How to Get Custom Illustrations for Your Project

How to Get Custom Illustrations For Your Project

Custom illustrations are the ultimate in the graphics market. Illustrations, in general, give you lots of pluses in your marketing and branding. They can portray a concept, vision, ethos, and sense of identity in a stylish, attention-grabbing, memorable way. They can be used in a variety of ways, in all sorts of situations, in print on digitally, and not only do customers and clients love them but so do search engines.

There are different ways of getting illustrations, including doing one yourself, but illustrations are memorable, which can be a good or bad thing. If you make a hash of your attempt, the results will be poor. Alternatively, you can look at professional illustrations, one way is to search online for stock illustrations. These are ready-made illustrations that you choose and can sometimes edit to fit with your brand or situation. We’ve got articles on how to find these stock illustrations, in both free and paid-for forms. The problem with stock illustrations is that they are exactly that, stock. Sitting waiting for buyers from all over the world. Anybody can buy them and use them.

If you want something guaranteed as unique to you, and something that you can have input into the creation of without actually doing the design then the way to go is to choose the route of custom illustrations. If you are not sure which is the right illustration style for you, check out our article Character Illustration Examples and Ideas.

Article overview:
1. Hire an Illustration Studio
2. Hire a Freelancer
3. Use Illustration Makers

1. Hire an Illustration Studio

One way is to hire an Illustration studio and outsource your custom illustrations to them. There are some huge advantages of this method, firstly when you are dealing with a reputable design studio, you can check out their previous work, and portfolios, and read testimonials. The only way illustration studios are going to keep afloat is to do a good job and build their reputation. Once you are linked up with a studio, you’ll be dealing with a project manager who can take you through the process, help you with concepts and ideas, and give you advice. Studios also have professional designers, often with different specialties and styles so there is a variety of experience and knowledge. Some of the design studios and agencies you can outsource to:

1.1. GraphicMama Custom Work

 GraphicMama Custom Illustrations

GraphicMama is a well-thought design studio that focuses its attention on cartoon-style characters designed in a vector format but has the capacity and talent to do different techniques, including book covers, avatars, game and app illustration, and much more.  They have sets of readymade characters that they can customize by adding branding or other elements including making the character a caricature of whoever you want, from as little as $64. Custom character designs or custom illustrations are based on your ideas and will get a specific quote. they work quickly too, with an average of 10 business days to complete a project from concept to completion. They produce in any type of format requested and have a risk-free 100% money-back guarantee if you aren’t happy with the result.


1.2. DKNG studios

DKNGstudios Custom graphics

Los Angeles-based design studio, DKNG offers full design and creative services. Their site shows lots of examples and portfolio work in various areas but especially in creative arts, music, film, and entertainment industries.  To hire DKNG to create a custom design or illustration for you, you’ll need to contact them directly for service cost and availability.


1.3. Handsome Frank

HandsomeFrank illustration studio
Handsome Frank is an illustration agency claiming rather immodestly to represent some of the finest contemporary artists on the planet. In fact, they have 37 illustrators, from over 5 continents. the quality is high and there is a nice variety of styles and techniques on show. The website shows each artist’s work and if you’d like to commission one for your custom illustrations or project, then get in touch via the contact form on the site.

1.4. Illozoo

Illozoo design studio

Illozoo is a contemporary illustration agency representing illustrators from around the world. There are a great number of talented and award-winning designers and illustrators featured in illozoo, each offering signature styles, techniques, and creative visual solutions to clients in the advertising, design, publishing, corporate, fashion and gaming industry. you can contact them for further details about which artist would suit your needs and prices.


1.5. Truly Design

Truly-design studio

Truly-design was founded by urban artists from the graffiti scene in Italy. Therefore the work is very stylized and whilst it may not be for everybody, there is a definite market for these styles today. Modern, dynamic, and colorful, check out their portfolio to see some really interesting work. For custom designs and custom illustrations fill in the contact form on the site.


