Artists Wanted

May 11 2010

Ayukawa Madoka by "helloaby" on DevantArt

"Ayukawa Madoka" by helloaby on DeviantArt

What’s the best way to manage an artist?

I have a few top-secret projects going on right now, and they need artists. And by that I mean people who draw people and creatures.

Here’s my process for finding and working with an artist:

  1. Browse art sites. I use DeviantArt mostly, because it’s so big and includes such a wide array of artists.
  2. Send a basic proposal. There’s a delicate balancing act here. I strive to intrigue the artist, while avoiding so much detail that I overwhelm him or her. I do describe my specific art needs, in terms of how many pieces I need, whether they’ll be full-color or black-and-white, etc.
  3. Pay immediately upon receipt. Unfortunately, art is rarely completed in small, discrete pieces, so I can’t just shoot out payments every week. But when I do reach a payment milestone, I pay immediately. As in, I go straight to PayPal.
  4. Check back in weekly. We all get busy. I’ve created a reminder that comes up every Friday, reminding me to email or otherwise contact anyone I haven’t heard from in a week.

Managing my network of artists is a bigger challenge. I’ve been moving a lot of my contact management to LinkedIn, which many artists avoid (presumably because it’s “too business”).

Do you all have any advice?

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