View Full Version : children's book Illustration
December 21st, 2006, 07:10 PM
Why do writers/publishers put up posts for an Artist to do 10+ Full color Illustrations for story books and require that the images be done in a month's time?
I hope to not rule story book illustration out as a career choice, but please tell me that most publishers know better than a would be writer trying to get their writing published.
January 6th, 2007, 07:19 PM
There can be a variety of reasons.
Sometimes it's because another artist that was originally contracted for the project fails to meet expectations in some way or other, or they have to cancel at the last minute. Sometimes it's due to the editor's or small publisher's inexperience in scheduling art development and review time.
From a panel that featured Kinuko Craft (http://www.kycraft.com/) and Donato Giancola (http://www.donatoart.com/) at ComicCon 2005, the artists spoke about 2-3 day turnarounds for cover illustrations that they've done in the past that required pulling all nighters (and these folks paint traditionally). These were projects they accepted at the time either because they needed the work (just starting out), they were interested in the project, or they knew the art director and could squeeze in the art for with that short of a development time. What I recall best from that bit of the panel discussion, Kinuko said she no longer had to do those kinds of projects, and that her development time now was generally scheduled as one month dev time for one illustration.
Don't forget, especially bidding for online children's book illustration projects, you can frequently have global competition with art reps who have 10 or more artists (freelance or in-house) that can bid cheaper than the individual artist here in the U.S. that's just starting out. That doesn't mean that the publisher gets a good deal (see above time comment). It really, really helps to get to know the art directors that work for the publishers of the books you'd like to illustrate. And, to meet deadlines!
In my own experience, turn around time for in-house or freelance illustration projects for children's books or editorials can be as little as 4-10 hours (chapter art) or as much as 1 week (cover). Depends on the project, the budget, and who it was for. More established freelance artists (like Michael Whelan (http://www.michaelwhelan.com/) or Mary GrandPre (http://www.marygrandpre.com/), for example) can have their time booked up to 2 years in advance with illustration projects.
So, like I said, it depends. :)
January 8th, 2007, 12:43 AM
thank you so much for the info tatiana! it's nice to get reminded about these things :D
January 8th, 2007, 01:06 AM
please tell me that most publishers know better than a would be writer trying to get their writing published.
Of course they do. Real publishers have real production schedules, real deadlines, and real budgets.
My advice: never never never never never never never work for self publishing authors.
January 9th, 2007, 03:39 AM
thanks tatiana, great explanation, though with Elwell I will disagree,
one of my best clients is a self publishing author who pays up front when a concept is approved, not after the piece is finished. In the following months I'll be working on two book projects of his. So it's not set in stone, it differs from client to client. Of course, you might say better safe than sorry... :)
January 9th, 2007, 04:29 AM
in my experience, you have to allready know how to work fast when starting out as a freelancing illustrator. My very first assignment was 20 full page pics + cover pic (not design) for a book, and i had two months. that's the kind of thing you'll have to deal with. having tons of time to noodle around (+vacations/social life) when working on a project, well....i'm hoping to earn it:)