It is sensible at this point to make a disclosure; I am a Children’s Book Illustrator and I especially love it when people come to me with their original and personal stories.
In the time I have been doing this, I have helped a few upcoming writers to engage, delight and inspire young readers. It has also been a learning journey for me. I have come to appreciate what works, what doesn’t and what’s a rule of thumb in this line of work.
Now, let me indulge you in a simple activity.
Think about your childhood for a moment.
Bring back the memories of a bedtime story being read to you. Do you remember how you were transported to exotic distant lands where action was taking place? You always longed for more.
But guess what; while the words did a great job, mostly it was the colorful, vibrant and animated illustrations on the pages that did the trick. That’s how important Children’s Book Illustrators are.
With technological advances, everyone can become a children’s writer, thanks especially to online self-publishing platforms like Amazon. As a matter of fact, you don’t need that big of a budget nowadays to have your own book out.
Even more, you can do everything at your own speed. You don’t have to put up with excuses, delays and, most importantly, rejections from editors, agents, and publishers.
Amazon has joined forces with CreateSpace, a publisher who prints on demand. No setup fees are required from you as a writer. Your only need to upload your book onto CreateSpace’s site, and they will print copies as customers make orders. Yeah, it is that beautiful.
This is in addition to the available opportunities for your books to be consumed in digital form on apps like Kindle. Indeed, digital consumption needs even less input from you, the author, or the publisher.
However, even with self-publishing, there is one person you can’t afford to avoid if you are writing to resonate with kids. And that is a Children’s Book illustrator. A Children’s Book Illustrator is the one person to make or break your book.
And here’s why:
Illustrations helps kids grasp the story
The adage goes a picture is worth a thousand words. This is particularly the case with children’s books. Illustrations aid a child to understand concepts that are hard to explain with words. It helps them visualize and imagine the story you are trying to tell in their minds.
What’s more, images are valuable tools for teaching the kids language skills as they read along. Indeed, illustrations together with the text complement each other in telling the story in the most efficient manner.
Illustrations make a funny story for kids
Kids’ sense of humor isn’t the same as that of adults. Indeed, kids are more visual, especially because their language skills aren’t as nuanced as those of adults. That explains why most of the characters kids remember from popular culture are funny illustrations.
And for this reason, images are perfect for sharing humorous scenes. This is why you need a children’s books illustrator who can bring out even subtle features with the right effect.
Illustrations plant love for books in Children
With beautiful and engaging images as their first interaction with books, kids learn to love books from the early age.
Imagine being introduced to text-only books in your childhood. Would you have had the same memories of your bedtime story? Most likely not. Indeed exposing children to interesting books at an early age enhances the chances of continual reading into their adult lives.
Quality is Essential
Of course, it isn’t any illustrations that will make your book a darling of the youngsters. Quality is essential and the process to get that starts with hiring the right Children’s Book Illustrator.
In the traditional publishing model, the publisher will usually contract the services of an illustrator for any manuscript that they intend to publish. But with self-Publishing you are on your own. You will have to go out of your way and find a Children’s Book Illustrator who will bring your text to life with apt images.
This can be quite a challenge.
Remember you need the style of the Children’s Book Illustrator you finally pick, to perfectly fit your story. Indeed, it isn’t unlikely to find a good illustrator, but she or he ends up struggling with your story.
Another challenge is the cost. Good Children’s Book Illustrators don’t come cheap. At least not that easily. So, you will need to balance between cost and good quality when shopping.
The first place you might want to look is online freelancing sites. Here you will find anything from novice to professional Children’s Book Illustrators. And the price will be varied too.
There are also established Illustrators online whom you can find. But if you can’t afford them, at Buckets of Whimsies I offer illustration Packages that are customized for different budgetary needs out there.
Whatever Children’s Book Illustrator you pick to work with, whether it is Buckets of Whimsies, an established Illustrator or one from a freelancing site, she or he should be willing to work closely with you to bring your story to life in the way you envision it.
The illustrations should help bring out the storyline, characters and even the mood of your story as close to its spirit as it is possible.
Original article can be found here.
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If you haven’t had the chance to check out my website, please have a look around at my illustration packages and other art services such as digital portraits, character designs, pet portraits, and custom illustrations. Thank you! 🙂