Many of you will create books that need professional illustrators to create covers or interior art. In some cases you might be running the popular Storytelling and Bookmaking workshop, where an adult illustrator creates art to accompany a story written by a young class of students.

In any case, finding these illustrators is so important. But it’s not easy. For every 50 volunteers you find, only a few of them will be a talented visual artists able to help you. So you have to look hard and constantly to have a large enough stable of artist-friends.

Here are some ideas:

Local art schools

If you are in a city or near a college, there is an art school, or art department, nearby. Visit them and see if you can interest the students or even the teachers in becoming occasional volunteers.

Local publishers

You might have a publishing company or two nearby, and they might know a few (or a 100) artists.

Artists who work for local newspapers and magazines

There aren’t as many as there used to be, but every local publication has artists on staff. Maybe they’re graphic designers who started out as cartoonists. Maybe they work in display advertising but moonlight as illustrators. But these publications are a good place to start looking for your quarry.

Freelancers in your midst

The nice thing about being a freelance illustrator is that you can work anywhere. So chances are, there are professional illustrators, cartoonists, designers, and other visual artists all around you. Put out ads, flyers, and feelers for these people. You will find them.

Freelancers far-flung

It’s important to note that in some cases, your illustrators don’t need to be anywhere near you. If you’re publishing a collection of student essays on migration, your cover could be created by an artist anywhere in the world. Aim high. You might love the work of an artist in Zambia, and if you reach out, you never know: they might say yes.