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Do you draw a page in hopes to get the gig?

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Hello All,
For those who don't use or have an agent yet, just curious how common it is for illustrators to draw a page or character, as part of their submission or bid on a children's book. I've drawn a page before that landed me a whole series of children's books, and on the other hand, I've drawn characters or a page and not heard anything back. How do the artists feel about this? What has been to percentage of success rate? Also, on a side note, has anyone had success working with an individual on a children's book and gotten paid well? (I'm not willing to do the work and hope that it gets picked up, I ask for payment per drawing). Most of my success has been with businesses, rather than individuals. Love to hear your thoughts.
#1 - September 07, 2010, 09:46 AM

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I don't see how an illustrator can submit a book idea to a publisher WITHOUT a few final art samples! I don't think a character sketch is enough. It's absolutely necessary to complete at least a few scenes/spreads of art (with the character in different perspectives, poses, and environments to show consistency in the character throughout). I'm a former children's book Art Director, and currently a published author/illustrator that's been submitting directly to publishers without an agent for 9 yrs.  I find showing dummies with complete ms, and full-color art samples the most effective way to submit my work.

If you're talking about getting hired as just the illustrator (and not your own book), then the process is different. You just give the editor/art director a link to your website so they can view your portfolio. But for book subs, you would need completed art samples, with or without agent.

I would not recommend working with an individual on a children's book. These collaborations rarely do well because there isn't the expertise needed to create a quality children's book. I would suggest to work only with publishers, who have the necessary resources in editing, design, production/manufacturing and sales/distribution.
Good luck!
#2 - September 07, 2010, 10:17 AM


To clarify, yes, I am talking about just being hired on as the illustrator. Thank you for the advice. I appreciate it. I will steer away from the individuals and focus on the publishers and businesses. Another question, you mentioned that you simply are submitting your website to publishers, have you found that to be just as effective as mailing them materials? Also, would you have a general estimation of the percentage rate of the number of publishers you submit to vs. publishers who use you?
#3 - September 07, 2010, 02:42 PM


Thanks, that helps. I really appreciate your time explaining things more. I got lucky with a company, illustrating for 27 books, but now I am trying to expand and work with several businesses and publishers. I have been seriously considering an art rep. I'll probably be looking into that more. And I will continue to join more groups. Thank you!
#4 - September 07, 2010, 03:29 PM


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