How do you commission an illustration?

Finding out what you need, getting the timescales and costs agreed so that no matter where you are based you can feel assured that work will progress and be delivered for set times and to budget.  Have a look at my illustration portfolio for artworks you like and email or call to begin the process

How long does it take?

Concepts illustrations can be delivered fast to get the job moving, the sketches are a great talking point to move the project forward.  Illustrations are always delivered to agreed deadlines.  Throughout the creative process keeping in touch with good communications can get the most from the project and get the best results.  

Where do you work?

Freelance illustrator based in the UK working on national and international projects.  Most of my UK based illustration is for Oxford and London.  Working on projects in different time zones are completed to arranged deadlines in the clients own area.  Illustrations can be made to be culturally sensitive. 

What is the process in creating an illustration?

The creative side of things is where the exciting stuff happens and developing an illustration is a collaborative effort that’s a fun process for the illustrator and client.  Character design illustrations or rough work to develop the composition can push the work in new exciting directions.  

Artworks start off as roughs delivered to set dates and revisions created based on feedback, final work is handed over for deadline date.

I see different styles of illustration on your site

Different commissions need an approach in style that suits.  The project might require some nice loose line illustrations or bold colours the next job a tighter look with more realistic tones.  As a freelance illustrator it’s important to work with the client and get the right look for the artwork.  The approach is determined on the samples you like from my site and what you need from the brief.   

As a freelance illustrator it’s good to be creative and flexible with your approach to artwork.

Can I get the work as a Vector Illustration or a layered artwork?

Yes in both cases, some artworks need to be vectored illustrations for large scale or digital uses.  Keeping layers intact allows for alterations and master copies are always kept.

What kind of work can you do?

Picture book illustrations, children’s book illustrations that are aimed at an older or reluctant reader.  

Narrative illustration of any kind comic book illustration or cartoon strip illustration. Character design illustrations for branding, educational illustrations, editorial illustrations for magazines and newspapers.   

Map illustrations for Theme Parks, Poster illustrations and advertising illustrations, pitch illustrations for presentations and storyboard artwork for events and adverts.  

Please get in touch for a full range of samples from my illustration portfolio, requests for certain types of illustrations can be made. 

Working to pre-arranged budgets or give an estimate based on the illustrations needed for client approval and before work starts.  

Pitch artworks and storyboard illustrations can be priced per hour with an estimate given to how long it will take at the start of the project.  Please get in touch if you have something in mind.


All artworks are hand drawn, pen and ink illustrations and pencil artworks are scanned and layered in with the colour layers and texture layers.  Textures are created by hand and can involve hi tech or low-fi approaches such as bubble painting and splattering ink from a distance onto a page.  

As a picture book illustrator my preferred approach is to create hand drawn illustrations.  Getting a great quality of line and enhancing the artwork on the computer.  Illustrated fonts and textures are all combined on different layers to get a real dynamic illustration. 

Mediums used

Being a freelance illustrator based in the UK can be a really rewarding career full of very different day to day challenges and longer term deadlines.  Starting up and getting your first commission is the first goal for any illustrator and to get that you need to have a good illustration portfolio.  

Look at your work and get some honest advice from a teacher or visit the AOI for portfolio advice.  Good constructive critique will allow you to better judge your strengths and weaknesses as a creative professional.   It will also allow you to target promotions to certain markets as your work could appeal more to educational publishers or be a fit for editorial illustration use. Knowing this means you can have a more specific illustration portfolio which should get you the work.

If you’re an aspiring picture book illustrator it’s always a good idea to try and develop your own story to illustrate and pitch to publishers.   Look at other children’s book illustrator artworks to see what’s out there.  

Another good way to get a children’s book illustration commission is to take an existing story that fits your style and illustrate your take on it.  Read it and understand it first, making sure you get the basic information from the story that needs to be in the scene.  Make it your own by interpreting and filling in extra details from your own imagination.  An inventive interpretation of an existing story is a real attention grabber.  The best fairy tale illustrators and illustrators of myth and folklore creatively interpret the story showing what’s between the lines to expand on the narrative.

Another example is figurative illustrations that are good for advertising, editorial and educational illustrations.  So it’s always good to realize your strengths and target the right people.

Assessing your competitors whether you’re an illustrator in Oxford or an illustrator in London look far afield to see what other freelance illustrators are doing and get inspiration, follow them of twitter or keep a pin board to keep up to date with the styles of illustration that are out there.  

If you’re good character design illustrator applications include branded character illustrations, comic books, animation and computer game character illustration.

Get your work out there!  Having a good illustration portfolio is only helpful to you if its visible and creative portfolio sites such as AOI and Contact Creative are a good place to start.  Tweet your work even the concept illustrations to show development.  Post frequent pencil artworks or pen and ink illustrations to show you’re busy and creative.  

To be a professional freelance illustrator means being open to new influences, taking opportunities and keeping up to date in the creative side and business part of what you do.  

With any commission be reliable and get the work in on time. Building a good reputation can net some repeat work and build a client base.   

Have fun!  For more advice please email.

advice for students