Friday, April 1, 2011

I dream of Doing Children's Illustration

Surprised Monster
What happened to that dream? Since I was fourteen, I've dreamed of doing illustration for children's books. I fell in love with illustrations by Kay Nielson, Walt Kelly, Arthur Rackham, Trina Schart Hyman, and others. I took art classes where ever I could, I joined the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, I took a class on Art for the Children's Market. I even illustrated a book or two, and self published a book I wrote and illustrated from a story I told my kids.

Mykah's  Pet Hen

Somehow, though, my career as an illustrator has never taken off. I get caught up in the quandary of trying to find a publisher, so scared of failure, that I've never even developed my illustration style to the point where it can compete with the illustrators I love. Caught by needing to create an income with my art and feeling that the road to income through illustration is too hard and treacherous--yet not supporting myself through other art ventures either.

It's the myth that in order to do certain kinds of art, one needs to be able to pay the rent and buy the groceries with it right away that trips me up.

What if I just went ahead and did it anyway. What if I created beautiful illustrations without fear, just for the joy of it?


  1. You should just do it ... your illustrations are timeless and unique!

  2. Well, I don't have any working experience in this field (nor in any other art field). But, IMHO, you should not try to "compete with the illustrators you love". How could anyone compete with Arthur Rackam? How many illustrators nowadays can compete with Kay Nielson? How many of them are worried about that? Just be yourself. You do have your style. I don't have advice to give you about how to make a living out of it, but being yourself is the first step. At least, you'll give the world something that is truly yours. And you'll have fun.