a living as an illustrator?

An Illustrator can earn a great living from their art. According to, the median pay for an Illustrator is $68,000 per year. This means that most Illustrators earn more than the median income.

Do you need a diploma to be an illustrator?

While you don't need a degree to be a professional illustrator, formal training in this field will help you master art fundamentals which you'll draw on throughout your entire career.

Do I need a degree to become a digital artist?

Qualifications for becoming a digital artist include artistic talent and a bachelor's degree in visual or commercial art or a similar field. While the degree is optional, this is a competitive field, so it's important to bolster both your resume and your portfolio with formal training.

What degree is digital art?

A Digital Arts Major prepares students to work with multiple computerized art mediums like graphic design, photography, animation, and music. If you're interested in studying Digital Arts, here's a complete list of schools that offer this major.

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Digital illustrator education requirements

Comment by Chanell Taliaferro

today I'm going to talk a bit about how I quit my job to become a freelance illustrator hi everyone my name is ash Orlando I'm a freelance illustrator and a small business owner I currently live in Amsterdam with my husband and our dog for quite some time now I've been receiving a lot of messages from you guys mostly on Instagram asking me for some illustration advice and about many different aspects of having your own creative business this is the main reason why I thought having a YouTube channel would be a good idea I remember very well how hard it was at the beginning when I was starting out my freelance illustration career so in my videos I'll be talking not only about illustration but also things like how to get your clients how to price and license your work about contracts how to post your work on social media and make the most out of it how to grow your audience when and where to open your first online store I used almost all the platforms there are so I can tell you which ones I recommend and why so basically I wanted to talk about all the things I wish I knew back then when I was starting out today's video may be helpful if you're in a similar situation now or thinking about quitting your job encore going freelance I know there is already a lot of videos about it but I just wanted to share my own perspective my story is a little bit reversed because I've never really wanted to work freelance to give you a little bit of background I finished my studies with a master's degree in fine arts I always knew I wanted to work as a creative but I choose career as an interior architect interior designer because back then at that time I didn't even think it's even possible to make a living out of illustration I worked in a couple of different interior design studios but in most cases I noticed that the creative process got reduced to recycling old ideas and reusing all concepts constantly I had no creative freedom this is when I decided to start my own interior design studio on the side I was also illustrating back then but mostly for myself I was giving my illustrations away to my friends and family as gifts for them realizing that illustration gives me so much happiness and satisfaction made me wonder if I could possibly make it my profession once I knew I wanted to work as an illustrator I give myself time of one year to give it a try and see how it all works out for me having the clear goal is a base so I wanted to make it a realistic one putting too much pressure on yourself and setting the bar too high with a short deadline can be counterproductive and result demotivating I knew no I wouldn't be making money of my illustration in the beginning so I decided to make use of some things I learned at the University and of something I've always liked doing and I decided to open my own jewelry brand the point of that was to make it my additional income source in order to be able to quit my job also jewelry making is something fun relaxing and I could fully control the hours I put into that so I always get time to work on my portfolio on my own my illustrations when my jewelry started to sell well I could accept less interior architecture clients had more time to work on my portfolio and eventually I was able to contact my potential clients the final but in my opinion the most important ingredient of quitting your job or switching careers was and still is persistence beings are never easy I would even say that there are full of obstacles for example something that I didn't even think about but that cost me a lot was to get used to working alone from home now I'm okay with that but it just took me some time to adjust I think it's very important to have positive people close to you that will support you and encourage you to move forward leaving a job that provides you with a stable income and going freelance can be often scary for some people take advice from the people you trust and add to your project don't let Instagram engagement or any other platform stop you from creating if you know your work is good remember that it's not about likes but creating good work that you feel happy about in my case it was a great decision since I have my own creative business I have a full control of how I manage it I can accept the projects that really interest me everything I work on is fully mine it's my creation so whenever it's appreciated I feel really fulfilled my motivation is much higher now because I want to get better at what I do and I also want to grow my own business as some people say if something is too easy it's probably not worth having I really believe that if you are motivated hardworking and you have a clear goal and plan for yourself you can make it work there will be times that you will think everything is against you and you will doubt yourself but if it's something that you really want and you're passionate about things will start to have thank you so much for watching I hope it was inspiring you can leave me a comment below if you have any question or just to say hi subscribe if you like and see you next time

Thanks for your comment Chanell Taliaferro, have a nice day.
- Yetta Brandis, Staff Member

