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Fan World 2017 / Becoming an Illustrator?

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CrosswindsGaming
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Hi! This is a quick two part post. First I'd like to say I had a great time at the Fan World 2017 Convention in Niagara Fall, NY. While I did not have much time to do demonstrations of my board game, or play some other designers products, I did however spend a lot of time helping out the volunteer staff (and becoming a staff member in the process!)

It was quite a busy weekend, and I was able to meet and assist a lot of great people, such as Todd Haberkorn, who needed a photographer during his post panel autographing, and Christopher Robin Miller (Professor Layton). Another big name I was glad to meet and help was John Stocker. He's an old guy but we spent hours talking about some of the greats he's worked with in his past years; John Candy, Steve Martin, and the entire original cast of Saturday Night Live.

Now the second part of my post brings up an interesting suggestion I was offered while doing a brief display of my board game. There were quite a few comments and compliments on my games artwork, and was asked if I did illustrations.

My question is this; what is required to become an illustrator for hire? I've done some research, and the first obvious one is to have a readily available portfolio of my work, which I will be developing in the next few months. However I'm wondering if there's some form, or many forms of legal aspects or protocols I have to follow before potentially selling my artwork. Does anyone have experience in this? If so, please comment!

questccg
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From my experience

Having a portfolio with artwork from previous projects is good. Obviously you will be making deals with each designer you work with. This includes the style of the artwork, the number of pieces, a workable time frame for both parties, and ownership rights too...

The thing about artwork is "ownership". Most people will agree to let you use the artwork for "promotional reasons" such as including works in your portfolio -- but not to print on T-Shirts for example.

But this is negotiated with the designer and/or Publisher. Also remember that when dealing with artwork, volume is an important factor.

Typically artwork budgets for games are between $3,000 - $4,000 USD. That sort of equates to about $5,000 CAD (in the upper end). For some games that may seen inexpensive - but the truth is this is the budget for a reason: most games don't sell more than 5,000 games.

However you are free to quote whatever rates you want and you'll know if you are in the right market -- based on the amount of business you have.

Best of luck(?!) with becoming an illustrator!

CrosswindsGaming
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Thank you for the info!

While I did have a different theory in mind, everything in your post makes sense.

Originally I was considering this sort of method, (and if I'm wrong, by all means tell me!)

My art style is focused more on front facing 2D/3D icons and simple images. Now I know pretty much anyone can do this, but while I can help various designers with projects, I can work on improving my own art skills as well. As for ownership and rights and such, being that my artwork can be cranked out in galleries in a matter of days, obviously my prices will be affordable.

In my head, a typical conversation with a designer would be, "Hey, I like your style/this image you did", my response would be to quote a price, and release the rights to the receiver, no questions asked. The image/s can be modified, used, promoted, posted however they like, if I can make a couple dollars off of a simple image, I won't bring legal actions into it. It's theirs entirely.

In time I'll have an image posted to provide a visual of what I'm thinking/planning. But, like I said, if I'm going about this the wrong way, I'd like to know! Thanks again.

questccg
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Hmm... not exactly sure

Are you saying you want to create "Stock" images and resell them to different parties???

In board design mostly everything is custom artwork. But icons could be one of the areas that is most open to "sharing". Why? Because it's hard finding a good style of matching/corresponding icons. If you create a library of icons that are 2D/3D in look... That could have value.

Sure there is http://www.game-icons.net which have a bunch of icons that they give away freely. But finding the right icons is still difficult. Not that it has anything to do with volume... Game Icons has a huge library. The problem is finding nice icons is hard...

So if you start your own 2D/3D library of icons and charge a nominal price. well that's probably a GOOD "strategy" to break into the illustration market.

Maybe I misunderstood your comment... This is how I interpreted it, if I was incorrect ... don't mind me. Just commenting based on my interpretation.

Cheers.

CrosswindsGaming
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Precisely!

That's pretty spot on to what I want to accomplish. Being that, like you said, logos are quite common, but finding the right style and design can be tricky. And actually that's why I decided to do my own artwork, even though it took 5 months!

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