How to Become a Sketch Artist

Sketch artists are those who draw characters or portraits on paper before transferring them digitally onto other media such as canvas, paper, etc. This artistically unique skill is highly sought after by various industries, especially in the entertainment field. If you would like to pursue a career as a sketch artist, then here are some tips to get started:

A sketch artist captures the essence of a person through his/her drawing style. The art form has existed since ancient times, but its popularity grew during the Renaissance period. Today sketch artists are employed by movie studios, advertising agencies, and newspaper companies, among others.

There are four main steps involved in becoming a professional sketch artist. We explore them below.

Hoe to Become a Sketch Artist

1. Learn Drawing Skills

Before starting your journey as an aspiring sketch artist, you must have excellent drawing skills. It will be tough for your work to stand out if you don’t know how to capture the essence of someone in your drawings. Some useful resources for improving your skills include online courses, books, and practice sessions with your friends and family.

The Internet is full of free learning tools like websites and video tutorials that can help you improve your artistic abilities. There are also classes available at local schools, community colleges, and universities that teach basic drawing techniques. You should look into these options first as they’re more affordable than training from private lessons.

2. Find Your Niche

After you acquire good drawing skills, it’s time to choose your niche. Do you want to become a character illustrator? A portrait modeler? Or perhaps a background artist for movies and TV shows? Once you decide what type of sketches you want to do, you need to find opportunities to showcase them. Look for ways to make money doing what you love at, whether it’s illustrating children’s storybooks or designing posters for a fashion brand.

3. Get Experience

Once you start working for a company or organization, keep building up your portfolio. Offer your services to different clients so that you get feedback on your work and learn about their needs. Remember to ask for critiques from professionals so you can fine-tune your style. When you gain experience, you’ll likely be able to charge higher rates.

4. Network and Grow Your Brand

Doing freelance work allows you to build relationships with people from all over the world. By sharing your talents with others via social networks, you’ll get lots of exposure and potential customers. When you have enough followers on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, then it’s time for you to start selling yourself as a freelance artist.

5. Create a Professional Portfolio

Build a digital portfolio of your work to post on your website, social media pages, blogs, etc. Ask other artists for recommendations to boost your visibility. If you’re new to the industry, try attending art seminars, workshops, and conferences where you can meet other professionals and potentially land some lucrative projects.

How Much Does a Sketch Artist Make?

Now that you know how to reach your goal, we can talk about how much you can expect to earn from being a sketch artist. According to, there are two ways you can go about this:

Sketching For Hire

In this scenario, you provide a set of your sketches to a client who hires you per project. Depending on the length of each project, you can charge anywhere between $50-$150 per hour—a decent hourly rate considering many freelancers do not charge any fees upfront.


This means taking on multiple side gigs, such as illustrating books, posters, and greeting cards. To generate revenue, you typically take on one gig at a time until it pays off. In the long run, you may end up making much less than artists who stick to just one profession. However, by diversifying your income sources and putting in extra effort, you can still make a good living.

If sketching is what you enjoy doing, then you probably won’t mind spending most of your free time practicing, networking, and honing your skills. But, do consider investing time and money into developing your career if sketching doesn’t sound particularly appealing.