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Prospective art buyers
The questions below are meant to help guide you to answers you will need to have at hand when soliciting an artist. It can be used as it is, or it can be a helpful tool in collecting your thoughts when drawing up your own proposal.


1. Name/theme/description of project:
2. Collaboration or Compensation:
3. Budget:
4. What are the terms:
5. Number of pieces:
6. Size of art:
7. Art style desired:
8. Deadline:



1. Name/theme/description of project:
What is your game called? What is the theme? horror, fantasy, etc. Tell us about the job, some mechanics, why you want to make it, who's involved. Make us care and get excited about it! The more info in your post, the more likely you'll get a respondent who will fit your needs.

2. Collaboration or Compensation:
This is the sticky point which has turned many an innocent proposal into a multi-page shouting match. For the purpose of this form, we will state that Kickstarter, percentage of sales, and percentage of the sale if the game is bought by a publisher as collaborations. The artist is taking a gamble on being paid and has to trust the people he is working for, and that they will be honest and have his best interests in mind. The artist will be paid based on the success of the collaborator's venture. A compensated job is one where the artist will be paid in full at the time the job is finished. A compensated job may also have percentages tacked on to it for a lower rate, but this is something you and the artist will work out. Whatever makes both of you happy is what matters.

3. Budget: Come up with a number you can afford and talk to the artist. If you are completely stuck on what art costs, do your math: How long do you think each piece of art takes to make? Multiply that by the hourly wage you think an artist would charge. What do you come up with? Remember a more experienced artist is fast and good. The old adage of "good, fast, cheap" comes into play here.


4. What are the terms:
These are things you and the artist will work out, sometimes in a contract, sometimes not. Will he get a copy of the game, a set rate for each piece of art, flat rate for the whole job, a percent royalties on published games, etc. Who keeps the original art (if you want it, it will cost you more than if you just take a digital file). A good photographer, or sending it in to be scanned can be expensive and needs to be discussed. Who will pay for that? Can the artist use the art for self promotion? Is this a one time usage for one piece, for a set time limit, or do you want unlimited rights which is more expensive but potentially gives you the flexibility to use the art in ads, box, website, etc. There are thousands of ways you can work your deal. Most artists have an idea of how they like to work. Ask them.

5. Number of pieces:
How many pieces of art do you really need? Can some be used multiple times in the game to save you money?

6. Size of art:
What size is the finished art going to be and what size is the maximum and minimum the artist can create it. A lot of art is done 2X the size it will appear in print, sometimes more. If your piece is a token for a game that is 1.5" tall it will require a much less detailed approach (for clarity) than a 12x12 box cover.

7. Art style desired:
Do you want your art to be realistic, cartoony, comic book, painterly, line art etc. Some artists may even give you a discount just for letting them run wild on style. Include some links to art you like, or artists you admire, it will help you narrow the search for an artist you will be happy with. It is generally frowned on to have a contest or to ask for spec work where you state what you want, ask everyone to send in art, and the winner gets the job.
Nothing is stopping artists from sending an image to you that they think is relevant to your job! If you're lucky, a hungry artist may see the info you post and sketch something up tailor-made to entice you to choose him.

8. Deadline: When do you need the art? Ask how fast the artist can work. What is a realistic timeline for the art. How often will he "check in" with updates on progress. A hobby artist may only work in the evenings over the course of a month or two, but you may get him a lot cheaper than a professional artist who can crank it out in a week.

Communication is the key to finding something you both can work with and compensation you both accept.

GOOD LUCK!
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