Illustrators create drawings and designs for books and magazines, advertisements, film, television and multimedia. Illustrators work on paper, and two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) models. They may use traditional or computer-based techniques, or a combination of both.
You can work as an illustrator without formal qualifications. Skills are usually developed through practice and experience. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in graphic design, information technology, visual arts or a related area. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become an illustrator by completing a degree in animation, graphic design, digital media, new media design, fine arts, creative arts, visual arts or visual communication. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with English. Applicants may also be required to attend an interview and/or submit a folio of work. A number of institutions in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.
Illustrators may perform the following tasks:
Most work is in the eastern states or overseas, with designers, game developers, mobile app developers, book and magazine publishers, advertising agencies and film production studios. It is a highly competitive industry. Computer-based techniques for illustration and animation have taken over from traditional techniques to a large extent, so having strong skills in both these areas is very important. Freelance animators may develop their own characters and stories to produce features to sell to television or film distributors. Others work in commercial animation studios as part of a team, performing a variety of production tasks, such as colouring drawings or painting backgrounds and characters for film and television studios and game developers. Much of the work is concentrated in a small number of animation studios in Sydney. Job opportunities depend on the level of government, private and corporate funding for projects that require illustration. At the individual level, finding employment depends on the quality of the animatorâ€™s work and their reputation in the industry.
An animator creates models or draws characters and objects in a sequence of different positions to give the illusion of movement. They synchronise lip movements with words, and actions with music and sound effects. Animators can use a range of traditional and digital techniques, including cell animation, claymation, motion graphics, rendering and morphing.
A cartoonist conceives and develops ideas for cartoons, using illustrations and words. Cartoonists may also submit designs and rough drawings to editors for approval, prepare notes and instructions for finishing and layout, supervise a final layout and suggest improvements and supervise photography of artwork.