Comment by Weston

hey everyone dave record here and welcome back to the channel so today i want to talk about something that's pretty important once again that is career options for students or anyone looking to learn art kind of what to do with it you know that is a super scary idea that we all kind of have to figure out at one point and it's something that i never really knew when i was a student and kind of knowing what options were available to me would have helped me a lot and kind of at least put me at ease a little bit i'm trying to figure out where i may want to take the art that i actually do i do want to say this video is sponsored by wacom a brand that i adore and have used for over 17 years i've used both intuos and cintiq and is what i use exclusively with all my art from basically 2003 to today so i'm super happy to be working with them to bring a little bit more information to everybody out there and hopefully you know get everyone's skills a little more leveled up while we're all kind of spending a lot of this time at home and trying to work on our craft especially coming into the new school year so let's hop on over to a little sketch i was working on about a week or two ago i just want to talk about some options that could be available for all of us all right so before we get started i hope everybody likes the new audio quality we finally got the new microphone and mixer hooked up so the audio quality on the channel should be far better than it was before so on the background what we're going to be watching while we have this discussion today is just a sketch i did recently it ended up being a sketch in a painting that i actually didn't really like the outcome of so we kind of scrapped it just kind of didn't go anywhere but i still like kind of seeing this beginning process and i know a lot of other people kind of enjoy that process as well it's how i sometimes formulate ideas you know and sometimes the idea just doesn't work or hits the brick wall and that's okay to just kind of shelve it start over as long as we keep drawing painting generating ideas it is totally fine to kind of you know know when to bail out of a piece and starting something new so the big topic today is a career path for students and students can be anyone from either going to art school or just learning from home you know with tutorials on websites you know these last four or five months have been crazy for everybody and i think one of the best things that we can do is kind of focus in on our skills and learn as much as we can right now especially with a lot of the kind of academic school years starting back up you know how can we really spend this time at home to kind of focus in on our skills progress our painting our art everything how can we get ahead of you know a lot of other people also trying to do work right now and so as far as pass go one of the big things that has changed so much over the last 15 20 years you know i'm kind of starting to date myself at this point but i remember when i first kind of went to school the options for illustrators was a lot of you know you're either going to do editorial illustration or maybe children's book edit illustration all right i don't know maybe you're doing fine art painting there wasn't like a lot laid out on what we could possibly do and a lot of that actually started to change while i was at school and now the options for students or kids getting into art right now is unbelievable to me it feels like the best time ever to get into art to have a career in art and i really hope we can kind of change what so many people think about it you know i think so many think that you know you're going to be an artist and there's not a lot of work in art and i think it is the complete opposite especially these days there are so many options i can only speak on my own experience you know i went to school for illustration i went to wrangling college of art and design i graduated with a bfa in illustration in 2004 and so as an illustrator things really started to kind of open up through that time there was kind of a lot more introduction of concept art within video games in the movie industry you know concept art in the movies you know had been around uh quite uh quite a long time was really kind of this explosion of concept art and you know it's how big that it starts to get you know had opened up and game production had gotten a lot larger and so they needed more concept artists and that kind of thing you know everyone knows kind of what it grew into today so a couple solid things especially that we can do while we're at a home and kind of progressing our work as a lot of people are kind of updating or you know upgrading what hardware they're using at home and there's actually a couple great options especially that wacom is offering right now first off they introduced the wacom 16 which is actually a fantastic option for a really really solid price being able to have kind of a smaller model you know at a cheaper entry point is great so the barrier of entry to get into some of these tablets is so much better than it used to be and for me i love working on the monitor itself i found my kind of detailing improved i felt like that kind of tangible aspect of getting you know you know my face closer to it and my pen on the screen brought me back to feeling like you know when i used to draw on paper or anything like that so i really feel like i could dive into that nitty gritty of the painting so i definitely recommend checking out that option really really fantastic so that's one big thing i want to bring up first career options as far as you know pre-production design within movies and games and that could be like concept bar or illustration and when it comes into concept art and this is you know what i have the most experience with really embodies so many different things of what you could be tackling in a studio you have a lot of different jobs you're reflecting the writers and designers kind of vision to get the entire studio on the same page you are creating you know a palette and a mood for the entire production you're also giving specific assets to the modelers or environment team of what to build you know you could also be tackling some of the marketing illustration that might go on the website to advertise the game some studios find it easier to release concept art and some of that stuff before they actually have assets made to help promote and so you cover so much ground and when it comes for that career path too i think there's different ways you can go and something i tell a lot of students is that really focus in on what you're passionate about and i get questions a lot like do i need props environments and concept work i mean in character work sorry and really you could have them all i think if they're all very strong you could have them all you know but you always have to worry about you know being judged on what is your weakest piece because you want consistency in a portfolio and that's super important so either you know really focus in something like you know characters or if you just want to do env

Thanks Weston your participation is very much appreciated
- Yetta Brandis

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