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List of Careers in Drawing

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For many, doodling with a pen or pencil and paper can foster desires to turn their skills and talents into full-fledged careers. Several training institutes, art schools and college/university programs work to help those folks hone their skills and enter a number of notable drawing-based careers. Although there’s several options, a few rise to the top as being the common choices among artists who’ve turned their passion into successful careers.

Graphic Design/Animation

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With either typical print media or electronic media, graphic designers and artists are tasked with creating layout presentations for book, magazines, newspapers, reports and other periodicals, as well as aid in creating appealing product labels and package art. Graphic artists are typically employed by firms to develop ideas around the client’s concepts pertaining to their product or desires. Animators usually work at studios that create either feature films, children’s programming, animated TV shows or animated commercials. Annual wages for both jobs vary according to location and type of jobs performed.

Technical Drawing

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Also called drafting, tech drawers create detailed plans for computer components and structural building plans. Engineering principles come heavily into play in the career of a drafter. In addition to the standard sketch materials of pencil and paper, calculators and Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD) programs are used extensively to create blueprints for the final product. The jobs in technical drawing vary: electrical drafters plan wiring detail; electronics drafters create plans for circuit diagrams; and pipeline drafters work in heavy industry, creating pipelines and refinery plant designs.


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Whether it’s for the so-called “Big Three” comic book companies (Marvel, DC and Image) or for smaller press, comic book artists and graphic novelists generally receive pay-for-page wages, which means they’re paid for each drawn page of a work. In some cases, the artist is under contract and is responsible for drawing a series of comics to receive pay. The same applies to illustrators for graphic novels or children’s books; they are hired to complete a work for publication and work as part of the art team. Graphic novelists may receive part of a sales commission that will be divided among the creative team (inker, writers and colorists, respectively).

  • “The DC Comics Guide to Penciling Comics”; Klaus Janson; 2001
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