A Comprehensive Guide to Become a Fashion Illustrator

Do you want to become a fashion illustrator? Have you made your mind to pursue this as a career? Are you trouble in taking that first step? Well, if you are someone who loves working with different colors and shades, have a knack for spotting the best outfits and you are fairly good in sketching and drawing, then fashion industry just might be the right fit for you.

What is fashion?

Now, before you move onto fashion illustration, you must first understand what fashion is. It would make more sense for you to jump into a field about which you have a basic understanding of, is it right?

So, fashion is a word which is normally referred to a certain style of clothing or the different accessories you wear or even the hair styles you have. The literal meaning of the word “Fashion” is a way of doing something. Now, when you say that it is a way of doing something then that reflects the way you walk, talk, the clothes you wear, your hairstyle, the shoes you wear and everything else related to your personality.

Furthermore, fashion includes everything that looks good on you. Something that might suit you may be fashion for while it might not be fashion for someone else.  Fashion also includes everything that your social and cultural norms and traditions have to offer. This is precisely why, something that might be fashionable and appealing in one part of the world might not be the same in another.

Nowadays, fashion is referred to as your personal style. Whatever that makes you comfortable and makes you look good is fashionable for you. You need not follow the latest market trends and glamorous models and designers to be fashionable. Fashion is what suits you best and remember; whatever you are comfortable in the most is likely to suit you the most as well.

Understanding fashion is the first step towards becoming a fashion illustrator. So, let’s find out what a fashion illustrator is and take that first step towards becoming a fashion illustrator.

Fashion Designing and the Need for Fashion Illustrators

We commonly hear the word fashion designing out there. What it means, is the process of designing and creating clothes to meet the new trends in the market. So, that makes a fashion designer a person who would take care of this process. However, it has been seen that many designers look for a fashion illustrator for hire. Many fashion designers are observed to be in need of fashion illustration services. Now, why is it so? And what exactly is fashion illustration?

Fashion illustration is a process , which is used for conveying the fashion ideas in a visual manner. Now, this process normally uses sketching, drawing or illustration. Moreover, fashion illustration, is mainly used by fashion designers when they are trying to come up with new apparel designs.

Designs are drawn out on paper, using fashion sketching, so that the designers can see what a particular design looks like before they can start thinking about the other steps like choosing the cloth or sewing.

Fashion illustration has existed as long as clothes have existed. People who have been in this particular field of making clothes have always felt the need to see what their designs look like and what they need to do to make their designs better. This practice is very old, around

500 years old.

However, near the end of 1930s, the need for fashion illustration started to diminish. From being the only way of communicating fashion ideas, it became just a role in the whole process. With the advancement in technology, fashion illustrations were now being replaced by photographic images.

How Can I Become a Fashion Illustrator?

Now that you have a basic understanding of what fashion is, what fashion illustration is and why do fashion designers need it, you are now ready to move onto the steps of how you can become a fashion illustrator.

Steps to Become a Fashion Illustrator

Now, if you think there is a whole list of steps that will take you hours to read in order to understand how to become a fashion illustrator then you are mistaken. There are a handful of steps, which you must take in order to become a fashion illustrator. Now, becoming a fashion illustrator might be something that you can do easily, provided, that you have the talent for it. However, being successful at it is something that you will need to work at.

1- Brush up on Your Skills

2- Discover Your Own Original Style

3- Build a Reputation

Brush Up On Your Skills

Alright, before you do anything else, you must ensure that you have the required skills to last as a fashion illustrator. Fashion illustration requires you to understand the intricacies and proportions about the human body. Now, this is knowledge that you need to draw the right way. However, it is not just the knowledge that you need to become a fashion illustrator. What you need is actual skills, which come with practice, practice and practice.

You need to understand that everyone, who chooses to pursue a career in art or anything related to art is somewhat good with sketching, drawing or painting. However, being a professional fashion illustrator requires you to be more than just simply a good sketcher or a painter. This field requires you to understand the human body and it proportions the right way, so that you can draw or sketch you clothing design ideas on a human body in the most effective manner.

The best way to learn the required skills and have the required knowledge about this is by going to a fashion school, if you have the opportunity. BY going to a professional school you will be able to get the information you need about the techniques and the materials that will help you pursue you dream. Be ready to practice a lot and the key to becoming a good fashion student is to learn everything you are taught with an open mind. Do not be afraid to experiment with different tools and materials.

Discover Your Own Original Style

Once you are good with fashion drawing, you now need to work on your own original style. With everything you have learnt previously and always keeping yourself open to inspiration around you, you can come up with an entirely new way of approaching all this. It will be your own personal style, it will be a style that will scream your name.

This is where your experiments will come in handy. All your hard work, practice and experimentation with different colors, paints, materials and tools will now become something that will solely be yours. Once you do find yourself happy with a certain style of fashion illustration, you must then start building up your own confidence about it as well.

Most beginners feel shy about their work and their originality. Remember, there is nothing that can be called ugly in this work. It can be different and that is what makes it unique. And is it not what you are actually trying to achieve here? You want to be different! You have to be different! There is no place for a person who copies someone else’s designs. You can always take inspiration from others work, from your surroundings, from nature or even animals for that matter but, when it comes to replicating someone’s else’s work, you would not want to put yourself in such a condition. Be confident in your own genuinity and work.

