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13 Tips on How to Find Comic Book Artists
“How to Find Comic Book Artists.” That’s the number 1 question that is constantly in the mind of any budding young writer or Comic Book writer in training. Sure there’s the Facebook group angle, there’s Deviantart, there’s Networking at Comic Cons (well, not in 2020) and there’s even reaching out to friends. But how do the Comic Book writers constantly living the Independent Comic Book writer lifestyle find Comic Book Artists?
Over the last couple of months I’ve spoken to several Comic Book writers on the rise and I asked them for Tips on How to Find Comic Book Artists. Here’s what they said.
1. It’s Part Luck, It’s Part Patience
Part luck, part who you know, and also knowing what you want. Before I found Emily, I scoured deviantart.com, art schools, and more. I almost had a young lady on board, but she got a better job offer. Almost a year later, I ended up finding Emily through a friend in one of my first sequential art classes. I paid Emily to do two audition pages from the script and she nailed them. After we were done with the original mini-series, Emily moved on, and I put the word out that I was looking for a new artist.
By this time, I had been doing conventions for five years and meeting a lot of people. It was at Clockwork Alchemy in San Jose when a friend suggested Gwynn. I took a look at her work and liked it, but by then she had contacted me! I paid her for a character sketch and she did such an awesome job I knew she’d be perfect. We’ve worked together on the last three sequels and she’s on board for the fourth.
Submitted by: Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Boston Metaphysical Society
2. Utilise Social Media to Find Comic Book Artists
On Sparks specifically I wanted a female artist because of the lead being a woman and I wanted that perspective in the creative process. I put out a call on Twitter and went from there. Finding artists isn’t hard these days, finding a good one who is good and you can afford is the hard part.
Submitted by: Glenn Matchett, Sparks
3. Use Your Networks Because You Never Know Where Comic Book Artists Might Be Hiding
The original artist on the project wasn’t going to be able to participate anymore. I’m friends with Andy Schmidt from Comics Experience, and he had just come back from a portfolio review trip to Savannah College of Art and Design and passed Meredith Laxton’s portfolio my way. She blew me away. Her art was so full of life and humanity.
Then we started bringing Charlie to life, and she became a DREAM to collaborate with. She’s a fantastic storyteller on her own, and she elevated this book on every page. Beyond her artistic talent, which is tremendous, she has a beautiful knack for pacing and camera angles. It was a good day when I’d get emails with her pages in them.
Submitted by: George O’Connor, Charlie’s Spot
4. Sometimes Your Industry Crosses Over
Mostly through Twitter, Instagram, and Art Station. I also have been hiring artists for years in TV and have been able to scout a few great ones. It is an on-going process, and I think a good writer/publisher is always looking for artists. I also commission art and that let’s get to know an artist and how they work before you take the ride of a comic book with them. I don’t think I would ever hire an artist for a full graphic novel without doing at least a commission with them first.
Submitted by: Adam Lawson, The Kill Journal
5. Sometimes The Right Comic Book Artist Is Closer Than You Might Think
I looked in the mirror and there he was. Then I forced him to work very hard until his skills were adequate enough to draw what I had in my head. He’s not quite there yet, but he’s getting closer every time.
All-in-all, it’s been quite a rewarding partnership, even if he does snore a bit.
Submitted by: James Lawrence, The Legend of La Mariposa
6. Learn From Your Mistakes of Hiring the Wrong Comic Book Artist
For my very first book, CruZader, I hired an agency that assembled all of the talent: line artist, colorist, letterer – and that was a blessing and a curse. The agency and guy behind it was crooked, and he stole money from creators like me and didn’t pay the artists. That forced me and artist Joel Cotejar to come together, cut the agency out from the middle, and continue on with CruZader, and Moon Girl after that.
Over time, I’ve gotten to know and work with a lot of fabulous artists I’ve met through social media, anthologies, and conventions. When I see work online that I think is a perfect fit for any given project, I make a mental note, or sometimes write down a list or potential line artists and colorists for a given project.
Submitted by: Omar Morales, Creator of Anthology Stories
7. Use Comic Book Artist Forums
Originally I met Ashby through a school announcement board. We had a lot of common comic interest and really liked the idea of doing a wacky superhero. Alexander I met online through social media. I was following a lot of artist and eventually it led me to Alexander and his art. I asked him to do some stories with me and it took off from there.
