If you are a book writer, especially a children’s book writer, you must know the importance of illustration. Even if your book has an amazing story and plot, it is more likely to fail without a good illustration.
The written word comes to life through book illustrations. Regardless of the subject matter—whether it is scientific, fantastical, or age-specific—these gifted fine painters must entice the eyes to embrace images that suitably match the written material.
If you are a writer, you can choose your illustrator or ask your publisher to do that for you. However, choosing a good book illustrator can become difficult if you do everything you are. That’s why experts at book publishers near me bring you this guide. This guide will help you choose the best illustrator with the four pointers given below.
What Does an Illustrator Do for Books?
A professional who produces drawings and other illustrations for books is known as a book illustrator. The illustrations authors offer to enhance the story and communicate the book’s concepts and themes. Numerous illustrators typically specialize in drawing specific book genres or categories, such as picture books. A book illustrator will add drawings to already-written manuscripts; however, some write the books they illustrate.
A book illustrator will occasionally collaborate directly with the book’s author during the illustration process. However, it’s common for an illustrator to never meet a book’s author. Instead, editors or publishers will typically get in touch with illustrators.
Artists must be able to understand tales, interpret them, and employ their creativity and intuition to illustrate well.
An artist for a book could employ various techniques while producing illustrations. For example, some people merely use pencils, paint, or other conventional art supplies. Others might use a more cutting-edge strategy to use and illustrate software.
In general, book illustrators ought to be creative people. For instance, they should possess advanced drawing or painting abilities. They must also be incredibly imaginative and creative people with boundless creativity because they must create endless original images. Book artists who also write their books must be outstanding writers. Otherwise, students must be able to comprehend and analyze the writing of previous authors.
Tips For Picking Out The Best Illustrator For Your Book:
Choosing a book illustrator is like committing to a spouse for the duration of your book. The actions to take when looking for an illustrator are listed below.
1. Know Your Book Details
You should look for a book illustrator when you complete your story. Imagine what illustrations you would like to have on your book with the text.
Find some children’s books that have the style you desire for your book by looking at other children’s books. Page by page, create a storyboard for your book using text and either a description of the picture you want to go with it. Or you can even do a quick sketch of what you have in mind.
By doing this, you can determine how many illustrations you will need to commission and their styles, such as single-page or spread illustrations.
Make sure you are familiar with the details of your book before hiring a book illustrator. This will help you determine what you require;
However, you might also wish to know the size of your book or The number of pages or images you’ll need. Do you want artwork for the dedication page, the title page, or somewhere else? Add it to the total. What platforms do you want to use for publishing? Some platforms where you can publish your books are Novelty Press, KDP, IngramSpark, LuLu, etc. What publication formats do you want to use, such as ebook, paperback, and hardcover?
You might also want to know your desired completion date for the book, as this may affect the publication date. And lastly, your financial situation: What is the most you are willing or able to spend?
2. Do Thorough Research
Children’s book illustrator directories can be found all over the internet. They include illustrators’ portfolios so you can look at their work and choose a creator that suits your desired aesthetic.
These directories frequently offer links to the illustrator’s website and details about the contract. There are occasions when you can also discover a general description of their pricing, but you will need to ask more frequently.
Find books or portfolios with the kinds of art you like. List the illustrators who particularly stand out to you. To clarify what you want in your book illustrator, ask yourself what you appreciate about those styles.
Does a particular color scheme appeal to you? How cartoony or realistic is the art?
3. Set A Budget
Book illustrator contributes their time, creativity, and skills—the latter of which is the result of years of study and practice—when they work on your book. It is only right that you allot a sizeable portion of your spending plan to this service.
The bids you receive for a project can differ from artist to artist in terms of cost, depending on the experience of the illustrator.
If something is well beyond your means, it’s typically tough to negotiate a lower price, but if it’s a close call, you should talk to the artist. However, there is no assurance that they will change their quote, given the amount of effort and experience they deliver. However, if you like this particular illustrator, it might be worthwhile to try.
This budget may change depending on a few variables, such as how many illustrations you desire, the amount of detail in these illustrations, and the illustrator’s level of experience and notoriety.
Unless the latter requires extremely detailed images, a middle-grade book with multiple illustrations will usually be less expensive than a 32-page picture book.
Naturally, you’ll need a pretty hefty budget if you want to hire well-known illustrators to work on your book. You’re better off setting aside money as a self-publishing author to hire an established book illustrator who isn’t well-known; fortunately, there are lots of them!
4. Choose A Competent Person
There are technical factors to consider in addition to creative factors when selecting an illustrator.
What kind of dialogue will there be between the text and the pictures? Will the text and images overlap one another? Will they be positioned on the page adjacent to one another? Do you plan to include spot illustrations or just full-page spreads?
These factors must be taken into account by the book illustrator during storyboarding. Think about things like how much white space you need, the size of the font, and where the text will be positioned on the page.
The narrative’s tone will also influence these choices. To make your book stand out, incorporate a skilled graphic designer early in the process. A good graphic designer can assist you with some of these choices.
What To Keep In Mind When Working With A Book Illustrator?
- Gather information for your illustrator in an organized, precise manner. This is especially relevant if your writing is an analysis of research or a report on data that has been gathered. It will be beneficial to condense and make your data easier to understand before giving it to your book illustrator.
- Your illustrator won’t begin until you have agreed to a contract and made a deposit. Many illustrators will request installments before delivering your final high-resolution illustrations and final payment.
- The illustrator will create drawings before creating the final, full-color illustrations. To make sure your artist is on track, make sure you review the sketches and offer input.
- It’s crucial to provide your illustrator creative independence while pointing out flaws or potential improvements. Edits are a relatively common occurrence during the procedure. It’s best to point out modifications as soon as possible because a sketch may be changed much more easily than a full-color graphic.
- It’s always preferable to wait before requesting modifications if the illustrator creates artwork that differs from what you had imagined for a creative illustration. Instead, spend time studying or “sitting with” the artwork.
- The illustrator may have produced something that is superior to your original idea. Request revisions if you’re still unhappy with the illustration after some time has passed.
- Be sure to follow the advice from your book illustrator. They should have the advice to help your illustration because they are experts. They can be a skilled collaborator in addition to only rendering your specific concepts.
What Happens If Your Illustrator Doesn’t Work?
This relationship is typically as magical because both the author and the illustrator are quite happy, content, and proud of their collaborative efforts.
But occasionally, despite your best efforts to plan and prepare, a relationship simply isn’t a good fit. In these circumstances, you should always prioritize two things that are:
- The author is pleased with (and not ashamed of) the final work.
- The illustrator’s professional and personal development opportunities, including their career.
You must respectfully fire an illustrator if it is found that they are not delivering the agreed-upon caliber of work.
The majority of experienced illustrators will make an effort to explain their workflow to you right away. All the phases, from storyboarding to coloring, will be described in the proposal and contract, along with where they will check in with you for input and how quickly they will address your inquiries.
It may be a clue that an artist is not the ideal illustrator for you if they cannot explain things to you effectively and are not proactive in addressing your needs. Since book illustration is a collaborative process, you’ll want someone who can maintain an open and transparent line of communication.