Liz DiFiore

Liz DiFiore – Designer

I'm a freelance illustrator in children's book and game publishing. I love working on empathetic and dynamic stories and characters.

Overview

Do you need some magical realism to translate tough times? I’m a freelance illustrator specializing in children’s picture book illustration, though I also do middle-grade illustration, video and board games, and other commissions. My favorite stories to work on are personally and emotionally impacting, displaying kids and/or adults dealing with big emotions (like anxiety or empathy) and interpersonal relationships (like kids and their parents, family members, or friends).

When I’m not life drawing in some local coffee shop I love looking for new places to adventure with friends. I’m still new to New England (originally hailing from Western New York) and have enjoyed getting to know the area. I'm an avid gamer of both video and tabletop varieties, enjoy most things considered "nerdy," and generally think the world would be a better place with more unicorns in it.

I'm big on communication and keeping everyone on the same page. I run my projects with regular check-ins with the client. I ask a lot of questions to get people from "I'm not sure what I want" to "that's my favorite thing!"

Here are some of the first questions I ask every potential client:

1. Have you decided you want to self-publish?
This is important because traditional publishing houses will not look at a manuscript with an illustrator already attached. If you're not set on self-publishing, then you may not need me!

2. Have you had your book professionally edited yet?
The illustration is easily the most expensive part of self-publishing, so it's important that the words are as publish-ready as can be before the art starts. Changes to the story or text can cause costly art changes, so I want to make sure my clients are prepared upfront - save your money!

3. What's your timeline for the project?
Picture books typically take between 6-8 months to complete, from the illustration side. If you want it ready by Christmas, then you need to be deciding on an illustrator in April at the latest.

4. Finally, what's your budget?
Do a little research on what you are willing to spend on your self-published book before approaching contractors! We don't ask this question to try to squeeze money out of you; we want to know where your comfort zone is. Contractors are almost always willing to work within your financial comfort zone. While project costs can vary widely, industry standards for the Graphic Artists Guild's Pricing and Ethical Guidelines Handbook quotes prices between $5k - $10k for the illustrations alone (especially if it's a fully illustrated picture book). Remember, it's not just the art you're paying for. It's the market experience, the project management, the license to use the art, etc. And, of course, feel free to contact me with any clarifying questions.

I hope this helps you on your self-publishing journey! I look forward to working with you :)
Services
Fiction
Gaming & LitRPG Middle Grade Picture Books Poetry
Certifications
  • Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
  • President of the Graphic Artists Guild

Work experience

BurnPhase

Jan, 2019 — Feb, 2020 (about 1 year)

I am producing art for this company's first video game - to be released for alpha testing soon! The company wanted the game's tutorial level to be polished to simulate what gameplay will be like if the rest of the game can be funded. The game, tentatively titled "Reflections," is a puzzle-platformer RPG.

I'm very excited for this to be released for general play!

Graphic Artists Guild

Aug, 2018 — Aug, 2021 (about 3 years)

The Guild supports creative professionals on the business level. Possibly the most important skills a professional artist can attain are not taught in art school at all. Copyright, contract language, pricing, and ethical guidelines... all important knowledge the Guild provides to help the art community grow and thrive sustainably.

My volunteer role is to increase engagement with our local membership with in-person events and active Guild participation in local mainstays like the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo and The Massachusetts Institute for the Arts. I also participate on the Advocacy Committee with the national Guild board, advocating on behalf of small artist rights in D.C. and our local congressional regions.

Self-employed

Jul, 2018 — Present

Within my first year as a full-time freelancer, I've gotten to work with some wonderful people on a variety of projects. Family and pet portraits for people to give as gifts to someone special, wedding invitations, branded illustrations for online companies (corporate and sole proprietors), and chalkboard menu illustrations for culinary businesses in my local area, to name a few.

Larger projects have included production art for a start-up video game company and an on-going webcomic project.

In the past, I worked as a freelancer part-time and I have provided illustration and collateral designs for not-for-profit charities such as the It Happened To Alexa Foundation, the Graphic Artists Guild, the Architectural Woodwork Institute, and The Red Cross of the Greater Rochester Area.

Liz has 1 review

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Lily A.

Lily A.

Jul, 2021

Liz is that illustrator you want to work with whether it's your 25th or 1st book. Her professionalism is outstanding. Right from pagination to the final cover page, you can be sure to get the very best. Here is an illustrator who will bring your characters to realty better than you evince. And you get a plus, she is a good designer at that. Good illustrator and designer she is.

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