Who Are We?


This is the first year we accurately recorded the geographical location of our respondents, and we were pleased see that a significant number of respondents took part from countries where English isn’t the dominant language (1168). When running an international survey from Britain in English it’s generally expected that North America and the United Kingdom, along with parts of Europe will dominate the results.



On average 33% of our respondents have dependants, those who rely on them as a source of financial support, e.g. children. North America has the highest at 37%, with it being only 11% in Africa. We expected this to be high as a result of the accessible and stay-at-home nature of freelancing in the creative industry.



Out of 3564 respondents, 14% said they were part of the LGBQT+ community with 1.3% identifying as transgender. 4% said they’d prefer not to say and 25% identified as allies of the community. For comparison a 2017 Gallup poll concluded that 4.5% of adult Americans identified as LGBT.


Overall 12% said they were part of an ethnic minority in the country they resided. In Asia, Africa and North America it was 26%, 22% and 19% respectively, but in Europe (excluding the UK) it was only 6% with South America being even lower at 4%.


Of our respondents, 6% stated they were disabled and another 3% said that they’d prefer not to say whether they were disabled or not. According to the 2017/18 Family Resources Survey from the Department for Work and Pensions (Gov.UK) 18% of working age adults are disabled.


Where do we work?



Of this year’s respondents who had studied illustration or another creative subject at degree level or equivalent (2905), only 7% said their course had prepared them for the business side of their career (customer management, finance, contracts, etc.) with 27% saying they’d been somewhat prepared.

Professional perception

51% felt they were mostly taken seriously as a professional, while 17% said they were always taken seriously. Only 3% said they were never taken seriously. There wasn’t a lot of variation between countries on this point.


Those who had won accolades are in a sizeable minority, with 21% (757) stating they have won a professionally recognised award. Just under half of those awards (325) were given to North American residents.

Which awards?

Some of the awards received by our respondents, in no particular order: 3×3 International Illustration Awards, Infected by Art, Spectrum, SCBWI Portfolio Awards, Communication Arts Illustration Competition, AADC Awards, American Advertising Awards (ADDYs), AIGA Awards, Applied Arts Awards, Creative Quarterly, Society of illustrators Annual Competition, MoCCA Arts Festival Awards of Excellence, Lürzer’s Archive, American Illustration, AOI Images, World Illustration Awards, ADC Annual Awards, ADCC Awards, D&AD Awards, Hugo Awards, Eisner Awards, V&A Illustration Awards. (This is not an endorsement of any of these awards, annuals or shows, this is a just a list of the ones which were mentioned most often during the survey.)

83% of respondents said they would like to see more illustration competitions that didn’t require an entry fee. Predominately Asia and South America wanted to see more free competitions, while 72% of Australia and New Zealand wanted more industry competitions with no entry fees.

Illustration © 2019 Pete Underhill