Technical illustrations are in great demand. They can be used in a variety of fields and organizations. Companies that produce all types of mechanical devices might want to hire technical illustrators. Engineering colleges that publish textbooks might also hire them.
Fashion illustration is an exciting career path for anybody with a strong background in illustration. However, it is also highly competitive. You will need to have exceptional graphic design skills to excel in this field. Unfortunately, your talent as an illustrator probably won’t be enough on its own. You will also need to know how to network effectively and build connections. This might require moving to a major metropolitan area where many of the most prominent fashion designers tend to congregate. Despite the competitiveness, the salary for fashion illustrators is not especially high. You can expect to earn roughly $50,000 a year on average.
Medical illustrators are in incredibly high demand. This is one of the most lucrative specialties that illustrators can pursue. One of the reasons that medical illustrators are in so much demand relative to their colleagues is due to their level of education. Most medical illustrators have at least an undergraduate degree in biology, anatomy, medical science or a related field. However, medical illustrators don’t have much of a creative license. They have to make sure that their illustrations accurately depict the anatomical features that they are drawing, which can hinder the creative spirit that many illustrators would like to express.
Scientific illustration is another field for people with skills in both the fine arts and science. They tend to have an education in a field of science, such as botany, zoology, physics or oceanography. People that have earned a bachelors degree in a scientific field that might have trouble securing a traditional job in the sciences might want to consider an illustration position. Scientific illustrators might have more freedom to express their creative perspective than medical illustrators. Medical illustrators usually have to create images of anatomical features without any additional context. Illustrators specializing in other scientific fields, such as zoology and oceanography, can often create images that are supported by extraneous details. However, they still don’t have as much leeway as those focusing on children’s book illustration or other specialty. There are a number of different subspecialties for scientific illustrators. Botanical illustrations are needed by universities and academic publishers. Botanists with a talent for sketching can consider this career option.
Children’s book illustration is the classic career path for people interested in a career in illustration. The passion for this career is often instilled at a very young age, when children are looking at the graphics in their favorite books. Unfortunately, a career in children’s book illustration doesn’t tend to be very lucrative. These illustrators are usually creating images for books that will have limited circulation, unless the book tends to be highly popular. However, illustrators that earn royalties on best-selling children’s books can earn handsome livings.
Forensic illustration is another interesting career path for people with a background in the graphic arts. At first glance, it might seem like an interesting career option for people that enjoyed watching crime dramas like CSI and SVU. However, some people might underestimate the toll that creating highly graphic imagery will have on them. Fortunately, most forensic illustrations are not incredibly graphic, so most people should be able to stomach this career path. They may find it is rewarding, since they can play a role in bringing perpetrators to justice.
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