Illustration, aside from being a pleasurable hobby for many has widely used in the business world for marketing and advertising purposes.
Illustration artists are employed by companies worldwide to create illustrations for a wide range of purposes; technical illustrations, character illustrations, lifestyle illustrations, fashion illustrations and more.
Illustration has been widely used since the dawn of mankind, to well ... 'illustrate' one's meaning with pictures rather than words, and naturally was the forerunner to photography.
Illustration artists have been available to businesses since industry and the exchange of money began, with some of the most memorable illustrated marketing messages of yesteryear including the Pears Soap and Campbell's Soup illustrated adverts.
In the early days, without access to formal training, illustrators would self-teach to develop their illustration skills and the some of the earliest printing methods involved inscribing of metal or wood printing plates. Printing methods have advanced, and illustration is as popular today as it's ever been for underpinning marketing messages.
As such illustration services are widely available from a range of providers across the globe; all with different styles, levels of skill, experience, and pricing.
Illustrators often specialise in different areas or industries, below I've detailed some of the most popular.
Perhaps a dieing art it's original sense? In that fashion illustrations were originally created to depict fashion garments within a fashion range.
Nowadays it's doubtful that fashion houses commission illustrations of every garment due to be made, and instead it's more about lifestyle drawings using in fashion publications and magazines in that typical 'fashion illustration' style.
It's probably also a term more related to illustrations used by fashion retailers who need illustrations for their marketing and advertising.
Creating 3 dimensional designs - often used in game design and product visualisation amongst other purposes.
The creation of illustrations that are used for marketing and advertising, or in brand design (illustrative logo design for instance). Often these can include lifestyle illustrations and tend to involve 'character illustrations' very frequently; both human and animal!
Accurate technical drawings to illustrate or for modelling purposes; this sort of work could include building and lifestyle illustrations for property developers, and technical illustrations for medical publications.
Comic Strip Illustrators
Comic book, comic strip, and graphic novel illustrators who work for publishing houses such as Marvel, DC, and DC Thompson. Think comic serials such as Batman, Superman, Xmen, UK comics such as The Beano, The Dandy and Viz, and strips or illustrations in newspapers (political cartoons for instance).
Finding The Right Illustrator
Understanding the various types of illustration service providers available to you can help you decide how to find the best illustrator for the job at hand...perhaps even just using the right keyword search in Google and other search engines will bring up far more appropriate illustrators than just typing in 'illustrators' alone.
Thus saving you time wading through those that might not offer the particular style you are looking for.
Once you do uncover a selection of suitable illustrators, you may begin to observe that it's common that companies, especially individual freelancers or small companies with just one or two illustrators under their belt, are likely to have their own unique style.
Seek out a portfolio that matches the type of style you are aiming for, without underestimating the potential ability of the illustrator to design in more than one style.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Illustrator
Get involved in the creative process - give them your ideas and aspirations for the design, but do leave yourself flexible to their own suggestions and recommendations, after all they are the experts, and creative minds come up with their best work when not excessively 'controlled and restricted' by a design brief that may have too many narrow parameters.
Give your chosen illustration service provider your ideas for the illustration, as well as the freedom to be the creative person you would want working on your project.