How to Become a Teenage Illustrator

What Does a Teenage Illustrators do?

An illustrator creates the images that will be published in different forms of written media, such as books, comic book, magazines, etc. In order to do this, you’ll use a variety of programs and drawing techniques. You could use a drawing software to create the images that will be published. Basically, you’ll be creating the visuals in a book or another type of a printed story. As an illustrator, you’ll spend the majority of your time drawing. So, it’s helpful to be able to draw well or have some form of education in art. If you’re drawings are not so pleasing to the eye, your publisher may not like it and will not pay you. But if you’re good at drawing, you’ll have a lot of success in this field and you can find independent work or get promoted easily.

How Much Does a Teenage Illustrator Get Paid?

As an illustrator just getting started, you can expect to earn somewhere around $43,800 each year. The biggest issue with this type of work is that you’ll have difficulty finding a job. There are more illustrators than there are jobs available, meaning you will have to compete for a position. This being said, it cannot be emphasized enough that you must be skilled at drawing. If you aren’t, you won’t be doing something you love, and you’ll have even more difficulty finding a job. Even if you are good at drawing, you still might face difficulty but once you are established, it’s a great career path for those that are artistic.

How Can I Get Started as a Teenage Illustrator?

  1. Before you begin, you’ll want to get the necessary education required to become an illustrator. You can do this by taking a course at your school in visual arts or illustration or alternatively, you can go on sites like Lynda.com for online courses. You could take this Graphic Design course to get a gentle introduction for using computer software for drawing. You should search "Introduction to Graphic Design by Justin Seeley" to get it.  You may also want to check out this course that explains how to use Adobe Illustrator or you should search "Illustrator CC Essential Training by Tony Harmer". Regardless, you definitely want a certification or a great work portfolio, so people can see what they are really going to get when they hire you. Your chances of getting hired will be drastically improved if you add a certification or a robust portfolio.
  2. Now that you’ve gotten education, you’ll want to create a professional portfolio. A portfolio is somewhere where you can show off previous projects. This lets your employer know what kind of art they will be getting when they hire you, and it’s a great chance to show off your artistic skills. You can put some artworks that you are most proud of here, or even previous experience drawing. A good resource to creating a successful portfolio for art and design can be found here: Create an Awesome Design Portfolio With These 20 Pro Tips.
  3. Once you’ve made a good portfolio, you can now look for a job. The best way to do this for illustrators is on sites like Upwork. Upwork is a site where employers are connected with freelancers. You can apply to multiple jobs and employers can hire you. Fill out your profile with your best work and experience and you can apply to a job. When applying, talk about your artistic abilities in the cover letter and attach your portfolio that you’ve made to show your expertise. When starting with a new profile on Upwork, don’t be afraid to quickly hand draw sketches for potential job candidates as most illustrators won’t do this.
  4. Congrats, you’re officially a teenage illustrator. It probably took you some time to find work, but it will be smooth sailing from now on as long as you keep your clients happy. Your strategy moving forward should be to continue building up your portfolio of projects and continue to raise your rate as you get new clients. Successful illustrators will go a long way, and it is a very lucrative business. Stick with it, and you’ll have a great career.

REQUIRED RESOURCES

  • Lynda.com: This platform will teach you the skills you need to become a teenage illustrator.

    Course: 
    Search for the course "Introduction to Graphic Design by Justin Seeley"
    Search "Illustrator CC Essential Training by Tony Harmer" and choose the most recent course.
  • Adobe Illustrator:  This is a program specifically designed to create computer illustrations.
  • Adobe Photoshop:  This is another program you can use to create illustrations.
  • 20 Tips For an Awesome Design Portfolio:  This is an article that'll help you better understand how to make a good design portfolio.
  • Upwork.com: This will help you find new work when you're trained as a teenage illustrator.