Illustration is a bit like being a show girl. If you want to get work you need to show as much as possible to as many people as possible, Directories (also called Sourcebooks) are phone books of artists, things Art Directors leaf through though trying to find just the right look for whatever project they’re working on. The big books like ‘Directory of Illustration’ ( and “Black Book” ( will burn a $2540 to $4315 hole in your wallet. Most print directories include an online portfoilo and pages for you to mail around willy-nilly.

Many directories are moving online, with and RSVP leading the way. Online-only directories will save you moneywith about $650 for a year. Online Directories give you more images, but
don’t (yet) have the clout of the big books. However, alot of print Directories have online-only rates as well.

Buying a page is no guarantee of work, but part of the expensive dance of self promotion that is crucial to landing jobs.A better bet is to get in on Juried contests (which only have an entry fee), such at the Society of Illustrator’s “Illustrators Annual”. You can request an entry from the SOI’s website.

Directory Websites

Print: (Children’s books)
(Workbook has a free illustration directory online if you meet their