How To Find Artists!
In a previous blog, I talked about the two most frequently asked questions I get. Another one that comes up is “How do you find artists?” Now, this one is a bit harder to answer, as there’s a few aspects to this, both from the creator and artist’s point of view. Obviously, a lot of this will be from my perspective, but as much as possible I want to acknowledge issues that artists have, something I have come to understand more over the years. So, continue reading this blog to find out, how to find artists!
Have a budget in place
Firstly, the one thing I have learnt is ideally you should have a budget in place, and some kind of agreement with the artist. A deadline is also important, because it’s easy to lose track when there isn’t a time limit on the work you are doing. This will make it easier when it comes to contacting artists.
There are any number of websites and methods of finding artists online. Deviantart is an excellent example, with lots of specific groups to help you find the kind of artists you want. It’s also not too hard to find artists through Instagram or Twitter.
For me personally, I met some of our artists through a website called Penciljack and a forum called Arwz (the Alternative Reality Writer’s Zone).
This is an area where both artists and creators have responsibility. If you are looking for a specific commission (eg a piece of fan art) look for artists with a particular style that you like. Next, look to see if they have a commission page or a picture with their details (they will specify what kind of work they do, payment method etc). It’s also important to note that artists may have specific timeframes for when they accept commissions, so be sure to check that too.
This will then make it easier when contacting the artist so that you don’t ask them something they’ve already mentioned. If you aren’t sure, then be sure to ask them. You can then discuss what you want, deadline etc. When commissioning someone, remember to give them time to do the work, especially if they have a number of commissions on. Follow up if you don’t hear from them, but be polite.
With artists, you need to be clear on this too. Your commission page should be clear in terms of prices, whether or not commissions are open and what you will/won’t do. Communication is crucial- if for any reason there is a delay or a problem, let people know. Ideally you should contact them directly, as you shouldn’t assume that a person will always read your blog and definitely answer them if they contact you.
Long term projects
With longer term projects, I must admit this has been a lot of trial and error for me. My main bit of advice is to keep it simple- it’s better to involve one or two people rather than trying to co-ordinate four or more, especially over different countries and timezones.
The pay structure should be fair as well- Patreon has helped with this as it means I have been able to give a regular budget to artists working on the comic, while sales and other income can be used on expenses, promotion etc. It is important to be as fair as possible- “exposure” is not enough. If someone needs a reference for a job, you give it to them. You make videos promoting their work, say thank you on social media etc. Show don’t tell, like all the good writing books tell you.
Writing for artists is also an important balance. Giving enough detail so they know what you want, but don’t over-dictate, the artist needs some freedom too!
You can help
The more support we get, the more we will be able to support artists. Both in terms of working on the comic, as well as promotional material and commissions. We are very grateful to everyone who supports us, as you can see from our special thanks video playlist.
We still have two slots available for a cameo in Issue 2 (£100 via Paypal), sponsorship for £25 a month (more info here), as well as special rewards from Patreon and Ko-Fi from just $1 a month. For more information email us firstname.lastname@example.org