Being a children’s book illustrator- Kristeen Harris Johnes

On Tuesday ( 5th March) a freelance illustrator came to tell us about how her work looks like. She studied at The North Wales School of Art and Design.6212003_public

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What have I learnt about being a children’s book illustrator?

  • If you want to be a freelance illustrator you have to find a manager who you could trust completely.
  • make a organised studio. Keep all your work together.
  • Make your work bigger than you need. For exampled A3 artwork is easier to scale down if needed without loosing the quality.
  • Even though nowadays we can find everything on the internet, at some point all reference folders will come back to be useful, so keep them organized as well
  • Think of what kind of stories you want to do and stick to it
  • When you get a job, and they send you the brief it is good to make notes on the emails. It is important to talk through the things you don’t understand so it is clear to both sides what to expect.
  • If the client requires something that is just physically impossible for you to do, suggest your own interpretation writing to the client why you did it that way. Most times the client agrees to it.
  • Talk through any alterations so it is clear to both sides. Don’t be afraid to negotiate if needed.
  • Do not take the feedback personally  Work is often sent back with lots of crosses,  circles and notes. It’s just something you have to get used to
  • It is possible that the deadline may change, so be aware that late nights come with the territory of most briefs, if not all.
  • While creating a image you must remember about the typography that comes along with it.
  • After publishing your art work remember to register for PLR or ALACS to gain income from library borrowings.

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