Crediting a previous illustrator



  • Hi, 🖐 I'm writing in hopes to find an answer to which I believe I know but wanted to find out if others have experienced the same and how to proceed. I'm currently working with self-published author(s) who finished their first two books in a series they plan to publish and I has hired to continue the series in a semi-similar style to maintain some coherence between the transition of illustrators for the series and changing some characters completely.
    My question is: ❓
    When switching illustrators part-way through a book series do they credit the previous illustrator for 'original artwork by' since they were the ones who first illustrated/designed the characters and world for the first two books even though they won't be continuing in any kind of art capacity?

    I explained, since I'm the illustrator for the book series now, the previous illustrator wouldn't be credited for the artwork any longer. I've seen this be the case with other series that switch illustrators in picture books to graphic novels and they credit the current illustrator for the artwork done and not the previous, unless it's a very long standing illustrator for a series I believe. I also mentioned they could have a 'special thanks' because I think they want to be considerate towards the illustrator and all the previous work they have done.

    It would be great to get some insight/opinions on this so I can better answer their question. Honestly their question caught me off guard in regards to crediting the previous illustrator for 'Original artwork by'! 😕

    Thank you!



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  • Moderator

    If you really need to give credit to the last illustrator, would "Previous books in series illustrated by" make more sense, since the art in the current book is your "original" art?



  • @CLCanadyArts Yes the wording you mention sounds good! I will definitely mention it as a option to consider. Thank you for your response!



  • Crediting the previous illustrator makes sense for the previous books, but in the new one it should be your name in the credits as I understand, I haven't had that experience in the past so I can't tell much more about it. I agree with @CLCanadyArts for the wording he proposed for the previous book's credits...


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    this is a very tricky area. You may be in copyright violation if you draw the character and the previous illustrator owns the copyright to those characters and images. Remember, style is NOT copyrightable but specific things like characters are! Make sure the other illustrator either agrees to let you use the images (in writing!), or make sure the author owns the property outright.

    If the author owns the work in it's entirety, you do not have to mention the other illustrator at all unless you want to. @davidhohn may have another take on this too...



  • Thank you! Your insight on this topic has brought some clarity and gave me something to discuss with the authors regarding crediting and contract stipulations.


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