Storing original illustrations

One of the things that often gets overlooked as an illustrator is what to do with all of the illustrations when they are finished. For the most part, if you are creating images that are one off’s and are not tied to other illustrations, you can simply put them in a flat file for safe keeping. But what happens when you do children’s books and have 20 or more illustrations tied to the same project and a number of these projects lying around? Well, the simplest way is again to store them in a flat file, but then every time you need to get something out of the file, you might have to adjust, move, or take them out. So, what I have found to be a great way to store them is to build a small storage box so that all of the illustrations from each project can be kept together and safe. With that, you will ensure that all of your artwork will be kept safe for years to come. Now you can surely go out and buy acid free boxes and storage units, but looking at the cost of those, I have decided to make them on my own and save a little money.

Tips to remember:

1. You want to make sure that you are using acid free foam core to build the box. Having acid free with help with eliminating discoloration in the artwork.

2. Create the box 1/2″ larger on each side so it is easy to get the artwork back out. The last thing you want is to have to damage the art when getting it back out.

3. Use glassine in between levels of illustrations to ensure maximum protection of art.

4. I also like to put a copy of the book in the box as well. That way if you happen to give out all of your samples, you will at least have the one copy along with the original artwork all together.

5. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT. MAKE SURE YOU STORE IN A DRY AND COOL PLACE. Heat and humidity can damage artwork over a long period, so take care of your art before it is too late.


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