Josh Cleland Illustration


About Josh Cleland


Since 2009 I’ve been creating high-quality, fun illustrations for clients all over the world including Highlights for Children magazine, Storytime magazine, and Pinterest. My whimsical illustrations can be found in picture books, billboards, iOS apps, album covers, websites, my parents’ fridge, posters, newsletters, animations and more.

Please visit my illustration portfolio, or click on my blog for a more behind-the-scenes look. To get an idea on my creative process view the FAQs below (frequently asked questions). Or, send me an email at


Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in my services? Below are some popular questions I get asked on a regular basis. If your questions are still not answered here feel free to drop me a line. We’ll talk.

How much do you charge?

This is a hard question to answer without knowing the full scope of your project. Typical price factors include: time, complexity, release scope, and usage rights (see below).

Do you charge hourly or by the project?

Whenever possible I like to charge by the project. That way we’re both on the same page, and it avoids invoice shock on the client’s part. However, sometimes I’ll enter into an hourly agreement if the project is open ended and hard to scope.

I’m thinking of hiring you. What is the first step?

It’s simple. The first step is to reach out to me. We’ll set up a time to chat about your project and your needs. After we talk I will formulate a quote based on our discussion.

I have a large project that requires many illustrations. Can you do some sample illustrations for me first before we decide to hire you?

It’s completely understandable to want to make sure the artist you’re hiring is the right fit, especially if lots of time and money is about to be invested. In situations like these we’ll agree on a small “dating” project to test the waters. For instance, we’ll work on one or two character designs and sketches to see if we have the right rapport and artistic sensibilities. These “dating” projects are paid projects, but they’re significantly smaller in size, and much easier to commit. Once the dating project is over we have a much better idea on whether or not we want to work together on the whole shebang.

How long does an illustration take?

This is another hard question to answer without knowing the full scope of the project. Typical illustrations such as the one below takes about 2 weeks from conceptualizing to delivery. This timeframe can change depending on the amount of feedback/revisions, and my workload. Just ask.


What does the process look like from start to finish?

I like to keep things as casual and collaborative as possible. After we agree on a price and timeframe we’ll sign a working agreement formally stating that we’ve entered into a proper working relationship. This working agreement (contract)’s main purpose is to make sure we’re on the same page. It will usually include a brief description of the project and our plan of attack.

Once the boring paperwork is out of the way we begin the fun part–conceptualizing. Typically this includes mutual brainstorming, doodling, sketching, pacing back and forth, and jumping jacks.

After we’ve settled on a strong concept I’ll refine my rough doodles and sketches into something that resembles an actual drawing. During this phase I may or may not show you these sketches. It all depends on our collaborative working style.

Do I own the copyrights to the illustration?

This is one thing we’ll discuss before entering into a working agreement. I’m happy to hand over full copyrights, however, this typically requires a larger cost. If you’re under a strict budget then we can talk about limited rights which may lower costs depending on the illustration.

Some types of projects require full copyright transfers such as logos, mascots, and anything else tied to the core of a brand.

Can I hire you for a children’s book I’m writing?

I’m happy to talk with you about your book, however keep in mind that hiring an illustrator is a significant investment (most likely in the thousands). If you’re looking to submit your book to publishers then I would advise reading up on proper submission guidelines.

Do you license your art?

I have a growing library of art available for licensing. Just ask.