Archive for April, 2011

06
Apr
11

COMMISSIONING AN ILLUSTRATOR FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S BOOK

COMMISSIONING AN ILLUSTRATOR

FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S BOOK


A Systematic Approach

Commissioning an illustrator for your children’s book can be an exciting and creative journey.  The following steps are designed to ensure that the process is mutually rewarding, as well.

I. Choosing an Illustrator

It is best to make appointments with as many of your potential illustrators as possible within the same day or over a period of a few days in order that you can review their portfolios and when making your choice, their artwork will still be fresh in your mind.  Ask your potential illustrators to bring their resumes and 6-10 examples of their drawings (portfolio).  Interview each of them for the position of illustrating your children’s book.  Make notes about them and their artwork.  Discuss the timeline for your project to ensure that they understand your deadline for the finished project (book or illustrations only).  Ask each of them to e-mail you a copy of their artwork that is most like your vision of your book.

When alone, review your notes and their e-mailed artwork, and make your decision on which illustrator you’ll commission to illustrate your book.

Contact the illustrator that you’ve selected and make an appointment (Meeting #1) to meet with him/her to begin the process of illustrating your book.  Ask the illustrator to bring his/her portfolio to this meeting in order that you can point out those aspects of his/her work that most appeals to you for your book (technique; line; shading, etc.)

II. Meeting #1

The purpose of Meeting #1 is to establish rapport between yourself and your illustrator, share your book and to share concepts between you, make overall decisions about the book and illustrations (medium; illustration sizes, etc.) and come to an agreement on the project, itself.  Share your children’s book with your illustrator (have a copy for him/her and keep the original for yourself).  Discuss your vision of the illustrations for your book and obtain the illustrator’s suggestions.  Decide on the medium, i.e., black and white pencil illustrations, the overall size of the book, and the size of the illustrations. Determine the number of illustrations plus book jacket or cover art.

Set the date for Meeting #2 (in 3 weeks or so) and ask your illustrator to bring 4-5 preliminary sketches (not finished illustrations) for you to view PLUS a photocopy (Xerox) of each sketch (you can take notes on the sketches and retain for your reference).  If you’d like, request specific sketches that you’d like to see at Meeting #2 (in this case, the principle character should definitely be one of the sketches).  Also, set a tentative meeting schedule for the entire project at this time if you so desire; see subsequent meetings below for tentative time frames.  Make notes on everything discussed in this initial meeting.

Go back to your computer and type your notes into a 1-page document that will serve as a contract between yourself and the illustrator, sign and date the document and send a copy (fax or snail mail) to the illustrator for his/her signature and date.  Ask the illustrator to send the signed/dated document back to you ASAP.  Do not have Meeting #2 until you have received the signed/dated contract from the illustrator.

III. Meeting #2

The purpose of Meeting #2 is to review the 4-5 preliminary sketches for your book.  This is the meeting where you’ll fine-tune the direction that the illustrations are going.  Point out to the illustrator what is going well, what you particularly like, and what needs to be rethought and changed.  Be specific, otherwise, you will be disappointed in subsequent illustration viewing meetings and the process will be delayed.  Make notations on your Xeroxes of the sketches.  Ask the illustrator to revise the preliminary sketches (not finished illustrations) for you to view in addition bringing preliminary sketches of the remaining illustration concepts to Meeting #3 PLUS Xeroxes of all of the sketches for your use.

Set the date for Meeting #3 (in 4-6 weeks or so). Make notes on everything discussed in this meeting for your own reference.

IV. Meeting #3

The purpose of Meeting #3 is to review the revised sketches and the remainder of the preliminary sketches.  As in Meeting #2, you’ll fine-tune the direction that the illustrations are going, point out to the illustrator what is going well, what you particularly like, and what needs to be rethought and changed.  Again, be specific.  Make notations on your Xeroxes.  Ask the illustrator to revise the sketches (not finished illustrations) as necessary and bring the entire set of sketches, in the order that they will appear in your book, to Meeting #4 for you to review.

Set the date for Meeting #3 (in a month or so). By this time, the illustrator should completely understand the direction that the illustrations are going, and the drawing process should be much quicker than initially. Make notes on everything discussed in this meeting for your own reference and keep all of your meeting notes together.

V. Meeting #4

The purpose of Meeting #4 is to review the entire set of sketches for the illustrations of your book.  This is the meeting where you make certain that the finished illustrations will be just right.  If anything at all (and at this point, it should be something minor) needs to be changed in any way, not is the time to address it and have it changed within the next week or so.  If that is the case, set a meeting to review the change(s) and make notes on your Xeroxes.  Otherwise, you will approve the entire set of sketches and ask the illustrator to proceed with the final illustrations.

Set the date for Meeting #5 (in 4-6 weeks or so). Make notes on everything discussed in this meeting for your own reference.

VI. Meeting #5

The purpose of Meeting #5 is to receive the entire set of final illustrations for your book.  Examine them carefully to make certain that they are exactly what you approved.  If not, keep those that are fine, send back those that require minor corrections, and set another meeting to receive the corrected version.  However, if the entire set of final illustrations is fine, receive them, offer to write a letter of recommendation for your illustrator, and the process is complete.

Notes:

Copyright your book prior to giving a copy to anyone.

The copyright should read:  Copyright ã 2008 by Your Name Here

The copyright symbol can be found in Microsoft Word in the document menu under “Insert” – scroll down to “Symbol” – and the symbol is a few lines down.  Just decide where you want to place it (typically, on the inside of the cover in a rough draft of a book) and place a piece of paper into your printer, set up the spacing for the symbol with your cursor, double click on the symbol or click “Insert” and it will type itself on the page of your choice.  Then, you can put your book back together.

Copyright  2008 by Carol L. Taylor


Advertisements



Photograph on left, view out of my studio window.

ART SHOPPE – eBOOKS

Commissioning an Illustrator for Your Children's Book http://www.etsy.com/listing/96371823/commissioning-an-illustrator-for-your The 10-Minute Artist http://www.etsy.com/listing/53419162/the-10-minute-artist-ebook Drawing with Charcoal - Art Lesson 1 http://www.etsy.com/listing/89558020/drawing-with-charcoal-art-lesson-1 Drawing with Charcoal - Art Lesson 2 http://www.etsy.com/listing/89559574/drawing-with-charcoal-art-lesson-2 Painting with Caran d'Ache Aquarelle Watercolor Crayons http://www.etsy.com/listing/89568358/painting-with-caran-dache-aquarelle

EMAIL ME:

caroltaylorart[at]gmail[dot]com

Twitter LIVE! – CarolTaylorBAW

Twitter LIVE! – Chiaroscuro Magazine

Copyright Information

© Carol L. Taylor and Carol Taylor's Blog, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including artwork, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol L. Taylor and Carol Taylor's Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.