Childrens Book Illustrator Bringing your stories to life

Are you looking for a children’s book illustrator and designer?

An illustrator that can also design your book, prep it for print, advise and help you with all the extras needed? Bring your idea to life, and turn it into an actual book? Well, Happydesigner does just that. Creating your special book from start to finish!

Our services will provide you with…

My name is Sarah, Company Director/ leading Illustrator here at Happydesigner. I am a well-established children’s book illustrator, with over 15 years of experience. I love nothing better than getting my crayons out, as I’m really a big kid at heart. This allows me to create the books that children love!

Whether you’re looking for a crazy crocodile, wimpy washing machine, or a flabby flamingo, my experience in creating unique children’s illustrations means that I am able to approach any project with unique and exciting ideas, and not just the typical run-of-the-mill art and layouts.

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Bringing Your Story to Life

People often get stuck with how to bring their books to life, which is where we can help.

Frequently asked questions include: “What’s the process?”, “How do I go about getting my story made into a book?”, and “Can I just get two copies made?”

We can guide you through the whole process, starting with your story and going right through to getting the book printed. We can answer your questions along the way, and make sure that you are getting the book you want out of this journey.

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What Can We Offer You?

  • Original and unique illustrations that children will love
  • Layouts and printing support.
  • Affordable, professional illustrations that won’t break the bank
  • A series of sketch revisions to get your book looking perfect
  • Final print files supplied in your desired format: High-resolution PDF, TIFF, EPS etc., for any purpose/any size (package dependent)
  • An illustration company that will work with you every step of the way, ensuring you’re happy with the progress of your book
  • A few giggles and smiles along the way!

How Will We Fit Together?

In the children’s book industry, the hardest to impress are the children in the younger age group as they can become easily bored when reading. However, it is also true that children of all ages are much more likely to enjoy good quality, well-illustrated books. This is why it is vitally important to find the right illustrator to ensure that your book engages the children it is intended for and help them become engrossed in the story.

Illustrations are key in bringing your book to life. To truly capture a child’s attention, you need your illustrations to be funky, fun and eye-catching. This is where we can help! Your illustrations will have a unique and distinct style, presenting the characters and the story in a way that intrigues and entertains children of your target ages, and sometimes even adults! We believe that every drawing must be unique and unforgettable and that it has its own character, its own look, it’s own story.

You want to stand out, and to do this each and every character in your book needs to be distinct and memorable. Whether it’s a loveable bunny rabbit or a devious fox, we take the time to understand your characters to make their mannerisms, actions and emotions truly believable and interesting, ensuring that children love them!

Which style would best suit your story?…

When we write stories, we sometimes have an illustration style in mind. Or at least we think we do! Sarah being an author herself, is well aware of the turmoil of choosing that PERFECT style! Therefore, to ensure your journey in creating your book(s) is as you have imagined, we offer a selection of varied illustration styles, and between us, we can ensure your book has the PERFECT feel!

Sarah’s Illustration Process

“If you want the very best characters for your children’s book, it’s vital for me to know and understand your characters and their stories inside out. I have a particular way in which I like to work to ensure that every point is covered.” – Sarah

Step one

As soon as we receive a book project, the first thing we do is read the story. Sarah reads it multiple times and starts doodling whilst reading, which helps her determine how the character(s) should look. She also puts voices to all of the characters and tries to imagine what they would sound like. After a while, she builds an entire backstory in her head and can see their ages, their friends, where they live and what emotions and characteristics make up their character. Sarah keeps sketching until she gets the character in her head on paper, and when she has finished these initial sketches, we send them back to you for feedback. We feel it is our unique process that really sets us apart from other children’s book illustrators! We work closely with our clients from the very beginning.

Step two

It’s a lot of fun building a layout for a book. Working on the flow and figuring out how, what and where the images sit best. It’s just one of the many exciting stages of the journey. Sarah’s mind works in a very magical way, seeing everything primarily as pictures and images, and she can visualise every story she is commissioned to illustrate in her own unique way, although she will always do her best to encompass your wishes in respect of illustrative content where possible. Working together, the sketch stage will give us a truly distinct set of characters that children and adults will love! Once you are happy with things, that’s when Sarah get stuck into the colour stage! And, she LOVES this stage as this is when the simple sketches from her head jump out of the page and come to life. It’s an amazing part of the process as it completely transforms the drawings.

Step three

Once your characters/illustrations are complete to your satisfaction, it’s time to bring them all together. We have invested in the very latest technology and state-of-the-art, industry-standard software which we then use to create your dream book. Generating the digital form is where the book truly comes to life. This is the stage where Sarah will set the text with the completed illustrations. Getting to see how it all works together is SO exciting and rewarding.

