How To Become A Children’s Book Illustrator - American Author House Blog
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How To Become A Children’s Book Illustrator

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  • May 8, 2023
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  • 6 min read


Becoming a children’s book illustrator is a rewarding career opportunity for someone with a passion for art and a desire to work with children. Illustrators are the artists responsible for creating the visuals accompanying a story in a children’s book. They use their creative skills to bring the author’s words to life and create a magical experience for young readers.

If you want to become a children’s book illustrator, here’s what you need to know.

Childrens Book Illustrator

1. Understand the Role of a Children’s Book Illustrator

A children’s book illustrator, book editing service is responsible for creating the visual world of a story. The illustrator’s job is to interpret the author’s words and bring them to life on the page.

Children’s books are often designed to be read aloud by adults, so the illustrator also needs to be able to draw expressive characters that appeal to children. It means understanding how a child looks at the world and responds emotionally.

Illustrators use both traditional and digital media to create their work. Illustrations can be drawn with pencils, pens or markers and then scanned into a computer, where they can be colored digitally or painted with watercolors, gouache or acrylic paints.

Children’s book illustrators work closely with authors, editors, and publishers to create visually appealing and engaging books. They must communicate effectively and understand the author’s and publisher’s creative vision.

2. Develop Your Skills

You can become a children’s book illustrator by developing your skills. Here are some ideas:

Read books and study the illustrations. Look at the kind of work you like and how it was done. You can learn a lot by studying the work of other artists.

Draw constantly! Draw whatever you observe, including individuals, pets, structures, and natural settings. Sketch in various media and techniques (pencil, charcoal, pastel). Draw from real life, photographs, and your imagination.

Create your own stories and illustrate them for others to read. It is a great way to practice making illustrations that tell a story in just one picture!

3. Build Your Portfolio

When you’re starting, it’s important to build up a portfolio of your work. This can be done by creating your children’s books or illustrating for others. If you’re interested in creating your children’s book, there are many different ways. You can write and illustrate your own story or use an existing story and add drawings. You can also use found materials and draw over them with markers or crayons or paint them with watercolors. The important thing is to create something original that shows off your style as an artist.

4. Network And Market Yourself

Networking is an important part of being a children’s book illustrator. You can join different groups, such as the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). This group has an annual conference in Los Angeles, where you can meet other professionals in the industry. You can also join local critique groups or attend local art festivals to network with other artists.

Another way to market yourself is by putting your work online. You can create a website or blog where people can see examples of your work and contact information for booking commissions or freelance jobs. A American Author House is a team of professional writers who specialize in helping individuals and businesses bring their book ideas to life.

5. Submit Your Work To Publishers

The important step toward becoming a children’s book illustrator is submitting your work to publishers. Many publishers accept submissions from artists and illustrators directly, so check the publisher’s website for submission guidelines. After writing out a professional cover letter and submitting samples of your work, sit back and wait for a response! If your submission is accepted, it could lead to more opportunities, such as illustrating someone else’s book or creating original characters for future projects.

Also read
How to Get Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) for Free

6. Work With Authors And Publishers

It is easy to find an author or publisher looking for an illustrator. You can reach out to them, or they can reach out to you. Many authors and publishers have websites listing their books that are currently available and any upcoming releases. This can be a good place to start your search.

7. Keep Learning And Growing

Artists who want to be children’s book illustrators need to continually learn more about the craft and continue to grow as artists. They can find inspiration in other artists’ work, children’s literature, or just by observing the world around them.

8. Understand The Business Of Illustration

Children’s book illustrators must understand the business side of their work. They need to know how to market themselves and get their work from editors and publishers. They also need to have a good grasp of copyright laws and other legal issues that affect artists working in this field.

9. Manage Your Time

Because you’re often creating art for other people’s stories, it’s important to know where the deadlines are coming from and how much time they’ll allow you to work on each piece. You may have to work quickly with little feedback from the author or editor. You might also have to juggle multiple projects at once. The perfect way to manage your time is by keeping a schedule with deadlines marked down so you can plan.

It can also help to use a project management system like Basecamp or Trello so that clients can see what stage of completion their illustrations are in at all times. This builds trust between client and artist because they know what they’re getting from their collaboration — even if it’s not finished yet!

10. Stay Passionate And Persistent

You won’t get anywhere without being dedicated to what you do. You need to love what you do for it to come through in your work. Your passion will carry through into your illustrations, making them more lively and real than if there was no emotion behind them!


I’ve compiled a few inventive ideas in this article that could help new authors get their books published and illustrated. Aim high with each illustration you create, and have faith that one day you’ll be at the top of the illustration industry.

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