So you need an artist for your RPG or board game?. There are a few things that you are going to need to know before you start talking to artists about how much they charge. I often get
"How much does custom art cost? "
As an artist, I need more information than that. It's like asking how much does a car cost? You ask that question to 100 people you will get 100 different answers. but if you narrow it down a bit it will help you get a better price. Here is a list of questions you need to ask yourself before you start to commission your art.
- Who will have the rights to the images after the work is done?
- What is my timeline? When do I need to have it done?
- What style of painting or drawing do I need?
- Is the art to be done on canvas or only digital?
- Can this artist do the style of painting I need?
- What format of image do I need?
- How large does the image need to be?
- Do I get to make revisions?
- Will there be an artist contact?
- Do I need to make a deposit for the artwork?
- Does the artist have samples of the work I need?
- Does the artist have the rights to use the images they are selling me (Avoiding copyright issues with Fan art)
Having an idea of this sort of thing will help out a lot.
The list of Don'ts
- Ask the artist to work for Exposure. Real art takes money. Exposure will get you stick figures. it's also insulting
- Expect the word done overnight. Some artists can take weeks if not months to do a painting. Many times the longer the better
- Expect a ton of revisions. like building a house you can't add a basement after they start working on the third floor
- Remove the credits of the artist work after it is done.
- Ask the artist to do paintings of copyrighted material. No, I'm not going to do art of Superman for you unless you are DC Comics.
Care and feeding of the artist
Here is a list of things that you can do to make sure that the artist is happy. A Happy artist makes for better artwork.
- Tell the artist upfront that you need the artwork in ______ Weeks.
- Have a list of images of styles that you like. This will help convey your ideas. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words
- Be clear what your expectations are ad how much you are willing to pay
- Understand that some art starts off DOG UGLY and gets better as the piece progresses. (check out speed painting videos.. they all start ugly)
- Pay the artist.
- Give credit to the artist for the work even a post on your blog about the art will help the artist. (and help with Search Engine Ranking for you as well)
- Say Thank you.
- Treat them like they are a professional
- Ask for a contract. Make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Truth be told most artists are not difficult to work with. I myself am very professional and often surprise my clients because I'm early to meetings. With the understanding that art is a business to people like me.