Submitted by: Mark Darden, Guano Guy
8. Shop Your Portfolio Around To Publishers Big AND Small
That was actually all Mad Cave Studios! At first they paired me up with an artist named Rich Smith – amazing guy and fantastic artist, love him to death – there were some scheduling conflicts and they had to switch artists. Luckily, Jef Sadzinksi was fresh off Show’s End and they knew they couldn’t let him go! While Rich and I had great chemistry and I would 100% work with him again, I feel like we really lucked out with Jef.
He really grasped the characters and elevated their personalities with his artwork. When you read the book don’t forget to watch the background! It’s easy to get lost in the expressions he does for main characters and miss some of the incredible details he puts into the background and the supporting characters. He’s one of those incredible artists that does so much with so little space that you can re-read the book over and over and see something you missed the time before.
Submitted by: Stonie Williams, Villainous
9. Always Be On The Lookout For New Comic Book Artists
The internet is an amazing place when its used for good! I found Jethro on DeviantArt, and Kris popped up in a facebook group dedicated to connecting writers with artists. Ive since found a tonne of great artists on Twitter and Instagram, so hopefully Ill be able to find projects for them soon.
Id say always be looking for new talent. Having a little directory of artists and other creatives that you add to over time is a great resource for when you actually set out to start work on something. It helps avoid wasting time scouring the web for the “right” style if you’ve got a bunch of people lined up already.
10. Reach Out to your Favourite Comic Book Artists
I knew Clark’s work from his previous project. I’d actually been trying to find an artist for something else but wasn’t getting anywhere, so had a rethink and decided to try and get Frank made instead. Once I’d settled on taking Frank forward I immediately knew I wanted Clark and luckily he was available and excited about the story from the off. He really has been the most incredible collaborator I could have hoped for.
Submitted by: Jordan Thomas, Frank at Home on the Farm
11. Finding Comic Book Artists is an Art Form
I’m working with a couple of artists at the moment – finding the right artist is one of those things that seems to be more art than science, especially because it’s very tough to know what collaborating with an artist is like until you’re in the middle of it. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with some fantastic collaborators!
I’m currently working with Harriet Moulton on my pagan/superhero series Brigantia, and we’ll be starting on issue #3 in 2021. Harriet’s work has a lovely warmth and tenderness to it that I thought would be a perfect fit for the kind of story we’re telling – I didn’t want to do something which was too far towards the hard-edged, chiselled abs-look that a lot of superhero stories have.
I also have a project in the pitch stages (a period crime drama/noir story called Hockeytown) where I’ve been lucky enough to bring some excellent collaborators on board – Russell Mark Olson is the perfect comic book artist for that project given his love of noir storytelling and his clean, classic style. I’ve long been a fan of Russell’s work (his work reminds me of the late, great Darwyn Cooke) and when I pictured the characters and settings of Hockeytown, I imagined them in that kind of timeless style which Russell has nailed.
Submitted by: Chris Mole, Brigantia
12. Your Childhood Friend Could Be A Comic Book Artist
So, Harry Hughes is the artist, he’s on Instagram @bigbazferd. I’ve known him since I was about thirteen (We’re now 28/29, time flies!). We’ve worked on a fair few projects together, I mentioned previously that he co-created the Snow Universe with me. He’s a really great dude and we’re very in sync when it comes to what we
want from a project.
I find as well, with Harry that, he’s very much a collaborator and so I know when I pitch a project to him that his feedback is coming from a place of, let’s expand on everything that’s here and make it better and better, a lot of the creative process is us shooting ideas back and forth.
Submitted by: Nick Goode, Snow Universe
13. You might be a Writer that Draws
Thus far, I have illustrated all of my own work. Funny enough, I consider myself a writer who draws much like one of my heroes Sergio Aragonés. This isn’t said to sound pretentious, I just believe my writing chops outclass my abilities as an illustrator. I would certainly be open to working with a far more talented artist in the future, were there to be one with the fortitude to deal with my control issues.
Submitted by: Alex Schumacher, Mr Butterchips
How did you find the Comic Book Artist on your Comic Book Project? Are you still looking? Hopefully these 13 Tips on How to Find a Comic Book Artist has helped you map out the rest of your Comic Book.