Thursday, July 19, 2018

Help yourself: Focus on the artist ~ Zachary Viola

The first piece Zachary Viola every did for me
From: Tale of the Wizard's Eye
It's been a long week of formatting text, convention appearance, day job, playing with the kids, and catching up with my fan fiction.

As you may have noticed, I try to make this blog useful for anyone who is thinking about designing their own game, writing their own books, publishing and / or crowdfunding.  One of the key things I've written about over the course of this blog's history, is the relationship with artists you may hire to produce content for your publications/games.  It's no secret that I have a lot of respect for people who are able to create visual art.  I don't possess the skill to do so and that means I have a real need for talented professionals to produce that content for me.

Today I want to focus on one particular artist,though I plan to do a posts on the other artists I've worked with in the future.  So today I want to speak about Zachary Viola (the link takes you the artist biography page I set up for him).

Zack's first contribution was to my first adventure release.  Zack came through in a clinch when I made a drastic to the encounter in a key part of the book.  He was able to put together the piece above ahead of deadline, all while going through the final preparations for his graduation from the Kubert School.  The next time we worked together was to partner up on The Steel Road!

Working with Zack on The Steel Road was a real treat.  He was great about asking questions and providing feedback on stylistic choices, had a really strong insight for the visual style of the book, and was always consistent and professional.  Would I work with with Zack again????  You bet!

Now, how is this useful to you?

As I've written before, treating your artists with respect, being professional, and paying fairly are essential.  My recommendation, find artists whose work you enjoy and build a working relationship that benefits both of you.  After all, you don't want to be in a position where you are forced to seek out new artistic talent because people who have worked for you in the past aren't wanting to work with you again!   Cultivate the talent of those whom you work with.  Elevate their opportunities and you'll see your own grow as well.

Whether you are a new writer / designer looking for art, an established publisher looking for new talent, or a comic and RPG fan who wants to see who the new talents are that are bursting out onto the scene; keep your eyes on Zack Viola.  He's not done, by a long shot!

Promotional image from: The Steel Road

Thank you for joining me on my adventure into game design, writing and self-publishing. I hope you'll find useful information in these entries that may, in some small way, help you find joy and success in your own endeavors.

As always, your comments are most welcome.

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