Skip to Content

How to find an artist for a prototype game?

12 replies [Last post]
KurtS
Offline
Joined: 06/24/2009

Hi,

I'm designing a game and am at the prototype stage. The mood and aesthetic of my game design relies heavily on my vision of the artwork. Unfortunately I am not an artist. Since the artwork plays such a crucial role in my design, I'd like to have it incorporated into the prototype.

My questions are:

1. Where are good places to match a burgeoning game designer with a burgeoning artist?
2. If I submit a game to a publisher, do they prefer the artwork to be finished, or find their own artist?

irdesigns510
irdesigns510's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/24/2009
check the artist names

first,
1.If you like a certain style of a game, there should be an "Artist" credit somewhere. (like at the bottom of "trading card game" cards)
Then just look 'em up online and inquire about prices and such.
People who do art for this type of stuff usually like to have a size, complexity, and deadline in the inquiry to give you a good quote.
Check out Barnes and Noble for a book titled "Graphic Artist Guild: handbook of pricing and ethical guidelines" to get a general pricing, so you know what to expect.
Sometimes you have to track Artists down through facebook and such.

and 2.
Usually if you are approaching a company (like say, wizards of the coast)
they have been doing this stuff for a while, and would look at a game and say for example: "robots are hot right now, lets make this about robots!"
in this instance, if you had completed art, you would be out the money you spent on the artwork that wont go to the final print.

all-in-all:
if you want to complete the art with an artist you choose, self produce.
if you want it to just sell... then leave the prototype rough enough that you aren't bending over backwards burning candlelight.

irdesigns510
irdesigns510's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/24/2009
High Stakes Drifter

Another trick is to use "free domain" images.

High Stakes Drifter does this with the use of antique photographs of native americans, cowboys, old buildings, and such.

the images were found in libraries such as the University of Denver, U. of St. Louis, U. of Utah. etc.

all are completely usable because they are so old, they qualify as free domain images.

KurtS
Offline
Joined: 06/24/2009
Thanks so much for the

Thanks so much for the informed replies, I appreciate your comments.

My game is designed in such a way that it can really carry any setting, though I have my heart set on a cooky steampunk atmosphere with lots of crazy gadgets and humor; kind of like an "inspector gadget meets sherlock holmes" type of thing. That said, it's the type of game that would operate well under any theme really; fantasy, sci-fi, western, etc. So perhaps I'll go with an easier theme in my prototype but when I pitch it to publishers, give game concepts for alternate themes as well.

simpson
Offline
Joined: 10/22/2008
There is also a number of us

There is also a number of us (illustrators) on this site and boardgamegeek.com which typically respond to an "open call" thread or msg.

simpson

simons
simons's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/28/2008
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/for

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=17039.15

And, if memory serves, when I was looking for art for my game, I went to www.deviantart.com (I think there was a call for artists forum, though I can't seem to find it right now). There are actually a few forums for struggling illustrators who would probably love to do a freelance job like this (though make sure you negotiate price & details up front).

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2008
and brace yourself... it's

and brace yourself... it's always rough looking at quotes for a field that has people charging $70 an hour when you're in one that effectively pays 25 cents an hour ;)

dnjkirk
dnjkirk's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/22/2008
Artists come for a price

I see this question asked a lot, and the actual question I think you should be asking is "who will do my art for free?"

The answer is that you get what you pay for.

Either you can pay in time (and blood, toil, tears, and sweat), and learn the craft on your own, or you can put out a call for artists for a given price, and see who responds.

I don't often see good artists hooking up for free in order to do art on a prototype game. A game that's going to production, maybe... because then they can get their name on something... but a prototype game that may never see the market? Put yourself in an artist's shoes. Would you work for free?

So, either design the prototype with stock art (read Girl Genius and scam some art from there for your proto if you have to), or do stick drawings and send that to the publisher. The publisher will pay for art if your game is picked up.

For now, concentrate on making a good game.

apeloverage
Offline
Joined: 08/01/2008
KurtS wrote:Thanks so much

KurtS wrote:
Thanks so much for the informed replies, I appreciate your comments.

My game is designed in such a way that it can really carry any setting, though I have my heart set on a cooky steampunk atmosphere with lots of crazy gadgets and humor; kind of like an "inspector gadget meets sherlock holmes" type of thing. That said, it's the type of game that would operate well under any theme really; fantasy, sci-fi, western, etc. So perhaps I'll go with an easier theme in my prototype but when I pitch it to publishers, give game concepts for alternate themes as well.

It should be relatively easy to find public-domain images for this theme: look for pictures from old science-fiction.

AlexWeldon
Offline
Joined: 04/06/2009
Art is expensive, it's true

truekid games wrote:
and brace yourself... it's always rough looking at quotes for a field that has people charging $70 an hour when you're in one that effectively pays 25 cents an hour ;)

This is true enough. People tend to forget that professional artists need to eat and pay rent too, and have unreasonable expectations of what high-quality artwork costs. That said, you can probably find someone willing to do something reasonable for less than $70/hr. because of the nature of the project. As a graphic designer, I'd be charging that much for boring corporate clients, but because I want to work in indie computer games, I usually ask more like $25-30, since I know that indie devs just can't afford regular freelance rates.

You can also go looking on sites like deviantart.com, where you'll find more amateur/aspiring artists, who might be willing to do some work for cheap, or even just for the credit/experience/portfolio piece. Alternately, you may be able to find people who have existing art similar to what you're looking for, and get ask them for the rights to use it cheaply or for free.

monkey man
monkey man's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/01/2009
artist

Mirthquake.net

Matt Orsman is a fantastic artist who understands packaging.

monkey man
monkey man's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/01/2009
Artist

Matt Orsman with Mirthquake.net

Is a fantastic artist who understands packaging and prototyping

Wes

simpson
Offline
Joined: 10/22/2008
AlexWeldon wrote:You can also

AlexWeldon wrote:
You can also go looking on sites like deviantart.com, where you'll find more amateur/aspiring artists, who might be willing to do some work for cheap, or even just for the credit/experience/portfolio piece.

An alternative to "gallery" sites like Deviant Art are places like Flickr.com

Just search the GROUPS with terms like "art" or "illustration" to bring up all the art groups, then peruse the group's pool. The work will be current and its easier to find the style the art direction calls for.

When you find a few people you like, you add them as CONTACTS then sent them an intro message. I would estimate about a third of my work contracts come from Flickr contacts alone.

simpson

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut