You asked, so I’m answering. How do you find an illustrator? Where are they all hiding?!
First off, I want to say that I completely understand the confusion about the whole illustrator thing. When I first published, I had no idea where to look for a children’s book illustrator. Luckily, I’ve picked up a few tips along the way, which I would love to share with you!Without further ado, here are 3 ways to find an illustrator for you children’s book:
Tip #1: Look through an online illustration agency or directory. Believe it or not, there are lots of great illustration agencies online. All you have to do is visit their websites, scroll through their available designs, and pick an artist whose style is just right for your book!
Here are some of my favourite agencies & directories to skim through:
Tip #2: Pick an artist from children’s books you already love. Another great option is to search through children’s books that you already have & love, find an artist whose style you like, and contact them directly. The worst they can say is no!
Tip #3: Contact the local college/university. If you’re looking to provide opportunities for up-and-coming illustrators to gain experience, try reaching out to a local college/university. Ask their arts department if they have any candidates who would be up for the job.
Here are some bonus tips to consider before hiring:
- ALWAYS ask to see an illustrator’s previous work before hiring. If they have little experience, ask to see some kind of portfolio and request that they do some drawings for you before signing the contract
- Hire your illustrator under a work-for-hire agreement. When you do this, you will ensure that you retain the rights to the illustrations once the job is done
- Be flexible. When working with an illustrator, it’s important to give the artist some creative freedom as they bring your book to life. Yes, you’ll want a basic idea of what you’re looking for, but it’s important to make sure the artist is having fun while they work on your book. Trust me, it will make the process that much easier!
And that’s it! Have any more questions about how to work with an illustrator? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Who knows, maybe your question will inspire my next blog post 😉