If you’ve ever wanted to write your own children’s book, I can bet you’ve asked yourself this question: how much will illustrations cost? In this article, I’ll share with you 3 ways to find an illustrator who fits your budget and unpack the secret behind the illustrator bill.

3 Ways to Find a Budget-Friendly Illustrator

Pull From the Books You Love

Before you know exactly what illustrations cost, you want to know what kind of illustrations you’re looking for. Do you want a realistic art style or a cartoony one? Do you want the art to feel crisp and clean or rough and sketchy.

The best way to decide what style you like is to look at published children’s books. Visit a local library or bookstore and browse. If you find something you like, take note of the illustrator’s name and any available contact information.

Lots of writers don’t realize it, but you can find a great illustrator this way. Then, once you get connected, you can discuss how much their illustrations cost.

Keep going until you find the right fit.

Work With an Agency

If you’re not a big fan of research, this is the option for you. With an illustration agency, your main point of contact will be an agent. You’ll tell them…

  • Your time frame

  • The style you’re looking for

  • Your budget

Then they’ll do the research necessary to find the right candidate. However, these illustrations cost a bit more than they would if you had direct contact with the illustrator.

Who can help you get started, navigate your biggest questions, and celebrate your success?

Reach Out to a Local College/University

If you’re on a tight budget and are open to giving opportunities to the next generation, I recommend reaching out to a local college or university. Ask the arts department if they know of any recent graduates or stand-out students who would be interested in illustrating for your book.

Not only are you giving experience to an up-and-coming artist, but you’ll also find that your illustrations cost a lot less.

How Much Illustrations Cost

Here’s the thing most writers don’t know…

How much your illustrations cost will depend entirely on what kind of book you’re writing, what kind of illustrations you want, and who you decide to work with.

That means illustrations can cost you anywhere from $1,500 CAD - $10,000+ CAD.

It’s a huge ball park, but know that you CAN find an artist within your budget. If you keep searching, you will find your dream illustrator. Just make sure your illustrator contract keeps you covered.

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