Career as Fashion Illustrator

Last Updated On 26 Jun, 2020

How to Become a Fashion Illustrator

About Fashion Illustrator

An individual who communicates ideas related to fashion in a visual form of illustration, drawing and painting is termed as a fashion illustrator. The duty of fashion illustrators is to create sketches, drawings and other works of art related to the fashion industry. They use their drawing, digital skills, graphics to curate images for newspapers, fashion magazines, apparel companies and designers. The content created by a fashion illustrator is generally used for print, television, social media and advertisement platforms.

A fashion illustrator can choose to be a freelancer or can work with editors, designers, and creative heads to produce an eye-grabbing content. The responsibilities of a fashion illustrator include visualizing a concept and working with an illustration in order to produce a cutting-edge design. With an immense acknowledgement and awakening towards fashion, the industry is encountering high popularity. In such a scenario, fashion illustrators are in huge demand. A fashion illustrator needs to be highly creative, artistic, detail-oriented, highly observational and good with computer skills. With all the aforementioned qualities and a bit of work experience, anyone can enter the world of fashion illustration and ace it.

Eligibility to become Fashion Illustrator

Enlisted below are the eligibility criteria that need to be satisfied in order to become a successful fashion illustrator.

  • A candidate must have qualified class 12th from a recognized board of education such as ICSE, CBSE etc.

  • Students must have a diploma or a bachelor’s degree in fashion illustration/designing or its equivalent.

  • Candidates with diploma or certificates in fashion illustration or computer tools/ Softwares get an added advantage over others.

Types of Job Roles Fashion Illustrator

An aspiring fashion illustrator can pick out and build a career from numerous job roles mentioned below.

Fashion Illustrator: The duty of a fashion illustrator is to communicate through ideas that originate with drawing, painting, illustration, sketching etc.

Fashion Designer: A fashion designer utilizes designs to bring out aesthetics and natural beauty of clothing, footwear or accessories.

Graphic Designer: The responsibility of a graphic designer is to use photography, typography, illustration and iconography to communicate visually.

Textile Designer: A textile designer has to follow a creative and technical process to create a design for fabrics. 

Pattern Maker: A pattern maker generally works in the clothing industry to produce or draft patterns.

Artist/ Painter: An artist or a painter expresses his/her creative tendency through an art form. They are likely to sketch/draw/paint etc to communicate ideas and thoughts.

Jewellery Designer: The responsibility of a jewellery designer is to create and design jewellery in a manner that attracts the client.

Employment Sector/Industry for Fashion Illustrator

The employment sectors or industries that recruit fashion illustrator are as follows.

  • Entertainment Industry

  • Social Media Platforms

  • Fashion Industry

  • Garment Stores

  • Media Houses

  • Leather Companies

  • Textile Industries

Top Recruiting Companies for Fashion Illustrator

Some of the top-notch recruiting companies that are in a constant lookout for a skilled and professional fashion illustrator are mentioned underneath.

  • Raymonds

  • Pantaloons

  • Spykar

  • Allen Solly

  • Swarovski

  • Lifestyle

  • ITC Wills Lifestyle

  • Liberty Shoes

  • Bata

  • AND

  • Pantaloon

Planning to choose Fashion Illustrator as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Fashion Illustrator

Go through the tabulated data below to get an understanding of the pay scale or salary extracted by a fashion illustrator and other job profiles related to it.

Job Profile

Starting Salary per annum (in INR)

Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)

Senior Level Salary per annum (INR)

Fashion Illustrator




Fashion Designer




Graphic Designer




Textile Designer




Pattern Maker




Artist/ Painter




Jewellery Designer




Note: The figures mentioned above depends on company to company and individual to individual. They are subject to change.

Books & Study Material to Become Fashion Illustrator

Enlisted below are the books and study materials that an aspirant has to read in order to be a fashion illustrator.

  • Concepts of Pattern Grading

  • Fashion Illustration Techniques by Maite Lafuente

  • Fashion Illustration by Anna Kiper

  • Popular Master Guide NIFT by R. Gupta

  • NIFT Entrance Exam- Self Study Guide by Arihant

  • NIFT/NID/IIFT Entrance Exam Guide by R. Gupta

Pros of becoming a Fashion Illustrator

  • A fashion illustrator needs to be creative and artistic all the time. The job of a fashion illustrator never gets boring.

  • The job of a fashion illustrator involves a sense of satisfaction. After seeing the work getting accepted, used and appreciated an individual gets recognised. 

  • A fashion illustrator gets to experiment with his/her work a lot. It does not involve much boundaries or restrictions. The uniqueness of an illustration gets appreciated.  

Cons of becoming a Fashion Illustrator

  • A fashion illustrator needs to work for long hours to finish the work before the deadline.

  • The pay scale or income extracted by a fashion illustrator is difficult to predict. The job does not have financial stability as the income is directly proportional to the number of projects.

  • Dealing with a client can often be challenging as they might come up with unreasonable requests.

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FAQs about Fashion Illustrator

Who is a Fashion Illustrator?

A Fashion Illustrator is a artist who concentrates on fashion, including clothing lines, fashion magazine artwork, footwear and drawings found in sewing pattern catalogs. With a background of both art and fashion, a Fashion Illustrator depicts a product as a drawing or sketch as a prototype.

How can I become a Fashion Illustrator?

In order to become a Fashion Illustrator, the candidate must have completed his/ her education in the pattern of 10+2+3/4 from recognised boards and universities. He/ she must have done at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant stream of design.

What is the educational qualification required for becoming a Fashion Illustrator?

An undergraduate degree in design such as B.Des or B.Sc in a relevant specialisation is the minimum educational qualification required for becoming a Fashion Illustrator.

Do I have to appear for any entrance exam to become a Fashion Illustrator?

You might have to appear for a design entrance examination in order to get selected at a design college for pursuing the desired course for becoming a Fashion Illustrator. Many colleges either accept national/ state level design entrance exams or conduct their own test.

Which are the best colleges for becoming a Fashion Illustrator?

The popular design colleges in which you can seek admission to become a Fashion Illustrator include the National Institutes of Fashion Technology (NIFTs), the National Institutes of Design (NID), Pearl Academy, Symbiosis Institute of Design, Amity University, etc.

What are the top job roles of Fashion Illustrators?

The most sought after job roles of Fashion Illustrators are those of Graphic Designers, Fashion Designers, Textile Designers, Jewellery Designers, and Pattern Makers.

Are Fashion Illustrators hired only in fashion houses?

No, Fashion Illustrators are recruited in various sectors, not just in fashion houses. They can find jobs in the entertainment industry, fashion magazines, fashion related social media platforms, fashion blogging, garment stores, media houses, etc.

What is the average salary of a Fashion Illustrator?

The average salary of a Fashion Illustrator is Rs. 3.5 lakh per annum.

How much can a senior level Fashion Illustrator earn?

A senior level Fashion Illustrator can earn up to Rs. 8-10 lakh per annum. The payscale is higher at well-known and popular companies.

Can I become a Fashion Illustrator after doing B.Des in Fashion Design?

Yes, B.Des in Fashion Design is one of the best suited degrees for the job of a Fashion Illustrator.

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