Getting Started in Children's Book Illustration: Part 2
In Getting Started in Children’s Book Illustration, I’m answering your questions about getting started in this field. Submit your questions via email or check here to read answers to previous questions.
In this installment of Getting Started in Children’s Book Illustration, we’re tackling the question: how can you tell if your work is good enough?
The phrase “good enough” is a bit subjective, so let’s say: how can you tell if your work is at a professional level?
There’s a tendency to be precious about your own work, to not necessarily see it with the same keen eyes you have when observing the work of others. I struggled with this for years and the big solution for me was comparing my work side by side with the work of illustrator’s I admired.
That’s what I suggest for you too. Either print out your work and compare it side by side with work in picture books, or make a document in Photoshop or Procreate or whatever software/app you have, putting your own work in the center and surrounding it with the work of professional children’s illustrators.
Seeing your work nestled up next to that of working professional children’s illustrator will give you a sense of whether your work is on a professional level yet.
This was an eye opening exercise for me when I did it several years ago and saw that my work wasn’t at the level I thought it was at. Honestly, it made me sad at first, but then motivated me work harder and get my work to that higher level.
If your work isn’t at the pro level yet, study it in comparison to professional work and make notes about what you can improve, about how you can get to that next level, and then make an action plan for those improvements. You can do this.
If your work is the pro level already, then what are you waiting for? It’s time to start submitting to publishers or agents! Don’t worry, we’ll be chatting about that in a future posting from this series.