Fantasy artwork is amazing, whether you want it for your cover, website, marketing images, or just because it is so darn cool. But how do you go about getting some made to fit your story?

Join Jesper and Autumn as they discuss the ins and outs of finding and hiring a graphic designer to bring your story to artistic life!

Help us celebrate Episode 100 of the podcast!

We are collecting questions to answer during the episode. Do you have one for us? If so, go to to submit it!

And if you want to check out J. Thorn's absolutely FREE scene writing course that we mention in the episode follow this link:

Tune in for new episodes EVERY single Monday.  


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Read the full transcript below. (Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).

Narrator (1s):
You're listening to The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast in today's publishing landscape. You can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need a literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from riding Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt.

Jesper (30s):
Hello? I am Yesper

Autumn (31s):
and I'm Autumn.

Jesper (33s):
This is episode 90 of The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast and today we are going to dive right To the world of graphical And a Fantasy at work. It's awesome. And I personally loved it, but how do you find an artist to work with? And once you do, what do you need to be mindful about it? And I think you probably have loads two share in this episode,

Autumn (59s):
I I've been silently laughing over, hear I've been so excited about this episode. So yeah, we're looking forward to this won a lot. Yeah. Maybe its because I'm a graphic artists, but ya know, we can get into the story about how long they've been drawing. FANTASY late now. How have you been here? How is it over it? On your side to the planet?

Jesper (1m 22s):
No, it was good. It's good. We've finally got a signature on the contract for the house that before we started, that is so that was on purpose. Oh that is mean of you held out that it is fantastic. Congratulations. And that was good. Yeah. It's now it's still, like I mentioned a few times before in previous episodes of still a conditional signature. So they have to sell their own apartment first before the deal is final. And of course the worst case you note, they won't be able to sell the Dara apartment.

Jesper (1m 56s):
And if they don't then I think it's the 1st of November. Or if I remember correctly, the, the deal will expire. If they have not told or saw the apartment before then of course it can be an extended if they want too, but they can walk away if at that point if they want. So there is still that condition too. It, but at least they, we got a signature now. So hopefully if all goes, well, we have to start finding a new place to live in the near future here. So I hope fingers crossed fingers crossed for you to, I mean, that's, it's so interesting too with the conditional a conditional conditionals, like I am wondering, you know what his, they get an offer on their apartment, but it's a conditional offer based on having to sell something.

Jesper (2m 37s):
You can get this whole chain going, but I guess having a cutoff date kind of frees everyone from that happening. Yeah. I kind of, ya know, but yeah, in, in theory you can get like condition's on conditions on conditions, so and so forth. There's a whole chain of people, essentially you could, but we'll see. I mean they say, they told us, at least they told us a real estate agent rather than they have two parties interest in buying your apartment already.

Jesper (3m 8s):
And it was both of them wanted to move in by the 1st of November. So that could be a very quick so that it could be very quick if it all holds up. But sometimes, you know, people talk with no action. So let's see. But a maybe, and on top of that, to be honest, tomorrow afternoon, we have another, some other people coming to see the house as well, which is weird.

Autumn (3m 32s):
So even though it was already under a conditional contract, someone's gonna come in, stick their head into it.

Jesper (3m 39s):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because if they want to buy it unconditionally and they can still grab the house.

Autumn (3m 44s):
Well, I forgot about that part of the contract. Ah that's total sniping. That can be exciting. Yeah.

Jesper (3m 53s):
Yeah. But of course it puts a us and a real estate did it in a good position write because when they're here watching the house tomorrow, you can basically tell them you're you need to get your finger out DB because otherwise there's somebody else has already signed the contract. So either you buy it now or its gone, so he can really put the pressure on them tomorrow. So as to how that goes back to that.

Autumn (4m 14s):
Well, good luck. That's exciting. It's a really happy about it because I've got to move closer to their friends, right?

Jesper (4m 21s):
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So they are very happy. So hopefully everything pans out otherwise. Oh my God. They are going to get disappointed.

Autumn (4m 29s):
Hopefully I'll keep my fingers crossed for you guys. Yeah. Hey, I also want to add,

Jesper (4m 34s):
You mentioned, did you notice how Iris edited a small video clip together? Merching our ultimate Fantasy writer's guide course with pirates of the Caribbean.

Autumn (4m 45s):
Is that no, it was that something she shared on Patreon, Petra on a, I think I picked it up from Twitter. Oh yeah.

Jesper (4m 54s):
So you upload her to, to, to her Instagram account, we now have Johnny Depp running around or in this case right out of the awesome captain, Jack Sparrow running around and talking about our cost. So yeah,

Autumn (5m 8s):
No, I did not see that. I've been a little bit under water with some stuff's getting done, like, you know, my husband's going on a road trip with his mom out West and I'm home alone and you would think there's less to do, but suddenly there's, I'm doing stuff you would normally have done around the cabin two. So I think that there's more to To so I always, I was eating less. But doing more work. I dunno how that happened, but I, as soon as we're done here, I'm going on to Instagram and checking this out.

