Home » 5 Easy Steps to Becoming a Children’s Book Illustrator

5 Easy Steps to Becoming a Children’s Book Illustrator

by Nathan Zachary

Close your eyes. Try to recall becoming lost in the illustrations of your favorite children’s book, the one you picked up hundreds of times every week. Did the tales of knights, dragons, and stolen wealth captivate you? You may have learned that even a mouse and a lion may become great friends. Perhaps it transported you on a descent to the ocean floor.

In a publishing sector that is constantly evolving, children’s book illustrations remain ageless. These pictures give a platform for authors and publishers to capture the imagination of readers too young to read independently, regardless of time or place.

You may wish to learn how to become a children’s book illustrator if you have a strong creative spirit and enjoy letting your creativity (and pen) run wild around youngsters.

Obviously, illustration for children’s books involves a great deal of effort, patience, and commitment, just like every other component of publishing! The good news, though, is that it is not impossible. Continue reading to learn how to become an illustrator for children’s books in five simple stages.

Let’s begin with a straightforward inquiry.

What exactly does a children’s book illustrator do?

Article writing hub artists create the illustrations and artwork that not only provide a visual accompaniment to a story, but also assist children in comprehending what they are reading. In general, illustrators are independent contractors, however some will sign contracts with publishing firms or create ties with certain writers. A children’s book illustrator’s job, regardless of how they are employed, is to create illustrations that bring a children’s book to life.

However, regardless of the technique employed, an illustrator must possess a strong creative sense and vivid imagination. Particularly, illustrators of children’s books are permitted to let their imaginations go wild.

How much do illustrators for kid’s books earn?

As of May 2022, the Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that, on average, fine painters, such as illustrators, earned over $94,830 per year. This amount certainly varies depends on an illustrator’s portfolio, experience, and expertise.

It is also crucial to remember that the majority of children’s book illustrators are independent contractors, which can make the salary range even more variable. However, this means that highly experienced and more successful illustrators can demand even greater compensation for their services.

However, keep in mind that success in the field of illustration requires patience and perseverance.

The industry has become more competitive over the past few years, as the publication of children’s books has exploded. In addition to daily drawing and colouring, children’s book illustration requires diligent reading, constant reworking, and a great deal of trial and error. Daily progress requires consistent effort and a sincere devotion to one’s craft. If you enjoy drawing, it’s surely rewarding, but don’t expect it to be simple.

You can become an illustrator and share the magic of storytelling with the next generation of young readers — while getting paid for it — if you set your mind to it. Let’s now discuss how to become a children’s book illustrator and position yourself for illustration success.

The 5-Step Plan to Becoming a Children’s Book Illustrator

No matter what field you’re attempting to break into, figuring out how to get started can feel like an insurmountable task. Here are five easy ways to start a career in children’s book illustration. If you’ve decided that a career in illustration is right for you, then follow these guidelines.

1.Learn your target audience

To become a professional children’s book illustrator, it is prudent to comprehend why successful illustrators are as popular as they are, as well as what market audiences are seeking. What is the greatest strategy to discover your future niche? Research.

Spend some time perusing popular children’s books, such as My Footprints drawn by Basia Tran, or any other captivating children’s book. What about these novels catches your attention, be it the cover art or the writing style? What did the illustrator do to make such an impact?

Additionally, you might get inspiration from your local libraries and elementary schools. What do local children read? What novels are selling like hotcakes? The more you read, the better you’ll grasp your market’s audience and the characteristics of great illustration in children’s books. The more information you have on the target audience, the better.

2.Hone your own unique look.

Your unique illustration style is what will make you stand out from the crowd. Here’s where your creative juices can start flowing (no pun intended).

If you want to be a great children’s book illustrator, you need to start working on perfecting your style and aesthetic as soon as possible. Where do your artistic interests lie? So, tell me, what exactly do you want to create?

You should also be aware of the current fashions in children’s book illustration. Some well-known examples from the world of children’s book illustration are included below.

The employment of endearing, sympathetic characters in warm, personal settings is a tried-and-true formula in children’s book illustration. This illustration by Renata Liwska is sweet and funny without being overly sentimental. More of her writing is available on this site.

The best advice is to experiment until you find a method that suits you in both form and function. A lot of experience and trial and error are going to be needed for this. Get your hands on as many illustration programmes as possible to find the one that seems most natural. Numerous aesthetic approaches exist, some of which are:

  • Created using a brush
  • Ink and watercolor
  • Media, digital acrylic etc.

3.Expose your artwork to the public.

If you want to be recognised for your illustrations of children’s books, you must create your own portfolio. This representative sample of your work will be essential for securing employment. It will frequently be the first thing in the hands of publishers or authors seeking to hire you, so you must make a good impression.

To construct a portfolio, you need create a website or blog where you may display your greatest professional work and your distinctive aesthetic. There are numerous ways to accomplish this. We recommend researching the following website editors to choose which platform you prefer:

  • Due to its excellent themes, convenience, and support, Squarespace is a popular choice for beginner illustrators.
  • Wix is accessible and user-friendly.
  • Web flow enables the creation of immersive websites without the need for coding.

4.Collaborate with others and expand your network.

Regarding initiative, it is never too early to begin creating your publishing relationships network. You never know when a connection will lead to your next major project or engagement. Here are some starting points.

Examine the publication Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market.

This book is the essential guide to the publishing industry, regardless of whether you are a writer or an illustration. It is updated annually with material that will give you an advantage in the world of illustration. This provides outstanding resources such as publisher listings, contest information, agency contact details, and even business pieces for freelance housekeeping.

If you’re new to the industry, this book will put you on the correct path, and it will continue to be a valuable resource for your job search throughout your career.

5.You should keep building your portfolio.

As your career develops and you undertake your first, second, or fifth project, it can be tempting to become complacent and settle into your work. However, make sure you don’t forget your portfolio! Continue adding to it, expanding it, and constantly updating it. Your portfolio is your introduction to the publishing business as a whole. You should always put your best foot forward because you never know when the next huge opportunity will present itself.

Children’s book artwork may appear simple at first glance, but it requires effort, commitment, and a great deal of experience to be successful. But if you put in the daily hours and the trial-and-error, you may establish a name for yourself in the field if you absolutely desire to be an illustrator. And finally, you will be able to obtain freelance illustration work from brilliant authors from across the world who are eager for your assistance with their publishing journey.

The most distinctive aspect of children’s book illustration is its lack of educational bias. Therefore, it does not matter where you acquired your degree or learned your skillset as long as you are creative and can convey an excellent narrative through art.

And if you persist, you’ll soon be sharing your imagination with thousands of children throughout the world so contact us writing avenues.

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