to commission a new illustration
What's the procedure?
To commission an illustration / request an
original assignment, contact
me, ideally with a phone call, so that we can discuss
what you need and I can give you a quote (see fees).
Don't worry if you've not used an illustrator before
and have not quite yet made up your mind - discussing
it will help you decide. If you've only got a vague
idea, I will help you with the message you're trying
to put across, who your audience is and so on, and I
will work out how best to illustrate that. If there
is an illustration in my stock section which you'd like
to use as a starting point, that's also fine. I normally
send you the illustration by email.
How do I ensure
the illustration turns out as I expected?
After we have agreed a brief and the terms
of the licence, I will send you a rough drawing. You can
then tell me any changes you would like, and I will then
do the final illustration. That's the standard procedure,
but if it looks like your job might require more 'roughs'
stages, we will agree on that right at the start.
Here's an example of a illustrations used
by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
in a leaflet. Below that, you can see the roughs I first
supplied. After approval of these roughs and some discussions
on colours, I re-drew, painted, scanned and emailed them
to the designer, who laid them out onto a coloured background
and added the text.
I can imagine that commissioning an illustration
feels a bit risky - will you like what you get? Well,
first of all, do you like my style? Look at some of my
pictures here and tell me what you like, and what you
don't like.That gives you quite a lot of security. I help
you work out what you need right from the start and put
a lot of care in discussing the rough with you. The rough
is your chance to check how I'm interpreting the brief
- and at that stage I'll ask you about your preferences
about some of the details. The only surprise you'll get
at the end is a pleasant one - your illustration looks
even better than what you had pictured in your own mind.
I want you to be absolutely delighted with it.
I will quote you a fee based on the intended
use of the illustration. Stock illustrations are cheaper
than illustrations specially commissioned by you. Price
depends on how widely this illustration will be distributed
(number of copies), how long you want the right to use
it (a single use? one year?), and what kind of publication
want it for. So these are the kind of details I'll ask
you for, or that you should tell me if you email me for
So for example a stock illustration for a small company's
internal newsletter is much cheaper than one for a big
billboard advert displayed all over the country!
Feel free to phone - it' s often easier
to discuss exactly what you're looking for.
I normally ask non-UK customers to pay with
a credit card using Paypal.
I can set this up for you. It's easy, secure and there's
no charge at your end. It's the cheapest option for both
of us because conversion charges at my end are small.
you need illustrations for a book you're self-publishing
You may have a plan to self-publish your
own book, and you're wondering about getting it illustrated.
As I get quite a few queries on this subject, here are
a few pointers.
For a typical children's picture book (12
double-page spreads, pictures all over the place, pictures
covering the whole page), illustrations require several
months of work. You would normally pay the illustrator
a royalty (use the ballpark figure of 10% of recommended
retail price for calculations, though it varies). The
bad news for you is even before you've sold any books,
you need to pay an 'advance' on those royalties. This
advance provides the illustrator with income during the
several months it takes to do the illustrations, so you
should count several thousand pounds or dollars (I know
that's vague, but it does vary).
If you still haven't given up on the idea
and would like me to illustrate your book, I'd be terribly
flattered but ... I'd need to know you have a good business
plan. How are you going to market, distribute and promote
your book? Even if you're kind enough to offer me obscene
amounts of money, I might want to know it's all going
If this doesn't turn you off, you can get started
on your business plan with the help of some of the links
on my Super Tips page.
For other books requiring just a few illustrations
dotted here and there, contact
me so we can discuss details and a quote.
There are more details on the Terms
and Conditions page, and I also attempt to answer FAQs here.
queries? Then contact me!