Illustrators create drawings and designs for books and magazines, advertisements, film, television and multimedia. Illustrators work on paper, and two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) models. They may use traditional or computer-based techniques, or a combination of both.

Duties & Tasks

Illustrators may perform the following tasks:

  • study the project brief (instructions) and select an appropriate style, technique and medium to use
  • research a topic by looking at photographs, artworks, advertisements and books, and by observing people, animals and plants
  • prepare sketches, layouts and storyboards to try out different ideas
  • create illustrations using charcoal, pen, ink, paint, photography and computer graphics software
  • create and model creatures, characters, environments and interiors for 2D and 3D computer animations
  • discuss the project with clients and the production team, making changes as requested.



An animator creates models or draws characters and objects in a sequence of different positions to give the illusion of movement. They synchronise lip movements with words, and actions with music and sound effects. Animators can use a range of traditional and digital techniques, including cell animation, claymation, motion graphics, rendering and morphing.


A cartoonist conceives and develops ideas for cartoons, using illustrations and words. Cartoonists may also submit designs and rough drawings to editors for approval, prepare notes and instructions for finishing and layout, supervise a final layout and suggest improvements and supervise photography of artwork.

Personal Requirements

  • high level of drawing skill
  • strong drive to succeed
  • ability to see a project through to completion
  • problem-solving skills
  • excellent listening skills
  • willingness to experiment with different techniques
  • able to work to the client brief
  • a feeling for movement and timing
  • aptitude for working with computers
  • flexibility.
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