Find the Right Book Artist!
by Kim Sponaugle


How does an author find the right book artist?

by Kim Sponaugle

Kim Sponaugle

So let's say that you really don't know where to begin to find an artist to illustrate your book....

Whether you will be self-publishing and need to hire an artist directly or a publisher finds one for you, it's good to have a solid idea of the "feel" you would imagine for your book.

(Picture book authors can find several websites to shop children's book illustrators, such as Picture Book.com, Children's Illustrators.com. And, of course, this site can be very helpful!)

Browse book artists.

Whether online, at a bookstore or library, sample the work of numerous professionals. (At Amazon, browse book covers and book artists in your genre.) View many artists' illustrations and build a file of what you like. This file will give any book artist a good idea of the style and feel you are looking for.

You can email some artists directly for information regarding a quote.

Here is a list of 10 tips to remember. (Some are a little more for those seeking children's book illustrators over book cover artists, but they should all make you think!)

1. Have a budget idea for your project even while you are asking for a quote.

2. Hire a professional or someone who has some experience in book illustration. If you are new to book publishing, it's best to work with an experienced illustrator- ultimately, it can be less stressful and with the right match you will find it is worth every penny!

3. Contact authors the artist has worked with, if you can - this is a great way to see if it has been a good experience for them and will be for you.

4. A contract is important. Always request a contract; it protects and clarifies both the author's and artist's obligations to the project.

5. Be flexible and willing to negotiate. Most book artists are fair folks and are willing to work with you if the price is reasonable, if not there are many other fish in the sea!

6. Ask if the artist would be willing to sketch a main character. See if they are a match - Many artists that are interested in your project will be willing to do this for you - for free.

7. Keep an open mind regarding creativity. The artist needs some "room" to illuminate your words; be patient, wonderful things can happen!

8. Share your ideas, but leave room for artistic license. There is a balance between the word and image and it's now time to leave your "baby" in the book artist's capable hands.

9. Avoid calling the artist "my illustrator." Remember the book's completion is a team effort and to make your book the best it can be - there needs to be mutual respect. :-)

10. Take your time when searching. Do not let passion for your book project cause you to make hasty and "costly" decisions.

And here's your special bonus tip:

11. Enjoy watching it all come together!

Browse book cover artists.

Visit Kim's site, Picture Kitchen Studio.

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