How to Become a Children's Book Illustrator


Children's Book Illustrator Job Description

Children’s book illustrators create images that correspond with the narrative of a children’s story. They may use traditional drawing methods or computer applications to produce illustrations.


The work of children’s illustrators has the ability to making a lasting impact for the rest of their lives, and greatly assists in their creative development.



Typical Job Duties

• Produce artwork that is appropriate and appealing to children of various ages

• Collaborate with authors to create imagery from their narrative

• Stimulate the imaginations of children by producing colourful and creative imagery

• Must capture certain elements which appeal to children, such as bright colours and diverse imagery



Career Path for Becoming a Children’s Book Illustrator

There are many different paths one can take to become a professional children’s book artist (illustrator), and many of them have very common elements. If you are considering a career in this field, ensure that you have natural talent and a good plan for promoting your work.


When developing your portfolio, make sure you don’t rush; take time to perfect your style. It is never a good idea to be in a rush to put together or advertise your portfolio, as you should only promote your work when you feel you have a real signature.


Aside from natural talent and well-developed artistic skills, promotion is the most important ingredient for success in the world of illustrating. Even if you end up landing an agent or representative, you must usually begin by marketing your work to them.


Producing and distributing printed promotions to small or big businesses, publications and others who may be interested is a great way to promote your work and showcase your abilities. Art competitions are also a great way to find work; increase your level of exposure by entering as many competitions as you can.


One illustrating job may not lead directly to a successful career as a children’s book artist/illustrator, but as more jobs come in you will quickly be on your way to growing your portfolio, increasing your network, and putting yourself in a position to obtain further work.



Relevant Scholarships for this Occupation

The Applicable Majors section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as a Children’s Book Illustrator. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on our Fine Arts Scholarships page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for becoming a Children’s Book Illustrator. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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Fine Arts