To Draw or Not To Draw?

If you’re like many people you’ll wonder where you’re going to get that illustrator for your book. STOP RIGHT THERE. Unless you are a professional illustrator, do not try this at home, folks! This is the great thing about a writing career. You don’t have to know how to draw! So remember: writers write. Illustrators illustrate. For once something makes sense. Whooopee! I bet I know what your next question might be…

“Well, how will the publisher know what I want them to draw?” STOP RIGHT THERE. What did I just say? Your job is to write. If you know what you’re doing as an author, the illustrator will have plenty to work with. Why? Here’s the thinking on this: a picture book text is only half of the story. An editor will find the illustrator who will take your words and make the whole thing come alive visually. Now, who would be better at this? You or Mr. Rhode Island School of Design graduate?

The same holds true for easy readers, chapter books, and so on. You write. Let the experts handle the rest.

But if you’re an author and a professional illustrator, then whoopee! Best of both worlds. Hoorah. This is very hot these days.

If you’re taking the crash course, return to Step Three – Write.


2 thoughts on “To Draw or Not To Draw?

  1. Hi Cynthea, just a quick question, I am currently working on a dummy book and aim to be the illustrator as well as writer. Iconsider myself an illustrator first, writer second. The thing is I have never drawn professionally but believe my art is of a pretty good standard. So my question is, even tho I have no qualifications in art, should I still produce a couple of pages of completed art.

  2. Hi Cynthia. Thank you for your website, it’s SO HELPFUL!

    I am entering a competition with my first children’s book that asks for an artist’s brief. I happen to have a very clear idea in my mind of what the book could look like (though of course, I’m happy to have an artist and editor suggest something completely different if necessary). What I want to know is, what should an artist’s brief look like? I’ve combed the internet for days but apparently my googling skills aren’t up to scratch.

    What should/should not be included?
    How should it be laid out?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

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