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Illustrating Your Children's Book: Tips for Aspiring Authors

Discover the art of bringing your children's book to life with the perfect illustrations. From drawing your own artwork to collaborating with professionals or utilizing AI technology, this guide covers the spectrum of creative options available for aspiring authors. Learn how to match your story with stunning visuals that captivate and enchant young readers.
Karen Richard

Drawing the Illustrations Yourself

If you are a talented artist, you can draw the illustrations yourself using traditional media or digital software like Adobe Illustrator or Procreate. Drawing your own illustrations gives you complete control over the book's visual style and saves you money on hiring a professional illustrator. However, it can be time-consuming and may require additional training or practice.

Use Free or Low-Cost Stock Illustrations

Several websites offer free or low-cost stock illustrations, which authors can use in their books. However, you should be cautious when using stock illustrations, as they may not be unique, and other authors may use the same images. Authors should carefully read the licensing agreement to ensure they have the legal right to use the images in their book, and should be wary of "ultra affordable" illustrations that degrade the overall quality of the book. 

Hiring a Freelance Illustrator

Freelance illustrators are a great option for authors who want unique illustrations that align with their book's vision. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr allow authors to connect with freelance illustrators from around the world at a reasonable cost. Authors can review illustrators' portfolios and choose one that fits their style and budget.

Collaborating with an Art Student

Art students looking to build their portfolios may be interested in collaborating with authors on a children's book. Authors can contact art departments at local colleges or universities to find interested students. Collaborating with an art student can be an affordable option, and authors can help a budding artist gain experience.

Commissioning an Artist

If authors have a specific style or vision for their book's illustrations, they can commission an artist to create custom illustrations for their book. Commissioning an artist may be more expensive than hiring a freelance illustrator, but it ensures the author receives exactly what they want. Authors can find artists through online portfolios or art agencies.

Using AI-Generated Illustrations

AI can also generate illustrations for authors. Made Live, for example, integrates AI into its software to help authors create custom illustrations. This option saves authors time and money, as they do not need to hire an illustrator or create their illustrations. However, authors should ensure that the AI-generated illustrations align with their book's vision and style.

Read more about illustrating with Generative-AI images here. 

Ultimately, there are several options available for children's book authors to get their books illustrated. They can draw illustrations themselves, use free or low-cost stock illustrations, hire a freelance illustrator, collaborate with an art student, commission an artist, or use AI-generated illustrations. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and authors should consider their book's vision, budget, and timeline when deciding which option to choose. With careful consideration, authors can find the perfect illustrator for their children's book and bring their story to life with stunning visuals.

Get Started with Made Live Today

To get started with Made Live, simply visit our website and sign up for a free trial. Our user-friendly software and helpful support team will guide you through the process of writing and illustrating your book. Don't let the cost or complexity of traditional publishing hold you back from achieving your dream of becoming a children's book author. With Made Live, you can bring your vision to life and share your story with the world.

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