1. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    Illustration?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Dagolas, May 12, 2012.

    Where could one find someone willing to do illustrations for books for free on the internet? (fully credited in the book of course)
     
  2. Ryan651
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    Ryan651 New Member

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    You aren't going to find anyone willing to do it for free unless they are a beginner that is struggling for work. Freelance illustration I'd assume would be difficult enough just trying to find paid work. Are you attempting to self publish?
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If this is for traditional publishing, don't bother. Publishers rarely accept author illustrations, and illustrations are NOT part of the submission package. Publishers will NOT pick up your choice of a third-party illustrator. They will select their own illustrator choice.

    If this is for self-publishing, good luck. As Ryan said, no one worth having will do it for the glory of recognition in your (almost certainly) short run novel. Add the fee of an illustrator to the growing list of hidden costs of doing it yourself.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you are just needing a few illustrations, and plan to self-publish, try a local art college (also worth trying a school with students doing GCE A levels if you are in England). Many students are extremely talented and would be happy to see their illustrations in a nicely-produced book, if you give them a few free copies for them to put in their portfolio... otherwise, forget it.
     
  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Actually I'm curious - a writer friend of mine insists on doing his own illustrations for his children's poems. Will this drastically damage his chances of getting it published? I believe he's been published before in various magazines.

    As to the OP - it depends on how professional you want it to look. If you don't mind, you could probably just get a friend to do it. If you want it to look professional, no pro will do it for free.
     
  7. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    I'm with madhoca on this one. Contact students -- most would love to have an opportunity to build their portfolios while their still working on their degrees.
     
  8. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    No offense but that is the worst idea that you can do. I graduated from art school and there are a handful of students not overwhelmed with school work looking for jobs. I would suggest finding students who recently graduated that are looking for some work. Most of them do not charge top dollar for work and they are willing to put in the effort and time than a student.

    Very few will do for free but there has to be an incentive. I do not suggest asking people to do work for free because what you might get is a final product that might not be up to standards.

    I am sorry that it may not be what you are looking for but in my defense as an artist I have had many people ask me to do work for free giving the excuse of "it can go in your portfolio." If I was offered to write a story for a magazine or an online zine that did not offer me any compensation except for the portfolio excuse I would turn it down. Same with my photography, I do not shoot for free.
     
  9. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^^ I'm not sure you speak for everyone. It must vary a lot from place to place, and I'm not talking about students who have graduated.
    My daughter graduated as a fashion designer 3 yrs ago, my 2nd daughter is studying Visual Communication Design (2nd yr), and my youngest has one more left at a Fine Arts Lise. Yes, they are pretty snowed under with projects, but given several weeks and the incentive of having something well-produced (for free) they would have been happy to do the work. Unfortunately, you need someone specialising in Graphic design/illustration, not Multimedia or Fashion design.
    You may not have found it so, but actually the university where I teach has many students who do like to build their portfolios with jobs actually commisioned by people. Not many get such a chance, in the country where I live, anyway.
     
  10. GaleSkies
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    GaleSkies Active Member

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    Let's see, the internet plus free... If I remember correctly, I've heard tell that more than a few of the members of a deviant sort of website have done free commissions just for the fun of it. Of course, it would be polite to discuss the intended use of the image before you occupy the artists time. The artwork still remains as the artist's property even if you pay for it. Although, a commission without pay almost sounds contrary to the word's definition. I hope you can read between the lines and infer the site I'm talking about. I am no critic, but the art I see there can be of a very high level of graphic design.
     
  11. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^^ I agree on this, and my kids use that website. There are some great amateur/semi-pros/talented people out there. Sorry if that undermines the freelance professionals, but getting art published seems to be a lottery anyway.
     
  12. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    ill second that. DA is an excellent place to look. just be upfront, present it as a piece of portfolio work for them and that if you are both lucky it could be excellent publicity.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, it will, if you're referring to having picture books published... having had his writings published in magazines will have no effect on his artwork being accepted by book publishers, almost all of which prefer to assign their own illustrators and most won't even allow artwork to be submitted with the text...

    if you only mean having his illustrated poems published in children's magazines, then he can certainly ask if his artwork can be considered, when he submits the mss... could even send the illustrations along with them, unless the publisher's submission guidelines specifically say not to...
     