Autumn (5m 38s):
I don't know how I missed it.

Jesper (5m 41s):
No, that's awesome. And, and thank you. Buy the way I was for doing that. That's a, that was so great. Yeah.

Autumn (5m 47s):
Yeah. I can't wait, go see it. It sounds fantastic. Yeah.

Jesper (5m 51s):
So how, how are you otherwise doing, you know, what, being home alone in all of that.

Autumn (5m 56s):
Oh, you know, as we're saying it

Jesper (5m 58s):
It's always one of those, like, you know, he goes away for three days that it is like a mini vacation. I'm like, yes, I'm going to eat junk food or whatever. And I'm going to get a ton of work done. And I usually just put my nose to the grindstone and usually he even takes the dog. So it is like literally I have only responsible that is to remember, to feed myself and whatever little odds and ends I have to do around the cabin. But this time he left the dog and he was gone for a, at least three weeks. Its kind of, you know, at the end dates or a little open-ended. So I having a much harder time.

Jesper (6m 30s):
You suddenly someone you spent 20 years of your life with has gone for an extended period and you're like, I'm going to get all this work done. And then you're like, Oh, just want to watch Netflix. I'm lonely two weeks just for a long time as what is it is where you were. Once we sold our house before we set off into the world and on our four year a road trip, we spent what almost all of December apart. And that was the first time since we were newlyweds that we'd been apart that long while we were with families. So it was a different this time. I'm literally here on my own with just the dog and yeah, you might hear him talking a couple times.

Jesper (7m 4s):
We'll see. Hopefully its just about to say it at least. Do you have a doctor? That's good. Otherwise who would be a really lonely? Yes, I got the dog.

Narrator (7m 16s):
Oh a week on the internet with The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast so a friend of the podcast

Jesper (7m 23s):
Class and fellow author J Thorn has just met his most popular costs are 100% free a, he sells it on your, to me for a 99 or 49. That's what I was supposed to say $49, but you can get it for nothing now. And I wanted to mention that here because actually he has no registration required, no email address, no credit card information. There is nothing you need to do. You can just go and basically take the course right away.

Jesper (7m 53s):
You don't have to download or install anything. Absolutely. No for us. And I thought that was pretty cool. So I wanted to mention that and it is Jays how to write a scene video, cause that is not 100% free and he gave us actually a special link from where you can then start watching it right now if you want. And we have included that link in the show notes. So if you just follow that and once you arrive on that page from the link that you have to scroll down to the button and, and they're you, you will find a buttoned where it says $0 on it.

Jesper (8m 25s):
That's nice. Yeah. So that's very nice. So if you want to grab a free video costs on how to write a scene than making sure that you to follow that link there in the show notes, we can definitely leave out for J Thorn he knows what he's doing and he's really good. So, and also a very nice guy. Oh yeah. So this is gonna say absolutely. He's definitely just a good writer and just a great guy. So love that. I just can't believe that it's not even

Autumn (8m 56s):
Collecting email addresses. I mean, this was like just hack. I might have to adjust, you know, want to have these after do as while eating lunch by myself actually just for the heck of it.

Jesper (9m 8s):
Yeah. But I, yeah, that's exactly why I think it's so cool. And why I wanted to mention it here because usually with these kind of things, obviously when you and I are them as well, when we do these kind of free things are giveaways or whatever, normally we always collect the email address because that sort of the hole point as well too, so that you can start communicating with people on the longterm and if they only want the cost, they can just because just unsubscribe and no questions asked, but it is pretty rare that we see somebody not collecting any information whatsoever, but just giving the course away for free.

Jesper (9m 43s):
So a yeah, that's pretty cool. But anyway, listener go and check it out if you want and if not, yeah, I do something else, but then we can, but also a way I also would add just a quick reminder, a for episode 100, we are going to run a QA session, but it's not only a Q and a about writing and marketing and publishing, but you can ask us anything. So please stop posting your questions because without your question is sort of going to be pretty boring or episode 100.

Jesper (10m 17s):
So we included a link to the contact form for our website in the show notes. So you can go there and just type in your question, but if you do send us an audio recording of your question so we can play it on episode 100, we will give it already over any text-based question. So, but don't please don't stress about the audio part just to record your cell phone, your phone or something like that. And just send that file to us, even if it's a video file.

Jesper (10m 47s):
Yeah. We can strip the audio off of them ourselves. Yeah,

Autumn (10m 50s):
Exactly. It could just be so much more fun to have the voice of, you know, the person asking the question a on the podcast. So I think that would be so much more fun. So that would be great. Just to give you can put it on the wall if you're self-conscious or your dog or something were just going to grab the audio. You can leave it blank. That's fine. Hey, were funny mask. I don't know. As long as you can speak clearly because you'll be of course used on the podcast can wait to hear where the questions are and it will be so much fun to see the different.

Autumn (11m 22s):
Tell me, you know, what people come up with task us.

