Illustrators work creatively with drawings and designs that are used in a range of settings. This may include books and magazines, advertisements, film, television and multimedia on paper two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) models or work on screen.

Where illustrators are employed

Some illustrators work freelance while others work in commercial animation studios performing a variety of production tasks such as colouring drawings, painting backgrounds, characters for film, television studios and game developers. Much of the work is concentrated in a small number of animation studios in Sydney.


Full-time illustrators in South Australia generally earn less than $600 per week.

Pay scale Illustrator

Job prospects

Computer-based techniques for illustration and animation have taken over from traditional techniques to a large extent, so having strong skills in both these areas is very important.

Job opportunities depend on the level of government, private and corporate funding for projects that require illustration. At the individual level, finding employment depends on the quality of the individual's work and their reputation in the industry.

In 2011 there were 77 people employed full-time as illustrators in South Australia compared with 69 in 2006.

How to become one

You can work as an illustrator without formal qualifications. Skills are usually developed through practice and experience. You can do a vocational education and training (VET) qualification in graphic design, information technology, media arts, visual arts or a related area or a degree in animation, graphic design, new media design, fine arts, visual arts or visual communication. At school consider doing English, visual arts and design. Ask your career adviser about starting this training at school.

See courses related to this occupation

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT)

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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