Hire an Illustrator has just released its State of Illustration 2019 Report, the biggest survey of illustrators they have ever done, completed by over 3500 creators from around the world.
Compiled by Darren di Lieto, founder of Hire an Illustrator, it’s hoped the survey will help individual illustrators, students and the illustration community at large “to understand who we are, what we do well, what we can do better, and how we can help and support each other,” says Darren.
The survey results includes geographical location of respondents for the first time, and while the respondents to this British survey are from the UK and North America, many were from Europe and beyond, ranging from new artists through to many award-winning creators, with 56% of respondents female and the vast majority of all respondents working from home.
Australia (55%) and the United Kingdom (51%) had the highest number of full-time illustrators, while North and South America had the lowest. Asia (37%) had the most part-time illustrators who held another full-time creative job.
Just over 43% of respondents saw an increase in their income in 2019, fewer than in 2018, where 51.7% saw an increase in their income over the previous year. On the plus side however, an additional 3.5% saw no change in 2019 over 2018 which potentially shows some stability, indicating more respondents had a regular income. There also appears to have been a rise in the number of creators working digitally.
The survey also covers the often thorny question of money and discussed ideas for a public guide to pricing jobs, revealing an average income of around £30,000 a year, noting the importance of agents, plus matters surrounding life work balance and the difficult subject of mental health, with 20% of respondents saying they had mental health issues of some description and had shared or talked about their issues online.
“As a group we are all part of the creative industry, which is responsible for contributing over £100 billion per year to the UK economy alone,” says Darren. “We need to take care of each other and make sure we all have a good work/life balance.”
The online State of Illustration survey was fielded from October to November, 2019, the respondents to the survey a mix of genders and ages who are mostly social media users that are also fiercely independent as self-employed business owners.
“This year the State of Illustration report was the most in-depth analysis of the illustration and creative industry I’ve ever done,” says Darren as part of the report’s conclusion. “It was a mammoth task to conduct the survey, promote it, sieve through the data and write this report, it took over 200 hours to create, while holding down my full-time job as creative director and client relationship manager at Hire an Illustrator.
“Due to the solitary nature of being an artist or freelance illustrator most of them will likely be in isolation a good portion of their working day with their social interactions primarily being limited to social media or communication devices rather than in-person,” he also noted. “So while our sample is representative of the creative industry, it may not offer a complete insight into the general working population, but that isn’t the purpose of our survey.”
• If you wish to take part next year, sign up to be notified or follow one of the Hire and Illustrator social accounts – they’re on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. If you’re looking for advice on pricing, contracts or promotion and would like to kick off or further your freelance career, consider joining Hire an Illustrator, a group of over 500 professional illustrators who would love to have you as part of their community
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.