How to Become an Editorial Illustrator


Editorial Illustrator Job Description

Editorial Illustrators create images that accompany articles or opinion pieces in publications such as; newspapers, journals and magazines. Editorial illustrators must be skilled at both manual illustration techniques as well as those involving the use of various computer software applications.



Typical Job Duties

• Communicate ideas by creating 2-dimensional pictures either digitally or by hand

• Create abstract or realistic images using colour, shading and perspective

• Use graphic software to create images

• Use traditional drawing methods and materials to create images

• Work with employers or clients to organize project

• May collaborate with other artists



Career Options for Editorial Illustrators

Some editorial illustrators have jobs with publishers, although many are work as freelancers. Those who are self-employed must develop and maintain a strong reputation in order to secure a steady flow of work.


If you wish to become self-employed as an editorial illustrator, it may be a good idea to maintain a steady job while you develop your client base; this will ensure your financial bases are covered, and will take the pressure off rather than panicking and struggling to develop a steady client base in a short amount of time. It will take some patience and marketing ability to get your business built, so be patient and work hard.


If you wish to land a job with a publishing company, such as those that produce newspapers and magazines, then it is recommended you make a list of such companies in your area or in other areas if you are willing to relocate. Once you have created this list, contact these organizations directly and express your interest in obtaining employment with them, or an internship if available. Be sure to maintain and update with your portfolio, and submit it to potential employers and clients on a regular basis. Utilize your best work, and a variety of different pieces in order to showcase your versatility.


Ensure that you are keeping track of who you spoke with and when. They may not hire you right away, but that sort of initiative can pay dividends down the road when they do hire.



Scholarships for Becoming an Editorial Illustrator

The Applicable Majors section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as an Editorial Illustrator. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on our Fine Arts Scholarships and Graphic Design Scholarships pages.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for becoming an Editorial Illustrator. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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