Ben the Illustrator’s survey reveals that 60% of illustrators earn less than £20,000

On the plus side, more than half of illustrators surveyed were given more work this year.

18 February 2020
Reading Time
2 minute read

This year’s Illustrators' Survey, created by Ben O’Brien (aka Ben the Illustrator), revealed quite a lot of positives for the industry and those working within it. However despite this, one rubric (and arguably the most important) continues to not be met.

The Association of Illustrators (AOI) considers £20,000 annual salary to be the minimum that an illustrator should earn, however two thirds of those surveyed are still not reaching this benchmark.

A number of aspects regarding money proved to be eye-opening, with it being clear that many illustrators do not feel comfortable dealing with it. For instance more than half of respondents do not feel confident negotiating with clients or in giving initial price estimates.

Despite this there were a number of positives revealed in the report, which was compiled in association with AOI, Adobe, Cass Art and Survey Monkey. Firstly, over 97% of respondents were proud to call themselves an illustrator, showing a positive attitude right now within the industry.

Another real positive came from outside the industry, with commissions on the up this year. Half of those surveyed felt that they have received more work than in previous years, compared to just 28% who feel they have received less.

Rather unsurprisingly Instagram continues to top the social media pile as the platform deemed most influential to illustrators' careers. It was the second most popular method of receiving work (behind repeat clients), and the most popular social media platform, with over 84% of people favouring it.

This may be something that changes in the future though, with only 20% of respondents understanding the ever-changing algorithms.

You can read the full results of the Illustrator’s Survey here.


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About the Author

Charlie Filmer-Court

Charlie joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in December 2019. He has previously worked at Monocle 24, and The Times following an MA in International Journalism at City University. If you have any ideas for stories and work to be featured then get in touch.

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