Dale Ziemianski

Commissioning Children's Book Illustrations

Helpful Info Before You Commission Me


The first sketch is free.

If you like it, and decide you want me to proceed
with the color version, I take a Kill Fee up front, which will be one third of the total order. This basically pays for the sketches. I'll first sketch all the pages so you know how it'll flow and how every page will be laid out.

Once they are all approved....

...I'll take another payment for another 1/3rd of the total. This pays for all the painting and coloring of the pages.

Once the color pages are all approved....

...you pay the final 1/3rd and I'll send you all the final, full resolution images, probably using a large file transfer website like WeTransfer.com or Dropbox.

How to expedite finalizing your book...

...by preparing ahead of time to make sure I have all the information we need.
Don't be afraid to say too much
If I don't have the information I need to get inside your head, it can take forever to get your book done and it can be a very frustrating experience for both of us. The more information you give me up front, the more time I can spend on the actual rendering of the image and the less time I have to spend correcting mistakes. Don't be afraid to tell me exactly what each character is wearing or what color hair each character has or whether it's sunset or daytime or winter or fall, everything you want in your image. The more input you give me, the happier you'll be when it's done. Remember -- this is your painting. I don't read minds, I draw what you tell me :-)
Having image references at the beginning of the project
Use Google Image Search to find examples of the kinds of characters, scenes and objects you want me to use. If you want a specific looking fairy, send me a picture of the kind you want. If you send a bunch of samples of faeries, I won't know what kind you want me to emulate. Be specific about what characteristics you like about each sample image - for example, you want the hairstyle of this faerie, the dress of this faerie, only in pink, the wings from this faerie, etc. See what I mean?

If you don't know how to send me a picture, Click Here

Use color charts to show me what colors you want.
There are a million shades of blue. This will give me an idea of what shade you want. See those 6 digit codes under each color? That's called its 'hexidecimal code' and it's used to place colors on a webpage. You give me that code and I can use that color in your artwork. Color Chart
Do all your changes during the sketch stage
Though some changes are minor, (like changing the colors or positions of characters), changing characters or scenery once the sketch stage is completed and the color stage has begun could run into additional charges, of which I will notify you in advance prior to making the change.

The more clearly you explain what you want, and the more image references you provide, the more your input leaves time for me to spend detailing your final image and making it awesome!

Estimating the Job

I charge by the page

  1. Go back to my Payment Options Page to see what my current prices are, as they can change based on my work volume.
  2. Text is included for the Cover Title and Author and considered part of the illustration. Printing companies prefer to handle most text themselves so they can edit it if needed.
  3. Unless there are extremely detailed pages, there is not likely to be any additional cost.
  4. Best of all - YOU KEEP ALL RIGHTS.
    you can sell prints of the images if you like, or use them for posters, promotional purposes, whatever you like.

Keep it in writing!

This is why it's important for us both to keep all emails between us in our email folders.

Keeping your instructions on file helps to point out errors that I may have made in following or interpreting your directions and can keep misunderstandings at a minimum.

I suggest you create a folder in your email program where both incoming and outgoing emails can be kept, though in most cases a simple search for my email address through your emails will bring up our conversations. This is a good way to make sure I keep any promises I make ;-)

Paying For the Art!

Throughout the process, I'll be sending low-resolution images that are clear enough to view on your screen but too small to print. This assures you that the art is being done and assures me that you won't run off with it without paying.

Once payment is made, you can have the full resolution image.

I accept PayPal to the email address that I use to contact you, and that's my preferred method of payment.

You DO NOT have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal
If I send you an Invoice through PayPal, you can just use your credit card. I don't even need to know your account number - Paypal will securely take care of all of that.

I accept Money Orders made out in US funds made out to Dale Ziemianski
but I will not deliver the final full resolution images until the note is cleared. I'll send my mailing address when the art is done if you need to pay that way.

Getting the Art!

The fastest way to get your art is if I send it via WeTransfer.com or download it from my Dropbox. If you don't want your work sent that way, I can either mail a CD or DVD of the images to you via snailmail.

Any Questions?
Feel free to Email me