"State of illustration" survey

  • Hello!

    Have you seen this survey?

    I was wondering how you guys relate to it since you are mostly based in North America.

    I think it gives a good insight about the industry and the differences between being an illustrator in Europe, Australia / NZ, Asia, South America, etc.

    Let me know what you think!



    Source : Hire an Illustrator, survey by Darren di Lieto, https://stateofillustration.com/19

  • Huh. This is pretty interesting. I am seeing some things that don't line up though and I want to read it in more detail to see if I can get clarity. For example, 47% of respondents claimed to be a "full time illustrator" as their only job, yet over 55% of respondents made less than $20,000 a year (36% of all respondents less than $10,000 a year). I wonder if those numbers were intentionally lowered or if the majority of respondents were just an extension income of a 2 income household and just still considered it a full time job?

  • Thanks for posting this. I'm a data nerd, so this will really help when updating my business plan.

  • @jdubz
    perhaps also some young illustrators who are still living with parents and don't have to pay rent 😉

  • @Julia not sure about Europe.
    I always wonder other illustrators are making a living.

    I've got a few friends graduated from a prestigious illustration MFA program. One received several big awards immediately after her graduation, yet have to work as a baby sitter for a while to support her living. One year later, she decided to leave USA and go back to her home country, because not enough work for her in USA at that moment. She is starting to generate more income now -- roughly 3 years after graduation, which is pretty fast among recent graduates, I believe.

    Another who is doing well actually went to fashion design industry and paint books occasionally. Both her publication and fashion clients are not in US though.

  • @jdubz 42% are supported by a spouse, family member, etc.

    Either they earn too little to support themselve or, althought it is a full time work, they have othe family duties? It is likely to be the case if one parent is a stay at home parent while the other work, in the largest category of age represented in the survey (25-40)

    What stroke me, on my side, is that European illustrators seem to have better conditions (although a smaller market if you take into account the langage barrier). Yet it does not take the cost of living in the different countries.

    And also, IG followers is more or less providing source of revenue depending where you live!

  • @Jennyann how? I would be interested!

  • @Julia

    Hi Julia, I use information like this to help me understand my Business Landscape, which includes my target audience, barriers, and what makes my products and services stand out. In addition, I use it to understand Market and Trends for an Industry Overview. This helps me determine my top three markets, determine barriers and threats to these markets, and then that helps to Identify Problems, Solutions, and Advantages I can use to move past those barriers.

    So, for instance, I found that in 2012 in the National Endowment for the Arts did three reports that revealed finding about Arts Impact. It showed that

    • 73% of people attend the arts to Socialize with friends and family, of that 50% of adults attend the arts with friends.
      • 64% of people attend to learn new things
      • Young Adults
      • Adults without diplomas/the lowest income attend 76% of the time, 48% of working-class and 67 % of middle class attending some form of the arts.

    It also showed barriers that stop individuals from attending the arts showed that:
    • 47% of people said they didn't have enough time
    • 38% said that it cost too much
    • 37% said it was hard to get too.
    • 22% noted that they didn't have anyone to go with them.

    Some solutions they suggested were :
    • To a couple of low-cost admission with learning-focused programming
    • Increase community engagement
    • Provide opportunities to socialize and experience new art forms
    • Market to couples deciding on date night options

    This helped me to look at the local data I collected from the people in the community where my studio is located to make comparisons with the needs they wanted for their youth. As a result, it helped me to determine my class offerings for my studio that is going to open soon. When I open I'll be able to gather new data to create better results for my students..

    In Illustration, I'm going to use this data to determine the markets that are best for me, and to see if they are a fit. This info will also help me with pricing, business structure and more.

  • Oh that's so great! Thank you for answering with so many details. You see, I am not an illustrator, I work in a large corporate company, so I have no idea how illustration and entrepreneurship go together. It is very enlightening, thank you!
    I guess the survey is too broad to give you enough directions for your local market but I suppose that they are not too many surveys so each adds a little knowledge about the industry.

    Good luck!

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