Are you considering putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard and writing your own book?  Have you already written your masterpiece?  If so, are you pondering the idea of having your work illustrated?  Maybe a cover only or a fully illustrated manuscript…. Then, here are a few pointers and ideas to help you on your search to find an illustrator.

Presumably, you would have a certain look, style, and feel that you want your illustrations to convey.  There are many different styles of illustration and many are unique to the individual artist or illustrator.  So, your first ‘job’ would be to find illustrators who fit your preferred criteria.  But where do you look?  A great place to start would be Instagram. This platform is widely used by artists to display their craft, artwork, style etc. Find artists who appeal to you both in their technique, style and how they come across.  Here are a few very useful hashtags to use should you wish to use them:

#illustratorsoninstagam #childrensbookillustration #bookillustration #illustrationartists

Other social media platforms are suitable for finding illustrators as well.  But Instagram is a very ‘visual’ tool that artists love.

Follow the artists that you like and begin to interact with them through their social media and then through direct message / contact.  Get to know them and find if you are both compatible for each other in both artwork and personality.  The best results will never be obtained if both parties cannot gel.  And one other thing – do not ask an artist if they can draw in another person’s style. “Do you draw like Disney, Quentin Blake etc?” Artists have their own style, and it is precious to them, so please do not ask them to change as it is often considered rather rude!  Ask your prospective artist plenty of questions and advice, people love talking about their passion.

Consider, both beforehand and with your new illustrator, what would appeal to your audience / readership.  Does the artwork need to be colour or mono? How about a bold style or maybe a more ‘subtle’ look like watercolour?

Do you need just the cover illustrating? as not all illustrators are suitable for book covers. Book cover artists are considered to be quite different to illustrators. You may therefore need a separate artist for this, although children’s books often use covers adapted from interior illustrations.  But I recommend that clients find ‘cover experts’ if they only require a book cover.

And finally, consider your budget!  Even though you may have written your book or are thinking about it and the only thing it is costing you is time (so your overheads are very low) you are considering using a professional artist so do not be surprised when you encounter ‘professional’ costs.

But that is a matter for the next blog in this small series.

If you want to find out more, feel free to contact me for a chat. Like most people I love talking about my work.

Happy Writing !

Phaedra Elson
Tel: 07955 723 444
Email: hello@pipistrelleart.co.uk