How to find an Illustrator for your Children's BookFind an illustrator for your children's book
"Wh-what are carrier doves? I' ve learnt that carrier doves are specifically formed carrier doves that are set free from their loft a hundred kilometres away and rely on their home instincts to lead them. I was fascinated by the rabbits' nest and fascinated by the two hundred year old sports of the dovecote.
" When I came out of the hutch, the thought of a children's book about a pigeon race was in my head. It frightened me that I would not find the right illustrator to make my history come alive. And I was scared to share the creativity.
Looking at her interrogation, I had the clear sense that this was not just a book concept, but a challenge for me to develop as an author and editor. Today I am sharing the effort I followed to get over my anxieties and find the right illustrator for my new children's book High Flyers:
Start by building a swimmingpool of aspiring illustrations. For an illustrator who specialises in children's literature, try the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and Child Literators (SCBWI). Creativity crowdsourcing websites such as 99 Designs and DesignCrowd allow you to run a competition for designers applying for the work.
World-class freelance plattforms, such as Upwork and Fiverr, can help you recruit and engage a wide range of experts, among them graphic designers. Classifieds websites such as Craigslist and Tumbtack allow you to publish a free resume and get in touch with illustrations in your own communities and beyond. Stage 2: Describe your size of the projects.
You need to give your future illustrator some important information about your book to better understanding the size and extent of the work. A photo book, for example, probably contains an image on every page and usually requires full-page or double-page images. Chapters may need less and/or smaller images.
Clear communication of the size in advance helps the illustrator to see if your projects fit their capabilities. This will also help them to define the cost of the projects and avoid nasty side effects. When your book deals with an arcane topic, such as carrier doves, it can be useful to give backgrounds and photos a little perspective.
The illustrator's work is supposed to present his best works. When you don't like what you see, this is probably not the right illustrator for you. These are some of the issues you should consider when reviewing your portfolios and which will determine who will be shortlisted: Does the artist's work have any relevance to your work?
Do you have at least some works of art for kids in your collection? In my quest I came across some illustrations who played "the numbers game" and tried to bring their port folios to as many crowds as possible, regardless of whether the scheme was right for them. In what medium does the illustrator work (e.g. watercolour, carbon, coloured pencils, Indian Ink, digitally, multimedia, aso.)?
Do the artists show strengths with a media that fits your book well? Is the Illustrator competent in various topics? When your book is about pets, look for a portfolio with many of them. In the same way that authors have a vote, so too do illustrations have a vote. You can use these views to generate a drop-down list of illustrations whose style resonates with you.
When you have your short list, it is timed to decide which illustrator style will be included in your history. Although not all illustrations will approve of this practice, there will be many. As a Rookie of the Year, I challenge my short-listed illustrator to revive my protagonist, Rocket. Because I had to give them the first section of my book, I asked each of the artists to start by signing a non-disclosure treaty (NDA) to safeguard my work.
Creativity experts, most illustrations are aware of the need for such precautionary measures and like to adhere to them. Some may even ask you to subscribe to an arrangement that will prevent you from using their presentation materials if they are not rented. When the NDA is autographed, please submit an extract from your book to the illustrator and give him or her full artistic command.
When you receive all of your auditions, test them with kids in your audience and with grown-ups who buy literature for kids, among them parent, grandparent, teacher and librarian. It is important to be sure that your favourite will reach the readers and/or buyers of your book.
Test the abilities of your top candidates before you hire them by asking the artists to create an illustration of a book-scenery. Select a sophisticated scenery to make sure that the person has the ability to create complicated artwork in the style your storyline demands. As soon as you have received the ordered sequence, test it with the targeted readers/buyers as you did with the characters pictures.
Do you like this picture? Will you buy/read a book that has been pictorialized by this musician? At the end I still had to take full artistic oversight of my book. But through my research and marketing tests, I was able to find a gifted, seasoned illustrator who understands my visions and brings my storyline to live in a way that was much better than I had ever fancy.
Do you work on an illustration of a children's book? Do you have any queries about the search for an illustrator? Or if you have already worked with an illustrator, what useful hints can you give?