Nine Amazing Tips to Become a Recognized Children’s Books Illustrator

Whether you were inspired to become an illustrator after falling in love with a books from your childhood or got inspired by the creativity of your own children, knowing that you want to become a children’s book illustrator is a feeling that matches no other.

Although the publishing industry is very competitive, you can always find your way if you are passionate enough to turn your dream job into a reality. Publishers are always looking for new illustrators, and you can become the one they want to get on board.

Here are some amazing tips to boost your skills to become a children’s book illustrator.

1.      Practice More

“Practice makes perfect” is a common phrase that has not lost its meaning over time. In fact, it is proven true every day as practicing any skill helps in refining it. When you ask a professional how to become a children’s book illustrator, their answer is likely to shed light upon the importance of practice.

Hence, it is crucial to practice your drawing and illustrating skills regularly to sharpen them. You do not have to spend hours on this activity every day, especially if you are only considering illustrations as a passive source of income. A regular routine for practicing can help you improve your illustrations and stand out.

2.       Understand Your Market

When it comes to children’s books, people may think that there is not a lot to understand in terms of the market. However, it is not as simple to be a children’s book illustrator. You must research current trends, styles, and popular themes in children’s books to stay relevant in this fast-paced world.

Children have short attention spans, and they may become easily distracted. Having the right information can help you work with relevant publishers and gain recognition for you as an illustrator with an in-depth understanding of their industry.

3.      Study Your Competitors

The world of children’s book illustrations can be very competitive. A novice illustrator may need a lot of time and practice to get ahead of their competitors. While most illustrators only see their competitors as a threat, you can learn a lot from what makes them successful.

You cannot do better than someone if you do not know what sets them apart. You can analyze the work of your competitors to get inspired and learn new techniques. It is one of the best ways to start relevant in your industry and pick up pace.

4.      Get Formal Education

It is never too late to learn something about a subject you feel passionate about. Every training and certification you receive to further your knowledge as a children’s book illustrator can be a highlight on your portfolio that may make you stand out.

You can take art classes, attend workshops, or learn a lot from several different webinars. As you keep on learning more every day, you will learn new skills along the way and stay in touch with the current trends and themes for children’s books.

5.      Create a Portfolio

Your portfolio is a great way for you to showcase your skills and tell publishers what makes your services a great choice for their work. You can use this platform to share your certifications, show your work, and connect with the relevant people.

In addition, your portfolio can also help your cold pitching campaigns. You can mail your portfolio to different publication houses and expect to hear back. Many novice illustrators land their initial jobs this way. Even if you do not hear back, at least you will gain recognition as someone offering their services.

6.      Know Your Style

Being a children’s book illustrator is not just about drawing whatever is in your mind, however you want. Instead of being a jack of all trades, being a master of a few can help you grow faster and be recognized as a reliable resource for those specific styles.

You cannot understand your styles without trying different options. From pencil illustrations to 3D illustrations, charcoal illustrations, and line art, there are so many options to choose from. If you are not sure what your style is, you can try to figure it out by starting to try today.

7.      Get Constructive Criticism

If you have just started your journey as a children’s books illustrator, excelling in your art can take a lot of time and energy. As you practice and grow your skills, constructive criticism can help you perfect your art, style, and expression.

You can ask your seniors or fellow illustrators for their feedback and constructive criticism. Make sure to keep an open mind while your work is criticized. You can find tips and tricks from other professionals to improve your work over time.

8.      Network Frequently

Children’s book illustrators can benefit a lot from networking opportunities. You never know who you can run into at big gatherings and social events. Being in touch with the right people can help them explore opportunities and boost their recognition among their peers.

Every children’s book illustrator must take some time to attend events such as art get-togethers, illustration fairs, and promotional activities. This way, you can get connected with different publishers and authors that help you gain experience and build your portfolio.

9.      Stay Persistent

Many people think that being rejected is the end of their journey. They wonder if they have been rejected because they are not good enough and assume the worst of the situation. They often forget that rejection is a part of their journey to a career as a professional children’s books illustrator.

Do not get discouraged by small hurdles in the way. Always keep the bigger picture in your mind and seek ways to improve your skills. Do not let small mistakes define you. Instead, ensure leaving those mistakes behind and emerging as a better professional every time.

Whether you complete a project or improve a specific skill,  it is important to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments. Small accomplishments can make a meaningful difference in your professional life.

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