It’s a good time for children’s books in the world. There are a lot of sales everywhere in bookstores and online too. With more number of Children’s books getting published every year, we have more talent joining these genres of art. Thus, the competition too is increasing. So, to get a good career as a children’s book illustrator, it’s important that you understand some essential things which you must take care of while illustrating.
Key points which will assist you in developing your Children’s book illustration skills:
- Learn to draw: Drawing or sketching is the first basic essential skill which a good children book illustrator must-have. A drawing is the base of your illustration, and if it is done nicely, the final outcome will be nice.
- Be unique: Doing something unique in your illustrations is another good quality for a book illustrator because anything unique will always be remembered by its readers and publishers. And it’s so nice to make a memorable book by making unique illustrations
- Drawing animals and kids: This may sound like anybody who sketches well can draw animals and kids nicely. But it is not necessarily so. Drawing interesting, cute, expressive kids and animals is quite an essential skill as many of the children’s stories revolve around kids and animals.
- Drawing details: You readers, the kids, find it really interesting to look for details in illustrations. Indeed, an illustration is supposed to convey more message than in the written words. Also, a children’s picture book is not made and purchased to be read only once. But they are read again and again, at different times, night after night. So, it will be really fun if kids are able to find new small details every time they read the book again. Make sure when you illustrate children’s books, you add these details which will not let any boredom come in reading the same story again and again.
- Making small spot illustrations spread around the complete book carries a lot of interest. Even before the story text begins, these small spot illustrations will give hints about the story. Learn to layout your book using these ideas of small Illustrations (called vignettes).
- Doing storyboards: Before actually sketching each page of the book, it’s better to design all the pages of the book in thumbnails on one big page. This way you will be able to see the flow of the story, the placement of the text and you will be able to visualize the complete book, rather than just looking at one page at a time. Once convinced and approved by the publisher/author, proceed finalizing each illustration.
- Doing research: Get some inspiration looking at some of the best Children’s book illustrations from classic books and new ones. It will help you open up your creativity and let ideas flow in. Also, you will understand tiny things which kids and publishers loved in those works.
- Add variety: You might be very good at doing watercolor illustrations, but don’t limit yourself to one style only. Add a variety of illustration styles in your children’s book illustrator’s portfolio. If needed, join some online courses or workshops and enhance your skills. There is no end to learning, so keep going.
- Social media and promotion: Don’t assume that if you have illustrated one book, you will get noticed and get more work. Keep spreading your work. Join various social media groups of illustrators, authors and publishers and expand your network.