After much thought, I have decided to abandon the idea of hiring an illustrator for now. I spoke with my lawyer regarding the steps involved and I think it is not worth it. As much as I would love to give my world and characters physical form, what my lawyer describes seems too troublesome. Until I can properly navigate through the necessary steps, I think my books are fine just the way they are. Also, there was one instance in which one of the illustrators I contacted tried to steal one of my books. Until I can come up with a plan to counter this, I do not feel safe at this time. I will keep you updated if I change my mind about this matter.