The ultimate guide to becoming a digital illustrator

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When it comes to making an important decision or choosing between the two paths, we all want a map: a guide route that reduces our chances of getting lost along the way. Precisely for this reason today we want to share some steps through which you can become a digital illustrator.

Imagine that you are in a video game where the final stage is to reach a cabin in the middle of the forest. For this, there are many possible roads, bumpy roads and ravines, but also gardens full of flowers and trees. The possibilities are many and very varied along the way, but remember: your goal is the cabin. What is the best way to get there? Hard to say, there is probably not just one answer.

Exactly, the same happens when we ask ourselves what will be the best route to become. The truth is that, in the end, even if you follow the same steps as someone else, each path is unique.

how to become a digital illustrator

How do I become an illustrator?

Maybe it has been going through your head lately: I want to become a digital illustrator. Maybe at first it was a sporadic thought, but it has become recurrent. We want to tell you that it does not matter your age or your current occupations, if you want to become an illustrator: it is possible. With dedication, effort and the right tools we assure you that you can achieve it.

Here are some steps to help you through the process …

1. Traditional drawing

First thing’s first. If you want to become a digital illustrator, you first need to know how to draw traditionally. But rest assured, you do not need to become an expert, it is enough that you know the bases and can make strokes that then allow you to make sketches. In this way, then it will be much easier to imagine, conceptualize and finally realize any idea you have in mind.

2. Explore many techniques

A good way to start is by exploring many techniques. Whether or not you are interested in generating your own style will depend on you, but at the beginning, it is important to be versatile since when working with clients this will allow you to better understand what their needs are and you will be able to contribute different ideas with which you can develop a project.

Did you always like watercolors? Well this is the time; continue with the markers, the wooden pencils, the pastel colors and even the Chinese ink. You will see that even if you always have a favorite, you will learn new ideas or textures for when the long-awaited next step comes: digital illustration.

3. Illustrate digitally

We know that waiting can be forever, but we are sure that you will be enjoying the process. It may take longer than you expect to learn to draw traditionally and explore many techniques, but finally you will be ready for the next step. For this, you will need a PC or laptop and it is important that it supports the design and illustration programs, so it will have to have at least a 12 GB RAM.

What programs are you going to need? To learn vector technique, Illustrator will undoubtedly be the key, in addition, Photoshop will allow you to use different types of brushes and even create your own.

In addition, it is desirable that you have a graphics tablet no matter how basic. We know that it is often difficult to obtain these tools. However, if at first you only have one computer you can work with the mousse. Try to do the best you can with what you have, think that as you move forward, you will probably be able to access jobs with which to solve the needs you have. At this point you will already have a very good progress, please do not be discouraged!

Whatever happens, don’t forget to also have an external hard drive to back up your artwork.

4. Create your portfolio

Even if you are just starting, it is always a great advantage to create a portfolio both physical and digital. For the latter format there are different platforms, some of them are social networks such as Facebook or Instagram, in addition to Behance, for a much more specialized place for designers.

In this way, you will create a volume of works that will allow you to see which ones have the greatest number of interactions or are the ones that people prefer

5. Specialize

There are many different sectors, which is an illustrator can work depending on their interests and tastes. Some examples are: the publishing sector to make illustrations in books and magazines; advertising: posters, characters and pets; music: posters and CDs, among others. If you want to know the general guidelines of these industries, it would be worth studying them.

Start to start your journey now, step up and become the illustrator you want to become.

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