What are Personalized Illustrations?

Glad you asked! Personalized Illustrations are commissions where you and/or a loved one can be a superhero or favorite character from a movie/tv show/video game etc. You can do a mash up where you are Dr. Who from the 2nd series, and your fiance is Willy Wonka fighting Oompa Loompas and Dalek’s while trapped in a rip in the fabric of time, surrounded by dinosaurs and of course your cats! It can also be in different styles, such as a movie poster, Marvel comic book cover or Disney animated theme. Really it’s whatever you want it to be! Click here to see some examples. If interested email me at kgrachow@jnkimagery.com

Can I get Personalized Illustrations at comic book conventions?

Not quite. A personalized illustration is very labour intensive. I do them at home, so that I can put a lot more time and research into getting the essence of who you are as well as come up with the perfect composition for your illustration. You are a bit more involved with the process as I make sure the composition is the way you want it before I proceed to a finished illustration. At conventions I can do a very quick illustration, or a con sketch, which I spend no more than an hour on. It is drawn as is, with no changes to the finished product. While both illustrations will leave you happy and wanting to put them on your wall, they are very different animals and I approach them differently. 

With a Personalized Illustration will it look exactly like me?

Yes and no. I don’t go for a photorealistic look for your illustration. Instead I try to get the essence of who you are. This is to say, I take your features and try to caricaturize them in such a way that it still feels like you and your loved one.  The likeness may become more apparent in the finished product, when colour and shading are added, so don’t worry too much in the rough stage of the illustration. However you are always welcome to make adjustments early on, if you feel one of your features is too caricaturish. 

Where can I get your books and/or prints? Can I order them online? Are they at book stores?

My books and comic books can be bought at a few comic book shops in the GTA. That being said, if you are looking for a signed copy, it is best to order them from me online or to find me at a local con or comic book shop signing. You can find the dates to where I’ll be this year here.

When you order from me online, there is a shipping charge which will be determined according to your location and how much you are ordering. If you want to purchase a book, comic or print contact me at kgrachow@jnkimagery.com You can find the selection of books and prints at my store or under my portfolio. And of course I will sign them for free!

Do you want to collaborate on a comic book or children’s book? Can I send you my pitch?

I’m going to ask you a few questions first, which may help answer the questions-

Are you an established writer or just beginning your craft?

Is this a work for hire project or a 50/50 collaboration?

Do you have a budget and is it one where you can pay someone a liveable wage?

Now if you have a budget but no experience or very little, then we may be able to start on something. However be aware that you are also hiring me as a consultant and as such you need to trust I know what I’m doing and give me the lee-way to do it. All of these things cost money, so make sure you have a reasonable budget. To give you an idea, it may take me a couple of days to create a single page of art. I am flexible in regards to pay, but it needs to be something that I can live off of. So think of what you would want to make in a full day of work, and then figure out the amount of pages that you want to have created. Add in the time that it takes to put the book together, as well as consulting which may be a couple of extra weeks time. That may give you an idea of how much budget you have to have to get your story created. It can get very expensive!

If you do have the experience and it is work-for-hire, then please contact me. Hopefully it will fit with my schedule, as I am often booked months in advance. I also do work-for-hire pitches, which might be something I can fit in my schedule a bit easier than a full issue of a comic book or children’s book. That being said, I don’t necessarily say yes to all work-for-hire. The story has to be exciting for me to draw, and we have to click to some degree. This is a collaboration that may involve months of us working together.

There are a few other things to consider. I may like you, you may like me, but does your story fit the art. If in the future you have a story in mind for me, please let’s get in touch!

If you are new, have little to no budget and want to find a collaborator to work with 50/50 , the best bet is to go on sites like deviant art or go to a comic book convention. Look for people who may be at a similar level as you experience-wise. Finding people to work with is not easy, but through perseverance and trial and error, you will find a great partner that shares similar ideas and passions as you do. Good luck!

Addendum to this FAQ– when you inquire an artist or a writer about their service, and they decline for whatever reason, please don’t take it personally. Best thing you can do is continue the relationship if possible, as in, thank them for their time and let them know you appreciate that they responded. Keep that relationship open. I may not be available now, but who knows what the future may bring. I’ve always responded to inquires (quite quickly) and if I can’t take part, I always say that I’d still like to keep in touch. I still want to see how you do with your project even if I can’t be part of it. Many times though the writer inquiring, never responds and therefore closes the potential relationship (which takes years to build by the way). It’s all about taking the time to build those relationships!

I want to learn about illustrating, creating a comic book or children’s book or how to find a printer like the ones that you use. Can I email you with questions, contact you on Facebook or talk to you at a convention?

This is a bit of a difficult question to answer. I love helping people and sharing my experiences and education. However, it does take time from my work to answer emails or message with you on Facebook. At conventions I am there to meet fans, and sell my wares, but there are many people that I want to talk to and have a very limited amount of time to do so.

I guess the best answer I can give is that it depends on how much time I have available and how much information you are looking for. I’d love to chat at length but if you can come to me with some prepared questions, and be aware of the length of time I might have then go for it! My recommendation is for you to go through this FAQ page as well as my Process posts on the home page. I’ve also added a links section that is a great resource. 

Don’t see your question answered here? Please go to this link and fill out the contact form!