Tuesday, January 9, 2018
How to find artists, and biographies of artists I've found to be reliable.
I've been writing, and working to publish material for a little under one year (as of this writing).
I have had to research many things. I've had to learn about promotion, software, social media, and marketing (I admit, I still have much to learn).
One thing I haven't had trouble with is finding talented, professional artists. Let me be clear on that and state that I have had a wonderful experience with those artists who have agreed to work with me. You can read previous entries on this blog to see more about my views on how to treat artists.
I don't get a lot of comments on my blog. I get a good deal of messages about my blog though. I get them through my social media channels and by email. I suppose people don't feel comfortable asking "Hey, can you tell me where you found an artist that can XYZ?" But it's really no big deal to find talented people with a good work ethic and to retain them. It really comes down to two points: be a decent human being (as a client) to your freelancers and pay them fairly.
So, how do you find talented professionals?
Once you find art that speaks to you for your needs, identify the artist. I would recommend checking to make certain that work is in fact, originally done by that artist and not an instance of someone violating copyright. Find the artist, identify that person's contact points (online galleries usually have a contact point built onto them) and reach out to them for their rates.
Once that artist replies, review those rates and make certain that the artist is within your budget. If not, then tell that artist that you will keep their information handy, but that you can't afford them just yet but you would like to work with them in the future when finances allow. Don't lie, don't try to gloss over things, just be honest. If you can afford the artist, then hire them and you're off to the races. It's really pretty simple.
But what if you can't find an artist, or you're concerned about their capabilities or reliability? Well, you can always ask around to other writers and publishers. It has been my experience that such communication is an excellent way to find remarkable talent. Be professional in all such communications. Don't try to casually poach someone's talent. Just be upfront and honest in your inquiry. Not all writers and publishers will agree to share such information, but most of the folks I speak to have no problem in helping their freelance artists find more work.
It is important to note, that it is in your best interests if the artists you work with have steady work. After all, you want "your" artists to be able to focus on being artists. Its a bit more difficult to get your commissions done when an artist has to juggle their art production around a day job. If you can, help promote them. If you can, help people find them for commissions. Eventually "your" artists can focus on doing art as their main career. This directly benefits you and if you don't understand how, message me and we'll discuss it. (Seriously, no shame in that, message me and we'll go over it).
Another option: Look into artists who are studying at accredited art institutes/colleges.
Most of the artists I have utilized to date have studied and graduated from the Kubert School. I can find no fault with these individuals. That is not to say they are perfect human beings, but they are damn fine artists, and serious professionals, one and all (again, in my experience).
Look into local art schools, check out their resources for student employment opportunities and for alumni listings. The Kubert School is also very active on social media, so you can find out information about that institution very readily. Use these resources for what they are intended for: to enhance the employment opportunity of these students and graduates. This makes for a vast pool of potential candidates for you to pull art from. As above, be professional, be honest, and pay fairly. If you don't, people won't want to work for you. You have been advised.
Some of you will want more immediate access to talent. To that end, I am once again going to point out that I maintain a list of biography pages for those artists whom I work with. I'll post that data below but I have this to say: These are professionals, they do NOT work for "exposure", they are reliable, and worth their rates. Please do not waste their time with low ball offers and b.s. .
Links in the names will take you to the artist biography page I've built. Links on those pages will take you to their individual online resources. I have added comments for those artists who have already produced art for me. A couple of artists on this list are in the middle of commission work for me and have proven their capability enough for me to be comfortable with publishing their biography pages.
Rebecca Elisbet Coulthart
Fraggle (She's special)
Brian Lee (The Full Bleed Artist)
Alexia Veldhuisen (samurai genius)
So that is my list. If you need quality art, these are amazing professionals.
I hope you will take from this entry what is intended. Treat your artists well and it will benefit you in the long run.
Thanks again for joining me on my adventure into writing and self-publishing.
I hope to see you next time.
As always, your comments and questions are welcome (really, I mean that).