The portfolio of an illustrator has various styles which the illustrator creates. A typical portfolio can have anywhere between 5-15 styles and a new style can be added every time when some illustrations are created in a different medium/technique. Whenever a potential buyer wants to hire an illustrator , the portfolio is what the buyer will look into.
As an Author, one must evaluate the work of an illustrator based on the various styles present in the portfolio. Also, one must know what style of illustration will be suitable for his/her story and an Author must do a lot of research . A children’s book story will only be liked by Children if the illustrations are outstanding because Children like the illustrations more than the story. More often than not, the story is understood by the Children only by the means of illustration. If the choice of illustrations is not correct, it may adversely affect an otherwise great Children’s story.
Selecting a right illustrator is very important because getting a right illustrator will make the challenge of publishing easier. There must be a good understanding between the Author and the illustrator and the illustrator must be cooperate with the Author in case revisions are needed or if the Author expects changes in the illustrations at any stage. These points must be negotiated with the illustrator before the project starts. It is also important that a contract is signed between the Author and the illustrator and terms and conditions are very clearly mentioned.
It is highly advisable to see the sketches before final coloring and the arrangement should be such that the illustrator sends all the sketches first and Author can review them and ask for changes/revisions, if needed and after the sketches are approved, the final color will be added to all the sketches. This way Author’s involvement is ensured which is highly required. This practice ensures that time is not wasted and any project is not terminated because of miscommunication between the Author and the illustrator.
Author’s must be careful while checking the illustrator portfolio and must keep in mind what kind of style will be most suitable for his/her book and accordingly the illustrator must be hired for the Book.