It turned out to be much harder to find an illustrator than I anticipated it would. I started my search on several Facebook Group pages, basically saying I’d like to partner with any interested illustrator, and that I would be willing to enter into a 60-40 split of everything the project generates after I recouped out of pocket up front expenses. It was a totally legitimate offer, and I was truly optimistic that there might be some interested takers.
Much to my surprise, after about two weeks, I had not only failed to identify anyone interested in such an arrangement, I learned that even the request to create such a partnership is looked on with much disfavor by many a working artist. I gather quite a few of them have been “bitten” by similar offers that never panned out, leaving them with little to show for lots of invested time and effort. At the end of the day, I get it now, after some reflection, but I was completely unprepared for the harshness of the response I initially got. (I should note that one person was interested – an older guy like me who, after an adult life working in a more mainstream profession decided to give it a go. His work was great, but in sort of a stylized way, and I was looking for something more realistic. We traded quite a few emails, and even though I ultimately went with another illustrator, he was delightful.)
After a good bit of researching, I found an incredibly talented illustrator through Fiverr, an online provider that connects people looking for services with those offering them. I am optimistic this will be a wonderful relationship. I submitted the concept page below with the ridiculous little stick figures,
… and in just under 72 hours, I received back the drawing below for my approval before the artist added color. I was, needless to say, pretty blown away!
I have a collection of concept ideas for most of the rest of the pages of the book that I'll be sending her way, and I can't wait to see what she creates!