How to Begin an Illustration Career

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I have most often been asked how I began illustrating children’s books.

Id prefer to offer the nontraditional route. I have been in the art field for over 50 years. Nothing for me has been as discouraging as following the “traditional route”.

I began illustrating my own stories and presenting them to others. Also by creating my own portfolio of illustrated art work, I would not be limited to what I had been paid to create in order to have something to show.

I have often presented the idea of illustrating stories as being like a director of a movie. One has to live inside the characters, imagine their body language, a body type that goes with the personality.

Sometimes its a matter of communicating really well with your author to get into the characters nature. The more you know about a character the easier it is to empathize with their type, tendancies and appearance. Also by making a study of the face, muscles of the face and how emotion moves the face and head in subtle ways are all relevant.

Start with a poem, a favorite story perhaps even your own characters in need of a good story.

Make everything you do ART
Elizabeth Berg


About the Author:

Hello, I'm Elizabeth Berg, illustrator, artist, and art teacher. I make custom illustrations --and use several different art styles-- to make your project stand out. I also teach fine art classes for adults and children.


  1. Elizabeth  April 18, 2014

    What a nice surprise to read your comments. Are you a designer?
    Its great to let your imagination have all kinds of outlets for all kinds of art. Designing is a great exercise for the imagination.
    Here is an excercise for loosening the design side of imagination.
    Take three obects and set them on the table, leave paper and a pen,(a good drawing pen) next to the objects. Walk past them without giving them too much attention..until the new design hits you, it will too! very fun.
    Best wishes to you, and thank you again, Elizabeth