1.6. Kennyk

kennyk design studio

Kenny Kiernan Illustration Studio is currently located in the USA, where Keeny is well known for his stunning design work, especially in toys and game design. He offers a range of mass-market styles from vector illustration to animation-style characters in the Pixar/Nickelodeon style. His list of previous clients is impressive too. as are the testimonials. He can be contacted through email, available on the site.


1.7. Foxcub Studio

Foxcubstudio illustrations
Elly Jahnz, a UK-based freelance illustrator, is fox cub studio. A specialist in working with brands and agencies to produce strong, colorful illustrations for projects such as children’s books and logo branding. She is prepared to work alone or as part of a team and can be contacted through email on the site.

1.8. Synergy Art

synergy art studio

An illustration agency representing a select list of 30 renowned illustrators, with its HQ in London.  You can check out the illustrators here and even select by subject. The work artists are hand-picked and the work covers all kinds of techniques and styles from hand-drawn to digital and conceptual. High-quality work with lots of variety. If your fancy custom illustrations then this could well be a site worth having a look at.


1.9. Folio Art

Folio art studio

Folio art studio has been working for nearly 50 years so it’s really stood the test of time. and they’ve worked with some of the top illustrators over that period. A wide range of styles from established and new illustrators and the site is a fine showcase of great talent. You can so filter the work through subject, format, and medium to find something that fits your brief.


1.10. A Goodson

Agoodson studio

Anna Goodson’s illustration agency prides itself on being owned and operated by women. A showcase of diverse artists and styles perfect for getting your custom illustrations. Find an artist that you admire, check the portfolio, and then contact him via the “hire me” call to action button.



2. Hire a Freelancer

If you’re not looking at studios and agencies, then hiring a single freelancer could be a way to go. In the world of art, freelancers are more than plentiful and not difficult to find. Many illustrators, advertise on sites, post portfolios and are actively looking for commissions. When working with a freelancer, you are relying on that one person to deliver your vision, so it is vital that find someone whose style and ideas fit with yours. Whilst working with freelancers carries its own risks, it is often a cheaper alternative, especially for a one-off piece. Some of the places where you can find freelance illustrators:


2.1. Fiverr

Fiverr find illustrators

Fivver provides a platform for freelancers to offer services to customers all over the world. It is not a specific art and design site, covering 400 categories of online digital services but it is a hub for creatives. Illustrators offer service (gigs) for a certain amount, you can filter your choices (type/style) and come up with lots of examples of work with starting price offers. when you find an illustrator who takes your fancy, you click on it to find more information (packages offered, history, prices, etc), and if you like what you see you can contact the artist through the contact me button. As a buyer, you don’t pay anything for the service.


2.2. Dribbble

Dribbble custom illustrations

Dribbble is a self-promotion and social networking platform for digital designers and creatives. An all-in-one site to showcase an illustrator’s portfolio, advertise for jobs, and a recruitment site. It is one of the biggest freelancer sites around. From the Dribbble landing page, select illustration and then start filtering and browsing, there are lots to see. Alternatively, you can search for designers, or post custom illustration jobs and wait for interest. Dribbble is a good way of finding freelancers you might be interested in working with.


2.3. Upwork

Upwork Find illustrator freelancer

Another popular site for freelancers looking for work is Upwork and they have freelancers for custom illustrations too. If you’re looking for an illustrator you post your job, listing the specific skills, and Upwork will find matches for you and send you a shortlist of custom illustration artists who they think are tailor-made for your project. You can browse their profiles, and online chat, and review their offers. Plus you can work on the project through the Upwork platform, sending files, feedback, and payment options.


