How To Become A Children’s Book Illustrator

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  • January 25, 2023
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  • 7 min read


Want to know how to become a children’s book illustrator? This article will show you the steps you need to take to get started with this wonderful career!

Do you know how to become a children’s book illustrator? Do you want to work with some of the biggest names in children’s literature and create new stories that kids will love? Have you seen these books and wondered where they got that cool concept? Here is a guide on how to do it, complete with examples and difficulty level.

Start drawing

Drawing is the most important skill you can have as a children’s book illustrator. If you want to work in the field, it’s not enough to be good at drawing; you need to be very good at it. Your portfolio should show that you can render characters in different poses and expressions, including caricatures of people and animals. You should also have sketches of landscapes and buildings.

You don’t need to be an expert artist to become a children’s book illustrator, but you do need to be able to draw. If you’ve never drawn before, start with simple shapes and shapes that represent the human body. You can expand from there to more complex drawings showing detail and perspective.

Take art classes

Art classes are essential for anyone hoping to become a children’s book illustrator. Many options are available, from community colleges and local art schools to online courses that can help you develop your skillset. You’ll learn how to draw in various styles, including comic books and cartoons, which will help prepare you for working on children’s books.

Art classes will help you develop your skills as an artist and give you a better idea of what it takes to become a children’s book illustrator. Accessing other artists who can provide feedback on your work is also helpful when it comes time for you to start illustrating professionally.

Study the work of other illustrators

To become an illustrator:

  • Study how others do it.
  • Study their process and technique.
  • Look at their sketches, rough drafts, and final products.
  • See how they use color and light, and shadow.
  • Watch them work in public, if possible; that’s one way to see how they apply their craft in real time!

The best way to learn how to become a children’s book illustrator is to study the work of others. Look at books in your local library or bookstore, and try to find as much information about them as possible. Who illustrated them? What is their background? How did they become interested in this field? Do they have any tips for aspiring children’s book illustrators?

Improve reading and writing skills

You’ll need strong grammar skills to write text for your illustrations, so make sure yours are up to snuff before starting as an illustrator. You’ll also need some basic knowledge of English syntax, vocabulary, and spelling if you’re going to create books for children who are learning English as a second language or as their first language as well; after all, no one wants to sound like a bumbling idiot when talking about a book with kids or adults alike!

Get an internship

An internship in a ghostwriting services company is another great way to get your foot in the door of the children’s book industry. You’ll be able to know the ins and outs of the business, meet other illustrators and editors, and even get paid! To find an internship, search online for “children’s book illustration internships” or “children’s book illustration jobs.” You can also check with local schools, libraries, and bookstores to see if they offer internships for aspiring illustrators.

Take on unpaid work

Another way to get started is to take on unpaid work. Helping someone with limited time and money can be an excellent way to build your portfolio, learn new skills, and make contacts in the industry. You can also offer to do illustrations for friends who have written children’s books or are working on their manuscripts.

But you should never work for free unless the project is an educational opportunity that will benefit your portfolio (and even then, make sure you have everything in writing).

Also, read

When Writing The Story Of Your Life, Don’t Let Anyone Else Hold The Pen

Produce a portfolio

Once you’ve found an internship and got some experience under your belt, it’s time to create your portfolio. Make sure everything is high quality because this will get you hired.

You’ll need to create samples of your work that can be used as part of your portfolio when applying for future jobs. A portfolio should include samples of your best work and letters of recommendation from teachers or previous employers who have seen your work firsthand.

Join an organization

If you’re serious about becoming a children’s book illustrator, several organizations can help you. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is one group offering events and workshops for those interested in the field. Its annual conference has been called “the most important event in children’s publishing” by Publishers Weekly, and attendees have included J.K. Rowling and Stephen King.

Network in person and online

The SCBWI also hosts regional events throughout the year, which provide opportunities to meet professionals from across the industry. You can also connect with other illustrators through online forums like LinkedIn or Twitter; just be sure not to send unsolicited work before you’ve built a relationship with someone first!

Make a website and/or blog

A website and/or blog is a great way to introduce yourself to potential clients and showcase your work. It can also be a great source of exposure and inspiration for other artists just starting in the industry.

The best way to get started is by making sure your website is easy for people to find and navigate. You should include information about yourself, such as your resume, portfolio, bio, and contact information (phone number, email address). Try to make it easy for potential clients to contact you with questions or requests for samples of your work.

Essential Elements and Detailed Insights

Step/Advice Key Description Useful Tips
Develop Drawing Skills Essential for character and scenery illustration in children’s books. Practice various styles and subjects, including caricatures, landscapes, and buildings.
Pursue Art Education Art classes enhance technical skills and creativity. Explore different mediums and styles in community colleges, art schools, or online courses.
Study Other Illustrators Analyzing others’ work provides insights into styles and techniques. Observe sketches, final works, and use of color; visit public demonstrations if possible.
Enhance Literacy Skills Strong reading and writing abilities complement illustration skills. Improve grammar, syntax, and vocabulary, especially for creating children’s content.
Seek Internship Opportunities Internships offer real-world experience in the industry. Look for internships in children’s publishing or related fields to gain practical experience.
Build a Portfolio A portfolio showcases your best work to potential clients. Include diverse samples and recommendations; ensure high-quality presentation.
Network and Establish Online Presence Building connections and online visibility is crucial. Join organizations like SCBWI, participate in events, and create a professional website or blog.


Once you grasp these four tips, it is up to you to sit down and do what is necessary to become one of the best in the industry. It is up to you to create an image that will appeal to both the author and the consumer. With your unique viewpoint on life, you will find a way to be noticed in this industry.

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