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  • Writer's pictureTullipStudio Team

5 Important Aspects to Know When Hiring an Illustrator

1. Find the right illustrator

Now you’re in the phase of searching for an illustrator, before you decided to hire them make sure you check these 4 things;

- Credibility

The conquest of searching for an illustrator to provide you with amazing illustrations for your children’s book has begun. Most important to search for is the illustrator’s credibility in their works for children’s book. You must ask for their previous children’s book that they’ve illustrated and how did it go in the market as well. This is important because you wanted to make sure you’re paying legitimate and professional help that won’t let you down.

Just take your time and patiently look through one-by-one into the illustrator’s portfolio. If you think you find the right one, start looking for their website or social media to check for consistency.

- Consistency

Consistency is the key to achieve something great. This applies to illustrators as well, the more their consistent in working on a children’s book project, the more time they’ve spent in illustrating it. By spending more time doing illustrations for children’s books will develop their skills and experiments on other styles. Styles is also an important aspect because it’ll engage reader’s interests to purchase and keep on reading your book.

Therefore, you wanted to see the illustrator’s previous work and see their credibility and consistency in doing children’s book illustrations. If you’ve found the credibility and consistency, then do their illustration styles match your taste and your imaginations?

- Style

There are many illustration styles out there but mostly for children’s book illustrations, the styles are either whimsical, cartoon, stylized, sketches, or realistic. Different styles will take different times to finish since the difficulty varies for different illustration styles. Also, different styles will cost differently according to the difficulty and how much time will it be spent to finish it.

So, make sure you choose the illustration styles according to the budget you’re willing to spend on the illustrations. That is why it is advisable to write down your budgeting plan from the start until the illustrations process to the marketing process.

- Budget & cost

Making a children’s book is another way to invest your money through books. Therefore, you must do the budget planning from the start and decide how will your book be formatted and how many professionals help you’ll hire to help you finish the book. The more professional help you hire or the more printed books you decided to publish, the more money you need to spend.

There are various costs to hire an illustrator out there, which means you can find one that is according to your budget. And indeed the cost of illustrators will determine their skills and styles.

So, if you’ve found the illustrator and before you agree to begin the illustrations process, you and your hired illustrator need to make and sign a working contract that will be the guide of this project.

2. Discuss the work contract details

A working contract is important to have and discussed while you’re doing a project with someone you don’t personally know and perhaps they’re in a different area from where you live. So, the working contract can be included with these 4 things;

- Working flow

The first contract detail should be included in how the working flows go between you and your illustrator. Some illustrator has their own working flows already and let them explain it to you first. If you agree you could go with their working flow or if you don’t let them know what do you have in mind.

Working flow can include how you and the illustrator will communicate, when the working hours are, how many revisions can you ask for, and how many working processes your illustrator needs to finally finish the illustrations.

- Intellectual properties

Intellectual properties include copyrights of the illustrations, this is important to be discussed with your illustrator whether the illustrations are all yours to keep without mentioning the illustrator in the book or you only own the right to make copies and earn money from it? Indeed, intellectual property is a bit tricky, that’s why you need to mention the things you have in mind and come out with solutions that work out for you and your hired illustrator.

Mentioning your illustrator’s name in the book is not necessarily a bad idea, because their name may affect your book sales too. So, it is advisable to keep the illustrator’s name and let them use your illustrated piece as a promotion in their portfolios.

- Payment

How much will you the illustrations? Do you need to pay extra for the book cover or is it included? Will your illustrator manage to do the book formatting for the amount of payment they’ll receive? Indeed, payments are a must include the part in the work contract and let the two sides be clear with it.

Additionally, include the payment method, currency (if you’re hiring an overseas illustrator), and cost of the illustrations service that both of you agree on.

- Deadline

After agreeing on all of the above, now both of you and your hired illustrator need to set a deadline for the illustrations to be ready and get your children’s book to publish as soon as it is finished. Setting up a deadline is according to how many pages does your book needs to be illustrated, don’t set up a close deadline for 32 illustrated pages, be wise about setting up a deadline so the illustrator has time to use their creative controls.

3. Discuss your book format

Not every illustrator will provide you with the book formatting that’ll ease your way to publishing your children’s book. Therefore, make sure you ask if the illustrator willing to do the book formatting as well or not. Also, there are other things to consider, such as book size, illustration style, and script details. For more details, here are what you have to consider;

- Size

After dealing with all the contracts that the both of you agree on, now you’re ready to decide on the size of your children’s book. Book sizing will affect the size of illustrations and also the printing cost. Book sizing will also be based on who your targeted readers are and what your book is about. Therefore, you must decide the size of your book before beginning the illustrations phase.

- Illustration style

At the start, you have discussed the cost for each style that provide by the illustrator, and that means you must already come up with an illustration style for your children’s book afterward. Some authors will prefer and let the illustrator take the creative control all to themselves. Then you can ask for revisions according to how you like in mind. Some illustrators have a different total of revisions that their client can ask for, so be wise on using those revisions.

Having your book illustrated with TullipStudio, we will have your children’s book posted on our social media (Instagram and Facebook), websites, and also Amazon pages. By doing so, we’re hoping that it will impact your book sales and get you more engagements.

- Script details

The next thing you need to discuss in detail with your hired illustrator is your manuscript that needed to be illustrated. Make you add the character's expression, the story settings in detail, the character’s looks, and make sure it is in the correct order. When you think that you’ve managed all of the above, you can now ask your illustrator to begin the illustrations.

4. Illustration process begins

You still need intense communications with your illustrator to get your children’s book finish as soon as possible. When the illustration process begins, your illustrator should do these steps to get it done according to how you want it.

- Rough Sketch

Some illustrators will firstly provide you with rough sketches from the first page of your book until the last page. These rough sketches are from the brief you’ve sent to the illustrator and they’ll sketch according to it. From the expression, settings, how many characters in that page, what the setting looks like, etc. After agreeing with the rough sketches from the start until the last page, the illustrator now will have to do the proper illustrations.

With TullipStudio, rough sketches will be provided from the first until the last page and will directly be sent to the author via email. After the author has been checked for revisions and we manage to get the revisions fixed then it is time to do some clean-up illustrations and coloring phase.

- Clean up and coloring

Taking from rough sketches to proper illustrations that you’ll be able to see the character in a great shape, settings with a great view, and also those illustrations now should already be in colors.

TullipStudio will have to manage to draw proper illustrations per page, once the current page is final with the author’s agreements, we’ll go to the next page and so on until the last one.

5. Publishing and publication

After getting all your illustrations done and the book formatting finished, now it is time to get your book to publish and prepare for some book launch and marketing strategies. Marketing strategies can get a bit tricky and challenging but if you plan it carefully, you’ll get everything sorted out easily.

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