Artist Painting by Jonathan Borba

5 Tips to the Find Right Artist for your Comic!

Finding the right artist for your comic project is only half the battle, but a crucial element to get your project off the ground. Today, I wanted to focus on the process of how to find your artist and offer my 5 tips to make it work for you. 

1. Cast a Wide Net! 

Don't be afraid to search high and low for the right artist. Searches for us could take weeks, even months, before we strike gold and find someone who truly understands our vision. 

Don't judge platforms, but embrace every avenue as a chance for opportunity. Behance, Deviant Art, Fiverr, Facebook, Reddit - the list is endless! 

2. Be succinct and offer incentives.

When messaging potential artists, it's always nice to start with asking if they're available/interested. The last thing you want to do is go in expecting they're happy to jump on your bandwagon. 

If you're posting something, be precise. Mention your goals and offerings (page count, price per page, etc.). First contact might be too soon to present more than an elevator pitch of the project, but providing an image to give them an idea of the work you envision might be a nice touch. 

3. Trial, Trial, Trial. 

Once you get people emailing in, it's time to go through their portfolios. Here, we look for artistic skill, as well as similarity in vision. Remember, a great artist may not have the style you're looking for. This is where the trials come in.

From the potential artist pool, we usually pick 5 suitable candidates and email them back. We provide the first 10 pages of our comic and a design document that lays out our vision stylistically. 

We provide the candidates with 50 dollars and ask them to provide some examples of what they imagine the project to be. This proof-of-concept approach ensures that we find someone capable of executing the vision. 

Skies of Fire Concept Work
Initial trial artwork by a potential artist for Skies of Fire

4. Gauge Interactions.

During the entire process, keep track of how your relationship with the artist grows. Do they seem excited for the project? Are they responding to emails quickly? Do they seem indifferent to suggested adjustments? 

All these will give you a glimpse of the potential relationship ahead. Being able to work effectively together will ensure success on your project. Be sure that the artist you work with will be a partner and not an employee looking for a paycheck. This also results in artwork that will be above and beyond your expectations. 

File:Project management triangle - fast cheap good.pdf - Wikimedia Commons

5. Understand the Triangle. 

The infamous Management Triangle. Everyone knows it! And it creates some interesting results when applied to projects. My personal opinion is to go for Slow. It's cost-effective and you get a good result. If you have an awesome relationship, this can be fruitful. 

Try to stay away from the Bad section of the triangle. This does not help anyone. If you can afford it, Expensive may be an option for you! 

That's it for me! I hope these tips will help you get on the road of your next collaboration! 

- Vince

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