What are transferable skills and why do you need them? What does it mean to be employable today and in the future?...
- Create images of fashion items for designers and advertisers
- You'll need excellent drawing ability and an understanding of the fashion industry
- Ideal for someone with a passion for fashion and creative ability
As a fashion illustrator you'll specialise in creating images of clothing and fashion products, using traditional drawing and painting techniques or using digital techniques. Illustrations are still seen as an essential part of the fashion design process as they are able to convey and develop a designer's ideas before an actual product exists.
You'll develop a specific style, but you'll also need to be able to adapt to the needs of your clients and be able to work across multiple mediums and using digital techniques.
You might work directly with one or more designers and art directors to understand their ideas and produce sketches then final representations of their vision which can then be used to develop the production of a piece of clothing or for sales purposes.
The quality of your work will be the key factor in determining whether you are able to get work within this industry, and that means developing your drawing, painting, and digital artwork skills.
You can do this through formal study - doing a degree in illustration for example will help you develop the core skills needed. You could also move into this field after studying fashion design. However, the most important factor will be building up a portfolio of work which you can show to potential clients and building up a network of contacts within the fashion industry.
You'll also need to be able to demonstrate that you can work quickly, meet deadlines, and follow a brief (not just draw the things you like), so showing a variety of skills and styles in your portfolio is essential.
Most fashion illustrators build up work in this area over time by combining it with other work - this is a highly competitive industry, so you may find that you need patience, determination, and tenacity to develop this into a full time career.
Most fashion illustrators are freelancers and many combine this with other work, so you'll also need to spend some of your time networking and promoting yourself to gain work from your clients.
Some fashion illustrators also produce work used in advertising, which can be more lucrative than work for fashion designers.