So here’s how will we work together?

  1. Your Project. Firstly, it all begins with an understanding of your story. Creating your book is such a fun adventure, and to ensure that it reaches its maximum potential, it’s vital that we have a good understanding of its characters, its focus; in fact, anything that you think is important. Whilst we are happy to have an initial discussion about your project over the phone, we request that the story and any supporting project brief be sent via email for us to review. It would also be helpful at this stage to give us an idea of the illustration style you prefer, and to help you decide, please visit our “Children’s Book Illustration” gallery page. Once we have thoroughly assessed your project, we will get back to you with costings and a potential timeframe.

  2.  Deposit. Once we have agreed on the details of the project, all to be confirmed via email exchanges, we will send you our formal Acceptance of Commission document along with our standard Terms & Conditions. Roughly a week before the scheduled start date, the deposit will be due (usually 50% of the agreed fee), and we will issue an invoice for this amount around this time. To help the process begin smoothly, please would you ensure that this amount is paid by return. Work will commence around the date agreed, providing payment has been received.

  3. Let’s Get Started.
    Before work begins on your project, there are a number of essential elements that we need to have received from you in advance. By far the most important is a final and professionally proofread draft of your story, preferably in the form of a Word document.  If one hasn’t been provided previously, a detailed brief would be extremely helpful in allowing us to understand the project and what you are hoping to achieve in greater depth. A biography of the main characters is key too, as this will help us understand more about them. Plus, if any of the characters are based on anyone in ‘real-life’, please provide us with a reference photo or two.  We also need to be made aware if we have any illustrative requirements, including anything you definitely do or don’t want to have included within the illustrations. If there is anything specific you wish to have depicted, please explain this in as much detail as possible and preferably, provide us with some reference photos. All of this will help avoid a lot of unnecessary and costly work and reduce the time required in the editing stages to a minimum.  To assist in collating all of this information, and to keep it in one, easily accessible place, we will send you a Checksheet to complete and return to us. This form can be added to or edited at any time before work begins.

  4. Storyboard/Sketch Building.This is the stage where you should very carefully check the sketches/rough book template and make any comments or suggestions. PLEASE NOTE: each project we undertake is different and unique in its own way, therefore, this stage will occasionally differ to allow for this. Generally, I will first build a text-based layout which I will send to you to ensure that you are happy with the flow of your story. At this point, I will also look to begin working on the initial design of the main character(s). I will then create for myself a simplistic storyboard of how your book will look and start to sketch. Once they are completed, we will send you sketched drafts to review. For us to provide the best service possible, we allow for a maximum of THREE rounds of revisions within the package at this stage, as it is important to ensure that the basic book layout and sketches are correct. Please note that within our basic book creation packages, the revisions allow for edits and adjustments to the sketches, but any major illustration changes or complete redraws may incur an extra charge. Further revisions after the three included in the process, or any illustration changes requested after this stage will incur additional charges. Therefore, it is very important at this stage to make sure that you are honest with us, and let us know in clear terms what you want to change, if anything, about the sketches, otherwise, any changes to the illustrations requested later in the process will be chargeable.

  5. Illustration Development. The stage that can take the longest time to complete, and also when I get to colour everything! Please bear in mind that this stage usually requires anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks of work, and sometimes even longer, depending on the complexity of the illustrations. I will do my best to advise you at the earliest opportunity if your illustrations will require longer than this to complete.

  6. Book Generation.The book comes to life! This stage involves importing the images and beginning editing and will take approx. 2 to 3 weeks to complete.

  7. Payment/Final Files.Once we are nearing the stage where the illustrations will be completed and ready for the book to be compiled, the payment of the balance (usually 50% of the agreed fee) will be due. As soon as this payment is received and the work has been completed, we will send the finished proof for you to review. Please understand that this payment is to be received first, as the files I send you will be the completed book, ready for final editing.

  8. Editing. Once you have received the book and have examined it thoroughly, we will then work with you to edit out any little errors where gremlins may have crept in, such as typos/imperfections etc (note: significant illustration changes cannot be made at this stage). These edits are crucial to the finishing of the book, and we always advise you to take your time at this point to carefully check everything. We will work with you as best we possibly can to find and eliminate any issues at this stage, but please understand that the final sign-off is your responsibility (another good reason why you should have your final draft story professionally proofread!). We are aware that some things can evade even the most critical eye, so we allow for TWO rounds of final edits included in the package pricing but any further edits or alterations requested after this will be chargeable.

