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Fashion illustration as a career option is growing in popularity thanks in part to the images we see being shared on social media, so if you are wondering about how to get started and what it takes to become a successful fashion illustrator we thought who better than to ask than Ohab Tochukwu Bernard Johnbosco aka TBJ, the illustrator behind the striking illustration gracing the cover of Fashion Illustration Africa that since its release has struck a chord with fashion and art lovers alike. TBJ kindly shares his list of 5 things you need to know about becoming a successful fashion illustrator, starting by answering the question what exactly is fashion illustration:

Fashion Illustration is the art of communicating fashion ideas in a visual form that originates with illustrationdrawing, and painting and also known as fashion sketching. –Wikipedia 2017

1. Have No Self-Doubt

Believing in yourself is everything, as is keeping a positive mindset towards your everyday activity. I think it’s really important for any creative to never underestimate what they can do.

...it’s really important for any creative to never underestimate what they can do... Click To Tweet
2. Do Your Research

You’ve decided to pursue becoming a fashion illustrator as a career…congratulations!!!

This is where you start to put in work by starting with ‘research’. Take all the time you need to study the fashion industry and also the top illustrators in the field. I think social media comes in handy a lot here. Utilize your internet access, create an online identity for yourself, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter among others but be mindful not to forget why you started and your purpose and avoid getting carried away, because trust me there is so much distraction on the internet. Yes of course you must picked out a few fashion illustrators whose work you really admire, follow them online, study them, stay inspired, and if possible write to them for a few tips on how best to navigate your journey from their perspective and trust me you might get lucky with some feedback and all.

Ohab Tochukwu Bernard Johnbosco TBJ Fashion Illustration
  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

Sleepless nights will become your best friend. You must have heard the saying ‘’constant practice makes one a professional’’. Here’s what I did, I tried to acquire as many art/fashion illustration materials as possible both soft copies & hard copies to learn and practice with. This stage is very demanding, but you must keep your head up and keep working on yourself. Respect your humble beginnings. Stay on course and with time it will definitely become a part of you. Remember money/income shouldn’t be a priority here. Yes the money will come later because art itself [can be] lucrative, but you must put in the work first.

'constant practice makes one a professional’ Click To Tweet
3. Create a Unique Style

Develop a unique style and stick to it. In carving yourself a niche in the creative industry it will benefit you greatly to have your own unique style of illustration. You will notice from your research and studies of other illustrators that almost every fashion illustrator, if not all of them has a unique style to their work (a trademark).

I must tell you, this won’t come easy but it will definitely happen someday with time and constant practice and everyday effort. It took me some years to develop the style I work with today, but it was worth it indeed. Be patient and while you practice and all, pray over everything and ask for guidance and certainly your style will come to you someday.

Ohab Tochukwu Bernard Johnbosco TBJ Fashion Illustration
4. Networking

You should endeavor to keep a circle of friends that really inspire your journey a lot. Try to picture yourself as a little plant that needs good manure, watering, fresh air and sunlight to grow. Attend as many fashion events as you can. I think you should target mainly the ones that give free entry to the audience for now. Meet people, designers mostly, interact, ask questions, take pictures if you can, and have fun.

keep a circle of friends that really inspire your journey Click To Tweet

It’s important to always remember that your journey to becoming a fashion illustrator won’t be smooth sailing, but always try to focus on the beautiful parts of life, stay positive and believe in yourself no matter what. Try also to learn something new every day because knowledge never ends.

learn something new every day because knowledge never ends Click To Tweet

More talent, less ego.

Keep going, and you’ll be successful and happy.

– Ohab Tochukwu Bernard Johnbosco

Ohab Tochukwu Bernard Johnbosco aka TBJ is a Nigerian illustrator , and one of the featured creatives in Fashion illustration Africa.

[Image credits: The images shown belong to Ohab Tochukwu Bernard Johnbosco. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

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