How did I Become an Illustrator?


Francesco Lo Iacono is an Italian illustrator currently based in London. He has previously lived in Paris for about five years, where he also worked for a trend forecasting agency. He has already worked with a wide range of clients, including fashion designers, high-end department stores, and fashion magazines. With a distinguished skill in live drawing, he has been sketching during shows and backstage at London and Paris Fashion Week. His client list includes Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Off-White, Fendi, JW Anderson, REDValentino, Bottega Veneta, Vogue Japan, Ted Baker, Paul Smith, rag & bone, Paris Fashion Week, GQ Mexico, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, InStyle Uk, Superdrug and more.

How was your University time?

I had a great time when I was at the Fine Arts back in Italy. I felt blessed I could focus on my art every day. I also discovered my love for photography and fashion, which are two main areas of interest to me.

Why did you choose Illustrator as a career in this field?

I often say that I didn’t really choose it myself. I feel more like I couldn’t do anything else to be satisfied. So I worked hard to make this my daily job.

What was your first job or nuggets from jobs you had that helped you get to where you are today?

I worked for a little while for a trend forecasting agency, and that experience really taught me a lot as a person and as a creative. I really have fond memories of that time. The team was amazing, and I learned something new every day.

How did you prepare for the interview?

When I have job meetings, I mostly try to reorganize my portfolio to target my client’s potential needs. I try to anticipate potential questions and prepare enough information about my rates. 

Things are changing very fast in the industry; how do you keep yourself updated. Please list techniques or newsletters, podcasts, events, etc.

I think Instagram is, for me, the best way to keep myself updated. Mostly by following fashion magazines or other fashion and illustration resources. I also listen to some podcasts sometimes by other illustrators, but it’s rather a habit for a while I am working.

Any advice about CVs?

I don’t feel like CVs are really important for illustrators. In a way, the portfolio is our CV, our business card that should always be ready for potential clients. So I would recommend taking some time to work on your portfolio, with 100% stunning images only, diverse and interesting. And besides that, keeping it updated!

Advice for someone looking for a job?

Be patient, trust yourself and keep pushing!

Lessons from jobs that you couldn’t get.

Being always ready and available and keeping the conversation open.

Also read How I Became a Watercolor Realist, Illustrator, and Fine Art Instructor

How did I Become an Illustrator?

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