Getting Started in Children's Book Illustration: Part 1
Today I’m starting a series called Getting Started as an Illustrator, where I’ll be answering your questions about building a career as a children’s book illustrator. A new post will be added to this series each week and you can view past postings on this topic right here.
If you’d like to submit a question, you can do so via Instagram or via email.
Today’s question is: How do you know if your style is suitable for children’s books?
The simple answer to that is look and ask.
The longer version is:
Look at children’s books, look at a lot of them, and compare what you see with your own work. I’m not suggesting that your work should exactly fit what’s already out there, but that if you consume enough children’s book, you’ll get a feeling about whether your work is appropriate for the category or not.
It’s also a good exercise to put your work next to the work of several of your children’s book illustrator idols, so you can see if your work appears to be on the same professional level.
The world of children’s book is wide and stretches from the simplest board books to the most avant garde picture books, so chances are, with a bit of work, you can adapt your style to fit(while still being unique).
You can also just ask if your work is appropriate for children’s book. Attending events hosted by SCBWI or submitting your work to an agent can be a good way to gauge whether your work is ready for children’s publishing or not. If the work isn’t ready yet, you’ll also likely get valuable advice on improving it.
A final note: even if someone tells you your work isn’t right for children’s books, don’t give up. Get more than one opinion. If you really want to illustrate children’s books, then work to improve or adapt your style. If you really want it, don’t give up.