What’s an Illustrator-Designer?

On my site and in conversation, I describe myself as an “illustrator-designer.”

In a nutshell, an illustrator draws or constructs images that convey a story or message.  A designer arranges elements (sometimes illustrations, and also photos, text, and titles) to make a whole package attractive and understandable.

Most illustrators are not designers, just like most designers cannot effectively illustrate. My career has been equal parts of both.

As an illustrator, I have:

  • illustrated children’s books, creating images to accompany an authors’ manuscripts.
  • created editorial illustrations to complement newspaper, magazine, and website articles.
  • conceptualized and drawn characters and caricatures for articles and personal use.
  • developed logos and icons.

As a designer, I have:

  • created page layouts for textbooks, often including illustrations and other elements from other contributors.
  • helped small-business owners create business card and promotional packages, using elements like logos and icons.
  • manipulated corporate elements to make attractive patterns for apparel and paper goods.
  • developed templates and designs for fashion and accessories.

A designer who can illustrate has an edge over one who does not: I can often cover the work of two (or more) people to keep the project process smooth and on-target.

With this blog, I hope to provide end-users advice on keeping projects efficient and painless, as well as tips for designers and illustrators to make their work clean and strong.


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