When to Hire an Illustrator for Your Children’s Book 

Illustrations in a book can bring words to life, captivating readers of all ages and leaving a lasting impression. Whether you're an author or aspiring author, knowing when and how to hire an illustrator is crucial. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when deciding when to hire an illustrator and how to find the perfect fit for your project.

When to Hire an Illustrator

The question of when to hire an illustrator isn’t a simple answer. Most people think there’s a magical time in the publishing process when it’s finally time to hire. But really, knowing when to hire relies on a handful of criteria. Let’s break them down.

Your Manuscript is Finalized

Before you even think about when to hire an illustrator, it's essential to have your manuscript finalized. Editing should be complete before you hire. This is because once illustrations are added, any changes to the text can force you to change the illustrations too. And the more changes you give your illustrator, the more time and money you’ll end up spending.

You’ve Done the Necessary Research

Research is arguably the most important part of hiring an illustrator. As you think about when to hire an illustrator, remember that you should always have a clear understanding of what you want and that you’ve searched for the right artist. Here are the things you should know as you decide when to hire an illustrator:

  • Your Budget — Before you start searching for an illustrator, establish a budget for your book. Knowing your financial constraints will help you narrow down your options and find an illustrator whose rates align with your budget. Keep in mind that experienced illustrators may charge more. It’s much easier to know when to hire an illustrator once you’ve established a clear budget.

  • What You Like — To refine your vision and understand the style you're looking for, check out other picture books. Take note of the illustrations that resonate with you and the ones that best convey the mood and message you want for your book. Then you’ll know what to look for when you hire an illustrator.

  • Your Timeline — Outline all the deadlines for your book illustrations so that you can ensure your illustrator will meet your needs.

You’ve Found the Perfect Fit

Finding the perfect illustrator for your picture book is not a hasty decision. Take your time to review portfolios, conduct interviews, and assess compatibility. Once you feel like you’ve struck gold, that’s how you know when to hire an illustrator. Of course, that leads us to the next logical question: how do I find the perfect fit?

How to Find the Perfect Illustrator

So you know when to hire an illustrator for your picture book, but now you need to discover how. Where do you find an illustrator? How much should you expect to spend? Is it possible to find someone who meets your book’s needs? Let’s dive in.

The Key: Keep Searching

Finding the perfect illustrator is a process that requires thorough research and patience. Start your search by browsing online platforms such as agencies, directories, and freelance platforms. You can also look on social media or ask other authors how they found their illustrator. Consider joining online communities where you can connect with other authors and aspiring authors so you can get quality advice and resources.

If you keep searching, you CAN find the perfect illustrator for your picture book.

Then, when you find an artist you’d like to work with, carefully review their portfolios, check their references, and assess whether you’ll work well together. Discuss your vision, budget, and timelines to ensure that you're on the same page.

It can be difficult to know when to hire an illustrator when you’re starting out, and hiring an illustrator is a significant step in bringing your book to life. Before you hire, ensure your manuscript is finalized, conduct thorough research, and find the perfect fit for your project. You can find that perfect fit by setting a budget, looking for inspiration, and continuing to search until you find the artist for your book. Remember that the right illustrator will bring your vision to life so young readers can connect with your story for years to come.

Related Posts

How Publishers Decide Which Manuscripts to Accept
Illustration Must-Haves for Picture Books
How to Find a Publisher to Accept Your Manuscript
Can You Illustrate Your Own Picture Book?