Episode 09: How Much Will I Make In Illustration?

  • I really enjoyed this episode and the podcast in general. Thanks to everyone that has a hand in making it possible. Most of the time I have trouble coming up with relevant questions so I
    sit back and let others ask questions and then I try to soak up the info. This time, though, I'm specifically curious about the chapter book market. It rarely gets mentioned and I get confused whether it's lumped into the early reader/educational market (are they the same?) or the young adult market. I understand that picture books are more lucrative and thus more people want to spend their energy pursuing that market. So is there less of a market or representation in CB making it a harder market to get into and with less return? I assumed that it could be a "foot in the door" type to build up a portfolio and repertoire while earning some income but it's not talked about much so I don't really know if it's worthwhile. Do you get jobs the same way for those as you would for PB? How does that work when you're hired? Do you get the complete manuscript or does the editor/art director narrow down specific illustrations and notes and you don't know how it all fits together until it's published? If anyone has the experience to shed some light on it or point in me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it. Meanwhile, great episode and I can't wait for the next one!

  • Glad you guys are liking it! We have so much fun doing them. This episode topic was mine and one I feel very passionate about. Educating people about the life they can expect as an illustrator is super important!

  • Another great episode. I'm glad @Jake-Parker got the answer he was looking for from his wife otherwise that would have been awkward haha... Interesting insights into the life of an artist... There was something @Will-Terry said that made me think when he talked about focusing on one thing you could make more money on that one, made me realise I'm not really focused on anything haha. Odd realisation now I'm going to focus on two things. My youtube channel and my picture making other ideas are now in the bin along with all my hollywood movie ideas lol

    Great episode as always guys.

  • Can someone tell me or link the name of the book that was mentioned that has the inflated pay rates and common documents? I did’t see it listed in the episode notes.

  • @K-Flagg The information we were discussing is available digitally now at: https://graphicartistsguild.org/handbook/cat/digital

    You can still buy the book there too if you wanted it.

  • @davidhohn As a high school art teacher, I do not find your comments to be harsh. It’s a blunt reality. I’ve seen way too many students who do not have the passion, motivation, desire, and for some, the ability to actually persevere full-time in the field of illustration. Many of my students have gone to well known art schools, only to return home with their tails between their legs and realize that unless they are willing to eat, breathe and drink art, they are not going to make it since there are 100’s lined up behind them that are willing to “show up”.

  • @lee-white thank you!

  • @smceccarelli They are probably speaking about US awards because of their experience, but I've also heard of the Hans Christian Andersen Award which is the highest international Children's book award, and the Kate Greenaway Medal. I'm sure there must be other regional and international awards. I found this link which lists some: https://natlib.govt.nz/blog/posts/international-children-s-book-awards

    I'd imagine that such awards would allow a similar 'result', so to speak, as the Caldecott. Jake, Will, and Lee probably haven't mentioned those because they don't have the proper experience with those awards, but they do exist.

    Brett Helquist and Lisbeth Zwerger are two well known, prolific, talented illustrators and to the best of my knowledge neither have won the Caldecott. Zwerger cannot as she is Austrian, but she has won the Hans Christian Anderson award in 1990. Helquist worked on a series that has prestige as great as the Caldecott in my opinion. And there are loads of other examples. You can't predict whether a project is gonna be a best seller or if it'll win a Caldecott, but I think there are other avenues than just the US award.

  • First just let me say I love 3Point Perspective one of the best podcasts out there. I have a question for those of you who do there art fairs/cons. Are the prints that you sell Giclee prints ?

  • @teju-abiola

    It’s funny how people don’t know how to answer questions. If a company started me at say $40k, you ask me how much I make, but I don’t want to say...I can still politely answer. “I don’t want to tell you how much I make but, you will can definitely start out about $35-40k .” I’ve told you my salary, but you don’t know I did. I keep my “privacy” but still give you the info you need.