Last time I talked about what to do when you get an artist, this was a misstep. I should have started with how to get an artist. And speaking of missteps…
Don’t get your sequential artist off Deviantart!
(Ignore above statement if you’re writing a creepy anthro man-beast comic)
I have no problem with deviantart whatsoever. In fact, I kind of love it. I have gotten a shit-ton of commissioned promo art from there and it is all incredible work. However, we’re talking about sequential artist here, and there are way better places to get them. So here’s the best way I’ve found to go about this.
1. Get a new email account. It doesn’t have to be snappy; you’re only going to use it once.
2. Go on digital webbing forums http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums/
3. Under Creator Community go to Help Wanted/Paid jobs.
4. Check out the page views on the right. You want to find out what gives certain posts more views than others and try to make your post resemble theirs.
5. For a giggle go to the Help Wanted/Collaboration section and check out the diminished page views. Collaboration = “I’m not paying you shit!”
6. Post what your book is about, not too much detail, just a simple solid pitch. Put your new email and the fact that there is payment involved. (Don’t put how much, save that uncomfortable conversation for later.)
7. Sit back and enjoy looking through people’s portfolios. I recommend doing this right before you have a couple days off. When I did this I was averaging about one per hour for about three days. When it starts to slow down repost which will move it back up to the top.
8. Learn Spanish/Portuguese or get a patient girlfriend that speaks Spanish. I’m not kidding; you are going to get a lot of artists that don’t speak English. I have commissioned many artists that don’t speak English very well for promo art and while I love the final product it is never what I asked for.
9. Go through all submissions carefully; look only at the sequential art that’s what you’re buying. Don’t just jump on the first one you like, shoot them an email saying you’re interested but still looking, you may find another one 2 days later. I’ve had to tell an artist, “never mind I found someone else” before. It sucked, very unprofessional.
10. Send the script and see if he/she still wants to do it. Give them a polite out; you don’t want someone you’re collaborating with hating, or not understanding your script.
11. If the artist is still psyched ask for a sample, have them draw up some characters and see how long it takes them to get it back to you. Ask them how long it takes them to do a page. Finally discuss price. If they ask for something out of your price range see if they can meet you half way, if they’ve gone this far, clearly they are interested.
12. Lastly, build a rapport; when you two start collaborating you’re going to butt heads, it’s natural. Also there is a chance you guys may go to cons together and that is a long time to hang out with someone you hate.
With any luck you should have your artist by the weeks end.