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Fashion Illustrators

The Job

Illustrators can work in any of several different areas of the fashion field. They provide artwork to accompany editorial pieces in magazines such as Glamour, Redbook, and Seventeen and trade journals such as Women’s Wear Daily. Catalog companies employ fashion illustrators to provide the artwork that sells their merchandise through print or online publications.

Fashion illustrators work with fashion designers, editors, and models. They make sketches from designers’ notes or they may sketch live models during runway shows or other fashion presentations. They may use pencils, pen and ink, charcoal, paint, airbrush, computer technology, or a combination of media.

While illustrators must be artistically talented (able to visualize designs, use colors, and create style), they must also be adept at using technologies such as software programs to create and edit illustrations.

Fashion illustrators may work as freelancers, handling all the business aspects that go along with being self-employed. Such responsibilities include keeping track of expenses, billing clients promptly and appropriately, and keeping their businesses going by lining up new jobs when a current project ends.

Because the fashion world is extremely competitive and fast-paced, fashion illustrators tend to work long hours under the pressure of deadlines and demanding personalities.

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