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Interested in becoming a digital illustrator? Online courses are a fantastic route to break into this creative field. You'll explore everything from basic drawing techniques to advanced digital tools like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.  

Learn at your own pace, fitting studies around your existing commitments, as you dive into areas such as character design, storyboarding, and digital painting. Ideal for both beginners and experienced artists looking to formalise their skills, online courses provide the flexibility and depth needed to excel in digital illustration.

What Does a Digital Illustrator Do?  

As a digital illustrator, you'll create artwork and visual designs using digital tools. Your work might include designing characters for games, creating illustrations for books, or crafting visuals for websites and apps. You'll need to understand colour theory, composition, and digital software. The role is creative and varied, requiring you to adapt to different styles and projects, often working to a client's brief to bring concepts to life.

Read more: How to Become a Graphic Designer with Online Study

Day in the Life of a Digital Illustrator

A day in the life of a digital illustrator is dynamic and varied, and no two days are the same. Typical daily duties will depend on the type of role you have, but here are some common tasks you can expect:

  • Sketching and Conceptualising: This is the foundational stage where digital illustrators brainstorm and develop ideas for their projects. They might create several rough sketches to explore different concepts and compositions.
  • Digital Painting: After settling on a concept, illustrators bring their sketches to life using digital tools and software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. This involves adding colour, texture, and details to create a polished and professional piece. 

Read more: Adobe Photoshop vs Adobe Illustrator (& When to Use Each)

  • Client Revisions: Often, a project will go through several rounds of revisions based on client feedback. This could involve anything from minor tweaks to major changes in the composition or colour scheme.
  • Finalising Artwork: Once the client is satisfied with the design, the illustrator prepares the final piece for publication or print. This includes ensuring the file is in the correct format, the colours are properly calibrated, and all elements are correctly aligned and positioned
  • Staying Updated: The field of digital illustration is constantly evolving, with new trends, tools, and techniques emerging all the time. Successful illustrators make it a point to stay updated with the industry, whether by following influential artists, participating in online forums, or experimenting with new software features. 

Digital Illustrator Skills

To become a successful digital illustrator you’ll need a blend of soft skills (skills you naturally possess) and hard skills (skills you’d learn from a Photoshop course). 

Digital Illustrator Soft Skills

  • Creativity and Imagination
  • Communication
  • Time Management
  • Adaptability
  • Attention to Detail
  • Problem-Solving
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Openness to Feedback

Digital Illustrator Hard Skills

  • Mastery of Adobe Creative Suite: Proficient use of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign for creating and editing digital artwork.
  • Digital Painting Techniques: Understanding of brush settings, layering, and blending modes to create detailed and realistic images.
  • Vector Illustration: Skills in creating scalable vector graphics (SVGs) in Adobe Illustrator, including an understanding of pen tools, shapes, pathfinder, and other vector-based functions.
  • Colour Theory: Knowledge of colour principles and application, including colour modes, contrast, harmony, and mood setting.
  • Typography: Ability to select and manipulate typefaces and fonts effectively to complement visual designs.
  • Layout and Composition: Understanding of how to arrange elements harmoniously in digital art projects, including knowledge of grid systems and alignment.
  • Image Manipulation: Skills in editing and transforming photos and images to fit a creative vision.
  • Understanding File Formats: Knowledge of different file types, their uses, and how to prepare files for web or print.
  • 3D Modelling Basics: Familiarity with 3D software for creating basic models or integrating 3D elements into illustrations (optional but beneficial).
  • Web Design Fundamentals: Understanding of web design principles and how to create graphics optimised for web use.

How Much Can You Earn as a Digital Illustrator? (2024)

As a digital illustrator working in Australia in 2024, you can expect an average annual salary of $78,104. However, as you enhance your skill set and bring more value to your role, you can expect to see an increase in your earning potential.

Digital Illustrator Employment Outlook 

Employment prospects are promising, with digital illustrators needed across various media, including video games, film, advertising, and online content.

The rise of digital marketing and e-commerce continues to fuel demand for skilled illustrators who can create compelling, brand-aligned visual content.

According to Jobs & Skills Australia, jobs in digital illustration are expected to grow very strongly and are likely to reach 78,100 by 2026. 

How to Become a Digital Illustrator

Interested in a career in digital illustration? The best way to get started is with an online course in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator & Graphic Design.

  • Online Courses: Our Photoshop course covers a wide range of topics from basic drawing techniques to advanced digital skills. This course is designed for beginners looking to gain skills as a digital artist, as well as accomplished designers looking to upskill and refresh their knowledge.
  • Micro-Credentials: To further your digital illustration career, consider our targeted short courses. These are focused on specific areas to help you deepen your expertise or branch out into new skills. For example, you could take a course on how to effectively use social media for business, which is beneficial if you plan to promote your art or work as a freelance digital illustrator. These micro-credentials are perfect for filling in gaps in your knowledge.
  • Build a Portfolio: Creating a portfolio is a crucial step for budding digital illustrators. Your portfolio should be a visual representation of your skills and range as an illustrator, featuring varied works that highlight your proficiency with different styles, themes, and mediums. Include pieces that show your process from sketch to final digital piece, illustrating your ability to transform initial ideas into compelling visual stories.

Read moreAdobe Fresco vs Procreate – Which is Better? (2024)

Start Your Digital Illustrator Course Today

Keen to transform your artistic passion into a fulfilling career as a digital illustrator? Start your new journey with Online Courses Australia.

Essential Digital Illustration Skills

Dive into our course for the hands-on skills and knowledge crucial to excelling in digital illustration. You'll learn to create detailed digital art, understand the nuances of digital tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and develop your unique artistic style. We're here to support you in becoming a skilled digital illustrator.

Learn at Your Convenience

Busy schedule? No worries. Our courses are crafted to fit into your life seamlessly. Whether you're juggling a full-time job or other commitments, our online courses provide comprehensive education on your terms, without the hassle of commuting.

Start Your Digital Illustration Course Today

Ready to dive into the world of digital illustration? Your journey begins with Online Courses Australia. Take the first step towards your career as a digital illustrator today.

Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator & Graphic Design Course Bundle Info Pack Download

If you have additional questions about our courses that cover more than 20 different professional industries: 

Related Courses & Roles 

If you have a genuine passion for digital illustration, graphic design, social media and marketing, the industry offers a wealth of career options. Here are some related courses and roles to check out:

  • Career Development

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