General Question

Glow's avatar

How would I go about becoming a childrens book illustrator?

Asked by Glow (1366points) January 27th, 2009

Im currently a studio arts major college student and I was planning on having childrens book illustration as a potential career option for me. Problem is, I dont know the first thing I would need to do to prepare and go about this. I know I need a portfolio, and I can gather that up, but how do find a company? How do I send them my stuff? Any info and advice I would appreciate!

Oh, and if it helps, i live i fl, and im going for my BFA.

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5 Answers

madcapper's avatar

I want to one day do the same thing so good luck!!

PupnTaco's avatar

You’re on the right start.

- Join the local branch of a professional organization like AIGA.
– Subscribe to Communication Arts and How, also Illustration (Dan Zimmer’s magazine).
– Check out other pubs like 3×3 and Hi Fructose.
– Read “How to be an Illustrator” by Darrell Rees.
– Ensure you have enough samples of work in one consistent style, then market yourself with a web site, a Flickr account, and send out good-quality postcards at least quarterly, every other month if possible. I use Modern Postcard.
– Get a copy of the 2009 “Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market” and build a mailing list based on that.
– Spend some time at the bookstore researching children’s book publishers you think you’d be a good match for and find out who the art director or creative director is.
– Find a few illustrators whose work you respect or admire and contact them directly. Ask for guidance.
– Diversify. Most likely, you’ll never make enough to live on being just an illustrator. Always be thinking of other ways you can market your work.
– Educate yourself about the business side of things. Never work without a written contract. Buy a copy of the Graphic Artists Guild’s “Pricing and Ethical Guidelines.”

Good luck!

mij's avatar

Don’t know the US way.
But look up a guy from Western Australia, his name is Shaun Tan and he is a superb illustrator of books and also a wonderful artist.
He is a family friend who went to high school with my youngest son.
He went to a special arts school, then went to University to do a Degree in Art.
But mostly he is self taught… Has won lots of awards…

jayson's avatar

look up the work of Jago in the UK is a good up-and-coming illustrator who teaches too. Try to copy great works – not for the sake of imitating but for the appreciation of the styles they use and to find your own, unique value in the market place.

Perhaps start with some work for charity to get yourself in practice for freelance work and to get your name known and build a portfolio as well as to help a charity!

ninjacolin's avatar

dude, you live in the future.
you become whatever you want when you want.

all you need to become a children’s book illustrator is.. a children’s book to illustrate. :)

the rest will come. So, if you don’t have an idea of a children’s book, then you need to find a writer who does. the two of you need to hookup, see if you can work well together and then DO IT.

good luck

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