Advice on Hiring an Artist


So, you’ve labored and given birth to a written piece of your soul. Or perhaps, you’ve slapped together something in the last few hours before a major deadline. Either way, this advice is very similar.

If your finished product is going to include a bit of eye candy to help fill out that fabulous story, then you’ll be looking for an artist. Finding one can be a daunting task and that doesn’t include how much more difficult it is to find a “good” artist. You’ve got a choice… hire a stranger or hire someone you know. They both have their pitfalls.

For my projects, I’ve chosen to work with folks who are close to me; geographically as well as personally. If you’re going this same route and plan to beg work from family or friends, be aware that above all else, keeping things professional will turn your endeavor from potentially relationship breaking, to fun and hopefully successful. Even when dealing with someone who you’ve known for years, a small bit of criticism given the wrong way can really sour things.

When it comes to hiring on with someone you don’t know, it’s a good idea to seek out advice. I’m currently writing for a game development company and they are constantly working with artists of all levels and from varied sources. Ed Jowett, the creator, recently posted his thoughts on the topic of looking for and working with artists. He’s got plenty to say so I’ll just repeat a few of the tips I found on his page and let you go to Shades of Vengeance for the rest.

Personally, I’ve found it a lot safer and that I get better results with someone who does pencils, inks and colours – the whole job.

There are plenty of online sites where you can find artists willing to work with you so be vigilant and check through as many as it takes to find what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to talk up folks in forums, Google communities, art galleries, and hey, why not even your local hobby supply store!

– most people who claim to be able to do any style are not being totally straight with you.

I’d recommend starting with:

Someone who’s out of your league today might be the very person you want next year.

Your choice of art and the artist who will work with you is a serious one. Have some fun with it but remember it’s going to take both time and an open mind to find that perfect image; the one that sticks like peanut butter to the roof of your reader’s mind.



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