Freelance Illustrator - Careers Advisory Service

Freelance Illustrator - Careers Advisory Service

Careers Advisory Service

Illustration: In addition to


Laura Brammar

Employability and Careers Consultant

What we’re going to do

Careers Advisory Service

• What have previous graduates from this course gone

on to do?

• What other jobs do illustrators do whilst/instead of


• Where to find illustration jobs

• What else you can do to promote your work

• Common graduate level jobs

• Further study, self-employment, travel, no idea!

• Ways we can help you

Quick Questions

• How many of you are planning on freelancing?

• How many of you are planning on doing

something else?

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• How many of you haven’t got a clue?

Careers Advisory Service

2011 DHLE Headlines for BA Illustration

• 83.1% response rate

• 67.3% of the respondents were employed

• 63.6% of the graduates in employment were in a graduate level job

• 36.4% of the graduates in work were working as Freelance


• 12.2% of the respondents had gone onto further study- many of

whom were studying for various MA’s at UCF

• 8.2% of the respondents were travelling

• 2 refusals

• 4.1% of the respondents were unemployed however 50% of these

were due to start a job within the next month

Destination of Leavers of Higher Education Survey DLHE 2011

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DLHE Data BA Illustration 2011

Careers Advisory Service

Examples of Illustration roles – 2011 Grads

Freelance Illustrator, Self Employed, Salisbury,

London, Peterborough, Bristol, E Sussex

Freelance Illustrator, Dynamo Ltd, Exeter

• Junior Illustrator, Cartils, London

Illustrator & Editor, Self Employed, York

• Writer & Illustrator, Self Employed, N. Ireland

• Author & Illustrator, Self Employed, Falmouth

• Further Study: MA Authorial Illustration, UCF

Examples of Non-Illustration roles – 2011 Grads

• Art Technician, Self Employed

• Bookseller, Stroud Bookshop

• Design and Marketing Assistant, Fast Signs

• Project Manager, Tank Magazine

• Visual Merchandiser, Debenhams

• Creative Graphic Designer, Keramihof

• Waitress, Little Angels Pub

• Designer, Aztec Hotel and Spa

• Nanny, Childcare UK

• Sales Assistant, That’s Entertainment

• Volunteer, Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust

• Travel

• Further Study: MA Creative Advertising, UCF

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Graduate Destinations 2010

Freelance Illustrator – Bristol / Devon / Isle of Lewis / Wales

• Junior Graphic Designer – James Ellis Stevens Ltd

• Artist in Residence – Greentree Gallery, Haywards Heath

• Brand Activation Executive – Maxxium Uk Ltd, Stirling

• Graphic Designer – Seasalt, Falmouth

• Junior Account Executive – Fuller Creative, Brighton

• Computer Games Artist Sega Games – Creative Assembly

• Youth Worker – Devon County Council Exeter

• Self-Employed Masseuse – Exeter

• Wardrobe Assistant – History in the Making Ltd, Hampshire

• Waitress – 3 Wishes Cafe, Sherbourne

• Student Mentor – UCCF (Christian Unions, Leicester)

• Studying: MA Illustration, Life Drawing

Careers Advisory Service

Work as an Illustrator…some facts

• Majority of illustrators are freelance

• Jobs available in most areas but proximity to a city can be

advantageous, particularly if without an agent

• Agent can take up to 40% commission

• Earnings during the first year can be sporadic while contacts build


• Business skills are as important as creative skills.

Careers Advisory Service

• Short self-employment courses can be useful for understanding all

aspects of business and marketing

Where do you want to be?

Careers Advisory Service

• As an illustrator, how do you want your work

to be used? Which multiples of these?

– Advertising & Marketing

– Design & Packaging

– Magazines & Editorial

– Educational, children’s books, publishing

– Internet

– Greeting Cards

Careers Advisory Service

Specialist recruitment sites

• - great to show case your work for

freelance jobs too

• – marketing, advertising, design

• Recruitment Agencies

Choose Illustration

Agency supporting illustrators and photographers

• SGA Illustration

Established children's illustration agency that represents a range of

artists. Submission details are on the website.

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Sample Vacancy for Junior Artworker

• Junior Artworker

• Company: Vitamin T Location Central

London Ongoing

• The chosen candidate must have great Illustration skills

with some flash animation or flash programming


• £95 to £100 per day dependant on level of experience.

• This could be a good opportunity for a fresh graduate

to great some good experience.

• Required Skills in illustrator and Photoshop.

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Sample Creative Designer Vacancy

• Creative Designer for The Silver Crane Company

• Dorset Rate Undisclosed

• Silver Crane specialise in developing exciting, innovative new tin packaging for biscuits and

confectionery - from cute snowman tins to beautiful, upscale products.

• We are looking for a new creative designer to join our growing, world class art team. The role will

involve brainstorming new product concepts, creating flat and 3D visuals, mock-ups, and finished


• Computer skills are a big part of the role, and the candidate should ideally have an expertise in

photoshop and / or illustrator.

• A background in illustration would be a bonus. The candidate should be very creative, passionate

and enthusiastic, and able to fit into a team.

