Art and Craft

How to Become a Digital Illustrator

Digital illustration isn’t just fun; it also pays well. It’s a field that draws many creative artists every year. If you’re curious about what you need to become one, or the fields you can work in, read on as we explore your options.

What You Need to Be a Digital Illustrator

There are a few things that most illustrators should consider getting before they start job hunting:

  • Fine Arts degree
  • A detailed design portfolio

That said, you don’t always need a qualification. For the most part, it depends on what kind of job you’d like to do once you’re ready. For example, if you’re a freelancer, your portfolio will speak a lot louder than any degree.

Jobs You Can Do

Once you’ve covered all your bases and have everything required to work as a digital illustrator, it’s time to pick your field. There are so many different options, so take your time and make sure that you pick something you’d enjoy.

Here are a few top jobs you can do:


Many marketing agencies and large corporates will pay top dollar for excellent illustrators to come up with great and unique ads. Adidas, 7Up, and WWF have all used illustrated art to create fantastic advertisements.

Courtroom and Forensic

If you prefer something a little more serious, you can try courtroom or forensic illustration. Both jobs require a qualification in art, but you might need one in law enforcement as well.

Have you ever seen those drawn ‘Wanted’ posters on television? Creating them could be your job. As a forensic artist, you’ll try to draw realistic faces based on testimonies from witnesses. However, in the courtroom, you’ll spend a lot of time drawing faces and scenes from memory.


Fashion is a cut-throat industry, but someone must create the visual representations of a designer’s “vision.” As an illustrator, that job will fall to you. You’ll be creating beautiful outfits digitally or on paper, and designing advertising based on these ideas.

Video and Online Games

Before a game ever enters development, there are a lot of ideas that get thrown around. It’s your job as an illustrator to bring them to life so that level designers and 3D artists have a reference to work with. If this is definitely true for video games, we have to add that development of online casino games (such as slot machines) now follow the same process and involves talented illustrator.

If this is the job for you, you’ll spend your days creating marvellous art that serves as the foundation for the entire development pipeline. You can see a list of digitally illustrated casino games here to get an idea of what you’ll be doing.

Final Word

There are many job opportunities for illustrators. If you’re interested in a serious career, you could pursue courtroom or forensic illustration. On the other hand, fashion or video game design is fun, and you’ll have more freedom to experiment. For a middle-ground, you might try your hand at marketing.

Just make sure that you have the required degrees for your chosen field, and never try to job hunt without a portfolio!

17 Nov 2020