Remember, before anyone else loves your work, you need to learn to love your work yourself. So, be unique, be original and love your work so that you can become confident about your work as well.

Build a Reputation

Most beginners think that they need to get hired by the biggest names in the industry as soon as they get out there in the market. Let me be the first to burst that little bubble of dreams you have there. It does not happen. Even if it does then it happens to 1 person in a million. The rest of us simply have to take the longer and harder way towards the top. We need to fight for survival in this industry by being better than everyone else.

So, how do you become better than your competition? Well, there is only one way to do it. Provide your clients with better illustrations. However, you must focus on your work and must aim to make a good reputation in the industry. Tell your friends about what you do. In fact, don’t tell them, show them. Make something for them. Gift your family and friends with original products that you have personally illustrated, designed and manufactured. It is a lot, yes, but many of the famous and big names out there, who are running huge businesses of their own n the fashion industry, started out this way only.

See, you can only make a reputation in the market and the industry if people know what you can do. For a non-fashion student, your fashion drawings mean nothing. They would need products that would help them recognize your worth. And once you have planted that seed of goodwill with a simple handmade gift, let it grow. Word travels fast, soon you will have others coming to you as well and this is the beginning of your journey. Just make sure to keep all the clients happy with your work and soon you will have a good reputation in the industry as well.

How to Become a Successful Fashion Illustrator – Tips

  • Love What You Do
  • Learn to Manage Your Time
  • Reach Out to Prominent Figures in the Industry
  • Take Help From an Agent
  • Believe in Yourself
  • Be Original
  • No Client is Small

Love What You Do

The most important thing that you need to become a successful fashion illustrator is your love for your work. You simply need to be in love with art, illustrations and in simple words you must be passionate about what you are doing. Creativity only flows through you if you love doing what you are doing. Unless you have this feeling, you will not be able to be successful in this particular field, or any other field for that matter.

Learn to Manage Your Time

Time management is not just important in becoming a successful fashion illustrator but in fact, it is a trait that will allow you to successful in any career you choose to purse. Being a professional Fashion illustrator will require you to meet a lot of people to create good public relations, create new illustrations, work on various new ideas, come up with creative new designs and still look at the top of your game when you are meeting with different clients. Just remember, if you cannot meet your client’s deadlines then no matter how good your work is, it will not create a very good impression.

Now, this is where time management comes into play. You need to make sure that you are giving appropriate time to each aspect of your work. You only have 24 hours in a day and you need to divide them according to your priorities. If you think your work load is too much and you are losing reputation because of this then hire an assistant to help you manage everything accordingly.

Reach Out to Prominent Figures in The Industry

This might have been one of the most difficult tasks to do in the 90s or the early 2000s. however, now you have the power of social media with you. Use your social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram to show your work to the word. The more people you reach through your digital accounts, the higher the chance you will have of getting in touch with the prominent figure in the industry.

It is not necessary to reach out to the prominent figures in the industry. However, it is always a good idea to go and pick the brains of the gurus and experts of your particular field. They have a lot to offer, as far as knowledge and wisdom is concerned. However, this is not what you can only receive from them. You can also receive amazing advice that can turn things around for you. Plus, there is always the chance that they might love your work and want to work with you as well. So, you have nothing to lose here.

Take Help from an Agent

If your budget allows you to do it, then you always have the option to focus more on your illustration work and leave the public relations to someone professional, like an agent. Hire an agent and give yourself some extra time and space to take care of what is most important in this equation.

If you want to get ahead in the industry and want big clients then hiring an agent with experience can actually be a great idea. This can help give your career the boost it needs. You need to understand that a professional agent possess skills of persuasion that you might not possesses and can manage your public and professional relationships, clients and vendors in a much more professional manner.

Believe in Yourself

Remember, the day you stop believing in yourself and your work, this will be the day from where your downfall begins. You should be the first person to believe in yourself and your skills and also should be the only person to believe in yourself even when nobody likes your work.

Nobody is telling you be arrogant or stubborn. Being determined and being stubborn are two different things. You should always welcome good advice and positive criticism. Sometimes, even negative comments may help you learn. Always believe that no matter what the problems you are facing, you will eventually overcome them all, one at a time.

Be Original

You need to understand that the only people who have gotten successful in their particular fields are people who have worked hard and have taken pride in their originality. Copying others designs or ideas will lead you nowhere. In fact, it may even be more harmful for you to copy than being beneficial for your career.

Do not be afraid to experiment with new tools or materials. Do not be afraid to portray exactly what you have in your mind. Your ideas are your way to the top in this industry, stop using them and your chances of success will become lower.

No Client is small

Never think that someone paying you less is a small client. Always prioritize your client’s satisfaction over everything else. It is your satisfied clients, who will help you become a success in this industry. One unsatisfied client can cost you hundreds of clients and one delighted client can help bring in hundreds of clients. Therefore, no client is big or small. Treat every, client as a priority and try to keep them happy and satisfied by delivering only the best quality of work.

What is the most important characteristic needed to be a good fashion illustrator?

Apparently, the most significant characteristic required to become a successful fashion illustrator is your fashion sketching capability. However, your ideas and genuine designs are also quite important as well.

Where can you find a fashion Illustrator?

The best way to find a fashion illustrator easily is to simply, make a search on google search. You will get a list of fashion illustration services and you can choose the one you find to be the right fit for you.

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