  9. And to Finish.
    After completion of the final editing stage, we request that you sign off the project in writing, usually by email, and upon receipt of which, we will compile and provide you with all the final print files so that you will have everything you need to arrange to have the book printed.

How About Extras?

We offer several special ‘extras’ to help you in making a promotional pack to accompany your Book. These include amongst other things Colouring Sheets, Promo Images of the completed book and Copyrighted Images that you can safely use to promote your book online 🙂 Please ask for more details.

Also, if your project consists of a series of books, we can design a bespoke logo for you!

Are you looking for a publisher?

If you do not want to handle the printing, publishing, distribution and online advertising yourself, you could always check out: Amazon, Kindle Publishing or Ingram Sparks. Whilst they both offer something of a solution, going down this route can be complicated and difficult to deal with if you are not familiar with the terminology. We recommend that if you're not confident at figuring this out by yourself, and once the book has been completed, you discuss your requirements with Partnership Publishing. They are a fabulous publishing company that works with self-publishing authors to help them demystify the publishing process.

Do you need to find a good proofreader?

Indeed! Happydesigner can provide you with details of dedicated and professional proofreaders.
Check out or
Proofreading page happydesigner-inking

Need us to put a barcode on the book?

NO PROBLEM! 🙂 computer-wt

We sure can. All we need is for you to send us the ISBN and we can generate the barcode for you and apply it to your books before it heads off to the printer. 🙂

Want to know the Legal stuff: Terms & conditions, Contracts and Licences?

It is very important that your story does not infringe on anybody’s intellectual copyright. You should not use actual company trade names or existing character names from other stories, films, TV shows, books etc, without the copyright owners express, and written permission.

With regard to your project, we will issue a limited licence for you to use the illustrations we create for you for the purposes of the purchased book only. We do this because every illustrator owns the copyright to all of their creations, by default, as soon as they draw, paint or design anything. The issuing of a licence is the correct and legal way for us to allow you to use the illustrations as agreed in the contract.

We have a detailed Terms and conditions page which you can access here

What is an ISBN and where can you get one?

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ISBN stands for: The International Standard Book Number. This is your books unique product identity. It's essential if you want to sell your books, as it aids the listing, discovery and distribution of your books.

You don't HAVE TO have one, nor is it a legal requirement. Publishers mainly use them, as do booksellers and libraries for ordering, listing and stock control. 

IF you do want to add an ISBN to your book its simple. The process is easy and you can buy an ISBN online. 

The ISBN agency in the UK used to be Whitakers, but they were bought and combined with Book data to create Neilesen Book data. They manage the process of allocating ISBNs as well as several things that you will need to know about, and use, as we get further into your project.

The URL for the ISBN Store is: https://www.nielsenisbnstore.com 

The email address to contact us is: isbn.agency@nielsen.com

How to deal with book layouts and printing?

childrens book illustrator

We package all completed book projects into a professional, industry-standard printable book PDF, ready to send to the printers. We can manage this whole process for you, so you don’t have to worry! All you need to do is contact the printers and discuss your requirements with them, and if you’re happy with their package and price, put me in touch and we can handle transferring the files to them for you.

We use professional software packages to design the layout for all books Sarah produces. This approach allows us to provide a high-quality yet very cost-effective method of creating and printing a children’s book.

If you are self-publishing and require printing please have a look at these guys for quotes: www.pureprint.com

or www.youloveprint.co.uk  It's always worth asking around and finding a printing company that suits you best 🙂, but these guys consistently produce GOOD, SOLID, books 🙂!

 

Do you need a good Website?

If you are looking to have a small website built you can get in touch with: Tracey Rickard She is our website developer and we wouldn’t recommend anyone else 🙂 Sarah remembers when she started out, she used a cheaper alternative and it never had the visibility nor punch that we needed it to have to make an impact on google. But over the years working with Tracey, we have got the site to where it needs to be. 

We would always recommend IF you are going into things seriously enough to warrant having your own online book store, to ALWAYS go with a trusty (more expensive) developer! Yes they cost more that the cheap alternatives, but they are there to help and assist when you need them too!

Are you planning a Book launch or exhibition?

Launching your stories, characters and books is a huge step, and the most important factor about this is getting people to see who you are and what you are all about, it makes all the hard work worthwhile. We can help you with any aspect of this, if you require posters, adverts, exhibition stand design or even life-size cut-outs of the characters themselves.

Do you require some Promotional material?

