Ever wondered what it might be like to bring your favorite book to life?

Cartoon GIF from Beauty and the Beast

If so, becoming a children's book illustrator could be a good fit for you.

What Do They Do?

  • Design original pictures and artwork to add visuals to a story

  • Use a variety of artistic mediums such as acrylics, watercolors, sketching and digital media tools

  • Develop visuals to make stories more understandable and accessible for children

  • Collaborate with authors and publishers to develop cover art and in-text visuals

  • Create characters we cannot imagine yet

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Cover Art

What Might A Typical Day Look Like?

  • Submitting initial sketches for review and feedback

  • Finalizing artwork and preparing for publication

  • Attending meetings with authors, art directors, publishers, and marketers

  • Reviewing manuscripts, art samples, and previous books

  • Managing deadlines with multiple projects


Does spending 600 hours designing cover artwork seem like a project you would like to do?

But Will It Pay The Bills?

Flaticon Icon Canada: Average yearly salary for a Children's Book Illustrator is $56,500 (CAD)

Flaticon Icon USA: Average yearly salary for a Children's Book Illustrator is $58,300 (USD)

You Will Love It if....

  • You enjoy using your imagination and artistic ability to bring books to life

  • You want to have an impact on children's creativity and intellectual growth

  • You like having a variety of projects to choose from

  • You have high levels of stamina and can work on artwork for long time periods

  • You are willing to put years of practice into a competitive, exciting field

Collage of illustrated children's books

Look For Another Career Path If...

  • You don't like unpredictability and ambiguity in your daily work and income

  • You cannot deal with strict deadlines and time-sensitive projects

  • You are looking to work in a corporate environment (it's possible but rare)

  • You are not willing to work on multiple revisions for days, weeks or months.

Take Action

Are you ready to dive into the world of children's book illustration?


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