All of us more or less remember the books of our childhood. The first thing that comes to our mind from children’s books is their attractive pictures. Of course, the use of illustrations in books is not only related to children’s books. Few people are not fascinated by the illustrations in the book. By opening the pages of the book, a new world opens up to us.
A world full of adventure and creativity that we never get tired of. Each of the books, with a unique combination of text and image, shows us new feelings and dimensions of the world. Book images play a very important and creative role in creating this fascinating world, and without a doubt, the efforts of book illustrators in establishing a relationship between pen and paper, make the book itself be understood in a way more than a simple combination of text and image.
In this article, we introduce the very attractive job of book illustration or Book Illustration.
Table of Contents
What is book illustration?
Book Illustration is one of the special and unique jobs that are very attractive to artists, graphic designers, and people who are interested in art and illustration. A book illustrator designs all kinds of images, including the images inside the book and the book cover. This job is a great opportunity for talented and capable artists in illustration. Book publishers and educational institutions collaborate with book illustration artists because of the need to design illustrations for their books.
Who is a book illustrator?
A book illustrator is a person who designs images to complement a story or text according to the instructions received from the publisher or author. By examining the descriptions and characters of the story, he portrays the world of that story, and as a visual storyteller, he must establish a creative relationship with the author.
What are the duties of a Book Illustrator?
The illustrator of the book should be able to depict the characters or the atmosphere of the text according to the author’s text. Therefore, he should be able to find a close and consistent relationship with the author through visual storytelling. Book illustrators design different images depending on the subject and content of the book. For example, a novel or a children’s book that includes the design of the book’s characters and the depiction of the author’s descriptive atmosphere. Or an educational textbook that requires charts, tables, and infographics.
In general, the main duties of a book illustration specialist are:
- communicating with the author, publisher, or editor of the book,
- Design with the audience in mind.
- Familiarity and basic understanding of the content of the book,
- Providing a prototype of the image to the author of the book,
- Consult with the author about the style and appearance of the images.
- Presentation of final images.
What skills does a book illustrator have?
The illustrator of the book must be able to illustrate the content of the book well. In other words, draw the text of the book in the form of an image for the reader. For this reason, authors and publishers are looking for illustrators who have a certain set of skills. These skills include.
Creativity is the ability to create new ideas and solutions. Book illustrators use creativity to draw their pictures and make them unique.
2. Communication skills
Book illustrators often communicate with their clients and publishers to discuss project goals and expectations. They also regularly interact with writers to understand the tone of the story and the characters. This communication is to ensure that the images correspond to the author’s point of view.
3. Professional design
An illustrator should be able to use all his drawing skills. For a professional design, the designer must be familiar with all design styles, books with different genres, as well as design tools and techniques.
4. Digital design
Computer-aided design is a skill that allows an illustrator to create digital works of art. This skill is useful for creating book illustrations. Because it allows the illustrator to create a digital version of the book artwork.
Book illustration methods
This design is done by two manual and digital methods. Using manual methods in book illustration design is still common. However, with the advancement of technology and design software, many illustrators are mainly using digital tools.
Using digital tools allows illustrators to quickly make the changes they need, easily use previous versions of a project, and easily communicate with clients and colleagues around the world.
Digital tools have several advantages in book illustration:
- Easy editing: Since digital tools are editable, illustrators can easily apply necessary edits to images.
- Saving time: Using digital tools, illustrators can quickly produce their images.
- Flexibility: Digital tools allow illustrators to edit images as much as they want.
- Advanced features: Digital tools such as Adobe Illustrator software have advanced features that help illustrators implement more creative ideas.
- Higher quality: Digital tools allow illustrators to create higher-quality images.
What tools does Book Illustration have?
As it was said, the use of digital tools in book illustration is very useful to facilitate the design process and create high variability possibilities.
Various digital tools are used to illustrate the book. Among the most famous digital tools for book illustration are vector-based software such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW. These software are used to design and produce vectors and vector images. The quality of these types of images does not decrease with magnification and they are very suitable in this sense.
In addition to them, because the 3D design is also applicable in this field, Blender software is another popular tool that is used to design 3D book images.
Illustrator, the most popular Book Illustration tool
Adobe Illustrator software is one of the most popular digital tools for book illustration. This software is a professional graphic design tool used by designers and illustrators around the world. Illustrator is the best option for book illustrations because of its powerful design and shape editing features.
Some of the features of this software are:
- powerful coloring tool,
- Vector and pixel processing tools for creating and editing shapes and images.
- Ability to use different fonts and text writing tools to write different texts.
- Advanced graphic features including shadow display, coloring, transition, layer management tools, etc.
The labor market and income of book illustrators
The job market and income of book illustrators depend on various factors such as skill, level of experience, and type of book. The average annual salary for book illustrators on Glassdoor.com is around $42,000. This amount reaches $77,000 per year for professionals in this field with high experience.
The book illustration job market has grown significantly in the world in recent decades. The amount of job demand for illustrating children’s books as well as electronic books (E-books) has been higher.
Career prospects for book illustrators are excellent. As mentioned, book illustrators work on a freelance basis. Telecommuting allows artists to earn dollars by doing projects abroad.
Additionally, illustrators with a strong and professional portfolio work in other fields such as advertising, magazine illustration, and logo design. Some illustrators open their drawing studios and employ other artists.
How to become a successful book illustrator?
The skill of designing book illustrations is profitable. Book Illustration is the art of combining illustration with storytelling. But becoming a book illustrator is a long-term investment. If you want to succeed in this field, you must be patient and persistent.
The first step to becoming a book illustrator is developing your artistic skills. Attending design and illustration courses and mastering basic design tools are very important. Also, try to read a lot of books and examine their pictures carefully.
Don’t forget to create a professional portfolio for yourself and put your work portfolio in it.