The Top 7 Tips to Find the Right Illustrator for Your Book
Updated On September 15, 2023 | by Zayn Tindall
When you’re writing a book, it’s important to find the right illustrator to bring your characters and story to life. A good illustrator will be able to understand your vision for the book and bring it to life in a way that grabs the attention of your target audience.
There are several book editors available in the market, and each one has a unique style, portfolio, and experience. So, the question is, how can you find the right illustrator for the type of book you’ve written? In this article, we’ll give you some valuable tips to help you choose the best illustrator.
Research and Make a List of Illustrators
When you are on the hunt to find an illustrator, it’s best to conduct thorough research on all the available options. You can find them online or contact publishing houses to provide you with some options. It is best to consult a couple of authoritative sources and then narrow down your options.
For example, if you are narrowing down your choice to the best book illustrators in the UK, it is best to make a list based on their style, approach, experience, availability, and fee. Keep in mind that the most important factor in choosing an illustrator is finding one whose style and approach are a good fit for your book.
With that in mind, take your time to review portfolios and make sure you are choosing an illustrator who can bring your vision to life.
Set up a Consultation with the Top 3 of Them
Once you have made a list of relevant book illustrators, it’s time to filter them based on the genre and style of writing they work with. Do this until you’re left with the top 3 illustrators. Now it’s time to set up a consultation with them.
This can be an in-person meeting or Skype call where you will get to know the illustrator and their work better. During the consultation, be sure to ask about their design process, what rights they retain, their rates, and any other relevant questions.
If needed, ask them to show examples of their work, both finished illustrations and sketches. This will give you a better idea of their skill level and what they are capable of. Following this approach will ensure you choose the right candidate for your project.
Make Sure You Both are on the Same Page
Most authors make the mistake of hiring a book illustrator that doesn’t completely understand their genre. So, before you make the decision to hire an illustrator, make sure you’re both on the same page. A good way to start is by looking at examples of their work and seeing if their style matches your book.
You will also have to discuss things like the overall look of the illustrations in your book, the length of your project, and the budget. It can be challenging to find an illustrator whose style meshes well with your manuscript, but it’s important to spend the time to find the right person for the job.
Have a Realistic Budget in Mind
The most practical way to narrow down your search is to define a realistic budget and find an illustrator based on that budget. When you know how much you can afford to spend, you can start reaching out to illustrators who fit within your budget.
This way, you can quickly eliminate any illustrators who are outside of your price range. And once you’ve done that, you can start looking at the portfolios of different illustrators to see who would be a good fit for your book. In short, keeping a budget in mind will make your search a lot easier, and you’ll end up with a better result in the end.
Request a Sample from Them
Once you have found the right illustrator for your book, there’s one more thing you’ll need to do before finalizing the deal. You currently don’t have any idea about the style of the illustrator, so the best thing is to ask them for a sample illustration based on the plot of your book.
This way, you can see their style and how they would interpret your book. If you like what you see, you can hire them for the job. A good illustrator will be able to bring your book to life and help you create a visually stunning work of art.
So, don’t be afraid to request a sample. Though you’ll have to pay for the sample, it’s the best approach to ensure you’re selecting the right candidate.
Be Open to Revisions
As mentioned above, the key is to find a book illustrator who shares your vision for the book and is ready to produce a unique piece of art. However, if you don’t quite like the first design concept, it’s advised to ask them for revisions.
You may have a specific vision for your book, but remember that an illustrator may see things differently. They may have ideas you never thought of, and their revisions can actually make your book even better. Many authors hesitate while asking for revisions, but it’s quite a good idea.
You have paid for it, and you deserve to have the best art piece with the right tone, style, and feel for your book. There’s no second opinion in that.
Be Respectful of Their Time
It’s acceptable that you want an illustrator who is talented, can capture the essence of your story, and also meet your deadlines. But sometimes, you’ll have to respect the time they take to create the illustrations. If you have enough time to release your book, then it’s advised to let them take their time.
The more flexibility they have, the more beautiful and descriptive your book art will be. However, it’s recommended to keep checking on them and demand daily or weekly progress reports. It will keep you in the loop, and you’ll be satisfied that your work is in progress.