If you are looking for the best illustrators, you're not the first to do this because one thing is seeing an illustrator, but another thing is making sure they get the job done correctly.
When doing this, you might ask questions like, "How much money should I spend? Where do I even begin looking? What if the artist I choose doesn't match my ideas?"
The Good News: You can use social media, freelance platforms, etc., in your search for a good illustrator.
In this blog post, we'll give you five easy tips to help you find that special artist who can make your projects come to life.
We'll walk you through the whole process, from figuring out your budget to getting a sample illustration and even making a clear agreement.
Let's get started!
How to Find A Great Illustrator?
Finding the right illustration for your art can sometimes be overwhelming, but these tips will help you tremendously if followed duly;
Through Social media.
Social media is a great way of finding a good illustrator because it is full of people who aren't only interested in illustrations and those who discuss it.
Joining Facebook groups and pages will help you locate good illustrators who talk about their work in detail. Twitter communities and spaces are also great places to find good illustrations.
One reason for using social media to search for good illustrations is that it helps you know those who are good at what they are because you would want to avoid giving your job to someone who will end up giving you headaches and stories.
You can also quickly look at their reviews and list of book portfolios they have under their belt.
Search for illustration agencies.
Another great way to find good illustrators is to find illustrator agencies, which usually have awesome illustrators who will work on your job.
You can check out agencies like FolioArt, GoodIlustrations, 2agenten, etc., all good examples you can choose from.
Always do your due diligence to ensure you give your hard-earned money to the right agency and avoid getting scammed.
Use Freelancer Platforms
Another great source of getting illustrators for your next project is browsing freelance platforms like Fiverr. Upwork, Freelancer, etc, and in search of illustrators.
And please note that one thing to keep in mind when on these sites is that a whole lot of the illustrators on them are not 80% truly vetted (i.e., they might not deliver on what they promise on their profiles)
Some might even go as far as sampling a portfolio of illustrations that isn't theirs all in a bit to attract and land more clients.
That notwithstanding, you can still find awesome illustrators you can work with these platforms, but as you know, you will have to do some little vetting on them to see which goes for you.
Below are some things to look at when vetting illustrators on these platforms to be sure they created what's in their portfolios.
- Check for consistencies in their artwork
- Also, look at the various characters used
- You can always look out for any wield croppings or stranged-sized images.
Book a Sample
Booking a sample with your potential illustrator is important as it helps you know how they work.
You don't want to go ahead and start a fairly pricey project with someone you don't know what their work ethic looks like.
You can think of booking a sample like going on a date because nobody decided to marry someone they're meeting for the first time in their life.
It is always a process, but fortunately, you don't have to wait for weeks or months because just booking a sample will let you know whether to work with them.
You can do this by giving the illustrator a page from your story so if they end up being a great fit, you don't have to pay for it again because you already did.
Have a contract
A simple and sometimes overlooked side of this process is having a legal contract with your illustrations.
Having a contract should be emphasized more because it is responsible for protecting both you and the illustrator.
It's essential to have everything in writing, including payment terms, deadlines, and the scope of work.
Important Tips for Finding a Great Illustrator
Before you start your search for the best illustrator for your book, having a good understanding of these tips will go a long way;
Build your foundation
First things first, you should get your manuscript edited by a professional. This is very important because your manuscript can change drastically during developmental edits.
In fact, whole scenes can be skipped or disappear, which might be very sad, especially when your illustrations are complete.
You won't only have to wait more to get your illustrations completed again, but you will also have to spend a lot more money, which you wouldn't want to, lol.
Work out your budget.
This is very important in finding a great illustrator for your children's book, as it varies from person to person.
Illustration prices vary so much from person to person depending on different factors like level of experience because who won't charge more if they are an expert in their field? You would, too, right?
Another important factor that can affect the pricing of illustrators is often their medium or work; some people use traditional mediums, which usually take more time.
Now, depending on what kind, style, and amount of illustrations you need and will be going for, a robust budget of about $1,000 - $10,000 is recommended to get the best hands of your job.
Remember that if you think going for cheaper illustrators is your choice, always be prepared to get what you ordered because a $5/hr illustration will be different from a $20/hr illustration on most occasions.
Think about your time frame.
Another important tip you need to keep at the back of your mind when finding the best illustrator for your work is a realistic time frame.
Let's be frank: we all tend to face the planning fallacy, which says we tend to underestimate the amount of time it will take to finish a task and the costs and risks associated with that task—even if it contradicts our experiences.
The best way to go about it is always to book your illustrator ahead of time for weeks and months to give me enough time to finish up well with your illustrations.
Doing this is very important because most illustrators are booked most of the time.
Do your research
This is one of the most important aspects you should take seriously because it sets the foundation for what might or might not work.
Doing proper research will allow you to come to a firm conclusion of what you want your illustrious to look like.
For instance, you might want your illustrations to be minimal or super busy with lots of details to keep your readers coming back for more.
Once you know which type of illustration you want, finding a great artist for your work will be much easier.
It's also very important to state clearly what book you like. Are you planning on going for a paperback, hardcover, or both? Doing proper research will help you know all of this easily.
And what about size and orientation? Do you want your book to be a square, portrait, or horizontal? These and more will be easily known when you do your homework.
What makes a good illustrator?
A good illustrator is like a creative ninja with a box of colorful tricks. Here's what you should look for when trying to choose one;
An awesome illustrator has the power of imagination on steroids. They can turn even the most mundane ideas into visual fireworks.
Whether they wield a paintbrush or a digital stylus, they should know their tools like a Jedi knows their lightsaber.
Just like a secret agent changes their disguise to blend in, a top illustrator can adapt their style to fit your project's mood perfectly.
The little things matter, and a great illustrator will add those tiny details that make the artwork pop, like your grandma's secret cookie recipe.
Communication is key. A fantastic illustrator listens, talks, and collaborates like they're having a chat over coffee with a friend.
Their portfolio is like a greatest hits album, showcasing their skills and experience.
Professionalism is their middle name. They meet deadlines, talk money upfront, and won't ghost you like a bad Tinder date.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Now, let's look at some frequently asked questions about illustrators.
How much do illustrators charge per image?
That's like asking, "How much does a pizza cost?" It depends on the toppings (complexity), the pizzaiolo's experience (the artist), and whether it's a personal-size or a family-sized image.
How much do illustrators charge per book?
It's like pricing out a dinner menu for a children's book. Black-and-white illustrations are your budget-friendly pasta, while a full-color, fully-illustrated book is the five-course gourmet meal. Prices vary, but the taste is what matters most.
How much should I pay my illustrator?
Ah, the million-dollar question! Well, not quite a million, but you get what I mean. You can find a budget-friendly illustrator, but remember, Picasso wasn't cheap. Consider your budget, but also value the artistry you're getting.
So far, we've established that looking for the right illustrator for your project is possible if done properly.
It is like finding a dance partner. You want someone who understands your rhythm and can move to the same beat.
You can use social media platforms, freelance platforms, illustrator agencies, etc.
Once you see who you can potentially work with, make sure you book a sample with them and draft a well-written contract, and in no time, your work will be brought to life.
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