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5 Freelance Illustrator Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

Your freelance illustrator resume should highlight your diverse skill set. Showcase your proficiency in various illustration tools and techniques. Demonstrate your experience through a portfolio of completed projects. Ensure your creativity and unique style shine through each piece.

All resume examples in this guide

As a freelance illustrator, articulating the diversity of your project experiences without overshadowing your unique style can be a daunting resume challenge. Our guide offers actionable steps to help you craft a compelling narrative that showcases your versatility while highlighting your distinct artistic voice.

Stay tuned for more ideas on how to write your freelance illustrator resume:
  • Find different freelance illustrator resume examples to serve as inspiration to your professional presentation.
  • How to use the summary or objective to highlight your career achievements.
  • How to create the experience section to tell your story.
  • Must have certificates and what to include in the education section of your resume.

If the freelance illustrator resume isn't the right one for you, take a look at other related guides we have:

Simple guide to your freelance illustrator resume format and layout

Successful freelance illustrator resumes all have one specific characteristic - candidates have invested in a simple resume layout . One that is easy to read, makes a good first impression, and is adapted to their professional experience. There are three distinct resume formats to help you focus on your:

  • professional experience - use the reverse-chronological resume format;
  • skills and achievements - via the functional skill-based resume format;
  • both experience and skills - with a hybrid resume format .

What is more, keep in mind that your resume may be initially assessed by the ATS (Applicant Tracker System) (or the software used by companies in the hiring process). The freelance illustrator resumes that suit the ATS:

  • have a header that includes either a role keyword or the job you're applying for;
  • should be no longer than two pages;
  • be submitted as PDF, unless specified otherwise.

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Bold the names of educational institutions and certifying bodies for emphasis.

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Traditional sections, appreciated by recruiters, for your freelance illustrator resume:

  • Clear and concise header with relevant links and contact details
  • Summary or objective with precise snapshot of our career highlights and why you're a suitable candidate for the freelance illustrator role
  • Experience that goes into the nuts and bolts of your professional qualifications and success
  • Skills section(-s) for more in-depth talent-alignment between job keywords and your own profile
  • Education and certifications sections to further show your commitment for growth in the specific niche
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What recruiters want to see on your resume:

  • Strong portfolio showcasing diverse illustration skills and styles.
  • Relevant project experience with a history of meeting client deadlines.
  • Proficiency in industry-standard software such as Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.).
  • Ability to conceptualize and communicate visual ideas effectively.
  • Experience with multiple mediums and techniques (digital, print, etc.) and understanding of the production process.

Guide to your most impressive freelance illustrator resume experience section

When it comes to your resume experience , stick to these simple, yet effective five steps:

  • Show how your experience is relevant by including your responsibility, skill used, and outcome/-s;
  • Use individual bullets to answer how your experience aligns with the job requirements;
  • Think of a way to demonstrate the tangible results of your success with stats, numbers, and/or percentages ;
  • Always tailor the experience section to the freelance illustrator role you're applying for - this may sometimes include taking out irrelevant experience items;
  • Highlight your best (and most relevant) achievements towards the top of each experience bullet.

You're not alone if you're struggling with curating your experience section. That's why we've prepared some professional, real-life freelance illustrator resume samples to show how to best write your experience section (and more).

