“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book” (Dr. Seuss)
After spending hours upon hours creating the content for your children’s book, it is important to take the same care in choosing the illustrations that will accompany your writing. The illustrations are crucial to portraying the story and influencing how the book comes across. Plus, the initial tone of the book and how it is perceived will be judged largely on the illustrations and title, so the importance of finding the best illustrator for your children’s book cannot be underestimated. This article covers everything you need to know as you begin your search for the best illustrator for your children’s book...
Key Points to Consider when Finding the Best Illustrator for your Children’s Book
Who is the book aimed at?
What is the purpose of the book?
What sort of children's books are you drawn to/do you buy?
What sort of size would you want the book to be?
Do you have a publisher or are you self publishing?
Do you have a realistic timescale?
Finding an Illustrator for your Children’s Book to Suit your Style
Before you start your search for the best illustrator for your children’s book, I recommend considering what style would suit the book? Researching possible illustration styles in advance will make the search for your children’s book illustrator much easier because you will be able to narrow down your search. If you are struggling to decide on a style, it can help to think about what sort of children’s book illustrations you are drawn to and what you like about these particular illustrations.
The style of illustrations for your children’s book will also be influenced by the purpose of your book. If your book has an educational focus and aims to inform, the illustration style is likely to be completely different to the illustrations within a book that aims to entertain.
The illustration style that you decide on could include a particular colour palette or cartoon style. For me, as a Children’s Book Illustrator, my illustrations tend to have watercolour backgrounds that I like to work on top of. Colour is another key aspect to my illustrations and I use bold and textured backgrounds to provide depth and indicate the environment around the characters, whilst the characters themselves hold the emotion and storytelling cues. Find out more about my children’s book illustrations.
Finding the Best Illustrator for your Children’s Book Based on the Book Size
It is vital to know exactly who your book is aimed at and the specific age range that you are targeting because this will influence not only the content of your book but also the book word count and size. As a general rule, books aimed at babies have less than 300 words, books for toddlers less than 500 and for books for nursery children, a maximum of 1000 words. In addition to influencing the word count, the size of children’s books are also normally based on the age rather that they are aimed at:
190x190mm – Up to 2 years
178x250mm – Between 2 and 5
254x203mm – 5+
Being clear on the size and word count of your children’s book will help you to find an illustrator who has worked on similar children’s books previously and will also help the illustrator provide you with an accurate quote and timescale for the work.
The Practicalities of Finding the Best Illustrator for your Children’s Book
Whether you have a publisher or are self-publishing can influence how you go about finding the best illustrator for your children’s book. Traditionally, if you have a publisher then they will find the illustrator for your book. However, if you have opted to self-publish your children’s book then you are likely to have greater scope to find the perfect illustrator yourself.
On your search for the best illustrator for your children’s book, make sure the illustrator can accommodate your specific requirements. Before deciding on your children’s book illustrator, confirm that you are both on the same page in terms of:
The number of illustrations you will need
Whether you want to publish in hardback, paperback, eBook or all three
Where do you want to publish your book
The budget for your book illustrations
It is also important to ensure that you have a realistic timescale. Depending on the book size, it can take me up to 6 months to illustrate a children’s book.
The Best Illustrator for your Children’s Book
The illustrations are a key element that will influence the success of your children’s book, so it is vital to ensure that you find the best illustrator for your children’s book. As well as considering the practicalities, it is also important to take into account the style of illustrations that would best suit your book and also the book size. Writing a children’s book is a truly magical adventure, find out more about how I can bring your book to life as your children’s book illustrator...