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  • Writer's pictureBen Wild

Campus to Canvas: 5 Pathways to Freelance Illustration Success Post-Graduation

You've just tossed your graduation cap into the air, marking the end of your university journey. As you step into the real world, it's time to embark on a new adventure – and the adventure you have choosen is that of illustration?


Whether you've studied art or are transitioning from an unrelated field, there are multiple pathways to unleash your artistic talent and build a successful career. In this blog post, we'll explore five ways to dive into the world of illustration after leaving university.


1. Build a Portfolio


Before you can dive headfirst into the world of illustration, you'll need a strong portfolio to showcase your skills and style. Start by selecting your best work from your university projects and any personal illustrations you've created. Consider creating a personal website or using platforms like Behance or Dribbble to display your portfolio. This online presence will be your digital business card as you seek opportunities.


2. Freelance Illustration


Freelancing offers flexibility and a chance to work on various projects. Start by taking on small freelance gigs to gain experience and build your portfolio further. Using social media as a springboard to find your first round of freelance work can be a great place to start. As you gain confidence and expertise, you can gradually transition into full-time freelancing.


3. Networking


Building a network within the illustration industry is crucial. Attend local art events, join online forums and social media groups, and connect with fellow artists and potential clients. Building relationships in the field can lead to collaboration opportunities, mentorship, and valuable insights into the industry. Relationships are totally key.


4. Further Education and Workshops


Consider taking specialized courses or workshops to hone your skills and learn new techniques. Many online platforms offer courses in illustration, providing you with the opportunity to learn from industry professionals. Additionally, attending workshops and seminars can help you stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in the world of illustration.


5. Apply for Jobs and Internships


If you prefer a structured career path, search for job openings or internships with illustration studios, publishing houses, or design agencies. These positions can provide valuable experience and the chance to work on exciting projects. Even entry-level positions can serve as springboard to a successful illustration career.



In conclusion, the world of illustration is vast and full of opportunities, even after leaving university. By building a strong portfolio, freelancing, networking, continuing your education, and seeking job or internship opportunities, you can turn your passion for illustration into a thriving career. So, dive in, unleash your creativity, and illustrate the world you want to see!


Remember, your journey into illustration is unique, and it may involve a combination of these strategies. Embrace the challenges and enjoy the artistic adventure that lies ahead. Your artistic expression has the power to inspire and captivate, so let your illustrations tell your story to the world.



As always, thanks so much for reading. If this has added any value to your day please share.



Ben & team.

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