When contacting people for jobs (say an illustrator to do editorial work for a magazine), who do you contact? The editor, art director, etc?

After leaving university, I was left a little confused on how to get jobs as a freelance illustrator - I was always told to seek out the jobs and contact people directly, but I'm not sure who to ask in the company?

Any advice from other freelancers or people who work within those roles would be greatly appreciated :)


  • I use to use a book called Writers & Artists Yearbook to contact editors. It was a listings guide with all sorts of magazines and as I use to be a freelance writer I found it useful source of contacts. Mind you this was quite a few years ago but it did have lots of contacts. I’d say check your local library in normal times, but of course that’s not an option now. You could probably get a copy on Amazon. Hope that helps :)
  • It will depend on the magazine you are interested in working for but certainly the first person should be the Art Director or Art Editor (not all magazines will have an Art Director).

    If you are having difficulty finding the details of a magazine's Art Director or Art Editor , it's certainly worth trying to contact the Editor or Designer of the magazine you are keen to work with.

    Lots of luck.
  • I think Art Director is usually the go to Katie, but can be really hard to find the details. I’m sure some magazines/newspapers maybe work differently though? Some of the heavily illustrated magazines have submissions forms etc too, which are worth a shot!
  • Hi Katie,

    Happy New Year.

    It's best to goto the Art Director with your portfolio. Do your research as well, see if your style of illustration will fit with the style of the magazine. Maybe you could take an existing article and illustrate it in your style.

    Even if it doesn't the Art Director may keep your details and portfolio and pass onto colleagues.

    If there is a specific magazine you like, then look inside at the colophon panel (usually located within the first few page) to see who the Art Director and publishing agency is. The CMA (Content Marketing Association) has a directory with different agencies you can get in touch with. https://the-cma.com/cma-members/

    Hope this helps.

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