Work Experience
Freelance Concept Illustrator
  • Designed and delivered over 100+ unique character concepts for a variety of clients, which increased repeat business by 20% due to high client satisfaction.
  • Collaborated with children’s book authors to create engaging illustrations, leading to a 15% increase in book sales for several indie publishers.
  • Managed and executed all stages of illustration, from concept to final artwork, ensuring projects were delivered on time and within budget.
Work Experience
Freelance Digital Illustrator
  • Produced digital illustrations for 30+ mobile applications which enhanced user experience and were instrumental in achieving an average 4.5-star rating on the app stores.
  • Streamlined illustration workflow by incorporating Adobe Creative Cloud software, increasing productivity by 25%.
  • Conducted successful client consultations which led to a deeper understanding of project needs and customization of artworks.
Work Experience
Contract Illustrator and Visual Designer
Freelance Collaboration
  • Illustrated 20+ posters and promotional materials for nationwide marketing campaigns, significantly boosting event attendance by an estimated 35%.
  • Developed a signature illustration style which resulted in a personal feature on the Adobe Creative Station blog, expanding reach and followership by over 10,000.
  • Provided mentorship to 5 up-and-coming artists by leading webinar training sessions on advanced illustration techniques.
Work Experience
Independent Commercial Illustrator
  • Partnered with a major fashion retailer to produce over 50 custom illustrations for seasonal clothing lines, contributing to a 30% increase in seasonal sales.
  • Implemented a client feedback loop for illustration projects, which improved project satisfaction scores by 40%.
  • Launched an online portfolio that attracted an average of 2,500 unique monthly visitors, securing over 10 new projects per year.
Work Experience
Senior Freelance Illustrator and Art Director
Various Gaming Studios
  • Established a successful partnership with a videogame studio to create over 200 environmental assets that were pivotal in the immersive game design for their flagship title.
  • Led an art team as a senior freelancer on several projects, ensuring consistency in style and quality across all illustrations, which garnered positive reviews from industry critics.
  • Leveraged social media platforms to expand client base, resulting in a 50% increase in commissioned projects for the calendar year 2022.
Work Experience
Freelance Technical Illustrator
  • Provided 40+ technical illustrations for use in patent applications, which facilitated the successful filing and granting of patents for client inventions.
  • Created custom branding illustrations for 15 startups, aiding them in establishing a visual identity and reported average customer engagement growth by 45%.
  • Adapted illustration style to meet the needs of a diverse international client base, leading to a 60% increase in global commissions.
Work Experience
Freelance Storyboard Artist and Illustrator
  • Developed storyboards and illustrations for 5 animated short films, which were featured in international film festivals and received numerous accolades.
  • Partnered with educational publishers to create over 300 illustrations for textbooks, enhancing learning experiences and contributing to a 20% uptick in publisher sales.
  • Coordinated with a team of freelance artists on large-scale projects, improving project turnaround time by 30% through effective division of labor.
Work Experience
Freelance Brand Illustrator
  • Specialized in creating unique brand mascots for over 25 companies, which aided in differentiating their brand presence in a crowded market space.
  • Formulated a series of educational illustrations and infographics for an environmental agency that were used in public awareness campaigns across social media platforms.
  • Optimized illustration delivery times by adopting a new digital painting technique, boosting client turnover by 20% while maintaining high-quality standards.

Quantifying impact on your resume

  • Include the number of freelance projects completed to demonstrate workload management and productivity.
  • List the percentage increase in client social media engagement or sales due to your illustrations to show the direct impact of your work.
  • Specify the number of client revisions accommodated to indicate flexibility and client satisfaction.
  • Mention the precise timescales within which projects were delivered to emphasize reliability and time management.
  • Indicate the number of repeated clients or long-term partnerships to highlight trust and quality in your professional relationships.
  • Detail the size of the audiences or user bases for projects you've worked on to showcase the extent of your work's visibility.
  • Quote the number of views, likes, or shares on digital illustrations to provide measurable popularity and engagement data.
  • Provide the monetary value of the projects handled if applicable, to ascertain your experience with high-value contracts.

Action verbs for your freelance illustrator resume

Action verbs (also known as power verbs) are great for describing your achievements and responsibilities. They highlight your skills and show you’re able to take responsibility. Use these gems to make your experience section shine!
Read The Guide

Four quick steps for candidates with no resume experience

Those with less or no relevant experience could also make a good impression on recruiters by:

  • Taking the time to actually understand what matters most to the role and featuring this within key sections of their resume
  • Investing resume space into defining what makes them a valuable candidate with transferrable skills and personality
  • Using the resume objective to showcase their personal vision for growth within the company
  • Heavily featuring their technical alignment with relevant certifications, education, and skills.

