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A Step by Step Career Guide to become a Freelance Fashion Illustrator

how to become freelance fashion illustrator

Who are a Freelance Fashion Illustrator and general know-how of the same?

Fashion illustration is sometimes used as a substitute name for fashion sketching as they involve the same description. It is the communication of ideas relating to fashion by one person to another which comprises of illustration, drawing, and painting in a pictorial form.

Fashion illustration is the process of brainstorming of fashion ideas and giving it the life through sketching or by using software like Adobe Photoshop, and Illustrator.

This provides the fashion designer to put their thoughts on to a paper and share it with their team members.

It will also ensure the minimum wastage of cloth as the whole team first confirms the design and then only the manufacturing process gets the green light.

Fashion illustrators is not a new profession but date back to many centuries.

In a medieval period as well, there was the demand for a visual description of the design of clothes for monarchs as high-class individuals. But the last century saw a depletion in need for fashion illustration because of modern technology and availability of photographs per se.

The entire procedure of fashion illustration is quite straightforward and kick starts with the thinking of the picture in mind. Then it is rendered in a notebook, i.e., a rough sketch of the design which will act as a base for further development of the same.

Colors, patterns, textures, and details are added to the sketch to provide it with a complete soul.

Many fashion illustrators have now started to opt for this profession as a freelancer, i.e., they do not work under some employer on a long-term basis but as per their own wishes and fancies.

Freelancing is a great way to start to get the hang of the profession and to know what all talents it requires a person to have in himself/herself.


How to become a freelance fashion illustrator?

  1. Educational Qualification

 Firstly, an individual needs to obtain a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution in the field of fashion illustration.

It will give the personal insights into the subjects like computer skills, artistic faculties, imagination, and focusing on details.

Along with the theoretical aspect of the course, the student needs to do an internship as a fashion illustrator which will provide them with the necessary practical experience. The course will make the student capable of working as a freelance fashion illustrator.

  1. Skill sets

 A fashion illustrator is expected to have an innovative mind which can think of new design elements along with the ability to work out that particular vision.

He/she should also be an excellent orator as communication of the ideas plays an intricate role in this profession. The profession can yield a median salary of approximately 3 Lakh to 10 Lakh INR annually.

  1. Curriculum Vitae or portfolio

 Even if you are eyeing for a temporary job as a fashion illustrator, a consistent and broad portfolio will aid you to land a respectable job with high remuneration and prestige.

The prospective employers are more interested in your work experience rather than your grades per se. The students must aim at gaining as much experience as a fashion illustrator through internships and apprenticeship.

This will ensure that the students will land a decent entry-level job with a known employer or a company.

  1. Fashion Background

 It will help a person in becoming successful as a fashion illustrator, if he/she has been into fashion designing in some way or other from the early days or has a parent in the same field.

This will make the student comfortable in the particular environment from the very beginning and will also sharpen his/her skills.

Drawing is another skill a person is expected to excel at, to become a fashion illustrator as their life revolves around brainstorming and designing.

  1. Contacts and social world

 It is a known fact that the contacts act as a source of going big in any profession.

That is why extroverts are the preferred choice of employers in this competitive world. Also, it will help in improving your reach in the fashion industry which will gain you more yields in the long term. Also, online presence is a very crucial element which needs to spend time on.

You will be able to reach the masses, and your talents will be appreciated as well.

Instagram is one such social site which can boost your career to another level altogether. Posting of designs on your page and active presence will increase your followers which will ultimately benefit your career as a freelance fashion illustrator.

  1. Instability as a freelancer

Freelancing in any field can be daunting for most of us as it ensures unstable paydays. Before jumping in the career of freelance fashion illustrator, one has to realize that it comes with its own low points, i.e., not consistent work and money.

A career as a freelancer requires constant efforts, and it’s not a smooth ride at all. One has to be always on their toes to keep their shop running. But instability also denotes high remuneration periods, though it may be for very long.

So, the realization of the rough road of a freelancer is the crucial part needed to understand.

  1. Run your own race and don’t follow the herd

 The main point to be noted is that people who have the guts to stand on their own away from the crowd are the ones who possess the ability to achieve something in their lives. And the cowards following the rest will never be able to stand out.

A unique and inventive design is the backbone of the fashion industry, and that’s the way to go about it.

Customers will only come to your shop when you have something different to offer them. Otherwise, they will pick and choose any one of the herd.

Therefore, these are the steps one needs to follow to kick-start their journey in the fashion industry.