  14. Bluesman
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    Bluesman Member

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    You could give this website a shot. Crowd sourcing is pretty awesome.

    http://connect.redesignme.com/
     
  15. Bluesman
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    Bluesman Member

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    That is kinda a bummer for me. What is the reason for this, exactly?

    My nephew is a talented artist and I had it in my mind to have him do some illustrations for my novel. Guess that ain't gonna fly.
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If your manuscript is accepted, it's because it meets the publisher's minimum standards of quality. To maximize the chances of successful sales of the book, they will go with proven illustrators through a competitive bidding process or with an in-house illustrator.

    In competitive bidding, an illustrator you propose could ask to be considered, but with no special considerations. And if the illustrator is an unknown as well, his or her chances of winning the bid are abysmal.

    The publisher has a stake in your book's success.
     
  17. Bluesman
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    Bluesman Member

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    That makes total sense. I hadn't looked at it that way. If I wanted illustrations in there, would I have any say in what's it going to look like and where it's going to be?
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Depending on the relationship you have with your publisher, they may listen patiently. But the final decision will always lie with the layout team and Marketing.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!...
     
  20. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure that you can never submit a package of illustration + children's book to a publisher. My aunt's sister, Prue Theobalds, submitted her first book complete with illustrations and it was accepted because the illustrations were an integral part of the story. My mother was also involved in a French/English children's book about Louis Bleriot and their friend illustrated it--the whole package was accepted. The illustration were done actually showing the Bleriot's house because they are friends--an outsider would not have been able to visit since the Bleriots are pretty reclusive. I'm not just puffing of names here, believe me, I'm trying to say I guess it depends how vital those particular illustrations are to the book as a whole.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't think anyone said 'never'... but it's so close to it that new and unknown writers of picture books shouldn't count on being one of the extremely rare exceptions...

    in your aunt's case, her first book was published over a half century ago, so that exception certainly can't relate to the situation with publishers today... plus, she was such an accomplished artist/illustrator that she's had a long and successful career illustrating picture books ever since...

    and as for the bleriot book, i'm sure the fact that the illustrator was a friend of the book's subject and included images that no other artist could have, is responsible for the illustrations being accepted, so that doesn't fit the usual pattern of author-submitted artwork, either...

    i'm not trying to downplay these artists accomplishments, mad, only pointing out why their being exceptions to the rule doesn't really hold out any hope to others, since these two cases were so extra-ordinary...

    that said, there could be some small, new presses out there that can't afford the high-priced pros and would be open to at least looking at an author's own illustrations... it's just a matter of checking each publisher's submission guidelines and if artwork isn't specifically ruled out, asking in the query if samples may be included with the text submission... then crossing one's fingers in hopes of becoming another exception to the rule...
     
  22. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, perhaps they were exceptions that prove the rule. But I still think it's worth trying if the illustrations are of equal importance to the story.
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all illustrations in picture books are equal in importance to the story, so that's not a valid parameter, imo... it's only the quality of the artwork that counts, along with the professional standing of the artist/illustrator...
     
  24. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Exactly. Manuscripts, even those for books for young children, are accepted on the basis of the writing. Illustrations are then commissioned by the publisher, with submissions produced for the story by professional illustrators. As I said before, if the author has extraordinary illustrations to go with the book, he or she may request to be considered as well, but the final decision will be based on the best artistic merits among the submissions.

    About the only exception might be for a celebrity author with significant artistic talent. The novelty that a celebrity is good at writing and drawing may be worth more sales than a more artistic set of illustrations from a professional illustrator. But that's more of a "she can walk, talk, AND chew gum at the same time without walking into a wall!"

    Or, as Maia pointed out, a smaller publisher with fewer resources may be more willing to a "one stop shopping" deal. But you may have to settle for a smaller distribution and a smaller payout along with it.
     
  25. Flump
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    Flump New Member

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    Hi everyone. I must say that I'm finding this thread a little disconcerting :( I have been working on a childrens book, with my husband doing the illustrations. We were really hoping for this to be a joint venture and although I was aware that manuscripts only was the norm, I was thinking that the connection between ourselves and indeed the story itself may have some bearing on it being a package as a whole.

    Off to read some other threads now in the hope of rekindling my enthusiasm!
     

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