Is being a fashion designer the only way to work in the fashion industry? What are the other jobs available in this sector? This article talks about one of the lesser-known jobs in the fashion industry, a fashion illustrator.
Who is a fashion illustrator?
A fashion illustrator is an artist who works in the fashion industry. He/ she creates illustrations using traditional methods of sketching and painting and also designs with the aid of computer software.
Fashion illustrators are hired by companies in the fashion advertisement and magazine industries. Some illustrators also work as freelancers.
What is the difference between fashion illustrators and fashion designers?
Fashion illustrators focus on the illustration or sketch of the designs made by the fashion designers. They play with colours and details to get the right mood for an illustration. The sketches they draw will be of pre-designed costumes or items and would be used for presentations, magazines, and advertisements.
On the other hand, fashion designers sketch ideas with the aim of quick communication between their colleagues. A fashion designer’s sketches focus more on the end product, the costume. Hence, the illustrations created by fashion designers usually cover the technical aspects of cloth designing.
How to be a fashion illustrator?
To be an illustrator in the fashion industry, one should have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts or a fashion designing degree that specializes in illustration.
Internships are important for fashion industry aspirants. The case is no different for fashion illustrators. Landing an internship and gaining relevant work experience is a great way to kickstart one’s career as an illustrator.
Where do fashion illustrators work?
Fashion illustrators usually work in the following fields:
- Print Industry- Fashion magazines or even general magazines require the help of fashion illustrators to create unique illustrations to supplement their written content.
Books of particular genres like chick-lit, for example, also make use of the illustrations sketched by the fashion illustrators. These signature sketches done by illustrators are an indispensable component of the so-called chick-lit genre.
- Fashion Industry- The fashion industry holds more opportunities for fashion illustrators than any other industry. An illustrator is a very important part of a brand or a company in the fashion industry. Showcasing one’s work is an integral part of their business. Illustrators are hired to create top-quality illustrations of their designs, products, or items to showcase and hence increase the customer’s appeal.
- Advertising Industry- Fashion illustration isn’t all about clothes. It is also about accessories like bags, clutches, shoes, and cosmetic products like lipsticks and mascaras. Brands focussing on these items hire an illustrator to present their product most uniquely and fashionably.
What are the skills needed to be a successful illustrator?
- Life drawing- It is one of the most basic skills needed by an illustrator. The ability to create human figures in different poses and angles is a primary necessity.
- Computer-Aided Designing- Learning how to draw using CAD programs is important to be a successful illustrator. Drawing using other software like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop is also recommended.
Even though an illustrator can make use of pencils and oil colours to create illustrations, being able to draw digitally has its advantages. Digital drawing is fast and hassle-free. It also gives illustrators the privilege to go an extra mile by giving sound and animation to their illustrations.
- Cloth folds and drapery styles- Since illustrators primarily work in the cloth fashion industry, it is always an advantage to know about the different types of folds and drapery a cloth can have. Visualizing it and sketching it is an integral part of the job.