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!

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!

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 reader’s 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 number 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 are LOTS of online publishers now that help authors spread their works worldwide.

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

A few of my previous clients

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

  • “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 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 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’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 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 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’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

  • "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 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 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

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

  • "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
  • “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

  • “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 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
  • “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

  • "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'

  • "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

  • "Sarah loves her work, her friendly ‘can do’ approach is reassuring whether you’re on your first or tenth book."  – Darron Jon Love
  • "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

  • “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

  • "Sarah is amazing - very fast at understanding the requirements, great pictures and never too much trouble. I recommend her wholeheartedly" - Fernando Caldeira-Saraiva
  • 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