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Artist Issues

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rkalajian
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Alright. Time for me to vent some frustration and ask a question at the same time....HAPPY FUN TIME!

Tremorworks has been working on a set of RPG rules for some time now (the author of the basic rules has spent years working and testing the rule.) We're finally getting the layout set and need art for the book. We have several friends working as artists for the book but have not produced any images yet and really show no sign of getting us any material in the very near...or even far future.

Next problem. Of course, we have no money. Most "professional" artists are not willing to work with people who can't pay and think that "we can provide you with some money if we sell the book" is a scam. Has anyone else had problems getting quality art? Where you able to overcome this issue? It just seems family and friends take advantage of the fact that they're doing you a favor and any artist willing to do something for later pay really suck (I shouldn't critisize, I can only draw stick figures...)

OrlandoPat
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Joined: 10/16/2008
You're not going to like my answer...

Professional illustrators (which is what it sounds like you need) are going to want to be paid, without any of the risk associated with a startup company. Your only alternatives are to either scratch up the scratch to pay them, or to try to convince them to take a % of your sales. This second one is going to be very difficult.

If you believe your game will sell well, my suggestion is to take the financial risk yourself. Instead of trying to find an artist buddy, find a bunch of investor buddies. Either sell them a percentage of future sales (for a limited time period) in exchange for some cash now, or just try to get a loan. Then find an illustrator that you absolutely believe in. Someone with a portfolio that matches what you're looking for, and one who you are confident you can communicate with. Someone to whom you can say "no. that's not what I'm looking for."

As you know, the artwork (particularly on an rpg) is very important to the game. Unless you're blessed with some very talented artist friends who also enjoy working for free, you're going to have to pay for it.

That's my two cents worth, at any rate.

Anonymous
Artist Issues

Sounds like you're in a tight spot. How well can you draw? Just kidding!

It can be very hard to get friend who have offered to work pro bono to step up and provide artwork. Their willingness to work for free puts you in an akward situation when it comes to pressing them to meet a deadline. You could offer them a % of an initial sales run to reinforce the idea that you are serious about getting the artwork form them that they have offered. This may not come to much, though. If they haven't already come through with their offer, I don't know that offering a % will improve that.

Another possibility that you can pursue... Check with local colleges. There are always art programs and artists at local colleges. Offer them the work in exchange for some $$ (will work cheaper than a professional artist). You could also talk to local art professors about giving credit to students who are willing to work for you. Sort of an internship/independant study where they produce X number of prints in exchange for course credit. There were a ton of independant study programs at my college, many of them working with local start-ups.

Best of luck!

rkalajian
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Artist Issues

Hrm...the college idea might work, and we have inside access to RIT (my business partner is an adjunct IT multimedia teacher there)

I'll see what he can do.

emxibus
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Joined: 10/24/2008
Artist Issues

I'm currently in the process of designing a gladiator game. I wanted the gladiators to be somewhat historically accurate, but I'm a stick man artist.
So, what I did was searched the web for commission artists. I started with the amateur artists because of price. You can find many talented artists at

http://elfwood.lysator.liu.se/elfwood.pike

or

http://www.deviantart.com/

I gathered a list of artist and email them with info on what I was doing and what I was looking for. I asked if they would be interested and how much it would cost. Out of my first bunch of emails I got 2 responses, from there I picked the one I thought fit my needs better. Things worked out pretty well until he fell on hard times and quit. I guess this is the drawback of going the amateur route. I got some great work before he quit so it wasn't a total loss.

I then decided to go the professional route. I again gathered a list of artists and emailed them. I tried to pick artist that looked like they would have an interest in gladiators, in hope that they would do the project at a reduced rate because they liked the subject matter.

Here is site I eventually found my artist.

conceptart.org

I found an professional artist who had an interest in my theme, so he was willing to give me a discount. He and one of his friends did the work ( 7 illsu. gladiators) for me, and the whole project took about two weeks. They did an excellent job. You can check out some of their gladiators in my rules

xibus.com/ludus2_nt.pdf
xibus.com/combat_example.pdf

I hope my experience is helpful and sparks some ideas. I think the web is a great tool for finding artists.

-JR

Anonymous
Artist Issues

Excellent web references! These would be a great addiytion to the Web Resources section.

rkalajian wrote:
...we have inside access to RIT (my business partner is an adjunct IT multimedia teacher there)

RIT? That's just up the road from me. Let me know if you or your partner would like any playtesting done. I have a group of friends that gets together every few weeks to playtest some games. They are incredibly knowledgeable about RPG's in particular. We actually meet at their house which is almost directly across the street from the RIT campus!

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
Just an FYI

FYI..

Here is a file with Designer Notes for Duel of Ages... If I remember correctly, they used internet sources for all of their card art.

http://www.bgdf.com/modules.php?name=Web_Links&l_op=visit&lid=44

The link above is for a zipped acrobat file. It should provide some valuable insight into getting your needed artwork.

Good luck!
-Darke

Chip
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Artist Issues

emxibus wrote:
So, what I did was searched the web for commission artists. I started with the amateur artists because of price. You can find many talented artists at

http://elfwood.lysator.liu.se/elfwood.pike

or

[url]http://www.deviantart.com/[/url

This isn't necessarily indicative of deviantart.com in general, but rather just a piece of interesting info: in doing my own snooping around a few months ago after bgdf.com got hacked, I found that our little hacker friend is an active participant of deviantart.com.

Chip

OldScratch
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Artist Issues

Hey, I'd be willing to help you out with some drawings. If you're looking to pay a percentage of sales, that's fine with me too. I'd be happy to help you out.

If you're interested, send me a message. You can go to my website and check out some of my artwork.

Trickydicky
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Artist Issues

I had a similar question I asked a good artist friend. He pointed me to a website that I haven't really checked out yet but it couldn't hurt. He said that there are artists of all different levels on their forum. Many of them are college students still looking for any kind of work. They have a "looking for work" section. You can also see a lot of their work right on the site. My friend suggested e-mailing them with an offer. I think some of the other options offered on this thread may be better, but if they don't work you could try here.

http://cgtalk.com/

Hedge-o-Matic
Hedge-o-Matic's picture
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Joined: 07/30/2008
Artist Issues

I worked as a professional illustrator for a while, but became disillusioned with the companies that were placing the job orders. Too often they were in the same situation as you, unable to pay in anything other than product copies.

While I've designed enough games to know how tight things are financially to actually get them produced, I also think that illustrators who work for free are hurting themselves professionally, as well as the profession as a whole. To work for little or nothing does nothing good for an artist's reputation, and the legions of artists that continue to do so end up making the market for illustrators a barren field: the average pay is... nothing!

So, in the end, I'd say you have to work with what you've got, or figure in the cost of artwork into you production total. Remember, the components of the game cost money, and the printing cost money. But if nobody takes down the box because it doesn't look good, what was the point? If the game plays well, but the players are embarrassed by the poor artwork (we've all seen these games), then what was the point? Remember, your current game is what's going to help sell you next game. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. Hire an artist who won't work for free.

mordelack
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Artist Issues

OldScratch wrote:
Hey, I'd be willing to help you out with some drawings. If you're looking to pay a percentage of sales, that's fine with me too. I'd be happy to help you out.

If you're interested, send me a message. You can go to my website and check out some of my artwork.

Oldscratch, i have emailed you through your website several times and dont get any sort of response.

do that email still work?

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