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Top 11 freelance sites to hire an Illustrator:

Based on facts publicly available as of 01.01.2024

1. Toptal

Toptal is one of the longest-running talent matching services. They have experience placing high-quality developers, graphic designers, and illustrators with some of the best skills. Each illustrator is vetted and screened for working with small businesses and enterprise companies. If you need a brand identity, logo design, or a custom illustration, Toptal will have a selection of digital illustrators with years of experience.


Key Points

  • With the money-back guarantee, Toptal lets you work with different illustrators until you find the one that works for you.
  • Toptal offers the guarantee because most clients find a match in the first freelancer recommended by the platform.
Visit Toptal

2. Minty

Minty is dedicated to helping clients hire freelance illustrators and professional illustrators. The platform offers four different ways to go about hiring a digital illustrator. You can work with Minty’s agency to receive a professional match with a freelance illustrator. Alternatively, you can post a job or view profiles to reach out directly to illustrators. If you’re under a time crunch or need a stock illustration, you can purchase ready-made illustrations. You can choose either to pay a monthly fee or pay to purchase a particular piece for each option.


Key Points

  • Minty works with freelances and professional illustrators to provide tools such as pre-written contracts around licensing rights.
  • The platform provides different mechanisms to hire, including the option to hire an agent to source the illustrations for you.
  • Memberships are paid monthly, so you can cancel at any time.
Visit Minty

3. Etsy

Etsy is our go-to platform for artisan handicrafts. While focused more on tangible crafts, t-shirts, and creations, you can find illustrators online here as well. Some illustrators offer a demo that you can purchase directly, and then you can decide whether to proceed and negotiate a full project. Others let you purchase the project by size and color, and you can work with them from there. Read each profile carefully before purchasing to ensure quality.


Key Points

  • Choose from a variety of illustrators and review their past work and reactions from past clients.
  • Find a setup that works for you, and reach out directly to illustrators to negotiate your own terms.
  • Search by a variety of terms and categories.
Visit Etsy

4. Upwork

Upwork is one of the most well-known of the freelance platforms. With roots in oDesk and eLance, Upwork has witnessed the growth of freelance offerings over the years. Included on the platform are freelance digital illustrators for hire. The platform offers tools to assist interactions with freelancers and hires as well as manage payment processing. For hiring, you can post a job and review portfolios and ratings from past clients. Alternatively, Upwork has several subscription options for curated experiences.


Key Points

  • Manage payments, so you and your freelancer hire are protected from risks around the payment.
  • The review system helps you anticipate performance by any freelancer you’re interested in hiring.
  • With a subscription service, save time and receive recommendations for Upwork’s qualified and reliable freelance illustrators.
Visit Upwork

5. Twine

Twine is a freelance platform that focuses on visual design. As such, freelance illustrators are one of the categories of talent that they have. The site has a straightforward system: answer a series of questions to post a job or contact illustrators directly through their profiles. Once you’ve agreed to terms with your freelancer, you can communicate through the platform and receive files. Pricing is simple as well: Twine charges a 20% commission upon project completion. Twine’s value proposition is that they provide a high level of customer service and customized recommendations of illustrators.


Key Points

  • Twine is straightforward on pricing so that you know what you owe for each project and only pay upon project completion.
  • With its matching regimen, Twine promises only to provide recommendations of illustrators that are a good fit.
  • If you have any issues, you can reach out to Twine’s customer service for assistance.
Visit Twine

6. Dribbble

Dribbble is a community of designers that has evolved to include support for hiring. You can search for designers by skill, keyword, and even location. Designers host portfolios on the site and post, evaluate, and provide feedback on each other’s work. Dribbble allows you to post jobs or use their hiring services to get matched with candidates that are a fit. The platform has various categories of designers available, including illustrators.


Key Points

  • The portfolios on Dribbble let you explore the illustrator’s style and technique.
  • Using Dribble Talent can save you time by receiving recommendations of candidates that have already been vetted.
Visit Dribbble

7. Working Not Working

Working Not Working is a job board for creatives. The board asks job seekers unique questions to give you insight into a different side of their inspiration and asks that posters highlight the benefits and most interesting aspects of the jobs. Working Not Working lets you sign up either through monthly packages or through their curated matching service, Human. Initially, the platform was invited-only for designers but is now open to anyone who wants to have a profile.

Working Not Working

Key Points

  • Working Not Working has illustrators looking for both one-off and long-term gigs.
  • Because Working Not Working doesn’t charge a commission, it’s a more affordable route to hire long term talent than some other platforms.
  • Using Human to receive selected talent matching can save you time in the process of finding a candidate.
Visit Working Not Working

8. Behance

If you would like to hire an illustrator who uses Adobe Illustrator, we suggest Behance. Adobe acquired Behance as a place for creatives using the Adobe Creative Suite to display their work. Behance is driven by portfolios. Designers and artists display their work. Anyone can view the portfolios but, Behance requires membership to reach out to the artists. Monthly memberships also allow you to post jobs.


Key Points

  • Because illustrators pay a fee to host their portfolios on the site, they are likely committed to keeping their portfolios up-to-date and remaining active.
  • Behance has a straightforward structure. Choose the package that works for you, and then post your job to receive applications.
Visit Behance

9. 99designs

99designs is perhaps best known for hosting design contests. You can post a description of what needs to be completed and, then designers will submit a sample illustration for you to choose. You can also explore portfolios and select a designer directly. There are set prices, and you can add different options according to your budget and needs. Options include book cover and magazine cover designs through interior illustrations. 99designs has a money-back guarantee. If you like the designs, you will receive full copyrights to the files.


Key Points

  • There is a money-back guarantee, so if you do not find any options you like, you won’t lose out.
  • There are some impressive portfolio pieces, so you will have lots of people to choose from if you decide to work directly with a single designer from the beginning.
  • The price menu keeps the cost clear, so know the quality you can expect.
Visit 99designs

10. Krop

Krop is a portfolio-based marketplace. You can pay a minimal fee by the job post or pay for a monthly membership that allows you to search the database. Without a membership, you can still explore some of the portfolios, but cannot contact the designers. The platform allows you to search by location, so that you can hire an illustrator online that you then work with in person. The search function allows you to search by several different features.


Key Points

  • Krop is an affordable way to post a job for illustrators.
  • Designers also pay to use Krop, which suggests that they are committed to using and finding work on the platform.
Visit Krop
honorable mention

Association of Medical Illustrators

The Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) is a place to go if you’re looking for an illustrator for a medical journal or a similar technical piece. AMI has an extensive database of members that you can review by business, subject, or technical specialty. While you have access to search the database, you’ll have to click through to illustrators’ websites to review their work and portfolios. The database lists their contact and basic information.

Association of Medical Illustrators

Key Points

  • You can find someone that specializes in your discipline.
  • Reach out directly to illustrators without paying overhead or administrative fees.
Visit Association of Medical Illustrators
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