In this Q&A video, David Norrington, Managing Director of Wordcatcher Publishing and Author Hub, explains the four things authors should look for when picking an illustrator to work on their book.
1. An understanding of your story
Illustrators must understand your story. If they don’t, how could they possibly hope to bring your characters to life? There has to be an author-illustrator synergy if this partnership is to succeed.
If you want to achieve author-illustrator synergy, you need to have good rapport. You need to be yourselves around each other and feel that you can bounce ideas around without judgement or reservation.
3. An ability to work to a brief
Illustrators need to be able to work to your specifications. It’s vital that they have great ideas, but if they can’t produce the final designs to your and the publisher’s specifications, it won’t work. Most of the time, you’ll want digital illustrations, and have particular requirements about how certain characters are to look. They need to be able to deliver these.
4. Illustrators must add to your story
Illustrations are not mere formalities; they have to add to a story, otherwise, they’re not worth doing. Find yourself an illustrator who brings your characters to life and makes the story more understandable and relatable than it would be were it text alone. That’s the mark of a truly professional artist.