Remember that your resume is about aligning your profile to that of the ideal candidate.

The more prominently you can demonstrate how you answer job requirements, the more likely you'd be called in for an interview.

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The more trusted the organization you've attained your certificate (or degree) from, the more credible your skill set would be.

Bringing your freelance illustrator hard skills and soft skills to the forefront of recruiters' attention

Hard skills are used to define the technological (and software) capacities you have in the industry. Technical skills are easily defined via your certification and expertise.

Soft skills have more to do with your at-work personality and how you prosper within new environments. People skills can be obtained thanks to your whole life experience and are thus a bit more difficult to define.

Why do recruiters care about both types of skills?

Hard skills have more to do with job alignment and the time your new potential employers would have to invest in training you.

Soft skills hint at how well you'd adapt to your new environment, company culture, and task organization.

Fine-tune your resume to reflect on your skills capacities and talents:

  • Avoid listing basic requirements (e.g. "Excel"), instead substitute with the specifics of the technology (e.g. "Excel Macros").
  • Feature your workplace values and ethics as soft skills to hint at what matters most to you in a new environment.
  • Build a separate skills section for your language capabilities, only if it makes sense to the role you're applying for.
  • The best way to balance freelance illustrator hard and soft skills is by building a strengths or achievements section, where you define your outcomes via both types of skills.

There are plenty of skills that could make the cut on your resume.

That's why we've compiled for you some of the most wanted skills by recruiters, so make sure to include the technologies and soft skills that make the most sense to you (and the company you're applying for):

Top skills for your freelance illustrator resume:

Drawing and Sketching

Digital Painting

Adobe Creative Suite Proficiency

Understanding of Color Theory

Graphic Design

3D Modeling



Animation Basics

Knowledge of Printing Processes



Time Management




Attention to Detail


Client Relations


Continuous Learning

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Highlight any significant extracurricular activities that demonstrate valuable skills or leadership.

Freelance Illustrator-specific certifications and education for your resume

Place emphasis on your resume education section . It can suggest a plethora of skills and experiences that are apt for the role.

  • Feature only higher-level qualifications, with details about the institution and tenure.
  • If your degree is in progress, state your projected graduation date.
  • Think about excluding degrees that don't fit the job's context.
  • Elaborate on your education if it accentuates your accomplishments in a research-driven setting.

On the other hand, showcasing your unique and applicable industry know-how can be a literal walk in the park, even if you don't have a lot of work experience.

Include your accreditation in the certification and education sections as so:

  • Important industry certificates should be listed towards the top of your resume in a separate section
  • If your accreditation is really noteworthy, you could include it in the top one-third of your resume following your name or in the header, summary, or objective
  • Potentially include details about your certificates or degrees (within the description) to show further alignment to the role with the skills you've attained
  • The more recent your professional certificate is, the more prominence it should have within your certification sections. This shows recruiters you have recent knowledge and expertise

At the end of the day, both the education and certification sections hint at the initial and continuous progress you've made in the field.

And, honestly - that's important for any company.

Below, discover some of the most recent and popular Freelance Illustrator certificates to make your resume even more prominent in the applicant pool:

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The top 5 certifications for your freelance illustrator resume:

  1. Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) - Adobe
  2. Certified Medical Illustrator (CMI) - Association of Medical Illustrators
  3. Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) - CompTIA
  4. Graphic Design Certification - New York Institute of Art and Design
  5. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite Certification - Corel Corporation
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Mention specific courses or projects that are pertinent to the job you're applying for.