• They should also be able to arrange their own transport and please note our location on the South

Coast, about 15 minutes from Bournemouth.

• PLEASE MAKE SURE you email job applications together with examples of your work, otherwise we

will not be able to evaluate your application.

Example mid-weight Designer with


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• Mid-weight Designer with illustration

• Design Studio People Location Central London

• Rate £25,000 to 30,000 p/a

• Employee engagement company based in SW London is looking for a midweight

designer with strong illustration skills.

• You will be working in a small studio on internal communication

programmes for major blue chip clients. Working under the Creative

Director you will be involved in both print and digital projects. In addition

to a varied folio of work you will need to demonstrate the ability to

produce improvised freehand illustrations. These illustrations will be

produced and used at live events. Exciting varied role for a designer keen

to utilise their illustration skills.

• Please send folio including ILLUSTRATION SAMPLES.

Example of Digital Designer

• Digital Designer

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• Company Futureheads Location Central London Contract perm Rate £25,000 to

• Small boutique integrated agency who are looking for a new designer to sink their

teeth into a huge variety of integrated projects.

• The right person will have had a few commercial design jobs but a passion for

design that extends beyond it being 'just a job'.

• They want to see a strong variety of digital, graphic design, illustration, and

branding work in a portfolio (some of this can be personal work).

• A typical project for you will involve pitching in your ideas in the initial

brainstorming session with then defining design routes, presenting them,

executing them, and then working closely with their in-house developers

• Software wise you will be brilliant with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

Knowledge and skills with Flash, HTML and CSS will also be advantageous.

Example of In house 2D Illustrator

• Technical 2D Illustrator - Wiltshire

A globally successful retailer is currently looking for a Technical 2D Illustrator

Will involve developing and generating line and tone illustrations to support the graphic communication of all global marketing


Working closely with the lead creative and Art Director, key responsibilities of the role will include...

- Taking briefs from a specific area of the business and developing on brand solutions.

- Contributing creative ideas to projects from initial concept through to final output

- Producing high-quality and accurate illustration to the specification and timescales given

- Developing a skill base and technical knowledge of software

- Supporting the Image team in delivering work for a broad range of items

- Maintaining a consistently high working style within brand guidelines

- Taking and using the creative/art direction of the route chosen in an effective manner

Are you technically able, forward thinking, innovative and hungry to progress ? Is your Portfolio sparkling ???

Careers Advisory Service

The ideal candidate will have a strong passion for varied illustration styles and a strong desire to broaden their visual language. They will

have excellent knowledge using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop; a basic knowledge of photography lighting and a good knowledge of

colour theory and print production.

Insights from other Illustrators

• ‘My best project was designing an educational interactive tutorial for

the UCA (University for the Creative Arts)’.

My web design company was asked to design a tutorial that students

with language problems could use to help them with referencing, It

allowed me to apply my designs skills to multiple areas as I was

involved in all aspects of the applications design; from the logo to the

user interface as well as also providing accompanying illustrations.

• Jodie Cox


Careers Advisory Service

Insights from other Illustrators

• ‘Join the Association of Illustrators. If you need advice on pricing

commissions, contracts, copyright, promotion, etc, it really pays to get

help from the experts. They're also constantly campaigning to protect all

illustrators' rights, and as the only body to represent illustrators and

campaign for their rights in the UK, the AOI has successfully increased the

standing of illustration as a profession’.

• Rod Hunt


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Insights from other Illustrators

• ‘The majority of my work is for editorial clients with a monthly column for BBC

wildlife magazine, with some work for ad' agencies thrown in here and there. I am

also getting increasing involved in illustration for products such as clothing and

ceramics’. Shelly Perkins

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Careers Advisory Service

Advice from a UCF alumnus

• 4 pieces of advice for a career in illustration

• Get a great, cohesive portfolio and send it to everyone.

• Contextualise everything in your portfolio – don’t leave its purpose to the potential

client’s imagination.

• Talk to agencies about what they'd like to see, even if they're not necessarily going to

recruit you.

• Don't do any work for free under the promise of exposure.

Mark Boardman, D&AD New Blood Best Student Illustrator Award and was highlighted

in the industry’s Creative Review magazine


To Agent or not to Agent

Careers Advisory Service

• Up to you – think Literary Agents (they can take on illustrators too)

take about 15-20‰ for a book contract. Illustrator’s agents take

about 30-40‰ and for this they usually have their own website,

they field calls, organize fees, will present your portfolio to clients,

invoice clients, advertise (though I think you pay a ‰ of this too)

and promote your work, give advice and feedback and basically

look after the business side for you.

• It’s not imperative to have an agent, but if you’re not business

minded or would rather not deal with that side at all, then it

would be well worth you trying.

• Advice from Clare Mackie, Illustrator

Examples of Agents

Careers Advisory Service

• Central Illustration -

Send 5-6 low res images of your work and then portfolio meeting arranged if like

your work

• Folio -

Folio Illustration Agency

Welcome illustration submissions send a few low-resolution images with a link to

your website, if you have one.

