1. Brief, NDA and communication
Briefing is first and crucial stage of every cooperation. I need to know about the project as much as possible to provide the most accurate ideas and designs.
Before I will ask about anything we will sing Non Disclosure Agreement which will protect your ideas. (please check the agreement templates to see them and download).
Than I will ask about:
1. Manuscript of the book
2. Target of the book
4. Any other information you will find important. I might ask a few other questions too.
Our possible communication channels:
- Skype: Natasza R
- WhatsApp/phone call: +44 7826 729 056
- in person - Sardinia (Italy)
But whatever our communication way will be, I will send you an email with all the details you need to know on the beginning which includes:
2. Illustration process
2. Template of the agreement with all legal details
Usually, and if our communication is smooth this stage is taking between 1-2 days.
2. Research and storyboard
After I will read the manuscript and have all information I need - I will start a first creative work in our process - the storyboard.
Storyboard is a sketchy visual scenario of the book. My goal is to understand how many pages I will have to include, how to divide the text, and finally what will be an idea for each page.
To understand that I need to make a research - I have to collect all the knowledge about the topic, as well as make a brainstorm to create first ideas.
That is the stage when you will receive a file with sketches for the whole book, but also an estimation of the pricing and time schedule.
sample of a storyboard
For the research and creating a storyboard I will need 7 working days. Please note that my working week is between Monday and Friday.
3. Agreement, and final arrangements
On his stage we are discussing the final form of the storyboard, amount of pages, tweaks if needed. We will establish how many illustration will be created so as well what will be the exact pricing. Also we are setting up the schedule (which will be included in the agreement) so you will know exactly when you will receive each part of the book.
4.Character design and detailed sketches
Since we already know what will be an idea for each page I will create:
1. Detailed sketches for each page.
2. Character design of the main character or characters of the book.
3. Up to 2 ideas for the cover (full cover - front, back and spine)
sample sketch of the cover
All sketches will include the text adjustments as it is a part of illustration- so you don't have to worry about to find another graphic designer to create it - although you can if you want to.
When you will receive sketches we will discuss each page and choose the best cover option. On this stage we can tweak sketches - all the details, composition, elements etc. After closing this stage sketches are consider approved, so you can't change them from now on. However minor changes are still ok in case you really would like to see them.
sample of a sketch and ready illustration
as you see, my client ask me to change slightly the composition of the elements - main character standing a bit more on the left and we see her whole posture, also we added one more girl eating ice cream. The composition and placement of the text is different.
5. Ready illustration and final tweaks
After approving sketches, basing on them I create full color illustration.
after receiving them you can ask for three cosmetic tweaks. Cosmetic tweaks are consider to be:
colors, lights and shadows, add or remove small details, change slightly face expression etc. These tweaks can't change the final illustration in more than 30% of it. You can ask for three tweaks per illustration.
6. Print and files
When all illustrations are done I have to prepare them for the printing. All illustrations, depends on requirements of the printery will be prepared and sent to you in a proper format.
They will always be in CMYK color scheme ( which is a print color scheme), in 300dpi, and proper format. I will advice you and help through all printing process if you'd like to. You can always ask me to talk directly with printery if you wish. My job will be done, when the proof copy of your book will be perfect and ready to sell.
Frequently asked questions
The easiest way to understand the matter is to talk directly, but many of my clients are asking me the same questions - so I decided to collect them here and answer.
If you have any doubts or you just want to learn more about my work take a look.
How long it take to make one illustration?
Depends on complexity of it - 1 to 3 working days.
How long it take to make one book?
Depends on complexity of illustrations and amount of pages the time vary. But average 30 pages picture book takes between 2 to 3 months. It might sounds like a lot on the beginning but when you will take into consideration amount of time for one illustration ( 1-3 days), time for exchange emails between me and my clients to discuss all details, it is not that much. We also have to count in free weekends - creating work need a bit of time to look on everything from a bit of a distance and breaks as much important as work. So it is always good to find an illustrator before even the book is finished.
What is your availability?
When you are looking for an illustrator for your book is good to remember that the one you will choose might not be able to work for you right away. Some of them are very often booked few weeks ahead. My usual availability is two months ahead. But during these two month I am able to exchange emails, or calls and understand what my client really needs. We can discuss all details about the book, agreement and many others.
Are you familiar with preparing book for KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing - amazon publishing) or IngramSpark?
Yes, I used to prepare files for KDP (paper book and ebook) as well as IngramSpark. I am familiar with their rules and requirements.
In my opinion 25 pages is an absolute minimum. According to some publishers too. Some of them require even more. Everything depends on amount of text you have, but remember that picture book can have some spread even without text at all.
Is there a minimum amount of pages picture book should have?
I would like to see if your style matching my taste, what can I do?
You have two options. You can either ask me for a sample, which is a paid option or you can see my portfolio (here) and see if you like any of presented styles.
Unless you are not a bigger publisher house I am taking royalties. Which basically means that I am asking you for a flat rate for illustrations. Once you pay a full payment all copyright are your. It is an exclusive license of all rights (including, but not limited to, the right to display, transmit, transfer, sell). As an author, I am keeping the rights to show illustrations in my portfolio.
What is my ownership of copyright?
Yes I can and I do quite often. Aks me and we will discuss all the details.
Can you prepare a coloring pages too?
Commissioner - illustrator contract template