Becoming A Successful Illustrator

Derek Brazell & Jo Davies Published by Fairchild Books/Bloomsbury

Illustration is a diverse and constantly evolving area of art and design and an appealing creative career. But to stand out from the crowd, successful illustrators need to combine creative talent with strong marketing and promotional skills.

Becoming a Successful Illustrator provides practical and inspirational guidance for new illustrators and graduates covering areas to work in; the professional world of the illustrator; self promotion; getting your work seen; finance and running a business and more. With newly commissioned artworks and insightful comments from international illustrators accompanied by examples of their work supporting the text.

‘A great class reference for students entering their junior and senior years.’

Alaiyo Bradshaw, Parsons The New School for Design, USA

‘…highly useful and relevant to both national and international audiences.’

Chris Draper, Cambridge School of Art, UK

‘This book tells you what you need to do between completing an Illustration degree and setting up as a freelance illustrator. If you’re just graduating from an illustration degree and wondering how to start your career proper, this could be the book for you.’

Digital Arts magazine review

‘Steve Simpson’s great cover illustration is a good sign of things to come. Alongside the information inside, the book is full of amazing and well chosen illustrations from the likes of Ellen Weinstein, Mark Smith and Anna Steinberg, highlighting the broad range of areas that illustration can be applied to, and how diverse the industry is.’

Association of Illustrators review by Adam D’Costa

‘As the discipline of illustration is continuously expanding to include much more than the traditional areas of book publishing and editorial work, Becoming a Successful Illustrator is likely to become a staple on every aspiring illustrator’s bookshelf.’

Eye magazine review by Meredith Thomas

Purchase in the UK here 1st edition:

Purchase in the USA here  1st edition:

ISBN: 9782940411931

Cover artwork by Steve Simpson


Chapter 1: Illustration and the world of work

What is illustration?

Where do illustrators work?

Evaluating your strengths and weaknesses


Chapter 2: Working for clients

Who are my potential clients?

Understanding the professional world of illustration

Finding potential clients

Looking beyond the obvious


Chapter 3: The art of self-promotion

Getting yourself known

What kind of promotion do I need?

Creating an online presence

Competitions, exhibitions and trade fairs

Gaining experience


Chapter 4: Getting your work seen

How will I get my work seen?

Getting a professional portfolio together

What do agents do?


Chapter 5: Securing work

How will I be commissioned?

What do I need to ask when I get my first brief?

How will I get the brief?

How will I quote and negotiate fees and prices?

What do I need to understand about copyright and illustrators’ ethics?


Chapter 6: Finance and legalities

What do I need to know about finance?

What do I need to know about managing my finances?


Activities: Understanding fees, Promotional strategy, Skills audit, Where to work, Costing


Case studies from international commisioners (Penguin USA, M&C Saatchi, Readers Digest, Bernstein & Andriulli) and illustrators, including Marcos Chin, Tad Carpenter, Ulla Puggaard, Mark Smith and Carolina Attia Lariviere, expand on business and personal attitudes which benefit illustrators seeking work.

Chapter spreads are newly commissioned pieces from contemporary illustrators showing a diverse range of styles from collage to paper-cut, featuring Thereza Rowe, Robert Sae-Heng, Kanitta Meechubot, Oivind Hovland, Gemma Latimer and Rob Hodgson.

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