Wrote a new children’s book and need some visuals to accompany the text? Looking to add a hand-drawn feel to your next branding initiative? Need a custom illustrated cover for your new album?

There are more opportunities where you’ll want an artist on hand than you might think—and when those opportunities arise, you want to make sure you have the best illustrator possible in your corner. Let’s take a look at our picks for the top freelance illustrators:

The 10 best freelance illustrators to hire in 2019

Top Level
5.0
( 293 )
  • Logo design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Character or mascot
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Other design
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Logo & business card
  • Other art or illustration
  • T-shirt
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Product label
  • Web page design
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other web or app design
  • Merchandise
  • Sticker
  • Signage
  • Icon or button
  • Poster
  • Business card
  • Product packaging
  • Other business or advertising
  • App design
  • Social media page
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Logo & hosted website
  • Infographic
  • Card or invitation
  • Brochure
  • Brand guide
  • Banner ad
  • 3D
Top Level
5.0
( 111 )
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Book cover
  • Tattoo
  • Other art or illustration
  • Logo design
  • Poster
  • Other design
  • Character or mascot
  • Product packaging
  • Product label
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Banner ad
  • Other book or magazine
  • Icon or button
  • Clothing or apparel
  • T-shirt
  • Social media page
  • Other web or app design
  • Other packaging or label
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • App design
  • Infographic
  • Facebook cover
  • Cup or mug
  • Card or invitation
  • 3D
  • Web page design
Top Level
5.0
( 86 )
  • T-shirt
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Infographic
  • Web page design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other design
  • Logo design
  • Card or invitation
  • Icon or button
  • Sticker
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Signage
  • Other web or app design
  • Merchandise
  • Book cover
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Logo & business card
  • Landing page design
  • Character or mascot
  • Brochure
  • Banner ad
  • Social media page
  • PowerPoint template
  • Other business or advertising
  • Other book or magazine
  • Business card
  • Poster
Top Level
5.0
( 157 )
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Logo design
  • Product packaging
  • T-shirt
  • Product label
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Other packaging or label
  • Merchandise
  • Other web or app design
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Book cover
  • Web page design
  • Signage
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Logo & hosted website
  • Facebook cover
  • Character or mascot
  • Business card
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Poster
  • Icon or button
  • Other book or magazine
  • Landing page design
  • Cup or mug
  • Banner ad
  • Sticker
  • Social media page
  • Logo & business card
  • Other business or advertising
  • 3D
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Other design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Icon or button
  • Card or invitation
  • Typesetting
  • Product packaging
  • Product label
  • Other business or advertising
  • Logo design
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Book cover
Top Level
5.0
( 190 )
  • Logo design
  • Logo & hosted website
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Product packaging
  • Web page design
  • Business card
  • Product label
  • Logo & business card
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Other packaging or label
  • Other design
  • Other business or advertising
  • Landing page design
  • Brand guide
  • T-shirt
  • Poster
  • Icon or button
  • WordPress theme design
  • Other web or app design
  • Merchandise
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Sticker
  • Stationery
  • Social media page
  • Signage
  • Other art or illustration
  • Infographic
  • Flash banner
  • Card or invitation
  • Car, truck or van wrap
  • Brochure
  • Banner ad
  • App design
Top Level
5.0
( 53 )
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Other art or illustration
  • Book cover
  • Sticker
  • T-shirt
  • Poster
  • Other business or advertising
  • Logo design
  • Character or mascot
  • Product label
  • Icon or button
  • Card or invitation
Top Level
5.0
( 171 )
  • T-shirt
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Logo design
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Product label
  • Other design
  • Poster
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Other art or illustration
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Icon or button
  • Product packaging
  • Logo & hosted website
  • Landing page design
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Banner ad
  • Merchandise
Top Level
5.0
( 136 )
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other business or advertising
  • Product packaging
  • Email
  • Brochure
  • Logo design
  • Other design
  • Banner ad
  • Infographic
  • Business card
  • Other packaging or label
  • Menu
  • Product label
  • Other art or illustration
  • Typesetting
  • Signage
  • Poster
  • Other web or app design
  • Other book or magazine
  • Card or invitation
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • PowerPoint template
  • Book cover
  • Web page design
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Logo & business card
  • Icon or button
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • T-shirt
  • Sticker
  • Social media page
  • Merchandise
  • Brand guide
Top Level
5.0
( 104 )
  • Logo design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Logo & business card
  • T-shirt
  • Icon or button
  • Product label
  • Book cover
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Card or invitation
  • Other design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Merchandise
  • Business card
  • Stationery
  • Other web or app design
  • Other book or magazine
  • Infographic
  • Product packaging
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Clothing or apparel

How did we choose these as the top illustrators?

At 99designs, we’re committed to connecting you with the top design talent in the world. And to make sure we deliver, we use a strict set of criteria for evaluating our designers to ensure the talent we feature is truly the best of the best:

Skill

illustration
By Cyntrix

When you work with a designer, you want to know they have the chops to get the job done—and to get it done well. Every designer on the 99designs platform goes through a portfolio review, where our team of in-house design experts carefully reviews their work to make sure they have a firm grasp on:

  • Conceptual thought
  • Creativity
  • Technical execution
  • Knowledge and application of design principles

Once our team has gone through a designer’s portfolio, we assign them to one of three levels:

  • Top Level: expert illustrators that bring the highest level of skill, expertise and creativity to the table
  • Mid Level: designers with a strong portfolio of impressive samples who are on their way to expert level, but still have some experience to get under their belt
  • Entry Level: the next generation of up-and-coming designers—what they lack in experience, they make up for in promise

You’ll have access to every designer’s level before you make a decision—which will help you choose the best designer based on your project needs and budget.

Experience

Illustration is a very specific style of design—and just because someone can whip up an amazing logo or a business card doesn’t mean they have the know-how for custom illustration.

All of the designers we recommend here have significant experience as illustrators.

Professionalism

Someone who can bring your illustration ideas to life is, of course, essential. But someone who can manage the project like a professional is, in our opinion, just as important. Because who wants to work with a designer who doesn’t respond to emails or has a bad attitude—no matter how talented they may be?

When evaluating design talent, we look at a wide range of professional characteristics (like the ability to adhere to deadlines and communication skills) to make sure you’re going to have a positive experience throughout the course of your design project—from ideation straight through to the final design.

What to think about when hiring an illustrator

Hiring an illustrator is a big job—who you choose will have a huge impact on the look and feel of your final design (and the success of your project). Because it’s such an important decision, you want to make sure you hire the right illustrator for the job. Here are a few things to keep in mind during the hiring process to make sure you’re happy with the end result:

by BATHI
  • Look for someone with the right style. There are countless illustration styles—and if you want to come up with a design that feels like the right fit, you need to hire an illustrator whose style aligns with yours, whether you’re into a soft, watercolor look, or a modern line-art piece.
  • Look for a designer with experience illustrating what you need. In the same vein, there are countless things you could illustrate, so look for a designer with experience bringing what you need to life. If you need an album cover illustration, look for someone with experience in the music industry. If you need a map for your book, look for someone with experience drawing maps.
  • Keep budget and timeline in mind! Custom illustration can be a time-consuming process—and the more involved your illustration, the more time (and money) it’ll take to make it happen. When reviewing designers, don’t forget to keep budget and timeline in mind.

Are you ready to hire an artful freelance illustrator?

Illustration is an art form that takes a lot of skill, passion and hard work—which is why hiring the right freelance illustrator is so important.

Didn’t find the illustrator you were looking for on this list?
Not to worry—we’ve got thousands more.