First off, even though nobody is reading this I wanted to mention that I took a week or so off due to visiting Walt Disney World with my family. We had a great time and it was a great first experience for me.
So now I am back and it’s time to get my head back in the game and start focusing on getting these projects done. I keep telling myself to just focus on one project at a time but my mind does not allow that to happen. And then I suffer for it. So I am committing right here right now to focus on one thing at a time.
So what am I focusing on?
I am continuing on my children’s book. The story is done and all I needed was some nice illustrations. So over the past few weeks I have been reaching out to many illustration freelancers across the internet to get some initial illustrations done for the story that I wrote. This was harder than I thought because there are so many different types of artists out there that do so many different styles. I set myself on a style and started focusing on artists that fit within that criteria.
Had no idea what the cost would be
When I started I had absolutely no idea what my cost would be. Funny enough I was doing a search on childrensillustrators.com and found and artist that blew my mind. I immediately wrote down all of his info and called him. He was super nice and was really helpful in giving me insight on some of the processes involved in assembling a book. Then…..he told me his price. $800-$1400 per page. I tried to act cool like I was expecting that. I knew he was out because I needed at least 20 illustrations for this book. But honestly, if I was making artwork at his level I would also expect to make that kind of money. Also, I needed to consider that he was not usually drawing for self publishers and appealed more to the bigger publishing houses.
So after about a month of searching and questioning multiple artists I came down to three different artists that were on Fiverr.com. I did not go there because I thought it would be cheaper I was looking at the art first and then price second. Not everything costs $5 on fiverr.com. A lot of the artists will only give you a simple sketch with no color or no background and then you have to pay for other extras such as the rights to use the images or the original high resolution graphics. So for a full page illustration with a background expect to pay between $40-$90. You may get lucky and find someone eager to work and put some money in their pocket. In this case they may make a deal with you for a bulk package of illustrations.
How do they know what to draw?
I first wrote a descriptive paragraph about each of the characters. I described their physicality, hair type, clothes, and any other accessories that they may have (hat, gloves, glasses etc). Then when I found an artist that I wanted to try out I would send them this description along with some reference illustrations that I have found on the internet that may have some qualities that I liked. After the artists get back to me I review the characters to see what I like and don’t like. I initially did not totally like what my chosen artist did but after I asked for a revision I felt like he hit the nail on the head.
Now I took my script and selected scenes that I wanted to show in illustrations. I would put a place holder on the script that said “Scene 1” and then I would draw out on a separate piece of paper (labeled Scene 1) a very crude idea of what I wanted the scenes to look like. I did this for all 20 scenes. It took some time but I feel much better about getting my idea across instead of a non-stop back and forth because the illustrator cannot read my mind. It’s not your illustrators job to tell your story for you or add anything. That is your job. Tell them what you want and they should be able to do it.
Below are the initial character illustrations.