SoarSoar ©2009 Sharon Rosa

When i was little, one of the things i wanted to do when i Grew Up was illustrate books. I liked reading and i liked drawing and what better career than one which combined both?

It occurred to me while working out a list of art goals for the upcoming year that i never actually did anything with the childhood dream of book illustration. Granted, i never did anything with the childhood dream of living in a treehouse on a self-sufficient sheep farm either… but i don’t want to live on a farm any more. I still want to illustrate books, though. And i have become bound and determined i will be illustrating books by the end of the year.

The most irritating bit of this particular goal is i have very few book illustration pieces in my portfolio, and most of my other illustrations don’t quite match the type of work i’m hoping to get – so i need to spend the next few months working on what will essentially turn out to be a whole new portfolio. My current plan is to illustrate some old books and stories which are now in the public domain, or newer stories licensed under a Creative Commons-Derivatives license, as that’s the easiest way i can think of to actually do the sorts of illustrations i want to do without either already having a contract or worrying about mucking about with anyone’s copyrights.

I also need to do a good bit of research on how the publishing industry works with regards to artists – for someone who’s not a professional writer, i know quite a bit about how authors get contracts in the publishing industry, but my knowledge of illustration contracts is pretty much limited to “the writer doesn’t choose the artist; the publisher does” – and even that i know primarily because it’s considered a Huge yet Irritatingly Common Mistake for aspiring authors (especially children’s authors) to send illustrations to publishers along with their manuscripts. I’m not too worried about my lack of knowledge, though; the way i figure it, it’s going to be at least three months before i have a portfolio i’m ready to shop around. I don’t expect it to take me nearly as long to research and get a basic understanding of the publishing industry.

Of course, right now the publishing industry is about as economically stable as the auto industry (minus any chance of a bailout), so i need to be about ten times as good at all this as i would’ve needed to be two years ago to accomplish the same thing (see, children, this is why you don’t delay your goals. It just makes everything harder.)

Like this post? Feel free to share it, or check out these related posts:

Comments are currently closed

  1. […] on book illustrations and the publishing industry and all the other pretty ideas related to my goal of becoming a book illustrator. I found about twelve worth subscribing to in my RSS reader, then tossed them all in an […]