I recently went to the market to buy books for my 2 year old kid and found many expensive books printed on expensive paper had poor drawings.

I realized that I can draw far better. I have decided that I will not write books, I will draw them.

I mean I will draw the story of ant and the grasshopper. The story is already there, I will present it in the form of drawings. I will draw expressive sketches for every statement of that story.

My question is that for such a kind of book what do I need to know before approaching a publisher?

Do I need to print the book myself before showing to the publisher? Will he decide the size of pages?

How do I tell him the story in the email when the story is already there, I have just illustrated it in a very proper way?

P.S. I won't be using photoshop for illustrations. I will draw them and colour them myself.

  • 1
    Question: Did you just pick up illustration recently, or have you been drawing for years? Do you have an established portfolio? Do you want to illustrate professionally, or do you want to print a few custom copies of books for your kid and family members? It's hard to answer your question without knowing more about your situation and goals.
    – Zwi
    Aug 21, 2015 at 16:29
  • You seem to have answered your question simply by asking. Sep 16, 2015 at 1:57
  • It's worth noting that publishers don't always look for the "best" artist --they want someone who is distinctive and creative and works well with the writing, which may or may not always be the person who is most technically proficient. Oct 16, 2015 at 18:22

2 Answers 2


It's possible --and common --to re-release a story that has passed into the public domain with new illustrations. However, you would almost certainly need to be an established illustrator first.

Your best bet --if you want a traditional publisher --is to put together a portfolio of sample illustrations showcasing your style. Illustrating a well-known story (such as the ant and the grasshopper) is probably a good plan (as long as you don't expect that those illustrations will likely be published --they are just samples).

You can then send that portfolio out to publishing houses. If one likes your work, they will hire you to illustrate a book. Usually publishers like to pair established writers with new illustrators and vice-versa. If your work becomes popular enough, you will start to gain some control over deciding what projects you work on. Until that point, you'll just need to take whatever work you are given.


Usually an illustrator approaches a publisher with his plans for a project and shows the publisher his previous work and/or sketches for the planned work. If the publisher is interested, he will pay an advance and the illustrator starts to work on the book, etc.

This procedure gives the publisher an opportunity to suggest changes or get an editor or art director to work with the illustrator. It also gives the illustrator to abandon a project that won't sell (remember, an illustrator makes a living selling his illustrations).

As a hobbyist you are of course free to draw whatever you like and send your finished work to publishers. The procedure would be to send in copies of (some of) your illustrations. Look on the website of the publisher (or agent) for their submission guidelines.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.