• Team DesignerShala

Career as a Fashion Illustrator

Updated: 7 days ago

Fashion is no more just about the clothes you wear and the shows that churns out new trends every season. In today’s world, fashion has been revolutionised into styling, the art of carrying yourself and even just something as simple yet impactful as reinventing your entire persona.

Now, a fashion illustrator is a person who can visualize and communicate ideas related to fashion through a series of sketches or paintings. As a fashion illustrator, you get to make the next big fashion trend your baby and give life to it!

Generally working alongside the digital media and fashion industry, fashion illustrators develop skills like fashion figure drawing, fashion illustration sketches, painting and digital skills in order to showcase their fashion talents through advertising, social media or print media. With the sudden boost of fashion and lifestyle related industries in the 21st century, this job profile is currently in high demand and will be for a long time.

Being a fashion illustrator means you can either start your own entrepreneurial journey by creating a fashion media house that works on designs and curates them, or even work individually with creative companies to produce content. Along with having knowledge about fashion and the latest trends, a fashion illustrator comes with a unique skill set. Being creative, resourceful, observational, and detail-oriented are some of the skills that do very well in the fashion industry. If you plan to start your own business when it comes to fashion illustration, it would be helpful to get a certification in business management as well.

A fashion illustration collection with designer clothing sketched on paper
Fashion Illustrations are the visual language of fashion.

Image Source: https://miro.medium.com/max/2400/0*NiEegp6FHbSHa8ZY.jpg

Do you think you have what it takes?

To be a fashion illustrator, you need to have the basic educational qualifications and a creative driven mind. As far as the basic qualifications go, here are the following -

- Class 12th Pass certificate from a recognized board of education like ICSE, CBSE etc.

- A diploma or bachelor’s degree in fashion design/fashion illustration/graphic design or a similar certification.

- Candidates that have a degree or certification in software tools/computer tools that assist with fashion illustration will have an added advantage

The basic qualifications needed to become a fashion illustration is simply the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more that will be required from a candidate to gain success in this field. Despite garnering a tremendous amount of popularity in the last few years, this field certainly requires a lot of work. Do you crave to work with fashion designers to create eye-catching content? Do you think you have what it takes to become the next thing in fashion? Having an incredible eye for fashion, and a strong background in art, graphic design or illustration will work wonders for this field. Not just that, you need to channel your inner creativity and set your talent into action!

What does a fashion illustrator do?

The fashion industry has left a remarkable impact on the world today and it would be nowhere without fashion illustrators. You get to create trends and share your ideas into the world! The job of a fashion illustrator is divided into two main roles, one being sketching out a fashion piece using pencils, charcoals, paper etc and the second one being replicating that image with the help of computer software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop or CAD. Basically you will be required to spend most of your time sketching out the latest fashion apparels, jewellery, accessories and footwear with the help of your sketching books or computer software. If you are passionate about everything fashion, this job will surely excite you and keep you hooked! This job not only utilizes your fashion knowledge, but also your graphic designing skills. Along with these qualifications, you require a high level of accuracy, attention to detail and colour interpretation. You will be working alongside designers, artists or customers so make sure you are a team player!

Experience in this field can be gained through internships or working as a part of apprenticeship programs to upskill and add the relevant experience to your portfolio. If you are planning to fly solo or start your own venture, a certification or a course in business management can also help you in the long run. As a fashion illustrator, you will be required to have basic knowledge about photography and animation to organize or edit the work of your colleagues.

Fashion illustration with pantone colour swatches
The blue print of a design is in the sketch

Image Source: https://images.ctfassets.net/3s5io6mnxfqz/7o4x6upgKfGYT9yr48Aw0A/f63c90994592d5bbaaf54d0f8413caee/AdobeStock_141357909.jpeg

How to become a Fashion Illustrator?

To become an extraordinary fashion illustrator, you need to create eye-catching design, visualize concepts and work with illustrators. But to be all of that, you need to start at the very bottom. So here’s a step by step method to become a fashion illustrator-

1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree

Any aspiring candidate who wishes to enter the fashion illustration field must hold a bachelor’s or associate degree from one of the design fields. It could be graphic design, fashion design, or illustration. Additionally, you could opt to get certified or take online courses typography, anatomical drawing, digital illustration or web design. Despite being accessory certifications or learning tools, these courses will surely give you an upper hand while scoring internships or jobs. Once you are qualified and you’ve graduated, you can work with a variety of companies and execute plenty of professional skills.

2. Create a Fashion Designing Portfolio

If you wish to work with well-known fashion houses, designers, artists and clients, you need to set-up your professional Fashion Designing Portfolio. Your professional journey into fashion illustration will begin once you have created your portfolio that displays your skills through visual representation. Once you graduate, you get the opportunity to build your portfolio through internships or apprenticeship programs. A well-made portfolio will be the first step towards starting your career in fashion illustration.

3. Work experience

Once you create a fashion designing portfolio, you need to enter the professional set-up to secure a job in fashion illustration. To gain experience, you must put yourself in professional situations with experts from the industry and learn skills to garner individual recognition and experience. Some of the tasks expected out of you in a professional set-up will be to come up with sketches or drawings with the help of CAD (computer-aided designs), research on latest fashion trends and coordinating with various teams on design layouts. The projects you work on will help you achieve visibility and get the experience you need to go further into the world of fashion illustration. An impactful portfolio along with remarkable work and experience for a major fashion house can surely help you climb the ladder to success in this field.

So, what is the takeaway?

Following your heart and becoming a fashion illustrator in today’s world can be a very rewarding experience. With the type of exposure that the 21st century offers to fashion aspirants, you will be able to polish your skills and work with some of the very powerful names in the business. If you’re still unsure whether this profession is for you, speak to your peers or mentors to guide you in the right direction. Meanwhile, you could also opt for small courses or certifications to understand your passion towards the profession a bit better. As a fashion illustrator, you will have the power to change the way the world views apparel, footwear, jewellery or simply anything related to fashion. You could create new trends, work with brands that are ballers in the current industry and make a name for yourself. With this field, it is very easy to turn your passion into a paycheck!

Wondering where you can get started, whether you’re looking to explore the field or simply wish to begin first? Here is your cue - Click Here to enroll for a Fashion Illustration master class and learn all of the above and much more!

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