I have a great idea for a book. Will you illustrate it?
Congratulations on the great idea! And - what is your budget?
I ask because producing work to tempt a publisher takes time and expertise, all of which has to be paid for. So as general rule of thumb the only speculative work I do is my own book project work. But there are lots of resources out there that can help - first and foremost is the Writers and Artists’ Yearbook. Read it from cover to cover, making careful note of the publishers who are a) taking submissions and b) have a list that your work might fit into. Then follow their submissions policy to the letter, and send them your manuscript. And if a publisher is interested they will probably want to pair you up with an illustrator themselves.
Are you available for commissions?
I’m very happy to discuss professional commissions, from publishers, companies, institutions and the like.
How much would you charge for your illustrations?
It’s hard to give a precise answer to without knowing the details of what you have in mind. Books can take between 3 and 6 months of my time, full-time. One-off illustrations can take several days to complete. It all depends on the job. This guide to daily rates for artists by A-N (The Artists Information Company) may be a helpful starting point for you to bear in mind when thinking about what you would be prepared to pay.
Where can I buy your books/illustrations?
At the moment I licence my work to commissioners rather than selling direct to the public, but I hope to have a sales outlet open soon.
I can’t pay you, but it’ll be great for exposure.
If you approach me with this kind of offer I won’t respond, because I can’t pay my bills with ‘exposure’. Art work is work. You know. Like your work, which you get paid for in actual money.
Will you do a piece of work for charity?
I already do what I can for charities of my choice. So, probably not.
Will you take a look at my manuscript/ illustrations?
Unfortunately I don’t have time to review other people’s work and get my own work done. There are good manuscript reviewing services out there, so I would recommend that you consult with them for a professional opinion. Again, the Writers and Artists’ Yearbook is the place to start.
Do you do workshops?
I run occasional workshops at a number of venues. There’s nothing planned at the moment, but see my twitter feed @1badlamb for news.
I’m doing a project about art/illustrators for my studies/dissertation. Will you answer my questions?
Probably - but please remember to drop me a line to say thanks afterwards. It’s a small thing, I know, but it feels important in this crazy world.
Goodness, this is all very negative.
I know! Even I am shocked, having thought of myself for so long as someone who scorned business in favour of Great Art. Just so you know, I’m not all about margins and profits and stocks and shares. I have at least three witnesses who will testify to my kind heart and at times inordinate fondness for drypoint etching, clouds, and grammar books.
I’ve got another question to ask that isn’t covered here.
Fire away! You can contact me at helloATcaroladlam.co.uk, or by using this contact form. Good luck with your own projects, and thank you for your interest in my work.