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I've written a book that needs about 50 weird illustrations. Is there any way I could get that done without paying thousands of dollars?
By “illustrations”, do you mean drawings? If you can find the right ones from Adobe Stock or another stock photo service, be sure to get the correct license for what you are doing.
Another solution would be to draw them yourself with Adobe Illustrator. If you don’t know it yet, you’ll want to learn it first, as there is a learning curve. You might start with course on linkedin learning (formerly lynda.com) and/or individual training with an Illustrator instructor.
If you hire a graphic artist, then you can expect to pay for the time and for the expertise.
Those are the only three solutions I can think of.
I don't so much care whether they are drawings, digital art, watercolors, or whatever. Whichever is most practical.
I'm not going to find this stuff in stock drawings. It's too oddball.
I could reduce the number of images to something I can afford, like ten. Or I could learn to use Adobe software myself. Or both.
I'll be doing other things for two months. I wanted to get the ball rolling with an illustrator first, but it looks like that isn't going to happen. So after two months I'll have to decide what the lesser evil might be.
At this moment I'm leaning toward doing it myself. It would take at least a month or two out of my life and I might come up empty, but I think probably it would work out OK. I have a clear vision of what I want, that helps a lot. And ten illustrations aren't enough. Fifty is more like it.
I have no artistic talent, but that can't be helped. If I can get the images made in a crude way then I can show them to a real artist and get something that looks a hundred times better. I could have ten quality images to wave in the face of the public and the other forty of my crap style. That might very well be close enough for jazz.
Sketching it first is a great idea, whether you draw it or hire someone, so there is no guessing.
For the ones you draw, you can scan your hand-drawn sketch in and draw on top of it to try to match it. And ask here in the appropriate forum for whatever software you choose when you get stuck.
If you’re not sure which forum, post a sketch or two in a new post here, and ask the best way to recreate it. We can always move posts to a different forum. Once we see it, we can better advise.
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Go to a local college or high school and see if you can find a student to do an internship. They may be willing to work at a reduced rate for the experience.
I have a friend who is a professor of art. He ran it by a few promising students but none of them bit. Maybe they couldn't understand the instructions because the ideas are too weird. Or maybe not. They didn't contact me so who knows.
Is this an education book?
I'm happy to give you a hand and pointers on getting your skills up too.
As Gladwell, said though, 10k hours right?
You can check out some of my work here.
I'm also currently finalising an exhibition on speciesism. More video art but worth a check out.
It can educational, though this stuff is taught in no classroom. Most people don't like to be educated, so I want the illustrations to be appealing to the eye as well as mathematically correct. Most people will get nothing out of the text: they'll just look at the pictures, so for them that's where all the value is.
I guess I will do the best I can, which won't be all that appealing but will be correct. Then if I like I can get real artists to do the same thing in a more appealing way. Watercolors would be nice I think.
I'm 63 years old. I'd be dead before getting in 10K hours. I just want to get my fifty illustrations and then that will be it. 100 hours better be enough. It can't be THAT hard, can it?
So you'll be 73
I suggest getting Betty Edwards Drawing on the right side of the brain.
Let's hook up on a call and we can workshop ok?
“From the age of 6 I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was 50 I had published a universe of designs. But all I have done before the the age of 70 is not worth bothering with. At 75 I'll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am 80 you will see real progress. At 90 I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At 100, I shall be a marvelous artist. At 110, everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokusai, but today I sign my self 'The Old Man Mad About Drawing.”
― Hokusai Katsushika
At this moment I'm leaning toward doing it myself. It would take at
least a month or two out of my life and I might come up empty, but I
think probably it would work out OK. I have a clear vision of what I
want, that helps a lot.
I think you'll do fine. You are the only one who knows exactly what you want the pictures to look like. After you hand-sketch them it might be easier to find a student to re-do it at a lower cost, but it might not be necessary.
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My suggestion would be to get graphics from a stock site such as Adobe Stock and pay for unlimited usage.
What I dislike is when people try to get brand new illustrations for next to nothing. There is a whole movement with hashtags that artists are using saying that their art has value.
For me recommending people to use university students and pay them next to nothing is also bad. Reason being I have visited some schools (even high schools) and seen kids creating artwork that rivals that of people who have been creating artwork for decades. Here in Duesseldorf, I saw 15 year old painter that painted a realistic cityscape.... better than artists I know in their 40s!
You get what you pay for. I think artists of all ages should be aware that their art has value. The days of creating logos for 15 dollars for brands that become giants is over.
I also dislike the crowdsourcing sites as well. People want artwork for next to nothing.
One can get designs done cheaply in poorer countries, but then you are taking advantage of the artists there.
To me you get what you pay for. I know that if I sell artwork of mine or create logos, I have a limited usage clause in my contract. Which is very smart for artists to do.