Sarah cut her teeth in the graphic design sector so she has a good eye when it comes to all the extras you need. So if your looking for flyers, bookmarks, Posters, social media images.... Your in safe hands. Let's have a chat through all the extras you may need and then we can put together a package for you 🙂

childrens book illustrationSarah has worked on lots of books here is my publications list. We also have a large gallery of the latest illustration work available to view. So if there is a preferred style you like, or would like to discuss, please just let us know!

Ready for me to wave my wand of creativity?

If you like what you have read above and are looking for a reliable and affordable children’s book illustrator, Then get in touch and let’s make your story come to life!

A few of my previous clients

happydesigner clients

  • "Outstanding illustrator with exceptional talent. You couldn’t wish for a better artist, as it would be impossible to find. Such a spectacular gifted designer who is always happy!" - Rachel Lake

  • "WOW! Love it! I'm so happy with what you've produced- and with so little input from me. FANTASTIC!!! THANK YOU” - Darren Pascoe: 'Red Rabbit Book'

  • “When we first contacted Sarah, Dainty Dizzy was a concept;  an idea to be shaped into a brand.  Sarah took this idea and illustrated it perfectly….and our brand look and feel was born.” – Dainty Dizzy

  • "I hope my recommendation will persuade you to use Sarah! I cannot fault her, for her professionalism, enthusiasm and talent." - Michelle Hawkins, Director: The Flying DoDo

  • Sarah is professional, friendly and very knowledgeable, she delivered 100% with a new logo that was spot on! We can't recommend her enough!” - Lucy @ Get Active

  • "The logos are absolutely fantastic, they are spot on brief and are even better than we imagined!Paolo Pini, Step Up To Languages

  • "It's been great working with Sarah as our illustrator! She's been so great in taking all feedback on board and delivers work of the highest standard. Would 100% recommend :-)" - Michelle Gibbs, Doodle Dozen Series
  • "These posters and flyers are perfect”
    - Julia G, Manager at the Truro branch of Pets at Home

  • “Sarah’s advice has been invaluable, she could have just illustrated my first attempt but knew there was more to be had from the story and pointed me towards the right help." – Darron Jon Love

  • “I was so nervous ringing you as i've never done anything like this before, but you were so friendly and put me completely at ease.” - Donna Purvis

  • “Books arrived safely today- I am absolutely delighted with how they look – I can’t thank you enough – you’ve made my dream come true :)” – Jane Collins

  • "I can’t speak highly enough of Sarah! She has brought Roopert Snoopert to life in a way I could never have imagined.
    The illustrations are fantastic! Sarah keeps you update with progress from the draft stage right through to sign off." - Paul Micklewright
  • Sarah is an extremely talented designer and illustrator. She has that rare gift of being able to find something in your business or character that you never knew existed" Craig Green

  • "Sarah understood what I was looking for and produced a fantastic logo for me.  She is very approachable and friendly – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her” Katie Jarvis, Fancy Prints

  • “I am so happy that I found Sarah to bring my book to life. Sarah took the time to listen and really made the effort to make sure that I was happy and her brilliant designs translated the words of my book into a beautiful visual story." - Jodie Jackson

  • “Sarah was lovely to work with and keen to make sure that the illustrations were a perfect match for the story. It’s obvious that she really cares about her work and wants you, the author, to be happy with the final results.” – Marion Adams

  • "Sarah quickly understood what I wanted to achieve and the look I was after. Sarah kept me informed and brought me into the whole process” – Darron Jon Love

  • "She has a keen eye for the quirky detail, she is punctual and a joy to work with. I simply cannot praise her enough.” - Clickety Books

  • Sarah really understood the brief right from the beginning and has been able to translate my ideas and mental images, that at times were quite specific, into magical illustrations that are better than I’d ever hoped. She has absolutely nailed it!” – Gareth Edwards

  • "Sarah loves her work, her friendly ‘can do’ approach is reassuring whether you’re on your first or tenth book."  – Darron Jon Love
  • "Sarah is amazing - very fast at understanding the requirements, great pictures and never too much trouble. I recommend her wholeheartedly" - Fernando Caldeira-Saraiva
  • “Thank you, Sarah, for the amazing work you did on the illustrations for my book. Working with you has been so easy thanks to your enthusiasm, flexibility, support, professionalism and, of course, the amazing quality of your work." – Stuart Neath

  • “Sarah’s re-branding of my business has given it a much needed fresh and quirky feel. She provided us with an extremely friendly courteous and efficient service and injected an energy into the project, that only Sarah could.” – Discovery Leisure

  • Sarah has a great insight into how to best produce a children’s book and is really helpful in getting you there! I really cannot recommend Sarah enough – brilliant designer, friendly and professional. The experience has been a great one!“ – Jodie Jackson