Finding Inexpensive Illustrators

You’ve found me!

All joking aside. My illustrator friends and I do offer quality and affordability. Most authors and/or publishers ask: “What’s the ball park price to illustrate a 32 page children’s book?” A typical response is: “One thousand dollars per page.”

The author and/or publisher stumbles backwards, stutters, then mumbles, “I could never afford you!”

This quote is worst case scenario before I review a project. As a professional, I request to read the story, require a basic marketing plan, and the budget. Then I quote an illustration project accurately using the Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. Project price depends on the number of illustrations required not page count.

If a book has a spread, one illustration spanning 2 pages, it’s considered one illustration. Therefore a 32 page book may only require 16 illustrations. The book may be 32 pages, however the illustrations don’t equal the page count.

This is why my friends and I may be the inexpensive illustrators you’re seeking. Illustrators I would refer are: Mike Woodcock, Christopher Epling, and Steve Riley. I know other illustrators, however the illustrators I listed work within similar pricing.

Mark Wayne Adams, Award-Winning Illustrator of The Belly Button Fairy

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Meet Christopher Epling, Award-Winning Illustrator

Christopher Epling (Professional Illustrator, Pikeville, KY) Christopher is an award-winning illustrator and one of MWA, Inc. affiliated illustrators.  He works in a variety of mediums. Mainly colored pencil, watercolor, pen and ink, and digital are his preference. Be sure to look over all parts of his website to see examples of his work. Should there be a particular style you prefer, but can’t find on his websitecontact him. He is happy to send reference pieces via email. Christopher has visited over 150 schools conducting various workshops and presentations. Some schools hire him to work with groups like the gifted and talented students, art students, writing, etc. His visits range from day visits to week long residencies. If you are Interested in scheduling a workshop, please contact him at: eplingevents@gmail.com​​​. Authors and publishers who work with Christopher enjoy his connection with readers. Hiring him is like having a second marketing team. Christopher’s illustrated books:

Mark’s professionalism and approach to the complete publishing experience has taught me so much about my responsibilities as an illustrator. I simply wouldn’t suggest placing your confidence anywhere else.”Christopher

Epling_Illustrations

Meet Mike Woodcock, Award-winning Illustrator

Mike Woodcock (Professional Illustrator, Orlando, FL) Since graduating from the Ringling School of Art & Design with a degree in Illustration, Mike has lived in sunny, warm, Orlando, Florida with his beautiful wife, daughter, and two English bulldogs. During the day he’s a mild-mannered graphic designer, but outside of that, he plays ultimate Frisbee, paints, and draws as much as he can. Mike is also an award-winning children’s book illustrator and one of MWA, Inc. affiliated illustrators.

Mike currently serves on the FAPA Board of Directors helping to expand the organization as well as share his knowledge. His professional knowledge makes him a valuable resource as an illustrator and publisher.

Mike Woodcock can be reached at his website:  www.cockadoodles.com.

Mike Woodcock's KNTR Illustration

Meet Steve Riley

I recently interviewed William Steven Riley, illustrator and publisher. Most people know him as Steve or Steven. In his family it was common to go by your middle name. He works from the comfort of his California home. “I love it, but it does mean that sometimes I don’t get things done as fast as I probably would having an office.” His wife home-schools their two children, and Steve  loves having the family close-by.

Steve is currently working on Furnatche the House Dragon, written by author Honey Apotos. The story is about a family who discovers a baby dragon in the basement furnace. Steve is also finishing The Little Flame written by Denise Gary, his good friend and CEO of Kids Need To Read.  The Little Flame is a heartfelt adventure meant to inspire kids to pursue the important things in life while maintaing healthy relationships.

When asked how Steve chose this line of work, he admitted it chose him, almost by accident. He reached a point in his life when pursuing unimportant careers needed to change. “If I don’t give something else a try, then this will be my life.”  Life was not awful,  just not what he wanted. After some soul searching, writing and illustrating children’s books were his best chance to succeed.

Steve now has three titles the Little Ty Cooney National Wonders Series.  They are Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yosemite RaceLittle Ty Cooney and the Big Yellowstone Mystery, and Little Ty Cooney and the Grand Canyon Tour Company.  Other works include author Derek Sabori’s book Lu and the Earthbug Crew Zap the Energy Spikes. The illustrations were a collaborative effort between he and Mark Wayne Adams. Steve has three other books written. He is also collaborating with with World Class Climber, Dean Potter on a story about his life, which many people would say are just plain crazy.

Most all Steve’s character ideas are born in sketchbooks. “I will be drawing one day and some random sketch will just come to life in my imagination,” Steve says. His written stories generally evolve around characters, not a specific plot or theme. “All the story elements are there in the characters just waiting for me to discover them.” His Ty Cooney series began in Yosemite Valley with a little raccoon that lived under his family’s porch. “I sketched a little cartoon picture of him and that picture inspired the rest.”

