Practical Tips On Hiring An Illustrator For A Graphic Novel

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Hiring an illustrator for a graphic novel can be tricky. A graphic novel illustrator can bring a novel to life with artistic depictions, however, there are several equally challenging obstacles you have to overcome when undertaking such a project.

This blog post will discuss the things you should know before hiring a comic book illustrator and the best places to look for the right illustrator.

Time Constraint

The first obstacle is the time the illustrator will take to sketch, color, and letter tens of pages. Especially, if you’re looking to hire a freelance illustrator for the job, time can be a problematic factor. On top of this, like other artists, graphic novel illustrators like to take their time, rather than strictly sticking to a time-bound schedule.

Cost Difference

Another hurdle is that usually, a graphic novel illustrator works with teams in which each member performs a specific task. The team is divided into roles like a penciler, inker, colorist, and letterer completing the project altogether. Now if all such roles are given to the same person i.e. the graphic illustrator, then your costs will go up considerably, in comparison with the costs of hiring a team.

However, what really matters is getting a graphic novel successfully published.

Things to Consider Before Hiring an Illustrator for Graphic Novel

The general rule of thumb when hiring an illustrator also applies to hiring a graphic novel illustrator. However, to do illustration for a graphic novel requires specific skills. Keeping this in view, there are special requirements to hire an illustrator for a graphic novel project.

Hiring a Team VS Freelancing

You can either hire a team or freelance the graphic novel project. If you hire a graphic novel illustrator, that will cost you more than getting the project done on a freelance basis. But, the former option is best as it helps to publish the graphic novel when it is ready, however, the process is slightly costlier.

Now if you decide to freelance the project, then that comes with other problems. For instance, the freelancers you hire may not even be living in the same country. Also, the script of the graphic novel is not scripted in the same way as a film or video script.

5 Platforms to Hire a Comic Artist for Graphic Novel Illustrations

When you start to search for a graphic novel illustrator on the right platforms, then finding the right artist is not a problem. Let’s look at the five most well-known online spots to start your search from:

1. Social Media Groups

Social media groups are the perfect places to spot an illustrator that suits your needs. In this respect, you can start with more visual and well-reputed social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

The way to do this is you’ll write ‘comic artist’, or ‘comic illustrator’ in the search bar, and there you go! You will get a list of groups where artists like to hang around online showing their artwork and looking for employers to work with. On a social media network like Pinterest, you can search for the artistic works of comic illustrators.

Another great platform is LinkedIn where professional graphic illustrators are ready to be hired. On this platform, you can browse through their profiles, see their experience, and have a look at their portfolio.

2. Comic Art Forums

Comic art forums are literally a goldmine of talented visual artists for graphic novel illustrations. These forums are made to encourage people to share their artwork, thoughts, insights, and work samples with potential employers as well as employees.

You can leverage such forums by taking part in conversations, or starting a new conversation thread and communicating with professionals in the industry. This way, you can either directly find a graphic novel illustrator of your choice, or someone may refer you to the type of illustrator you look for. Some popular places where you can find an artist are:

  • Digital Webbing
  • Concept Art
  • The Comic Board
  • Deviant Art
  • Reddit
  • Quora

3. Online Market Places

The most straightforward, and perhaps the quickest way to find an illustrator is going to the online market platform. These platforms are websites dedicatedly made for freelancers. The main benefit of going here is the plenty of options and the most suitable comic artist.

Here, within the profile of a particular artist, you can read client reviews, can see the former work done by the artist, their rating, and all the types of services a specific graphic novel illustrator can provide you. The only disadvantage is it may take longer in an online marketplace to get someone hired fast – because there are a lot of options to choose from.

Sifting through profiles may take time, but it is worth it. Here are the most in-demand marketplaces:

  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • Top K Work
  • Guru
  • IllustrationX

4. Comic Conventions

Going to comic conventions is another way to socialize and find suitable graphic novel artists for hire. That’s why you need to stay on the lookout for upcoming comic conventions near you and take part. You’ll be stunned to see that so many comics lovers and artists come to these conventions.

Another great thing about these conventions is you make connections, and those connections provide you with referrals. By attending such conventions, you expand your network for future collaborations as well. Here are the A-list comic conventions:

  • Wondercon
  • Dragon Con
  • Wizard World Chicago
  • Heroes Con
  • New York Comic Con
  • MoCCA Arts Festival

5. Comic Stores

It can be surprising and usual, but where else can you expect to find comic artists and creators other than in comic stores? A comic store is a great place to go and get in touch with the graphic novel illustrators you may want to work with for the following reason:

  • You can find a bunch of comic stores in your local area
  • People who visit these spots are comic lovers or comic artists
  • It’s easy to talk to people and get to know them if you’re a regular visitor

Hope you find the tips useful. If you want to learn Adobe Illustrator, you can connect us. 

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