• NB Illustration

Always looking for new talent, submissions are always welcome. Please send printed

samples (no originals, please) along with a stamped-addressed envelope

Agents for Illustration – children’s

The Organisation

Based in London

One the world's leading agencies representing illustrators working for the entire field of children's

related media.

Good Illustration

Based in London

Has 32 years experience in the illustration industry

For a list of more agents see

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What else could you do? - Products

Careers Advisory Service

• Dalai Lama Angel

• By Maria


• Featured on CIA


Careers Advisory Service

What else could you do? - Blogs

• I started my blog when I was 16, and I'm quite proud that it

is same blog that I'm writing today. I had always loved

drawing, but for the first time outsiders could see my work

and comment on it. The positive feedback encouraged me,

and I continued to produce work and share it online.

• I would say if you're thinking about setting up a blog for

your artwork, do it. It's a wonderful way to get yourself out

there. Find a blogging platform that suits you and try to

update regularly (once a week is an adequate timescale to

aim for at first).

• Advice from Emma Block, Illustrator,

What else could you do? - Twitter

• I also got thoroughly emerged in

the wonderful world of Twitter.

Someone I followed on Twitter

followed someone who worked

for Time Out. Through reading a

re-tweet, I got in contact with

them and ended up doing some

work for the magazine.

• Social media is a wonderful thing,

and I know many illustrators who

get most of their work through


• Advice from Emma Block,


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What else could you do? –

Shared Spaces


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• operates as a showcase for artists working across

illustration, character design & lowbrow art. We

provide a platform for new and emerging talent

to showcase work alongside established artists

offering a unique opportunity for artists to

develop professional careers through selfpromotion

and networking.

Useful Vacancy Sources

• Job search - For animation jobs

• Jobs in Design Week

• British Design & Innovation

• - International roles, some European

• Guardian creative arts vacancies (appearing in the press on Monday)

• Writers and Artists’ Yearbook

• Creative Opportunities – University of the Arts

• Creative Living

• Creative Review

• Artshole

• Mad

• Children’s Illustrators

• The Creative Handbook

• Writers and Artists Handbook

• a-n magazine

• Media Bugs

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Other Useful Links

Keep up to date with industry news

Creative Review

Guardian - on Mondays



Comics Journal

3 by 3 Contemporary Illustration


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The Journal – The Association of Illustrators

Careers Advisory Service

Further Study linked to Illustration

• Further study

• Do you have necessary skills or do you want and need

further training?

Other training courses related to Illustration

• Association of Illustrators business workshops

• D&AD workshops and professional development


• Medical Artists’ Association of Great Britain Postgraduate


• The Society of Botanical Artists Botanical Painting Courses

What about life beyond Illustration?

60% of Graduate vacancies do not

specify the degree discipline

Employers are looking for:

• A Good degree

• Work Experience

• Transferable Skills:

- Communication skills

- Research skills

- Team working skills

- Ability to meet deadlines

- Plus motivation and interest


Careers Advisory Service

Graduates work in a HUGE range of roles

• Human resources

• Public sector managers

• Retail buyer

• Training

• IT

• Administration (Arts)

• Marketing

• Security Services

• Campaigns Organiser

• Events Manager

• Accountancy

• Finance

• Teaching

• …..and many, many more

Careers Advisory Service

Careers Advisory Service

Where to find General Graduate Jobs

• – National vacancies

• – National vacancies

• Guardian newspaper –

National vacancies

• – graduate level jobs in

South West

• – graduate

level jobs based in Cornwall


• Why are you interested in teaching?

• VITAL to get work experience for PGCE course


• Check eligibility for different courses

• Come and see us for help with personal


Careers Advisory Service

Careers Advisory Service

Post-graduate Study and Funding

• Be clear on your motives

• Research all courses thoroughly –

• We can give 1:1 feedback on personal statements

• Enquire at the institution where you are planning to

study for funding possibilities

• Arts & Humanities Research Council

• Funderfinder – computer package in the careers library

• Postgraduate Funding Guide

Careers Development loan

Self Employment/Freelance help

• Business Link –

• Creative Skills –

• Unlocking Cornish Potential – UCP

Graduate Business Start Up Support

• Princes Trust

• Shell Live-wire

Artists’ Residencies –

Careers Advisory Service


• Working Overseas: JET – Japan, British Council

Schemes – Global, BUNAC – US, Canada,

Australia, NZ

• – seasonal jobs

• Volunteering overseas -

• Come and see us

• Book a slot now?

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• Don’t panic

Completely unsure?

• Doubts at this stage are very common

• Come and see us

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• – prospects planner

careers software if you fancy it……

Learning how we can help

• 1:1 careers guidance

• 1:1 feedback on your CV

• Interview skills booklets

Careers library

• Come and see us

• Book a slot now?

Careers Advisory Service

Careers Advisory Service

Where are we at Tremough ?

Contact us on ….

Book slots at Woodlane via the Library or call

01326 253735 or ext. 2735

Or email us on…..

Or just call in !

Careers Advisory Service

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