The only career for Steve before publishing was managing restaurants in Yosemite Valley, California. It required very little of his creativity, and focused on managing people, resources, and providing customer service. His experiences inspired the entrepreneur within him. Publishing has been frightening and rewarding for Steve. “Frightening because if I fail there is no safety net. Rewarding because, when I succeed the rewards are mine.” said Steve. The combination of those two things keeps him highly motivated.

Steve is an independent publisher and illustrates for other independent authors. I asked him to offer insight to other’s considering independent publishing. His first words of advice were to develop a business plan on how to sell books. “This is a business driven by money.  Money is derived from sales. If you have a great book and no way to sell it, you are in trouble. If you execute a good marketing plan, then your book is going to make you money.” Money isn’t the most important thing to Steve, but paying the bills is a publishing priority.

“I think the most significant moments for me were the first moments of the journey. The first time I held in my hand a real true-to-life published book, that I wrote and illustrated.” says Steve. “Upon the arrival of my first 5,000 books, I stood back and looked into my garage at the enormous pile of boxes. My wife and I took pictures with the pallets. It is comical to think of it. I still smile when I see those pictures.” Steve said. To him those moments cannot be taken away, because the first memories were the best.

Steve didn’t hesitate when asked if he would start his publishing career again. “I absolutely would, in a New York minute!” Steve replied. The one thing he would change would be to start before he graduated High School. “I always had silly ideas and funny pictures of crazy characters floating around in my head. I never believed they would ever amount to anything.” Steve replied. Starting younger would given him nearly twenty years longer to build upon his success. “I recommend not hesitating or making excuses. I would just do it.” He also recommended choosing the correct college institution. His education was a good, but felt an art school would have provided more opportunities.

To contact Steve Riley visit his website at:  http://tycooney.wordpress.com

“I keep thinking Mark is just using lines like everyone else – how is it his lines look so much better?” – Steve Riley

Meet Mark Wayne Adams, Award-Winning Author/Illustrator/Publisher

Mark was inspired to chase his entrepreneurial dream in the 3rd grade, selling drawings to classmates. Creating books and inspiring others has always been his passion. Mark’s ability to produce quality illustrations at a fast pace and dedication to mentor others has made MWA, Inc. both successful and unique. In the past five years, his authors have won over 50 book awards and he continues to create new, successful products annually.

Mark contributes his talents and time to the community locally and nationally. He promotes reading and writing via public speaking engagements, book signings, and participation in book events from Florida to the Northeastern United States. He has been recognized through the Kentucky Governor’s School for the ArtsKACo (KY Assoc. of Counties)FAPA BoardSCBWIIBPA, and national book awards. He also volunteers his talents to the Kids Need to Read annual calendar and donates books to various organizations.

Book Awards & Associations:

★ OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters

FAPA President’s Book Awards Silver Medalist — 2016

★ Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series

FAPA President’s Book Awards Silver Medalist — 2016

FAPA President’s Book Awards Bronze Medalist — 2016

Readers’ Favorite Silver Medalist, Children’s Educational — 2016

★ A Hand Truck Named Dolly

Mom’s Choice Awards Silver Medalist — 2016

★ Little Miss Grubby Toes, Steps on a Bee!

FAPA President’s Book Awards Gold Medalist — 2016

Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Medalist — 2015

Readers’ Favorite Award Gold Medalist — 2015

★ Eli’s Balloon

FAPA President’s Book Awards Gold Medalist — 2015

★ Frozen Floppies

National Indie Excellence Award Winner — 2015

Readers’ Favorite Book Awards Finalist — 2015

★ Parts of Speech Parade, New York City

FAPA President’s Book Awards Gold Medalist — 2015

National Indie Excellence Award Finalist — 2015

★ Polly and Her Pigtails

Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Medalist — 2014

FAPA President’s Book Awards Silver Medalist — 2014

National Parenting Publications Awards Silver Medalist — 2014

Purple Dragonfly Award 1st Place (Picture Book 6+) — 2014

Purple Dragonfly Award Honorable Mention (School Issues) — 2014

National Indie Excellence Award Finalist — 2014

Readers’ Favorite Award Silver Medalist — 2014

 Johari’s Joy

Mom’s Choice Awards Silver Medalist — 2014

Eric Hoffer Award Honorable Mention — 2014

National Indie Excellence Award Finalist — 2014

★ Franny’s Rescue

FAPA President’s Book Awards Silver Medalist — 2014

Eric Hoffer Award Honorable Mention — 2014

★ Jilli, That’s Silly! A Story About Being a Girl

Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Book Award — 2014

Ben Franklin Award Silver Medalist — 2013

FAPA President’s Awards Silver Medalist — 2013 

Reader’s Favorite Award Gold Medalist — 2013

National Indie Excellence Award Finalist — 2013

Finalist – Eric Hoffer Award — 2013

Finalist – International Book Awards (Parenting & Family) — 2013

Finalist – International Book Awards (Picture Book) — 2013

★ Nicholas, That’s Ridiculous! A Story About Being a Boy

Florida Publishers Association President’s Award Silver Medalist — 2010

Independent Publisher Award Silver Medalist — 2011

Finalist – Eric Hoffer Award — 2010

Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Gold Medalist — 2009

★ Teddy Tales: The Adventures of a Rescue Puppy and His Friends

Florida Publishers Association President’s Award Silver Medalist — 2012

★ King for a Day, the Story of Stories

Florida Publishers Association President’s Award Silver Medalist — 2011

★ The Little Skunk Who Was Afraid to Stink

Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Bronze Medalist — 2009

 Jadyn and the Magic Bubble, Kenya! Kenya!

