FAQ: How To Illustrate A Children’s Book When You Can’t Draw?

How to Illustrate a Children’s Book When You Can’t Draw

I can’t draw worth a damn; my father was an incredible artist, and I would have expected at least the ability to draw a symmetrical circle from him, but nope; so, unlike you, I now believe a book can be illustrated without drawing.

Ways to Illustrate a Children’s Book

Using PowerPoint and Canva to illustrate your children’s book can be a great way to go.

PowerPoint Outlines

You can easily trace/outline real photos with PowerPoint, and then fill in the details with different colors and details. This could work because most people already have PowerPoint, and thus won’t need to do anything extra to get started.

3. Select Freeform Tool

If you’re looking for the freeform shape tool, go to shapes and click the dropdown caret to see all of the available shapes in a variety of sizes and colors, allowing you to essentially create your own shapes.

4. Trace the Photo

You can trace your photo and have it illustrated with the Freeform tool; each click you make creates a shape, so for now, I’m going to start at Madden’s head and work my way around her body until I get back to my starting point.

5. Trace the Details

You can be as creative as you want with facial expressions, coloring, and so on, and you can spend as much time as you want on this step. If it feels like it’s taking too long, consider how long it would take if I were illustrating the story.


Have you considered Fiverr for illustration help? There are a lot of talented illustrators on the platform, and as a children’s book ghostwriter, I know there are people looking for (and probably receiving) illustration help. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have, and best of luck!

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How do you illustrate your own children’s book?

A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing and Illustrating a Children’s Book

  1. MAKE A SCHEDULE. Decide on the number of pages and word count you’d like overall.

Can you be an illustrator if you can’t draw?

Yes, there are many illustrators who create wonderful work without drawing; Fred Otnes and Melissa Grimes are just two of many who are best known for combining found imagery to create original works, but that’s not to say they can’t draw.

What software can I use to illustrate a children’s book?

Inkscape is completely free, and it may be the best children’s book illustration software for you if you don’t want to spend money on expensive software.

How long does it take an illustrator to illustrate a children’s book?

Work will typically take 3 to 6 months to complete, depending on the illustrator, with payments made at various stages throughout the project as work is completed and approved, as well as an upfront percentage payment before work begins.

How much should I charge to illustrate a children’s book?

There are many different ways to price a book in the industry, so it’s difficult to give an exact figure. However, to account for all possibilities, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $10.000 for a book, depending on the number of pages, the illustrator’s experience, and any other special requirements you may have.

How do I find an illustrator for a children’s book?

Where Can I Find Illustrators For Children’s Books?

  1. Instagram (try hashtags like #illustrator, #illustratorwanted, or #kidlitartist to get started)
  2. Facebook (join groups like Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators or simply search u201cillustratoru201d)
  3. Fiverr.
  4. Upwork.
  5. GetYourBookIllustrations.com.
  6. 1000Storybooks.com.
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Can I study graphic design if I can’t draw?

According to Kandra Churchwell, a designer at Phases Design Studio, u201cWhile you don’t have to be a Picasso or Monet, you do need to understand the basics of design, all of which can be learned.u201d

Is an illustration a drawing?

An illustration is a graphical representation of a visualization or depiction created by an artist, such as a drawing, sketch, painting, photograph, or other type of image of things seen, remembered, or imagined.

What software do picture book illustrators use?

Procreate, Adobe Photoshop Sketch, and Paper are some of the most well-known illustration apps. Whether you’re working digitally or with pen and paper, mastering a few key book illustration tools will get you well on your way to developing your own distinct style of illustration.

What software do professional illustrators use?

Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard for professional graphic design software, and it is used to create and edit vector-based work such as graphics, logos, and other design elements. It works with vectors, which are points used to create perfectly smooth lines.

What kind of paper is used for children’s books?

We recommend using a coated 100# Gloss text paper for the inside of your book because most children’s books contain colorful photos. Coated paper allows color images to print with more contrast, and gloss text is the most common paper we use for printing children’s books.

How many copies does the average children’s book sell?

Most picture books sell between 5,000 and 10,000 copies in hardcover, with only a few being published in paperback, and most will be out of print within two years.

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How many pages should a children’s book be?

Picture books are typically 32 pages long, including the cover pages, introductions, back flaps, and copyright information; however, they can technically be any multiple of 8 pages long: 16, 24, 32, 40, or 48 pages long.

Do children’s book illustrators get royalties?

If you’re the author and illustrator of a children’s picture book, you’ll get to keep the full royalty rate, which will be similar to the above: around 10% with possible benchmarks that will raise it to around 15%; if you’re just the illustrator, royalties will be split equally between you and the author.

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