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How Do I Become a Fashion Illustrator?

Fashion designers rely on illustrators to bring their ideas to life with their art skills.
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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
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If you want to become a fashion illustrator, then you should consider pursuing a degree in fashion design or art. You might also look into training in using computer aided design (CAD) software, as this is becoming increasingly used within the fashion industry, and courses in business may also help you start your own label or company. Artistic skills are among the most important thing you can have, with a specific eye for aesthetic appeal in clothing and what people often want to buy. Once you have the training you need, then you can typically become a fashion illustrator by looking for opportunities at fashion companies or magazines.

One of the first things you should consider to become a fashion illustrator is the type of training or education you may need. A fashion illustrator is someone who usually works for a fashion company and either designs new clothing or creates marketing images of various clothes. Regardless of what aspect of the industry you want to work in, you should consider receiving a degree in fashion design or fine art. This can be a two-year degree, such as an associate’s degree, though a four-year or bachelor’s degree may provide you with more opportunities to become a fashion illustrator.

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As you receive your degree, you might also consider other skills or knowledge that can help you in the fashion industry. Many designers have begun using CAD software in creating clothing and marketing materials, so courses to learn to use CAD may be helpful. If you want to become a fashion illustrator and start your own company, then you might consider classes in business administration to give you the knowledge you need to run a business.

You should also refine your artistic abilities in any ways you can, usually through extensive practice in creating fashion designs and illustrations. Many employers will ask you for a portfolio to demonstrate your work, so you should create a physical and digital portfolio that you can use to show your artistic abilities. There are even groups online for those interested in working in fashion, and you may be able to host your portfolio in such a group to make your work more visible to those who might hire you to become a fashion illustrator.

Once you have the education and background in fashion that you need to become a fashion illustrator, then you can begin looking for work. You should consider various fashion companies and smaller companies may need freelance work that can help you get started. This can expand your portfolio with professional work and give you the chance to make contacts within the industry. Starting your own company is a bit more complicated, and it may be easier for you to first work with others who are already established and then branch out on your own.

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