Drawing/Calligraphy/Cartooning/Illustration career



Is it harder to earn a living as an illustrator than in the past? Can you explain your answer?

Thank you.



Hi Tom,

Being an illustrator has never been the easiest profession to make a living at. Today with desktop publishing some illustrators are finding there is less demand for custom work. The field has always had of competition and job insecurity. Most illustrators are self employed, so there isn't ever a certainty of employment. Some jobs can be very well paid, particularly if your work can be applied to advertising. You can have a very good run of work and be very much in demand for a period of years, but the market is fickle and styles can also go out of fashion. You always need to be prepared for a "dry" time, when there aren't many (if any) assignments. For this reason, many illustrators have other jobs or skills retailed to illustration such as graphic design.

Also, there really isn't a standard for how an illustrator gets paid. It depends the client's budget, and how much they want a particular illustrator to do the job. The amount you can earn is also determined by your style.

I hope I've been a help.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Please don't ask me about identifying artists of art you might own, or about appraising art you own! You need to have an art appraiser look at your art. I've worked professionally as an illustrator for over 25 years. I've illustrated numerous children's books, classroom games, textbook/workbooks, posters and educational materials. I've also designed extensively for silk screen production. My designs have been printed primarily for the children's retail market, in stores as diverse as Bloomingdales to Montgomery Ward. Publications my work has appeared in such noteworthy publications as Highlights for Children, Scholastic Magazine, and the New York Times. Publishers I have worked with include McGraw Hill, North Atlantic Books, Hachai Publishing and MacMillan UK to name a few


I'd be happy to answer questions regarding illustration, technique, materials, offer tips or questions about art in general.I will not answer questions about art appraisal. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.

BFA in Illustration

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.