Pursuing a career in animation and illustration…

Do you have more creativity and innovation than you could shake an animated stick at? If your answer is no, that’s not a problem, you’ll find something else. If your answer is yes, then this career path could be for you!

Quite simply, illustrators and animators use their knowhow, natural talent and drawing skills to convey ideas and emotions in an original and exciting way. More often than not, you’ll be working on projects for clients, as well as your own personal bits and pieces.

Why is it important to create and maintain a portfolio?

A natural talent and passion for illustration or animation is really all you need to establish yourself in this industry. It’s therefore essential that you work on your portfolio. Keep drawing and adding to your portfolio all the time. This way, when you’re contacted, you’ll be able to show prospective clients just how good you are. Your portfolio can include absolutely anything. It’s just something to display your work and how versatile you can be. It’s all about originality. Try and show them something that they’ve never seen before.

It’s important to be able to market your own work, highlight your strengths and let people see the best parts of your portfolio. Develop your presentation skills, have confidence in your own work and know how to express exactly what you want to get across to your clients.

Ho do I start a career in illustration or animation?

If you kick start your career as an illustrator or animator, it’s a good idea to have other irons in the fire and use your skills in various ways. You might get a permanent job with a design agency or publishing company, but you might prefer to go it alone. Many people do! If you’re a freelancer and things are going slowly, you might need to get a part-time job or do some teaching.

Try to build up a relationship with a publishing house, a film company, a web company or even a freelance writer. Get your foot in the door and start doing some illustrations or animations for them on a regular basis.

Collaboration is the key to success. Just ask Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl! You won’t survive without your network, so make some friends, some professional contacts and some acquaintances.

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to actively seek out commissions. You won’t get anywhere if you sit at home making endless intricate illustrations and amazing animations so get out there and make things happen for yourself!

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