Picture Book Illustration: Share your story

A picture book is something we all know and love. As children, we all read the enchanting stories about Peter Rabbit, the Cat in the Hat and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and as adults, we love to read those same stories to our children. There is nothing quite like seeing a child’s reaction to the beautiful illustrations that we are lucky enough to find in picture books, both new and old.

But what is a picture book exactly?

childrens book illustratorTo describe it in the simplest way, a picture book is usually a short story aimed at children, using vivid and imaginative illustrations to capture a child’s attention and intrigue. These picture books are often remembered well after childhood, which goes to show just how effective books can be to an impressionable child.

Sarah’s Children’s Books

Sarah has been drawing children’s picture books for the last 15 years. She has developed a wide range of distinct and varied styles, which allow her to create many different kinds of weird and wacky children’s books!

childrens book illustrator uk

Here is a small collection of some books for young children, illustrated by Sarah.

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I have an idea for a picture book, how can I bring it to life?

children's book illustratorEvery great picture book starts with a great story!

Whether it’s fun, silly or just a bit quirky,  a story worth telling is a wonderful thing. I get lots of requests from people who have written a story for their friends or family, often parents who have written a story for their children.

These stories are sometimes based on real events, such as Holby the Beagle that was rescued from an animal shelter, or a more fictional story, such as Who has Dirty Feet? A story about a little girl who wakes up one morning with muddy footprints on her bed, and then goes around her farm asking the animals who has the dirty feet! The point is, any story that means something to you is always worth telling!

childrens book illustrator uk

How do you go about creating the illustrations?

I work with all sorts of people to bring their stories to life, and here are some of the questions I ask myself when I put pencil to paper!

  • Can the story be broken down into simple sentences?
  • What style will suit the story of this book?
  • Does the story flow across the pages easily?
  • Is each page going to capture the readers attention?

When starting a picture book, I always make sure I read the story in full a number of times to help me build up character ideas in my head. I then create some rough sketches, and send them over to the author to ensure that they are happy with the development . Usually, these sketches take the form of storyboards, so you can get a good idea of how the illustrations along with your stories come together!

What about printing?

childrens book illustratorIf you are self-publishing your book then I can put you in touch with a great quality printer. I use them myself for my own books and can’t recommend them highly enough. If, however, you are working with me on a Gift Book, I handle all of this for you, and you get 2 copies of your finished book, so this is a process you don’t have to worry about!

I only want one book as a gift, can you do that for me?

Yep, I sure can! If you have written a story and you want to bring it to life and make it a treasured gift, I can help you with each step of the way. I will proofread the story, illustrate and design the book, then get 2 copies made for you to treasure.

How long will it take?

Every picture book is different. Depending on the style chosen, the amount of pages and the complexity of the illustrations, will quite obviously affect the amount of time it takes.

On average, I find that a book takes anywhere from 2-3 months to produce, from the initial storyboards to the finished printed book.

How do I get my picture book published?

This is a question I get asked a lot. My advice is to give publishers a physical copy of your finished book, otherwise, you may find it difficult to raise interest in your book.

children's book illustratorYou will also want to make sure that the publisher is right for you. Try and research the other books they have published, and see if your book fits with the type of books they market. Alternatively, with the wonders of the web, there’s LOTS of online publishers now that help authors spread their works worldwide.

Contact Sarah

If you have any questions about Children’s books, feel free to get in touch with Sarah by clicking the button below.

A few of my previous clients

Design against furSt Ives Memory BayEden ProjectSkyRespect for animalsPets at HomeSt Moritz Hotel

  • “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

  • “Logos received with a BIG thanks, Basically I love them all” 
    Helen Chuah, Giggling Baby Products

  • "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

  • "Sarah provided us with an extremely friendly courteous and efficient service and injected an energy into the project, that only Sarah could" Discovery Leisure

  • 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

  • "These posters and flyers are perfect”
    - Julia G, Manager at the Truro branch of Pets at Home

  • 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

  • "Yes!!!! Wow…Love it!!! ..thanks so much, I absolutely the character design you have done for us!!! xx” Lisa Dell, Cornish Firewood

  • "You do have a very positive feel about everything you do. I do wish you continued success in all your work. All the best, SimonSimon James, Famous Children’s Book Illustrator

  • "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

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

  • "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'

  • "Our brand wouldn't be the same without her on-going input. Just fab xx”
    - Justine Rogers, Dainty Dizzy

  • "i really like ur books my mommy reads them 2 me all the time ur really good at drawling and i want 2 be like u when i grow up :-)"  Natassia Flegal (hd fan)

  • "Sarah is quality.  Not just her design but she is a pleasure to work with."
    - Bob Harper, Portfolio Marketing

  • "It won’t be a struggle working with Sarah, it’ll be a pleasure. Can’t recommend enough”
    - Richard Quick

  • "I am absolutely THRILLED TO BITS with your illustrations! THEY ARE MAGNIFICENT!”
    - Susanna Jennicrai, Book Author

  • "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

  • Got home tonight and the books had arrived. Absolutely love them. My girlfriend loves your illustrations.” - Andrew Jeffery: 'Wolfboy Book'

  • "Thank you so much Sarah! What a fantastic set of illustrations for the first in our series of children’s books. We can’t wait to work with you on the second book!" Jane Archer-Wilms & Marlies Veenhof