After doing my initial research on where to find an illustrator, I decided to give Fiverr a shot. I searched book illustrators on the Fiverr website and found several that interested me.
With any route you decide, I recommend doing test images with the illustrator prospect prior to a full commitment to confirm you are getting what you want. In my case, I wanted to be sure the illustrator could really capture what I wanted with the horse and the girl.
I paid for some initial images from a few different artists to see if any could come up with something that would work for what I wanted.
After reviewing the illustrations, I asked my family for their input. We all agreed, J-San had the best presentation of the characters of Duchess and the Cowgirl. As it happens, J-San is an art student in Peru.
Working on Fiverr was also helpful in that it allowed me to work a few illustrations at a time which was incredibly helpful on my pocketbook. Fiverr services begin at $5 and go up depending on what type of service you request. In my case, the more detail in an image, the more it costs. I was able to figure out how many illustrations I needed and how much to budget for the entire project.
All of our communication on my initial book was through Fiverr. For each illustration, I used my storyboard and character maps to describe each image for J-San. He would send me a pencil sketch, similar to the one I show above. I would provide feedback, changes, etc. If they were major changes, he would provide another sketch. If minor, he would make the adjustment and color the image. He would send me the final image for approval. Upon approval, he would send me the final copy.
Since the first book, J-San and I now work directly on projects outside of Fiverr. He has illustrated all four of my current published books and my fifth to be published book. Although working with him through Fiverr was fine, working outside of Fiverr is much easier.
Whatever route you choose, I hope I have given you have some insight into working with illustrators.