Working with an Illustrator - Creative Law Center

Working with an Illustrator

Working with an Illustrator: Contracts, Collaboration, & Copyright Ownership [Live Workshop]

The children’s book market had been experiencing robust growth for several years, growing at ~5% a year. Many factors have contributed to this growth, including increased diversity in book topics, rising literacy rates globally, and more awareness about the importance of early childhood education.

The digital revolution has also impacted the children’s book market, with a rise in e-books and apps that cater to children’s stories. However, printed books still hold a significant place in this market as parents and educators value the tactile and visual experience of reading physical books with children.

If you are a children’s book author, you’ll know that the quality of the illustrations plays a crucial role in sales. Young children are naturally drawn to visuals, of course. But illustrations aren’t just attractive — they’re also a powerful tool to help children understand the story. They can support the text, clarify complex ideas, and provide additional layers of meaning, which is particularly important for young readers who are still developing their language skills.

Finding the right illustrator for your book can be a challenge.

You need an illustrator whose style is a good fit for your story.

Illustrators who can deliver quality work need lead time and, most likely, have projects already in their queue. You need to plan for illustration in your publishing timeline.

Navigating the contract, copyright ownership, reproduction rights, and royalty agreements can be complex, particularly for first-time authors. Understanding what rights to assign and what to retain can be a significant hurdle.

Then there’s the collaboration process. Creative differences over style, color palette, character design, and other artistic aspects can arise. Balancing your vision as an author with the illustrator’s creative input can be tricky but is crucial for a successful collaboration.

This month’s workshop in the Creative Law Center is designed designed to help you navigate and conquer these common obstacles.

What you will learn:

  • Navigating the Illustrator Search: It’s common to feel overwhelmed by the vast sea of artistic talent out there. You’ll discover strategies to refine your search, ensuring you find the right illustrator who aligns with your storytelling style and understands your target audience.
  • Overcoming Collaboration Hurdles: Unproductive communication or differing visions can hinder the creative process. A well-drafted creative brief can all but eliminate collaboration problems. Learn what goes into a creative brief for your story, an essential document that guides the illustrator, providing them with a clear understanding of the project’s objectives, expectations, and overall vision.
  • Deciphering Contracts: Contracts can be daunting, often filled with impenetrable terminology. Gain insight into what goes into a standard industry contract, learn how to define the scope of work, payment, and deadlines in clear terms.
  • Navigating Copyright Confusion: Understanding copyright and ownership can be complex and confusing. We’ll simplify these concepts for you, providing guidance on transferring and retaining rights, and how to protect your interests in your contract.

Don’t let hurdles slow down your publishing journey. Equip yourself with the knowledge and strategies to overcome common obstacles and bring your children’s book to life.

This workshop is suitable for:

  • Children’s book authors who are self-publishing or working with a small press
  • Children’s book authors who are looking for their first or next illustrator
  • Children’s book illustrators who are looking to work with new authors
  • Children’s book authors and illustrators who want to learn more about the legal and business aspects of illustration

This workshop is being offered as a stand alone opportunity. You do not have to be a member of the Creative Law Center to attend it (members will have access, of course, and need not purchase the workshop separately). You’ll get an email with the Zoom link for Wednesday, July 19th at 1 p.m., ET once you sign up. You will have access to the replay for a year.

This is a live, interactive workshop using Zoom. You will be able to ask questions in real time, so bring your list.

Don’t miss this opportunity to demystify the process of finding and successfully working with an illustrator for your children’s book. Your goal of publishing a visually stunning and engaging children’s book is within reach.

Join us on Wednesday, July 19 at 1 p.m. ET.

About the Author

Kathryn Goldman helps small business people, writers, artists, and creative professionals make a living from their creative work by teaching them how to protect and enforce their rights. She is an attorney who writes these posts to help you be more thoughtful about intellectual property and the law as you build your business, write your stories, and create your art.