Does this look like kids illustration style?
Here lays before you, my art style.
And I wonder, is it too cartoony? How could I make it more kids illustrationy? (I keep wondering to the point of anxiety)
I wanna experiment with this style a bit, and sharpen the saw before I go and make a whole portfolio of it.
If anyone has suggestions on how to make it more fitting for kids books, Ill try it out and post it here! This thread can be an log of artstyle morphing time!!
@Frost-Drive Very cute! This gives me a vibe of tween books like chapter books or early comics books. I think because there's a cool/trendy vibe that's more consistent with tween/teen content. It's a great market! But if you want to go younger, I think I'd make the limbs of your characters shorter so they look younger (right now they look maybe 12) and go more innocent with the themes (kid appropriate like... school, zoo, park, etc)
@NessIllustration Thank you Ness! I was just watching your youtube channel earlier! Great stuff!
I can see how it looks more oriented for the tween market! Maybe I should double down on that. Even if I can just make covers for tween chapter books, that'd be really awesome.
I'll try out some more innocent themes and shorten the limbs to see how it looks!
Melissa_Bailey last edited by
@Frost-Drive very cute stuff! I agree with @NessIllustration -- the characters look older, so they would better fit the middle grade / graphic novel genres. But if you make your characters look younger, I could definitely see this style working for picture books too. Taking a look at all the picture books currently in the market and what is coming out, you'll find a myriad of different art styles. It seems that it's more about story -- finding that perfect pairing of author and illustrator to tell the best story. That's just what I've observed, anyway.
@Melissa-Bailey-0 If it's more about the story than the art style, that gives me a lot of relief.
Because I've been thinking, it's like a gamble. You put your entire hand down (which is one art style)
And then art directors could all think, that's not even the right art style.
but they likely wouldn't tell you that. So you'd just be left in the dark wondering what's going on.
But! If thats not how it is, that's a big relief!
@Frost-Drive What might be useful is try to illustrate some classical picture book story (red riding hood, three little pigs etc) having in mind the target audience, but in your current style. This exercise could help you see if your colours, rendering and lines could work within the kidlit market. and you end up with a relevant piece for your portfolio.
Regarding your style - I think it’s great and I would love to see how an illustration in your style but with a picture book theme would look like.
@Frost-Drive this would look great for graphic novels for older kids.
Cayleen last edited by
Melissa_Bailey last edited by
@Frost-Drive yep, there is no one art style.
For example, look at recent award winners. This year's Caldecott winner was We Are Water Protectors, which was illustrated by Michaela Goade in gorgeous flowing watercolors. (The honors went to Cat Man of Aleppo, Outside In, Me & Mama, and A Place Inside of Me -- all of which were in a different illustration style.) 2020's Caldecott winner was The Undefeated, rendered very realistically by Kadir Nelson. 2019's Caldecott winner was Hello Lighthouse in Sophie Blackall's whimsical style.
Those books could have been illustrated in a different style, but would those stories have been as impactful? Would they have been as successful? Maybe not.
Yes, there is a popular style that you find in a high percentage of books being published -- that's nothing new. But trends change over time. And today you'll also find a ton of other books published that have wildly different illustration styles. It's refreshing, and yes, it is a relief to know!
When I was just starting out illustrating children's books, I also thought that there was a specific "children's book style" that I had to conform to. I could mimic it but those illustrations were stiff or flat -- they weren't ME. So instead I just drew and let whatever came out of me flow onto the page. Turns out, I tend towards more realistic art, and that's okay. My style is not trendy, but I like to think that it's "classic". Nowadays, I focus on telling a story instead of style. That's not saying I've got everything figured out -- I'm still a work in progress! But maybe sharing my meager experience will be helpful.
Keep on drawing and being YOU! ️