12 Illustrator Skills: Definition and Examples

By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Updated June 7, 2023

If you're new to Illustrator, or even if you're not, you may be wondering what some of the skills are that are commonly used. Here are 12 of the most commonly used Illustrator skills, with definitions to help you understand what they are.

Illustrator Resume Example

Illustrator Skills

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a software program for editing and creating images. It is used by photographers, graphic designers, and web designers to create high-quality images.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphic design program that allows you to create complex graphics and illustrations. You need it if you want to create high-quality graphics or illustrations for your website, blog, or other project.


The ability to draw is a fundamental skill for any illustrator. A good understanding of how to use line, shape, and form to create images is essential for creating any kind of illustration, whether it be for a book, magazine, website, or even just a simple sketch.


Painting is a tool in Illustrator that allows you to create digital paintings. It is useful for creating illustrations, logos, and other graphics.


The Sketching skill in Illustrator is used to create quick, rough drawings of ideas or concepts. This can be useful for brainstorming or exploring different design options. Sketching can also help to communicate ideas to others more effectively than just using words alone.

Digital painting

Digital painting is a technique that involves using digital tools to create an image that looks like a traditional painting. This can be done by hand, using a tablet and stylus, or by using software that simulates traditional painting techniques.

Digital painting can be used for creating illustrations, concept art, or for simply adding a personal touch to photos. It is a versatile skill to have and can be used for a variety of purposes.

Character design

Character design is the process of creating a unique and recognizable character for use in a story, film, or video game. This includes developing the character's appearance, personality, and backstory. A well-designed character will be memorable and relatable to audiences, and will help to drive the plot forward.

Concept art

Concept art is a form of illustration used to convey an idea or concept for use in media such as film, video games, and comics. It is typically created by artists working in collaboration with writers and directors. Concept art is a vital part of the creative process and can be used to develop characters, settings, and storylines.


Storyboarding is a process of creating illustrations or sketches to represent the sequence of events in a story. It is often used in filmmaking and video production to pre-visualize scenes before they are filmed.

Layout design

Layout design is the process of creating the overall look and feel of a page or document. This includes deciding on the placement of text, images, and other elements. It is important to have a good understanding of layout design if you want to create documents that are easy to read and look professional.


Animation is the process of creating moving images through the use of drawings, illustrations, or photographs. This can be done by hand, using a variety of tools and techniques, or it can be done digitally.

You need animation skills to create engaging and visually appealing content for websites, video games, movies, and television. Animation can also be used to create educational content, such as how-to videos and simulations.

Graphic Design

Graphic design is the process of creating visual content to communicate messages. Designers use typography, color, and other design elements to create visually appealing and effective designs.

How to improve illustrator skills

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to improve your Illustrator skills will vary depending on your current level of proficiency and the specific areas you would like to focus on. However, some general tips that can help you improve your Illustrator skills include:

1. Practice, practice, practice: The best way to become better at anything is to practice as much as possible. If you want to improve your Illustrator skills, make sure to set aside time each day or week to work on honing your craft.

2. Take online courses or tutorials: There are a number of excellent online courses and tutorials available that can teach you the basics of Illustrator or help you learn more advanced techniques. Taking advantage of these resources can be a great way to improve your skills.

3. Use reference images: When working on an illustration, it can be helpful to use reference images for inspiration or as a guide. This can help you learn how to recreate certain effects or achieve a desired look in your own work.

4. Experiment: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and styles in your illustrations. Trying new things is a great way to learn and expand your skill set.

5. Get feedback: Ask for feedback from friends, family, or other artists whose opinion you trust. Getting constructive criticism can help you identify areas where you need improvement and learn what others think works well in your illustrations.

How to highlight illustrator skills

When it comes to highlighting your skills as an Illustrator, there are a few key things you can do. First, be sure to showcase your portfolio in a professional and eye-catching way. Secondly, make use of social media platforms and other online tools to market yourself and your work. And lastly, always be willing to put your best foot forward when meeting with potential clients or employers. By following these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful Illustrator.

On a resume

To highlight your skills as an Illustrator on a resume, you should list your experience with the software and any relevant coursework. You should also include a link to your online portfolio, if you have one. If you have any awards or recognition for your work, be sure to mention that as well.

In a cover letter

In your cover letter, be sure to highlight your skills as an illustrator. Include examples of your work that showcase your ability to create stunning visuals. Describe how you use your creativity and artistic talent to bring stories and concepts to life. Tell the reader how you approach each project and what techniques you use to create unique and memorable illustrations.

During an interview

When you are interviewed as an Illustrator, be sure to highlight your skills in creating original artwork. Discuss how you use various mediums, including digital, to create your illustrations. Share examples of your work that showcase your attention to detail and unique style. Also, be sure to mention any experience you have working with clients to create custom illustrations that meet their specific needs.

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