Illustrators Tips

Read these 12 Illustrators Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Freelance Design tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I optimize my Web illustrations?

Opimizing Your Web Illustrations

If you are an illustrator, you know how crucial Web page illustrations are. Visitors to your Web site will either stay at your site longer and click through other pages of your site because of them, or they will click to another Web site because your illustrations take too long to appear or don't appear properly. The following are ways to optimize your Web page illustrations:

- Use appropriate colors
- Keep your lines thick in your illustration
- Your illustration should download quickly
- Your illustration should attract attention
- Your illustration should complement, not control
- Make your illustrations relevant to the Web page content
- Save your illustrations in the proper file format
- Protect all of your illustrations

   
What type of freelance jobs can I look for to make some extra money?

Freelance Markets For Artists

If you are an illustrator who is still in school, it can be a challenge to know where to look for clients. Unless you sign on with a talent agency or have established connections in the industry—where do you look for jobs? You can't just walk into a company and get hired for one of the high-paying freelance animation jobs—you'll need some experience.

Here are a few simple things that you may want to consider that can help get you started—especially if you don't have a lot of items in your portfolio:

  • Artwork for CD covers. If you are hoping to do a creative project for your portfolio, why not consider designing a CD cover? Although this won't rank high on the pay scale, it can give you a client to add to your roster and another sample of your work as a freelancer.
  • Illustration for a kid's book. Try reaching out to authors who write books for children and see if any of them are looking for an illustrator to work with for their next project.
  • Create imagery for websites. If you are an illustrator that is computer-savvy, why not team up with a web designer to help create imagery for customers.
While it can be hard to find well-paid work at first as an illustrator, you can work on projects that will help pad your portfolio and give you some experience. Many people find that doing things like this while they attend classes in their field helps to prepare them for their career once they finish school.

   
What should a freelance illustrator's home office have?

Illustrators' Home Offices

Setting up a home office is a challenge for many freelance illustrators. That's because it takes more than a laptop and a fax machine to do their job effectively. They also need a drafting table and countless illustration supplies that include paper, pens, pencils and straightedges.

Ideally, a private office inside one's home is the preferred work space for a freelancer. However, if this is not possible, just section off a portion of a larger room in the home. Be sure that a clear separation of household space and work space is apparent.

   
How can freelance illustrators find work?

Illustrators And The Online Portfolio

If you think that there is no such thing as freelance work for artists—think again. Illustrators are still in high demand in the publishing and advertising fields. The problem is that most artists do not have a way to get their work in front of potential clients. Having an online portfolio is one way to accomplish this and showcase your best work.

What do you need to know in order to create an online portfolio? Here are some things to keep in mind if you are thinking about how to position your presence on the web:

  • Always be professional. Remember that this is a work site. Leave out anything that could be construed as "cute" or casual.
  • Provide contact information. Make it convenient for people to contact you. You may also want to add your social media links.
  • Use only your best work. If you aren't sure what your best work is—get a professional opinion from a talent agency or someone in the field.
  • View in several browsers. The way Web browsers display things is not always the same. Make sure your portfolio looks good in all of them.
  • Have a variety. Showcase your range if possible rather than adding a lot of similar material. It will make you more marketable.

   
How can I jump-start my freelance illustration career?

Illustration: Where the Work Is & How to Get It

Freelance illustrator jobs are everywhere. Every drawing you see has an illustrator's hard work behind it.

From diagrams in technical manuals to political cartoons in daily newspapers, there are plenty of jobs for those with artistic talent. It helps to get a foot in the door with companies that need artwork. Therefore, it would be beneficial to find a good agent or placement agency that will assist you as you get started.

   
How important is it to hire a graphic illustrator for my advertisements?

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

If you are serious about successfully promoting your product or service, consider hiring a graphic illustrator to handle your advertisements.

The average consumer spends little time studying advertisements. They will, however, respond instantly to a good graphic. Sometimes it is the visual pull alone that will entice an audience to your product. Don't underestimate the power of pictures!

   
How can I protect my online illustration portfolio?

Keeping Your Online Portfolio Safe

An Online portfolio of your work is an excellent idea and is becoming standard practice. However, in order to protect your work, take these precautions:

• Copyright all material and post the copyright notice on each piece.
• Keep resolution of your illustrations high enough to look good onscreen.
• Keep resolution low enough so illustrations cannot be reproduced in print-outs.
• Make sure your name is visible on each piece.
• Include contact information should anyone want a reproduction of your work.

   
How can I get regular work as a freelance illustrator?

Getting Work as a Freelance Illustrator

As a freelance illustrator, you have the potential to make a lot of money. However, it is a struggle to secure regular work. A great way for an illustrator to decrease the pressure of finding the next job is by working with a placement agency.

House your resume and portfolio with a placement agency that will spend time searching for jobs that suit you. That way, you can spend more time developing your craft and making yourself a better hire.

   
How can I optimize my Web illustrations?

Opimizing Your Web Illustrations

If you are an illustrator, you know how crucial Web page illustrations are. Visitors to your Web site will either stay at your site longer and click through other pages of your site because of them, or they will click to another Web site because your illustrations take too long to appear or don't appear properly. The following are ways to optimize your Web page illustrations:

- Use appropriate colors
- Keep your lines thick in your illustration
- Your illustration should download quickly
- Your illustration should attract attention
- Your illustration should complement, not control
- Make your illustrations relevant to the Web page content
- Save your illustrations in the proper file format
- Protect all of your illustrations

   
Are there artists who specialize in scientific drawings?

The Science of Illustration

Medical and scientific illustrators combine artistic skills with knowledge of the biological sciences. Medical illustrators draw illustrations of human anatomy and surgical procedures while scientific illustrators draw illustrations of animals and plants.

Medical and scientific illustrations are used in medical and scientific publications and in audiovisual presentations for teaching purposes. Medical illustrators also work for lawyers, producing exhibits for court cases and doctors.

   
Will I need a storyboard artist for my commercial ad?

Making a Commercial? Hire a Storyboard Illustrator

Some illustrators specialize in drawing storyboards for television commercials, movies and animated features. Storyboards present television commercials in a series of scenes.

Often storyboards look similar to a comic strip. This allows an advertising agency to easily evaluate proposed commercials with the company that has created the ad. Storyboards also serve as guides for placement of actors, cameras and other details during commercial production.

   
How can I optimize my Web illustrations?

Opimizing Your Web Illustrations

If you are an illustrator, you know how crucial Web page illustrations are. Visitors to your Web site will either stay at your site longer and click through other pages of your site because of them, or they will click to another Web site because your illustrations take too long to appear or don't appear properly. The following are ways to optimize your Web page illustrations:

- Use appropriate colors
- Keep your lines thick in your illustration
- Your illustration should download quickly
- Your illustration should attract attention
- Your illustration should complement, not control
- Make your illustrations relevant to the Web page content
- Save your illustrations in the proper file format
- Protect all of your illustrations

   
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Sheri Ann Richerson