Illustrations have a huge impact on a book; they can make it come to life. If you have a book in the works, you’re probably thinking about illustrations and how to hire illustrator for book content – if this is you, read on – we’ve got lots of great information!

Are Illustrations Really Necessary?

No matter what your subject matter is, illustrations can lend a little (or a lot) of magic to your book. We often think of children’s books as the illustrated ones, but it goes far beyond that. Are you working on a how-to or self-help book? Illustrations can brighten it up and lend some visual information. What about an informative, nonfiction book? Illustrations work there, too. As MAA Illustrations shares, Illustrations are often found in books for adults because illustrations can help readers to comprehend ideas that are difficult to explain using only written text. 

You can even add illustrations to your novel. We see them all the time in middle-grade fiction and Young Adult. Don’t be shy to add them to any fiction. Chapter header illustrations look great and add a bit of a break from heavy text. So are illustrations necessary? Maybe not. But effective and desirable – absolutely!

Another thing to think about when it comes to book illustrations is that not every illustration is an intricate picture.  We love this description of illustration from Ingramspark:

And illustrations aren’t just pictures interspersed throughout text, but crucial elements of decoration and style that bind a book’s theme and purpose.

It shows us that illustrations aren’t just pictures, but can be doodles, designs, and decorations. And those can be in any type of book. We live in a very aesthetic time, and if a little illustration can tie your book’s purpose together and make it more visual – go for it!

Should You Hire Illustrator for Book Illustrations?

It’s not a bad idea to think about hiring an illustrator for your book. You’re a writer, right? So you write and let the illustrator add their magic touch to the book. Of course, it all depends on what type of illustrations you want, but there is an illustrator out there for any type o f subject matter. Let’s look at some of the types of book illustrations:

Children’s book illustrations

This is a good place to start as it’s one of the most common types of books that we illustrate. But there are all kinds of illustrations to consider when you want to hire illustrator for book art. Gatekeeper Press shares some popular types of illustration:

  • Realistic illustrations: These life-like illustrations are great for older children’s books or educational books. They can be a bit heavy (or not interesting) for younger readers and expensive for you as illustrators usually draw them by hand.
  • Fantasy illustrations: This style uses rich, passionate colors to elicit enchanting imagery that lifts the imagination towards the story’s setting, characters, and tone. Think dragons and time travel and bright, rich colors. Often these are created with software so are more affordable than hand-drawn artwork.
  • Whimsical illustrations: These fun, delicate illustrations can grace the pages of dreamy books.  These also lend well to additional detail and doodles throughout the pages.
  • Black and white illustrations: Whether going for a minimalist look or used in books for older readers, black and white illustrations can be quite effective. They are also good to intersperse with text to break up white space rather than taking up a whole page. Think doodles and designs here, too.

Other book illustrations

Other books will have illustrations as well. Think about some of your how-to and well-being books. Not only can illustrations attract and maintain your reader’s attention, but they can break up the text and enhance the aesthetics of your book. These can be colorful full-page artwork or simple designs throughout the text.

Often graphs and charts are designed with illustrations to soften them up and make them appear friendlier. When you work with one of our Bunny Studio illustrators, you’ll see they have the talent to design almost anything you want and add your aesthetic to your book.

Illustrations offer a lot of flexibility. You can use full page, half page, or detail illustrations to embellish any part of your book. Often you will see illustrations on chapter pages; think Harry Potter. Then you have a connected design (those awesome stars) that carries throughout the book to provide cohesiveness along with that magic to even further set the mood. You can do this with your book, too. Illustrations don’t have to be heavy and intricate and take up whole pages; they can be light detail and embellishment to add to the aesthetic and mood.

So yes, children’s books are the primary place you’ll see book illustrations but don’t shy away from adding them in other books. With so many types of illustrations to choose from, you can find something to fit your book. With all of the talented illustrators out there, you can also find one to match your needs when you want to hire an illustrator for book art. Check out this article for more info on matching the right art to your project.

What Makes an Effective Illustration?

One of the biggest parts of adding effective art to your book is matching the vibe of the illustration to the mood of your book. Remember, try to incorporate art that matches your story and message. Also, the illustration should complement the text and story, not override it.

In children’s books, your illustration can be bolder and more vibrant; they do become part of the story. Think back to some of your favorite children’s books… the illustrations were just as important as the story, and you probably picture them when you think about the book.

With other books, though, the illustrations are like an added jewel to the book – they enhance it without taking over. More than anything else, think about enhancing and adding that cohesiveness with your illustrations.

Remember to think about your target audience. Even if you are working in children’s books, your age range can vary so much. Your illustrations for a book geared towards an early reader will be quite different than those geared towards an older, elementary reader. Illustrations can have lasting power; they bring your story and characters to life. Just as you look back on the book and its illustrations that you loved as a kid, someone may be doing that with your book in just a few years!

What Makes an Effective Illustrator?

Now to the illustrator. Just like the illustration, your illustrator should be able to match your book’s vibe and message. Creative Pool tells us all illustrators need:

  • excellent drawing and IT skills
  • to be able to work to a brief, solve problems creatively and adapt their style
  • creativity and imagination
  • to enjoy creative work

We love it that all of our expert Bunny Studio illustration pros have these characteristics and skills. We know how important it is for illustrators to understand the client’s needs and vision. And we know how important it is to form that connection with clients and our artists and make sure we’re all on the same page. You can read more about our artists here.

hire illustrator for book

Hire Illustrator for Book Art – How Do You Do It?

Now that you have decided on hiring an illustrator for your book art, you’ve got to find one to hire. And how do you go about doing that? The good thing is that there are tons of illustrators out there and places to get them, you just have to decide where to start.

You can always look in your community. Maybe check out local high schools and their art programs or design colleges around you. Check out potential illustrators’ portfolios and see if the work matches what you want. You’ll have to discuss price and deadlines, too.

Another way is to hire a freelancer from a freelance site. You’ll get to choose and check them out before hiring, and usually, rates are set.

Of course, we recommend our own talented illustrators at Bunny Studio. We are quite particular when it comes to hiring our artists, and we know their talent is exemplary. We also work with a Quality Control team that checks their work before sending it on to you, according to your detailed specifications. You don’t have to negotiate deadlines or rates, all of that is set upfront. And we guarantee you’ll love the illustrations and the end result. Check us out for illustrators for your book!

The Cover

Regardless of your book genre and target audience, you’ll want some illustration for your cover. Even if it’s digital, get some cover art. You really can tell a book by its cover, so let an illustrator create some beautiful, cohesive, depictive art for you. This art will help with your branding and can relate the book to your website or other media. So even if there are no other illustrations inside your book, make sure to have that cover art that will be Instagram worthy!

The Big Take Away on How to Hire Illustrator for Book Illustrations

So many things to think about with book illustrations; we know that. You’ve got to consider how much art you want (full page, chapter page art, details, or doodles). Another consideration is what kind of illustrations (digital, hand-drawn, color, black and white, the medium…). It can be a little overwhelming but take it step by step. Your book and your readers will love you for it. And once you have some of this narrowed down, turn to a book illustrator to create and define your art. A professional artist can create the designs and illustrations your book deserves. We are here for you at Bunny Studio and would love to get one of our talented artists working on your illustrations.