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The Process of Finding an Artist (Creating Comics Part 2)

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Following on from my last post (Learning to Write Comics) it’s now time to look at collaboration if you don't plan on writing and drawing your comic. First off you need to decide how much you can afford per page, if you want the art to be done by one person or you want the services of a letter and colourist as well to make the process faster.  Prices vary widely so check what people are offering on sites like Zwol.org and Connecting Comic Book Writers And Artists Facebook group. Also important to include in the price is any future royalties or acknowlegment especially if you plan on making merchandise- pin badges, t-shirts etc. In order to encompass all this I’d recommend a contract (see a sample one at https://comic-makers-club.deviantart.com/journal/Sample-Comic-Artist-s-Contract-353739594) which should include deadlines, how many drafts needed, how often paid among other things. Now you know what you’re willing to offer it’s time to decide on what you are going to do with regards checking the artist’s suitability. A test page is a common ask but make sure you pick one with several characters on it so that you can see the artist’s interpretation of as many characters as possible. Or you could ask for character designs, a logo, a cover, anything or as many as you want after all you’re going to be paying someone to bring your idea to life you need to be 100% happy.

Now you’ve decided on your test and offer it’s time to find an artist and there’s several sites to do this. You can look around in anthologies and independent comic books for the names of people you would like to be your artist or even try Deviant Art or Facebook group Connecting Comic Book Writers And Artists. But if you want to cast your nets wider and find artists who are looking for work at the moment then try posting the job (premise, pay, what your plans are with comic and a test page or drawing needed) on any or all of the following forums- Zwol, Comic Book Hour, Digital Webbing, Facebook group Connecting Comic Book Writers And Artists (personally I had more responses on the latter and that’s where I found Aan). Please be aware that some sites have a list of requirements when posting jobs so make sure you follow them or your post will be removed. Once the applications start coming in, be sure to reply to each one and if you think only minor changes are needed to one of the artists’ pieces for it to fit your vision ask them. Then depending on how they respond you will get an idea on how easy it will be to work with them. Which is another crux of the matter, communication. If you’re lucky enough to have found the perfect artist but they’re slow in responding to messages or reluctant to make changes then you need to decide if they’re the right fit for you. This is even more a problem if you’ve got a full artist team as it will slow down other parts of the process.  So to cap it off, make sure you’re clear in your requirements for an artist, draw up a contract, search for the artists either by posting a job or through artists you already admire or found online. Then once the applications come in, evaluate which you like and be sure to give feedback or suggestions if you think one of the artists might be what you’re looking through, then depending on their response, make your decision.

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