So you’ve got a killer idea for a graphic novel, right? Your mom loves it, the guy at the comic store loves it and your friends all want to read it. You have picked out a few publishers to submit it to, and you think it’s going to be the next big thing. It could very well be, but there’s one crucial component missing… an artist. For some lucky and talented creators, this may not be a problem. Some creators pull double duty as a writer and artist, but unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to the majority of creators. So what do you do?
First, you’ve got to figure out your budget. Most of the time, artists aren’t going to work for free. That is not to say that it NEVER happens, but it’s rare. Artists have to make a living and you want an artist to put that effort into your book. If you’re submitting to publishers, it’s always helpful to see if an artist will do a handful of pages first, for a nominal fee, as part of a submissions package. That way, if NO ONE is interested in your book, you won’t be out a lot of money.
Ultimately, the question being answered here is WHERE to find an artist. There are actually a few ways to go about this sometime extensive and exhaustive search. (This goes for pencilers, inkers and colorists).
First and foremost, there is DigitalWebbing.com. Many of TJ Comics artist were found using this great resources. Digital Webbing provides a forum where you can post “jobs” for artist in either a “paid” or “collaboration” section. There are now specific guidelines to follow for the “paid” section, but you’re definitely bound to get a hell of a lot of submissions to sift through. Some of them are good, some not so good, there’s a lot of room for payment negotiation and sometimes there’s none. (SIDE NOTE: When you do get into payment negotiations, keep in mind what the artist has had published, if anything).
DigitalWebbing.com is a great resource for finding an artist, but it is certainly not the be-all, end-all. Another method is to go to an actual art house and see if there is an artist that suits your needs and price range. Examples of art houses are Space Goat Productions, Comiconart and Glass House Graphics among others. There you can get in touch with a representative that will help move your project along.
Another way to find an artist is to go to deviantArt and search for artists there. Using their internal search bar, you can type in keywords such as “sequential” or “comic” to find artists. Another way to use their search function is to actually search the genre or a similar character. It’s an excellent way to see any artist’s range and abilities.
This also goes for sites like PencilJack, where artists post their work looking for constructive criticism.
Hopefully these tips will help you as you search for an artist and look to submit your project to publishers.