The Process of Creating



This guide was written to help clients understand what it takes for a professional artist to create a single illustration.  When you hire an illustrator, you are hiring someone to represent your company or ideas in a clear and tangible way.  There is time and preparation involved in getting the perfect outcome, and I hope this guide provides deeper insight as to how I can help you.

As a professional illustrator, I strive to provide my clients with quality work at a fair price.  To do this requires good communication and an understanding of the process involved in creating your desired illustration.  The following steps are dedicated to informing you of my creative process for a single illustration.

STEP 1:  Contact me!

I prefer to be contacted by email at  After initial contact, if you prefer working together via Skype, phone, email, Google chat, etc., we can work that out as well.  However, the sketches and final illustrations will be emailed.

STEP 2:  Design Document

Starting off with a blank slate can be overwhelming.  Providing me with clear specifications for your illustration in the beginning will help avoid multiple corrections later and allow for a smoother flow in the creative process.  In Step 2, I will provide you with a free quote based on the information you provide for me in the *Design Document.

* Your Design Document is simply a set of specifications for your illustration which include (but are not limited to) the final image size, colors, desired style samples, project timeline, etc.  There is no such thing as too much information when telling me about your illustration.  If you are not sure where to begin with your Design Document, please go to this questionnaire and fill out as much information as possible.  Return it to

STEP 3:  Communication

Once I have reviewed your Design Document and/or questionnaire, I will contact you with any further questions I may have.  At this point, I hope to have earned your trust with your valued project.  If so, we will move forward in discussing a price for your illustration.

STEP 4:  Thumbnailing (Sketch Phase 1)

This is where the fun begins!  Thumbnailing is one of the most important steps in the illustration process.  I start out by creating 3 rough sketches of the illustration (unless you note otherwise in the Design Document). This involves figuring out the best composition for the piece, finding the light sources and shadows, placement of objects and characters, color schemes, and perfecting the overall flow of the design.

STEP 5:  Communication

Upon completing the thumbnails, I will email them to you for review, approval, or corrections. If you decide you like the direction of one of the sketches but would like to tweak some of the design, no worries, I will do up to 3 revisions of your chosen sketch.

STEP 6:  Detailed Sketch (Sketch Phase 2)

After narrowing down what you would like for your illustration, I will create a more refined sketch, which then becomes the framework for the final product.

STEP 7:  Communication

The refined sketch will be emailed to you for review and final approval.  At this point, there should not be a need for additional sketch revisions.  However, should you see something that needs attention, now is the time to let me know.

STEP 8:  Finish Illustration

Your project is almost complete!  In Step 8, I will add the finishing touches, and email you the final image.

STEP 9:  Share!

Step 9 is optional, but if you are pleased with my work (which I sincerely hope you are), please refer me to your friends and colleagues!

I hope you found this guide helpful in understanding exactly what you are investing in.  I look forward to working with you, and/or answering any questions you may have.