Thursday, December 6, 2012

FIELDS OF ILLUSTRATION -by Eliza Wheeler


It’s no secret that working in illustration can be tough and competitive, and making a living doing it takes a lot of hard work and patience. Illustrators with the goal of quitting their day job may have work that fits well in other fields of illustration – and many must venture into multiple fields to pay the bills. For example, did you know that making a living solely off of picture book illustration is very rare unless you’re a top-selling award-winning illustrator? I didn’t know that when I started. So until we get there, consider incomes from other fields that employ illustrators.

Here’s a general list of some other markets for illustrators:

Advertising Illustration – includes art for print ads in magazines, brochures, displays, outdoor ads, and animated TV commercials

Editorial Illustration – art for magazines and newspapers

Animation/Film Storyboards – art for animatics, storyboards, TV programming, animated films (includes concept art, character design, visual development, background art and more)

Trade Book Illustration - book covers, black and white interior art in novels (for chapter books, MG, YA and adult books), picture book art

Educational Illustration – art for books, products and materials used in the classroom

Licensing Illustration – art for retail products; greeting cards, packaging, gift items, textiles, apparel, toys, games, housewares, etc.

Fashion Illustration – drawings of clothing and accessories for fashion designers, magazines, retailers and advertisers

Medical/Scientific/Architectural/Technical Illustration – drawings for these markets used by companies or institutions for training and education, books, advertising, research, exhibits, museums, project guides, manuals, presentations, etc.

Cartooning/Comics – art for cartoons used in magazines, newspapers, comic books, licensing and merchandising, and online

Digital Media – art used for Web content; online games, apps, advertising, etc.

Gallery Work – original illustrations and prints produced to display and sell in galleries or online

Teaching- educating future illustrators in schools, universities, conferences, workshops and online

Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines, 13th editionKeep in mind that each field requires its own expertise (both in a creative and business sense), a complete and cohesive body of work, and often-times education specific to that trade. And of course, each requires a lot of time and commitment to pursue, learn, and master each trade. 

 To learn more, a great resource for artists and designers is the Graphic Artists Guild HANDBOOK: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. This guide is chalk full of useful information about creative fields, pricing, contracts, rights, etc. 


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Eliza Wheeler illustrates and writes for picture books and middle grade novels. See her work at www.wheelerstudio.com.

4 comments:

  1. Very, very helpful post, Eliza. Thank you!

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  2. Excellent post, Eliza. And CONGRATS on receiving the F&G's for MISS MAPLE'S SEEDS!!!! They look fantastic!!! (to others who haven't seen the photos yet: http://wheelerstudio.com/2012/11/29/miss-maples-seeds-fgs/). Can't wait to buy a copy next April!!

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  3. Congrats on winning...challenges always pay for your creativity...

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  4. Nice information that inspire me a lot..
    Plastic card, as plastic is much more durable and long lasting...

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