Job title Sports Illustrator
What does a sports illustrator do?
As a self-employed professional sports illustrator I am commissioned by clients to produce an illustration for a specific purpose. Clients I have worked with in the sports industry include broadcasters (BT Sports), professional clubs (Aston Villa) and organisations (The FA).
How did you get into sports illustration?
It is all a result of spending time producing the kind of work you want to do. I love sport and enjoy producing visuals addressing a sporting theme. By sharing this work in your portfolio, potential clients are able to see what you can produce.
Where has your work appeared?
Editorial work has been for publications including The Guardian Weekend, British GQ, WIRED, and These Football Times. A couple of the BT Sports illustrations were animated for broadcast. Often work for football clubs will be for use online or in print for the matchday programme.
Why do you think illustrations are becoming such a popular form of sports content, online, at events and on TV?
With the take-up of digital broadcast in sport and greater opportunities to engagement with an audience, illustration is a natural creative tool to help deliver content. There is also the reactionary function of illustration, with brands, broadcasters, clubs or organisations able to commission work for a relatively tight turnaround in reaction to an event.
What was your first commission?
The first was a graduation poster for a Russian ballet school.
How does one become an illustrator - tell us about your qualification, education, relevant experience…
I studied advertising and worked in the industry until I felt the time was right to start my own thing. I failed GCSE Art and so wasn't able to follow that academically, my experience has been from working in the creative industry.
What advice would you give to someone looking to embark on a career in illustration?
Very simply, do the work you most enjoy - and let the rest take care of itself.