The advice that I would give to someone looking to become a young professional Illustrator can be put into two categories: professional advice and personal advice.
– Create Thumbnails for all projects, they will help you get a clear idea of exactly what path you want to take.
– Network with as many people as you can; get to know individuals in the field and build a client list as soon as you can.
– Work larger than the print size so that you can add more detail into your work before it gets shrunk down, rather than working small and the artwork not having as much detail as you would like it to.
– Be able to be flexible in what you do; whether its art style, or when you can do jobs, keep yourself open to as many opportunities as possible.
– Keep your morale up, you need to make sure you don’t let competition and other aspects put you and your artwork down.
– Don’t let jobs just appear, you have to go out and look for them, make yourself known through as many people as you can and use this skill to get as much work as you can through them.