Monday, November 17, 2014

$5 to illustrate your book? Yes, please! (a fiverr artist speaks up)


My post How to get your children’s book illustrated for $5 on fiverr inspired a veritable poo poo storm of hostility, not just from non-fiverr illustrators, but from many others in the children’s book world. 

That made me sad enough that I wrote a follow up post , Why hiring a fiverr artist for your kids’ book WON’T destroy the universe which inspired a poo poo storm of its own.

So when fiverr artist Eka Saputra, from Indonesia, stopped by to share his views in the Comments section, I felt he deserved a post of his own to hopefully bring some sanity to this stinky storm.

Here’s what Eka has to say:

After reading this post and the previous one, as one of freelance illustrator in fiverr, I can't stand not to post a comment to show you my perspective.

Before selling my service on that $5 marketplace, I was a full-time book cover designer, illustrator, and lay-outer in a national level publishing company, right here in a 3rd world country (before that, I studied in one of the most respected art institute here).

You know how much they paid us for 48 hours work per week? $35.00!

That means us - me and hundreds other - professional art workers must survive with 5 bucks per day, while doing exactly same work (probably more) with illustrators from wealthy countries.

Another example from publishing service in my area: for a full color illustration + adding texts, logos, etc for book cover + layout of 100 more pages, we only get paid $30. And we have to spend about one week or more from building concept until client said no more revision.

By selling my skill on fiverr, I can deliver 3-5 illustrations per day (equal to $12 - $20).

Do you see how much it differs from real situations above?

Some of you said we don't have skill or professional experience. Some of you said we don't have enough capacity to understand "a mutually beneficial project".

That's alright. We're getting used to be underestimated because of our wage. And we will always work hard to prove that those statements are wrong.

Hereby, I want to say thank you for Mrs. MacLeod for inviting other authors to use our services. You people give us opportunity to risen up our life quality.
Just remember to stay careful while picking illustrators in fiverr, since there are some fake artists indeed.

Convinced yet?  If you want to support Eka and other artists like him, please check out his fiverr illustration gigs.

By the way, all the cute chapter-head doodles in my new chapter book, No Santa! were done by a fiverr artist who did a really great job.  And once again, the universe didn’t come to a screeching halt.  Those illustrations were extremely basic.  Here are two:

Illustration from No Santa, by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod Illustration from No Santa, by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod

If I had any illustrating talent whatsoever, I would have just drawn them myself.  But alas, I don’t.  So I was really, really glad that there was someone out there who, for $5, would take the under ten minutes to draw each of the dozen or so pictures I wanted herself.  It seemed like a fair trade to me.

By the way, I added the kippahs and the school logo to the shirts.  I’m pretty handy with a paint program, I just literally cannot draw a thing.  For those who draw, go right ahead.  For all the rest of us… thank goodness there’s still fiverr.


  1. Very interesting comment, particularly this part, "We're getting used to be underestimated because of our wage. And we will always work hard to prove that those statements are wrong."

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. @Cheril, I have to admit that I was impressed. I don't believe that it ALL comes down to hard work, always, because there are lots of hard working people who still don't succeed... but I do believe there is something to be said for putting in your best effort and helping yourself improve your own reputation. Thanks for stopping by!


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