Adding a summary or objective to your freelance illustrator resume

One of the most crucial elements of your professional presentation is your resume's top one-third. This most often includes:

  • Either a resume summary - your career highlights at a glance. Select the summary if you have plenty of relevant experience (and achievements), you'd like recruiters to remember about your application.
  • Or, a resume objective - to showcase your determination for growth. The perfect choice for candidates with less experience, who are looking to grow their career in the field.

If you want to go above and beyond with your freelance illustrator resume summary or resume objective, make sure to answer precisely why recruiters need to hire you. What is the additional value you'd provide to the company or organization? Now here are examples from real-life freelance illustrator professionals, whose resumes have helped them land their dream jobs:

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Resume summaries for a freelance illustrator job

  • With over a decade of experience in crafting compelling illustrations for children's books and editorial publications, I'm a seasoned freelance illustrator who specializes in digital and traditional media. My notable achievement includes illustrating a New York Times best-seller and consistently delivering projects that exceed client expectations through innovative visual storytelling and attention to detail.
  • Transitioning from a successful career as a graphic designer with 8 years under my belt, I've honed an impeccable eye for design and composition, now channeled into freelance illustration. My robust Adobe Creative Suite skills, coupled with a passion for narrative art, drive my ambition to create captivating illustrations that resonate with diverse audiences.
  • As a professional photographer of 7 years making a creative leap into illustration, I bring a unique perspective to this art form. My extensive experience with visual composition and lighting informs my illustrative work, creating detailed and vibrant pieces. Proven success in gallery exhibitions and commissioned photography projects showcases my dedication to the aesthetic and narrative power of imagery.
  • As a dynamic illustrator with 5 years of experience working with agencies and private clients, my expertise lies in creating impactful character designs and atmospheric environments for video games and animation. Equipped with a proficiency in both 2D and 3D digital illustration tools, I was instrumental in the visual development of an award-winning indie game.
  • Eager to embark on a journey in the world of freelance illustration, I seek to apply my artistic talents nurtured during my Fine Arts degree and my fervor for visual storytelling. With a portfolio that displays a wide range of styles and mediums, my objective is to grow under the mentorship of experienced illustrators and contribute fresh, imaginative perspectives to client projects.
  • As a recent art school graduate, my objective is to leverage the foundational skills I've developed in drawing, composition, and color theory to break into the freelance illustration industry. Keen to put my theoretical knowledge and creative concepts into practice, I am determined to provide unique and engaging illustration work that will make a memorable impression in the visual art space.

Showcasing your personality with these four freelance illustrator resume sections

Enhance your freelance illustrator expertise with additional resume sections that spotlight both your professional skills and personal traits. Choose options that not only present you in a professional light but also reveal why colleagues enjoy working with you:

  • My time - a pie chart infographic detailing your daily personal and professional priorities, showcasing a blend of hard and soft skills;
  • Hobbies and interests - share your engagement in sports, fandoms, or other interests, whether in your local community or during personal time;
  • Quotes - what motivates and inspires you as a professional;
  • Books - indicating your reading and comprehension skills, a definite plus for employers, particularly when your reading interests align with your professional field.

Key takeaways

We trust that this Enhancv guide has been informative and useful. To summarize the essential points:

  • Opt for a simple and readable format, focusing more on your freelance illustrator achievements rather than just duties;
  • Emphasize your accomplishments in the freelance illustrator experience section over mere responsibilities;
  • If lacking relevant experience, utilize various resume sections like education and volunteering to demonstrate your suitable skill set;
  • Never overlook the significance of pertinent higher education, training, and certifications;
  • Incorporate diverse sections in your resume to highlight not just your skills expertise but also your personality.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He has written more than 500 resume guides and deep-dive articles on how to create your resume and cover letter, that inspire job applicants to make a resume to be proud of. His work has been featured in Forbes, Zendesk, HubSpot, and Business Insider, and cited by top universities and educational institutions, like Thunderbird School of Management, Rochester University, University of Miami, and Udemy. Volen applies his deep knowledge and practical experience to write about career changes, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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