Finalist – Indie Excellence Award — 2011

 Jadyn and the Magic Bubble, I Met Gandhi!

Finalist – Indie Excellence Awards — 2009

★ Florida Authors and Publishers Association Founders Award recipient 2017.

★ Official judge of the Readers’ Favorite Illustration Award 2013–2015.

★ Florida Authors and Publishers Association Board Member to President 2009–2017.

★ Marlene M. Helm Alumni Achievement Award for contributions to the arts in the Kentucky community and service to the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. — 2011

★ Independent Book Publishers Association  Since 2008.

★ SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) since 2009.

★ Storytellers of Central Florida members range from novice to professionals.

★ 2008 Best of Show, Life in Altamonte City Magazine – Winner in the landscape photo division.

Illustrated Books:

  1. “DOWN UNDER: Kussins”—M. W. Adams
  2. “OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters”—M. W. Adams
  3. “Nicolás, ¡eso es ridículo!”—Christa Carpenter
  4. “Juliana, ¡eso son tonterías!”—Christa Carpenter
  5. “Dolly Becomes a Scout”—Kay Whitehouse
  6. “Thanksgiving: Fly on the Wall Series”—Linda Smigaj
  7. “A Hand Truck Named Dolly”—Kay Whitehouse
  8. “Floppanopolis”—John Hope
  9. “Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series”—Linda Smigaj
  10. “Theo and the Penny Candy Store”—Debra Latiolais
  11. “Little Miss Grubby Toes, Steps on a Bee!”—Eddie Price
  12. “Mighty Madeline”—Julie Watling
  13. “Kilpatrick McMurray McFrown”—Sarah Sproles
  14. “Eli’s Balloon”—Candace Ruffin
  15. “Franny Finds a Home”—Crystal White
  16. “Frozen Floppies”—John Hope
  17. “Parts of Speech Parade, New York City”—Irina Dolinskiy
  18. “Johari’s Joy”—Carol Hensel
  19. “Franny’s Rescue”—Crystal White
  20. “Polly and Her Pigtails”—Debra Latiolais
  21. “County Government Activity Book”—Kentucky Association of Counties
  22. “Nicholas, That’s Ridiculous! A Story About Being a Boy”—Christa Carpenter
  23. “Jilli, That’s Silly! A Story About Being a Girl”—Christa Carpenter
  24. “Pop the Bubbles, 1-2-3”—Jen Goble
  25. “My Friendly Giant”—Lauri Rubinstein
  26. “My Friendly Giant, Playing Along the Cliff Walk”—Lauri Rubinstein
  27. “The Little Skunk Who Was Afraid to Stink”—Brielle Kelley
  28. “The Border Patrol is Born”—Toni Zufelt
  29. “Scribble Dee Sophie: A Story for Young Artists and Their Parents”—Karen Spruill
  30. “Teddy Tales: The Adventures of a Rescue Puppy and His Friends”—Karen Spruill
  31. “King for a Day, the Story of Stories”—Mark Wayne Adams
  32. “Best Sketchbook”—Mark Wayne Adams
  33. “Good NightMare”—Mark Wayne Adams
  34. “Miss Mary’s Missing Book Bag”—Mark Wayne Adams
  35. “Field of Dreams”—Mark Hoog
  36. “Treasure Island”—Mark Hoog
  37. “The Belly Button Fairy”—Bobbie Hinman
  38. “The Fart Fairy”—Bobbie Hinman
  39. “The Freckle Fairy”—Bobbie Hinman
  40. “G.B. Duck’s Autobiography”—Chip Tullar
  41. “Lu and the Earth Bug Crew, Zap the Energy Spikes”—Derek Sabori
  42. “Jadyn and the Magic Bubble, I Met Gandhi!”—Brigitte Benchimol
  43. “Jadyn and the Magic Bubble, Kenya Kenya!”—Brigitte Benchimol
  44. “Guinea in My Cap?”—Wanda Hughes
  45. “Shanti the Yogi”—Spirit Voyage Music
  46. “The McGregor’s and Me”—David Garrett
  47. “The Little Orange Salamander”—Dolores J. Mazzeo
  48. “The Nerds”—Beverly Webel
  49. “Dogs of the Caribou and Other Stories”—Mary Gentry
  50. “Frank an’ Me”—Robert Wolley
  51. “Rainbow Bridge & Other Stories”—Doris Church
  52. “Cultural Cancer, Restoring Social Health”—Dale J. Hyland
  53. “The Gift of the Animals”—Doris Church
  54. “The Magical Forest”—Kristen Mason