Creator's Toolkit #5: Searching for Artists

As readers of this blog know, I have a number of comic projects in the works. Of course, there is Super Seed, which is my baby (pun intended) and since I'm the artist/writer/letterer/editor/webmaster/everything on that book, the responsibilities are pretty clear. In a way, I'm vary lucky. There are plenty of people out that would love to create comics, but don't possess all of the skills necessary. Since I'm a passable artist, a decent colorist, a serviceable letterer, and computer graphically literate, if I want to bring a comic story to light, I'm capable of doing so on my own...But man is it time consuming!

Currently, I have a number of other projects in various stages that require collaboration with other talented individuals to see them come to light. Some I've mentioned and teased here (Friend Request, CounterTERROR, Colosseum) and some I'm keeping under wraps. But the time has come where I need to start assembling artists to get some of these projects moving.

SO, for the first time ever, I decided to post an open call for artistic collaborators it the Talent Search Forum over at Digital Webbing. This was my first time posting over there, so I did what any internet savvy person would do...I lurked for a few days, making notes on other posts I though were effective. Finally, I posted the following:

Seeking Artists for New Comic Projects

I'm looking for talented sequential storytellers for a few new comic projects. I'm looking for a small initial commitment (roughly 8 pages of sequentials + some character design work), with more work to follow once a publisher is secured. I'll pay a competitive page rate for all pages, whether or not the comic gets picked up by a publisher.

A bit about me: I'm a published comics writer and artist and my most recent comic series was featured in a Zuda Comics competition. I'm looking to partner with some talented, dynamic artists to take my next series to another level.

I currently have a number of comic projects that are in development, for which I am beginning my search for artists. These projects cover a number of genres (super hero slugfest, gritty real world psychological drama, action/horror, sci fi) so I'm open to all styles of artists. I'm really looking to start building an artist contact list, so all inquiries welcome.

If interested, please email me with the following information here :
○ Links to any of your portfolio sites, preferably with both pinups and sequential pages.
○ Note whether you pencil, ink, color, etc.
○ Your page rate (if you have one)


Pretty straight forward ad. The one mistake I made was not being more specific about the type of style I was looking for. I also could have included a page rate range, but honestly I was curious about what kind of rates artists would come back at me with.

Well, it did not take long before my email started being flooded with emails from artists sending me links to their work. A few interesting things about the responses to my ad:
  • The bulk of my responses came within the first 12 hours of my posting, and I ended up receiving emails from 42 artists within the first 24 hours.
  • The internet is a true window to the world...almost half of my responses came from artists outside the United States. Countries represented included Argentina, Paraguay, Mexico, Poland, Germany, Yugoslavia, Brazil, Philipines, China, and Canada.
  • Managing these responses was a challenge. I ended up creating a spreadsheet that kept track of artist names, emails, and sites, and I also added a notes field and a ranking field based on how suitable they were to any of my projects.
  • Despite my request that they include page rates, only a little more than half of the artists included the rates they charge. Of those that included rates, they varied wildly. (Penciled page rates varied from $15- $180 per page.) The median page rate for a fully inked page was around $50. All in all, these rates were about what I expected.

So, what's the verdict of this talent search? Well, it remains to be seen. But I was pleased to find that there is some real talent out there. Sure, 90% of the artists are not quite right for the projects I'm currently focusing on, but there are a few who definitely could be.

Stay tuned, as I hope to be sharing some news about artists I'll be working with shortly.

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