Thursday, March 13, 2008

Finding Artists

I'm publishing books at a fairly rapid clip, given that Wire Rim Books is pretty much a one man operation with occasional help from family members.  But the bottleneck seems to be getting the cover art.  Given the huge number of creative people out there, I would have thought that it would be easier.
I currently have two books, ready to go, all proofed and laid out, except for the artwork.  (I also have one with the art and not proofed yet, but that's another issue.)
It seems that artists have real lives and can't drop everything when I have a sudden need for an image.  Who'd a thunk?  
There are three problems that I see:
  1. I don't know enough people.  I need to make more contacts and be more up front about my need to meet artists.
  2. I'm a perfectionist who can't draw.  Maybe that makes me too difficult to work with.  I get an idea in my head, and then try to talk the artist into drawing what I imagine.  Thus far, it never works.  However, usually the artist talks me into going for another image, another concept, and that usually works out better than my idea anyway.
  3. I probably don't pay enough.  That's probably a big reason I can't send out an email and get an immediate response.  But I do have a budget, and what I do pay certainly makes a dent in it.
Today I'm trying something to tackle issue number 1.  I posted an assignment on for a cover image.  Pixish runs contests where people like me post an assignment and then pay a prize for the winner.
I sensitive to the issue of getting a bunch of people to work on a project and then only paying one of them, so the contest is just for a sample and the prize is the whole assignment of cover art and interior artwork.  I hope I get something good out of this.  What I hope the most is that I can find more artists that I can work with directly in the future.  I have many books to publish and the covers will be in different styles.  I'd love to know who does what, and how well.  Plus if I do the covers right, maybe I'll begin to make enough money to pay more.


Bill Crider said...

My suggestion, which you've probably thought of already, would be to go by the art show at SF cons and check out the work. See if you could sign up one or two of the artists in the show if you like what they do.

Henry Melton said...

Bill, I've been doing that, but with little luck. Probably I'm too timid outside of my comfort zone. It's a different experience when touring the art room looking for someone who's style matches what I want on my books. Maybe I should write a story about a kitten with wings -- then I'd have lots of possibilities!