Take the first step to writing your children’s book story. Get your copy of the children’s book template here to help you get started.
If you’re a children’s book author, finding the right illustrator is essential for bringing your story to life. But where can you find the perfect artist to create illustrations that complement your writing? Here are 4 of the best places to look.
How to Find an Illustrator for Your Children’s Book:
If you plan on self-publishing your children’s book, finding an illustrator can feel like your most important task, but that’s NOT the first step you should take once you’ve finished your children’s story.
Instead, you must know:
- Where you plan to print your book
- What kind of book you plan on creating
- What your size requirements are
Get the Self-Publishing Starter Pack here to help you get started with the process BEFORE you look to hire an illustrator.
Then, make sure to:
- Set your story manuscript with the pagination and illustration notes needed
- Collect specific image examples to use for things you want drawn
- Send your size and file requirements with your story draft
By preparing everything beforehand, you will greatly simplify the illustrator’s task and ensure the project is done correctly. This will also prevent any additional costly mistakes during book production.
4 Great Places to Look for a Children’s Book Illustrator:
Now that you know what to send an illustrator, here are 4 places where you can look for an illustrator who’s a perfect match to create the art in your children’s story.
1. Online Freelance Sites
Online freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, and Reedsey are great places to find freelance illustrators. You can browse through the portfolios of different artists, see their rates, and read reviews from past clients. These sites also provide a secure platform for communication and payment, making it easy to collaborate with your chosen illustrator.
2. Social Media
Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook groups are excellent places to find illustrators. You can use hashtags and search functions to find artists who specialize in children’s book illustrations. Or post a request to a large group you follow.
When you find an illustrator whose work you like, follow them on social media and engage with their work. Then, when you’re ready to reach out to an artist, you can send a direct message to start the conversation.
3. Art Schools
A less common source, but a great place to find an illustrator is your local art school or community college. Many art students and recent graduates are looking for opportunities to showcase their work and gain experience, which is perfect for what you need. You can contact the school’s art department or post a job listing on their job board.
4. Illustrator Associations
Illustrator associations like the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) have directories of their members who specialize in children’s book illustration. These directories can be a valuable resource for finding a qualified illustrator who is passionate about creating illustrations for children’s books.
What to do once you find an illustrator for your children’s book:
Once you’ve found the right illustrator, it’s time to work on the illustrations for your children’s book. It’s essential to communicate your vision clearly and provide detailed instructions on what you want to see in each illustration. You should also agree on the timeline, payment terms, and ownership of the artwork upfront.
Before starting the illustrations, you’ll need to provide the illustrator with a manuscript of your book. This will help them understand the story and characters and create illustrations that align with the narrative. You should also provide a style guide or mood board that shows the type of illustrations you’re looking for.
In conclusion, finding the right illustrator is crucial to creating a captivating children’s book that children will love. Social media platforms, online marketplaces, and illustration agencies are great places to start your search. With the right illustrator and a clear vision, you can create a book that will capture the imagination of children everywhere.
Need help paginating your story and getting it ready for an illustrator, get our Preparing Your Book for Illustrations mini-course.
Also, check out these other resources about working with an illustrator:
- The Ultimate Guide to Children’s Book Illustrators
- When You Need a Children’s Book Illustrator for Your Children’s Book
- How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Illustration