The children’s illustrator: a key figure in the education of the youngest

Girl painting

«Coloring togetherness» by artnoose is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Do you remember the pictures that your books had when you were little? How important were they to you?

In this post we are going to highlight the importance of the figure of the children’s illustrator, in addition to seeing what characteristics you must have if you want to be one of them.

The importance of illustrations in childhood

The youngest begin their intellectual development by first recognizing two-dimensional images that they assimilate and associate with a name. And it is not only this that makes the figure of the children’s illustrator key in childhood. Too allows the development of reasoning, helping the child to understand the world around him, enhancing his imagination and creativity and making him capable of understanding complex situations and problems in a very simple way. In addition, it allows you to later reproduce the images you see around you in the form of drawings, fixing concepts.

For this it is vital that said illustration work has a series of characteristics that make it suitable and visually striking for the child.

Characteristics of children’s illustration


“Abc” by scheihing is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Color is a key element in children’s illustration. Colorful books attract the child’s attention in a powerful way and invite him to pay attention to the story.

Also noteworthy is the storytelling, which can contain text or simply images that narrate what happens by themselves. Children’s stories often deal with themes familiar to children, such as interactions with their friends, leaving the pacifier behind, adventures with their diapers and much more. In them, problems and their confrontation by the characters are exposed, such as the theme of death, thus giving a simple and graphic teaching that they will internalize, to help them in the future.

The technique used resembles, in most cases, the drawings that they could make themselves, making it more familiar to them and paying more attention, which is less likely to happen if the images are very realistic. The use of gouache and watercolor is the most common, in addition to providing us with a powerful color.

As the educational level progresses, the amount of text that supports the illustrations increases, but the illustrations remain of fundamental value.

Another type of children’s illustrators are those who use collage techniques, mixing them with other drawings that they paint or create digitally, resulting in truly original and creative results.

Thus, to become this type of illustrator, it is important to know child psychology and the development of pictures in a figurative way, just as children do. Many illustrators use a daily sketchbook or drawing book, where they capture everything that surrounds them as if they were children.

Many times we are used to being very perfectionists and doing realistic work. In this case we should do the reverse way, let go of the hand to draw whatever we want freely, as the little ones would. It is a matter of practice.

Drawing pad

“Moleskine 14” by serafini is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Where to capture your children’s illustrations

Children’s illustrators don’t just make picture books. further are in high demand in other sectors as for example in toys, textile design, design of stationery products and a long etcetera. In the commercial sector, it is also essential to capture the child’s attention through striking images.

Generally, brands tend to contact illustrators who have a very characteristic or defined style, although many of them prefer multidisciplinary artists, capable of adapting to different styles depending on the product. Whether you have your own style or not, the important thing is that it is something vocational And that you like what you do, thinking of creating beautiful works more than the final result of them, because that way you will enjoy the journey.

What are you waiting for to open your sketch pad and start painting at all hours?

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