The state of Alabama features nearly half a million commercial companies. Alabama businesses are in constant need of professional illustrators for various creative tasks like designing brand logos, product packaging, text-based illustrations and multimedia productions, among other things. Alabama offers ample opportunities for local talents pursuing careers in this highly specialized field.
Alabama Schools and Training Programs for Illustrators
Alabama artists can study illustration in any of a number of ways. One way is by taking private lessons. Numerous local artists earn their livings by training other local artists. On the other hand, some aspiring illustrators choose the traditional route, earning fine arts degrees at local colleges. Accredited Alabama fine arts colleges include South University in Montgomery, Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, Auburn University in Auburn, Colors Fine Arts Center in Madison and Excel School of Fine Arts in Huntsville.
Other educational options include accredited online art schools like The Art Institutes, Full Sail University, Stratford Career Institute, ITT Tech, DeVry, University of Phoenix, National University and quite a few others. Local campuses are sometimes available in conjunction with online programs. University of Phoenix has a campus in Birmingham.
Working as an Illustrator in Alabama
Among the many Alabama companies that hire local freelance illustrators are software developers, interior designers, law enforcement agencies, art schools and major corporations. Some local illustrators are employed in the engineering sector. Successful Alabama engineering firms include Apt-Research in Huntsville, Fluid-Engineering in Birmingham and Carmichael-Engineering in Montgomery, for instance. Some Alabama illustrators do commercial art for local graphic design firms such as Cycle-Graphics in Huntsville, ABM-Graphics in Birmingham or Billy-Pope-Design in Montgomery, among innumerable others.
Full time professional illustrators employed in the state of Alabama reportedly earn about $56,240 per year on average, with an average per-hour rate of just over $27.00. However, these figures do not reflect the incomes of part time illustrators or local freelance professionals. What's more, most local illustrators are freelancers.
Skills of a Professional Illustrator
Professional illustrators demonstrate drawing and coloring expertise in many different media forms. They quickly sketch compelling images and are highly competent in the appropriate use of illustration media like pens, pencils, oil paint, water colors, acrylics, collage and anything else you can think to place on a page, as well as with the many materials used in creating the page itself. Modern-day illustration artists are also completely proficient with computer operating systems and digital illustration software applications. Even naturally talented illustrative artists need to practice and broaden their scope, which is why most potential employers prefer candidates with degrees in fine arts.