2.4. 99Designs

99 Designs - Illustration freelancers

99 designs is a slightly different concept. One format of 99designs is to create a brief and start a contest for freelancers to bid for the work, by sending you examples. Eventually, after several rounds, you choose the design you want and start working with the artist to finalize the ideas. You pay to start these contests from $299 in fixed price contests. The more you pay, the more concepts you get offered. You could, of course, go for the usual approach of hiring a designer, by filtering, browsing portfolios, and then “Inviting to work”. This invitation gives you the no-commitment chance of entering into a conversation with your chosen designer.



Taste Minty - order custom illustration

Taste Minty is a site that allows you to get custom illustrations from remote workers by matching your wishes and brief to artists using intelligent automation.  You can browse artists for yourself (you’ll need to sign-up in order to contact them manually) or create a “smart brief”using the tools provided, (for $18 per month) as part of the recruiters club plan.



Coroflot custom illustrations from freelancers

Coroflot is a job posting site that connects employers with creative professionals in a variety of fields, including custom illustrations. You can post jobs (single job $295) or do general searches for designers and illustrators who are on the site, filter by a “looking for” button, and a “skills in” button. From here you can select an illustrator or illustrator that looks like your cup of tea and find out more information about them as well as see further work. then there is a simple “hire me” button after you’ve signed up and signed in.


Artwanted - artist illustrations is a large artist community with multiple purposes., one of which is to provide our members with an interactive portfolio gallery where they can display or sell their beautiful artwork. It’s a basic portfolio site but a good one. You can narrow down any search for artists through subject and type, and by clicking on the artist’s name you’ll get the chance to contact them via email. it covers all areas from fine art to more commercial stuff.



3. Use Illustration Makers

Illustration makers are one way of creating your own illustrations without needing the skills of a professional artist. These makers are designed to let you create your vision using templates, ready-made assets, and fixed styles without the need of a professional artist. An interesting option. Some of the illustration makers you can try:

3.1. Icons8 Vector Creator

Icons8 Vector Illustrations Creator

Icons8 vector creator helps you create custom illustrations for free, although more advanced Pro features are paid-for. Its easy-to-use layout means you can very quickly create something by choosing pre-drawn assets such as animals or people and resizing, coloring, and flipping position them to start coming up with an illustration all by yourself. You can add objects, background, and text, as well as choose from select artistic styles. Once you’re ready you can save and export in PNG. SVG format requires payment. you can also upload your own assets and choose to customize the size (including ready-made sizes for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). A good, simple vector creator that, could save you a lot of money.


3.2. Vexels – Professions Illustration Maker

Vexels - Illustration Maker

Vexels Custom Illustrations maker is part of the Vexels Graphics package. Free downloads come with the Vexels watermark unless you upgrade. There are ready-made sizes for social media and email but Vexels differs in using scenes, which you can add to. You can add to these scenes text, objects, etc as well as change the set background but it’s difficult to come up with anything other than a single style.


3.3. GraphicMama Design Makers

GraphicMama Illustrations and Design Makers

GraphicMama’s design makers are packed full of design elements, helping you create your own unique graphics. You buy a bundle on numerous different themes, which is set up with a formidable range of pre-made designs, and then go about customizing them by adding any of the hundreds of graphics assets that come with the pack for as little as $31. the bundles come with files: AI, EPS, PDF, PNG, and free future updates for the ever-expanding packs. the makers are incredibly easy to use and provide a great consistency of style in order for you to be flexible but still keep on brand.


Final Words

Custom Illustrations are a good idea, and there’s something for everybody out there. Budget limitations, are going to be your only limitations but shop around and find the bargains or pay for premium quality. Whether you need a one-off design or are moving in the direction of a series of designs, there are options aplenty. Why not spend  some time browsing through our recommendations to get more of an idea of what’s on offer and of the kind of thing that will bring your website to life or burn your brand in the minds of the viewer  – illustrate your image to the full,

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Lyudmil Enchev

Lyudmil is an avid movie fan which influences his passion for video editing. You will often see him making animations and video tutorials for GraphicMama. Lyudmil is also passionate for photography, video making, and writing scripts.

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