The Basics of Illustrating A Children’s Book

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Are you thinking about becoming an illustrator for children’s books? Well, this industry is a rather flourishing one and hence if you have the basics of design and illustration cleared, along with a flare of imagination, then you can easily consider this line of work.

In fact, when it comes to children’s book illustrators for hire, you will actually get a lot of opportunities both when it comes to freelance work and a full-time job as well. However, before you step out into the market, you need to prepare yourself. Let’s go through some of the basics that you need to know when it comes to illustrating a children’s book:

  • The first thing that you will have to keep in mind is that you need to draw from references. This is not to mean that you will copy-paste, but then you will need to formulate your own set of references from where you will take inspiration and work on creating an illustration style which will be unique to the demands of the book that you will be illustrating. It is not always possible to fashion something out of thin air, and this is where your references will come in handy.
  • Your work ought to be a combination of analogue drawing and digital drawing. Why? Well, this will help you in creating distinct styles of your own. With analogue drawing, you have more liberty to experiment, and when it comes to digital, you can easily render certain touches which will be very difficult to give when it comes to analogue drawing. So, work turns out to be the best when it is a combination of both. Though most illustrators work on the digital platform, stay strong to your analogue roots, which will help you in the long run.
  • When you decide to take upon a project which is looking for  illustrators for hire, you need first to read the story and create your own storyboard. Yes, this is just like creating one for an animation story. Know what will happen after what and create your pictures and illustrations accordingly with an idea of the placement of the text as well. This will help you to illustrate better, and you can send it across to the typesetter as well, which will make outlying and designing the book much easier.
  • The other thing that you need to do is illustrate in thumbnails. Illustrate and then color them too. This will be your visual reference and will help you in gaining a better idea of what you are imagining and how it would look on paper.
  • And finally, be ready for different kinds of challenges. For example, you might be comfortable with a vertical layout, whereas someone commissions a project with say a horizontal layout. So, how do you go about it? Read, study and refer to your references and be ready to take up the challenge.

Follow the pointers given above when you are just about to step into the world of children’s books illustration, and you will surely carve a niche for yourself!

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