When it comes to illustrating children’s books, the illustration you use in your books can make and break your book’s success. So, it’s critical that you have stunning illustrations that fit your brand and style.

New Jersey based illustrator Doreen Marts says: “I like to change things up so that I’m not doing the same thing for every project…I think that’s what I like most about being a freelance illustrator: every day is different. One minute you are drawing monsters, the next ponies.”

There is one of two roads you can take. First, you can illustrate your own books if you have the artistic skills or wish to learn them. Second, you can find a professional illustrator to help you.

  1. Illustrating Your Book Yourself

For illustrating your books, the first thing you need is a swipe file. It’s a collection of illustrations you find interesting from top children’s books. You will draw from this file to help you create your own illustrations.

Do you have any artistic training or skills?  If so, use your swipe file to help you develop a style and brand that fits your books and message.

If you don’t have any art training, you can easily learn these basic skills by taking an art class at a local community college or online as well.

  1. Finding Professionals To Help You

Keep in mind that there are high-priced illustrators that do poor work, and there are low-priced ones that do excellent work. Use your swipe file to show them the kind of work you want.

You can also find budding art students at local community colleges, who would be happy to work for $10 an hour. Plus, you can often find great low-cost illustrators online. A good place to start would be Upwork.com.


The brain processes visual information at a lot faster rate than written information. Plus, visual information is more easily remembered.

So, give special attention to the illustrations you use in your children’s books because they will strongly impact your readers and sales.

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