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Written by : Altagracia Mellard
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Thanks for your comment Carrol Seedorff, have a nice day.
- Altagracia Mellard, Staff Member
hi everyone i'm shaylyn here with reedzy so this week we're going to be talking about children's books and illustrations so in this video we're going to be looking at the illustration side of publishing a children's book and talking about what to look for in a children's book illustrator and how to hire an illustrator if you're in the world of children's books especially picture books illustration is a huge part of that you know picture books aren't just about the words they aren't just about the illustrations it's about those things working together in harmony i'm sure any of us who grew up reading picture books if we think back right now actually probably recall the illustrations better than the stories you know trying to think back to picture books from my childhood i can still remember specific illustrations from some of the books that i guess really impacted me so in this video we're just going to be talking about that whole illustration process and what that looks like so the first question to ask yourself is do you need to hire an illustrator so if you are traditionally publishing you do not need to hire an illustrator that is something that your publisher will arrange for you but of course if you're self-published then you're going to need to hire an illustrator yourself which is what the rest of this video will be covering so step number one is to know your vision any type of creative collaboration is going to be a two-way street of course the illustrator is bringing life to your vision um and ideally you find an illustrator whose style looks the way that you envision the book and who you kind of click with on that like artist artist level you know where they get you they get you they get what you're going for when i was a teenager i was stage manager for a play and the director of the play unfortunately was not great at articulating what she wanted she had a really clear vision of what she wanted in her mind i think she had a clear vision of what she wanted in her mind but she was really really bad at explaining it to all the people working on set you know so there were some points where i was making some sets and i asked her what she wanted and she didn't explain it really that well at all and even when i asked her questions she didn't really have answers for me she was like oh just do it i trust you and then when i did it she got mad because it wasn't what she wanted in her brain you don't want to be like that director you want to have a clear understanding of your vision if you can communicate your vision clearly and you have a designer who you know gets you and is experienced and whose style is what you want that's probably going to be the match made in heaven because they're going to understand what you want they're going to use their expertise to bring it to life and you'll probably be quite happy with the end result if some piece of that equation isn't really lining up then it's going to be tricky know the types of illustrations that appeal to your niche if you're doing like a very kind of fairy tale like soft piece maybe something you know very gentle and illustrative maybe with watercolor something a little whimsical that's very light on the page would be perfect whereas something with a more like graphic style that's a bit bolder and brighter wouldn't fit as well you know ask yourself if you think your piece would be benefited more by kind of that clarity and the boldness of a digital medium or kind of by the softness and organicness of a traditional medium you kind of need to know what type of style you're looking for in order to narrow in on a pool of potential illustrators if you want to learn more about different illustrative styles i'll leave a post linked below with a bunch of examples step two is to look at the artist's profiles and portfolios take note of an illustrator's years of experience know that the more experienced an illustrator is the more expensive their rates will probably be but maybe you want that extra level of experience also look at the genres that they tend to do keep in mind with children's books the age brackets are very specific a two-year-old child is at a very different level of development from a five-year-old child and so there are really specific requirements for every age bracket so look and see what age brackets and genres each illustrator tends to specialize in look at their past titles see what else they've illustrated and of course very importantly you want to look at their portfolio i don't think anyone would hire an artist without looking at the work they've done previously see if you can imagine your work in their style so step three is to determine your budget so every book is different and every illustrator has their own rates so i can't really give you an exact quote on that but you should expect to pay between two and six thousand dollars for illustration so determine how much you're willing to spend keep in mind that this is going to be affected by the book's length although picture books tend to be a standard length the style of illustration and the illustrator's years of experience and then step four is to reach out to your illustrators um so if you're looking for illustrators on the reedzy platform you can reach out to up to five professionals at a time if you found your illustrator elsewhere then you have to contact them through whatever their preferred means is maybe they have a contact form on their website or maybe they'll just provide an email address once you're in contact with an illustrator you can start talking through your contract make sure to ask how much it will be to revise the artwork if there's something you want changed and then you can start working together if you are currently looking for an illustrator we've got a post below with 20 different children's illustrators who are currently working whose work you can look at whether it's just to give you inspiration for style or whether you actually think you'd like to work with one of those illustrators i will leave that post in the description so that is how to find and work with an illustrator for your children's book it's a pretty magical experience getting your work illustrated obviously i've never had a picture book illustrated because i've never written a picture book but i do have friends who are artists and they've made me like character artwork and it is one of the most exciting things as a writer to see an artist turn a story in your mind into like a piece of artwork it's a pretty exciting place to be so thank you so much for watching remember to subscribe and turn on notifications so you don't miss any new videos from us we've got new writing editing and publishing tips every tuesday and friday until next time bye
Thanks Charita your participation is very much appreciated
- Altagracia Mellard
About the author
I've studied finite element analysis at Maryland University of Integrative Health in Laurel and I am an expert in classical archaeology. I usually feel groggy. My previous job was athletic coach I held this position for 27 years, I love talking about diving and trap shooting. Huge fan of Emma Roberts I practice jai alai and collect for sports cards.
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