Man holds mask, showing half his face. This is to illustrate illustrator con artists.

Looking to have your picture book illustrated by a pro? Be careful. There are illustrator con artists out there, eager to take your money and rip you off.

If this is your first book, getting scammed can really sour you on book publishing. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to figure out if your illustrator is a scammer or the real deal. Here’s a two-step process that will protect your wallet and sanity.

Step One: Get a Sample

Before agreeing to work with an illustrator, get samples of the artist’s work. Whether it’s a family friend or someone who lives in another country, get samples. Don’t trust what artists tell you. You need to see their work.

Often, this is the end of the road. You don’t like what you see. In these cases, there’s no reason to move forward. It doesn’t matter who did the art—a pro or an illustrator con artist—because you don’t like it.

When this happens, tell the artist you’re looking for something different and move on. Don’t feel bad. Everyone has different tastes. And this is your book. Every aspect of it, including the illustrations, should meet your vision.

Step Two: Check the Samples to Catch Illustrator Con Artists

Once you find an artist with samples you like, get excited. Then remember to temper your excitement by ensuring you’re not getting ripped off.

To figure out if you’re dealing with an illustrator con artist, check the image in Google Images. You can do this in three quick steps.

  1. Open Google Images.
  2. Drag the sample illustration into Google Images.
  3. Click Find image source.

Once you do that, Google will seek out the image online to find where it comes from. If Google can’t find the image, it’s likely original. Still feel suspicious? Check more than one image.

Of course, this technique isn’t perfect. Another scammer may have pirated the artist’s work. Or Google simply hasn’t found the image you search for. But while not perfect, it’s a quick way to put yourself at ease with an artist.

Let Us Catch the Cons

Nervous about working with illustrators? Argyle Fox Publishing handles the entire publishing process, so you enjoy the process from start to finish. Get started by submitting your manuscript for consideration today.