28 July 2012

Children’s book illustrations and printing

| Hank
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I have a little one on the way (due early December) and I would like to make a children’s book for her about our dog, as a present to both my wife and a little keep sake.

I have written a small story and would love someone to help with some illustrations. I have also contracted some printing places to get an idea of cost to print but would love Riot to put their heads together and suggest some other ways I can get it printed and illustrated.

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Have a look at Michael Ashley’s artwork at http://www.obdm.com.au/stall/product/leafy-sea-dragon-artwork/ He could be what you’re looking for.

Give Prinstant a call they can help you with Design, layout, and printing. 62800081

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. This idea has grown some legs since last week and now I know why one does this kind of thing for a gift. I have had a few quotes to do illustrations, and they have all come back asking for commissions and other conditions.
I have found a local designer to help out and we are getting started on it this Saturday, for curiosity sake it will cost around $500 to get a 14 picture book illustrated including tracing the drawings into vector art (that gives the cartoons the clean look) and have the book ready to print.
If anyone’s interested I’m more than happy to send a few of the pages through to JB once they have been published.

If you don’t want to go with photos, I’ve got two thoughts:

Free comic creators like Pixton create some very good looking results and would probably be highly appropriate for a children’s book.

If you didn’t want to have to make them yourself or were after a really professional job, I would start looking on Etsy. There are lots of artists on there who will do custom illustrations. You would just need to contact one who appeals to you and get a dialogue happening about them doing a series of custom images for you.

+1 to the Snapfish style book printing. I’m always immensely impressed with the quality of hardcover photo books.

I can vouch for the quality of Blurb’s product. I love their design software (and not having to work online) plus you can also print from pdf if you want to design yourself from scratch.

My Grandma died when my little one was nearly 5 and I had a keepsake book printed with photos of the two of them together. It has a satin-finish photo cover and the quality is lovely.

What about contacting the UC design school? I had a friend who studied graphic design there a few years ago and as part of their studies they were required to team up with a creative writing student to produce a picture book.

Might be a cheap (or even free) way to have your illustrations done and help a student with a project.

A lovely idea!

There are plenty of online book printing sites that provide design tools so that you can lay out your own book. One site that I cam across recently is blurb dot com. I can’t vouch for the quality of their product as I have never used them, but they seem to offer some good options plus online design tools.

Just a thought about the illustrations for your book – have you thought about using photos of your dog? Any photo editing program will offer effects that can be applied to your photos, such as a sketch or watercolour effect. You just need a half decent photo to start with, and by applying the same effect to all of the photos you will achieve some uniformity, so your pictures don’t necessarily need to have consistent quality or lighting to start with.

Good luck!

I’m intrigued; what a great idea!

If photos would suffice, the low cost option would be to get some images from Flickr (searching under Creative Commons) or other stock sites that offer free stocks. There seem to be a few offering copyright free material (or copyright expired material) now. Other stock image archive, such as Getty Images, sell by item, other other arrangement.

Otherwise, illustrators could be contacted through children’s book publishers or agents (ie Judy Horacek through Jenny Darling)
There is this site (http://www.illustratorsaustralia.com/) offers a directory. I think this would be a particularly costly option, however.

Otherwise ringing or visiting some of the smaller galleries in Canberra to ask if they could let you know the details of some local illustrators.

Printing a single or small run book nowadays is nowhere near as costly as it once was, and should you have your artwork saved as images, you could simply get one of the photo places to print it on site or send off to one of the internet places, like Snapfish. Printing an extra couple for soon-to-be grandparents might be a nice touch.

Anyhow – not really great advice; I was just intrigued by your idea… good luck with it…

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