Becoming an illustrator. Inspiration story of John Thompson

Frankly speaking, the illustrator profession is no more an exotic one. It is in a high demand due to a variety of reasons. Today, companies, famous editions and published magazines, different services and simply those who need a kind of non-typical and creative thing uses the help of illustrators to attract the audience.

Becoming an illustrator

Authors of artworks are magical wizards creating a fairy things to differentiate and make it individual whatever it is – logo, poster, postcard, advertisement, website, book or magazine illustration.

Illustrator path or John`s story

It is a different way for everyone to become an illustrator. Someone enters the university, another attends courses, the third person does it by his own. So, no ideal path or formula exists.

John was inspired by his father. He is 77 years old illustrator from the U.S. John Thomson moved to Oxford, Ohio and enter the Miami University to learn painting. Exactly after graduation, he went into the ad’s word and worked as an art director in Chicago ad agency. Then, in the 1970s he left this sphere to paint. Though some his works were still tied with commercial image creation and ad, he has already been hired as an illustrator.

Becoming an illustrator

Stay in a row

Next decade he was involved in the work with the United States Air Force. He was to create a series of documenting paintings. And this period was hard as far as he travelled with a medical crew to Islamabad Pakistan in the conditions of the Russian Afghan war.

His works were full of differences: from beautiful sceneries to highly impressive portraits. They were figuring in a plenty of editions and magazines, on the famous stamps of Postal Service of the United States, NASA and United States Air Force (mentioned above).

You can find his works in Harper/Collins Publishing, Newsweek, Time magazine, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Playboy magazine, etc.

Becoming an illustrator

Important tips for a modern illustrator

  1. Develop your style. It is exactly about being different from that cohort of illustrators. Make something inherent to you, as it is the most valuable trait and just the thing you can bring to the world.
  2. Get inspiration from anything and do a good job from nothing. Whether you decided to work for this job, be ready to overcome periods of being uninspired and unmotivated to create. Train the ability to work under the short time conditions. John was involved in tough conditions being in a delegation of the U.S. Air Forces, but still, he continues working.
  3. Have your presentation website or at least a Behance account. Let the world know about you.
  4. Get computer design skills. Whether you choose illustration, fine art or graphic design direction learn and practice a graphic design software. Modern illustrators possess a good graphic design background (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Illustrator).

Hope this short overview was worth reading and make you continue searching on this topic.

Stay inspired!