6 Steps to Becoming a Fashion Illustrator

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Whether you want to become a fashion illustrator or want to know more about my journey, you've come to the right place!

Being a fashion illustrator has changed my life, it has given me the freedom I always wanted but it has also opened up a lot of new doors for me and paved a new road for me to follow, on my own terms. Whether you're an artist, designer photographer or any type of creative and looking to pursue your passion, here is how I got there, and maybe this way you can too!

Fashion Illustration allows me to pursue my creativity in such a unique way. 

1. Decide

The power of decision is unlike any other. If you decide you will do something once and for all, you will do it. A decision is a green light for our brains to start searching for ways to make that decision possible. So when I decided I was going to be a self-employed, full time illustrator, I did it! Making a decision is actually the hardest part because it leaves us with lots of anxiety, fear and doubt for the future. Humans are naturally built to fear the unknown, so when you make a decision to do something but are unsure of the process in which you will get there, you create those feelings of fear and angst. Push through my friend, it only gets better from here.

Would you rather fall flat on your face doing something you love or just reach the surface in a job that is draining you? 


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2. Practice, practice, practice

You will soon realize how much you have to learn and the more you practice, the quicker you will see results. I sometimes look back at my illustrations from a year ago and can't believe the progress! It's a lifetime of learning and developing. Some argue that drawing the human body is actually one of the most difficult things to draw, especially when it comes to elongation and exaggeration in fashion illustration. The more you practise, the better you will become. The better you become, the more work you will receive. Do what it takes to get out of your comfort zone, take a live drawing class or enroll in a course, watch youtube videos until midnight (guilty...), do what it takes to explore your drawing style. Look to others for inspiration, but never copy them. 

Simple as that.


3. Network! 

You probably hate to hear this one, either because you're a hermit like me or because you've heard it 100 times before. But it works. Networking has gotten me 99% of the jobs I've gotten, not to mention an awesome mentor and an equally awesome agent. Whether that person recommended me to someone else or they were looking for something themselves. Networking allows you to meet others within your industry, these are the people who will be the most likely to need work from you. So get out there and make it happen. 

Just don't forget your business cards!


5. Online Presence 

Your online presence might be the breaking point of whether or not someone decides to hire you, or finds your work for that matter. I get a ton of requests through Instagram, I've worked hard to keep up with this platform especially and have a great website that compliments. Most people will likely find you through a social platform before they find your website, so make sure you're keeping your audience up to date and sharing your process with them. Social media is a great tool that should never, ever, ever (ever) be overlooked. 

If you're not a coder like me, Squarespace (which is what I use) has some awesome tools and especially a lot of ease when it comes to creating an online shop or portfolio. The templates make it easy for you to have a great website that looks professional. 


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6. Learn, fail, grow and persevere

This may be one of the most important steps, you may encounter lots of frustration as I have over the course of your career. Things don't (normally) happen overnight and it takes patience as well as discipline to keep going. Do what you need to do to get your income level to the right place so that you can grow without the added stress. I personally took on a part-time design job from home which allowed me flexibility to work on my craft and still pay the bills. I haven't found much success in spending hours emailing companies (actually no success at all in that area) so I personally wouldn't recommend taking time to do this. It is much better to spend your off time developing your style and creating your portfolio. Clients will eventually start to find you when the time is right for them.

Perseverance is key.

Don't give up, just follow your heart and things will work out for you. I am very grateful to be able to do what I love every day and though every job comes with ups and downs, there is no better feeling than being your own boss! 

Xo

Sabina