Jesper (11m 25s):
Yeah. So please don't put it off, you know, submit your question today. So we don't forget about it. A and a, we also of course need a bit of time to prepare on our side, but that's not the main part. The main part is just that we want to make sure we collect enough questions because as I said, it's got to be pretty boring and it's your fault. If you end up with a five minute long episode, 100 and we just say, hi and bye.

Autumn (11m 50s):
Well, I think we'll get some questions. I have faith in our listeners. You'll up with something to ask us, won't you?

Jesper (11m 57s):
Yeah. So Autumn you are the resident Graphic artists of The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast so where do we start this conversation?

Autumn (12m 10s):
Well, I guess it depends on, we can talk about you and I have gone in together and we have hired a graphic artist to work on stuff for our upcoming illicium books. So that has been a fantastic experience and gives us both of the taste of what it's like to go out and hire someone other than me, who usually ends up doing the graphics, but you know, I can't do it all. And we found someone fantastic. He's a, what he's given us so far, he's just an amazing artist.

Autumn (12m 41s):
So it's always a good experience. But most of the time, most of you are authors are not going out, looking for illustrations. Like we are, most of the times, most authors are looking for cover book covers and things like that. So we could talk about how to go about finding an artist and maybe some of the Tips I think what to look for, because what's interesting is just been taking a Photoshop course dedicated to book, cover artists, and some of the stuff I had thought in the back of my mind to hear a professional mentioning it.

Autumn (13m 16s):
I'm like, Oh yeah, okay. Yeah. I hundred percent agree with you. They're so that's always a good sign.

Jesper (13m 24s):
Yeah, for sure. But actually I think the first thing to do before we even get any further it's probably when you want to look into hiring a graphic artist, I think the first thing to do is to try to think about what kind of graphic design that it is that you need, you know, because creating Fantasy art work, like the guy who we hired to do is like, you know, from scratch drawing FANTASY artwork, that is not the same skillset as creating a logo or website or even a book cover it's it's different.

Jesper (14m 2s):
And I think you'll need to find somebody or when you start searching for a graphic artists, you need to find someone with a strong portfolio in the type of work that you're looking for. And not just a talented visual artists, because maybe you can find somebody who can, who can draw like the most amazing dragons you've ever seen. But if it's about designing a website, maybe, maybe it's stuff the right fit anyway. So don't do you think is important to sort of think through what is the purpose here before you start searching for the tape of artists that you, that you going to work with?

Autumn (14m 40s):
Yes, that is definitely a first step is to have very clearly in your mind what you are seeking. You know, if your looking for the logo of a book cover, all of those things are different skills. I've seen some amazing artists, composite artist are hand drawn artists who can not produce a marketable book cover. It's a totally different skill set. So that is the difficulty you need to know what you are looking for before you go out and then you need to decide where you're going.

Autumn (15m 11s):
And there's a few different places you can go and find artists, but definitely I agree. First step is knowing exactly kind of what you're looking for. So that way, when you go and you fall in love with something you're a falling love with the right type of image, whether that's a landscape or a website or a book cover.

Jesper (15m 30s):
Yeah. Do we want to talk a bit about where you can find these artists? Yeah,

Autumn (15m 34s):
Absolutely. So it's the, one of the best places out there for Fantasy artists' is going to deviant art and that is a website that's been a long, I think they are having, Oh, they're having a big anniversary party. And I should know because I, you know, I got their emails and get, I think it's the 20 year why they have been around for quite a while, which is very exciting. And so they're, you know, there are, are tried and true our community and that is, what's so exciting and they are really, they have some great search functions.

Autumn (16m 12s):
You can go into deviant art and you can search for, you know, dragons and landscape and FANTASY, they have a whole bunch, which is whatever you want to do. Start typing in some keywords, in doing a search, you'll find some artists and images that are going to totally knock your socks off. Yeah.

Jesper (16m 30s):
And that was just about its just about to say, I could get completely lost the DVD and not for hours. Its just like, you know, if you go in there and start looking at all those FANTASY outwork is absolutely amazing. And of course some of the artists that in there are people who are making art work for like huge brands. So it was for some of them. Yeah indeed. So some of them are, are people who take like $5,000 for one image and stuff. They are so unbelievably talented. It it's amazing.

Jesper (16m 60s):
I mean, even if you don't, if you're not looking for an artist, just, you know, try to go to Deb and not just to get a search around for bit just for the fun of it. I mean, Jesus, it's so amazing.

Autumn (17m 11s):
It is. It's a deviant art that is going to give you some quality and you can go into the profiles. And a lot of the artists there will say, if they're accepting commission, some of them will have websites and rates and everything is linked up. So it's a very, very good, very clean. They have good portfolios. It's better than doing something like Pinterest is often a lot of stolen photos from deviant art. So you don't want to go they're yeah, there were all these, sometimes they're not quote on quote stolen, but sometimes they are not linked up two who the proper artists' is. So don't go to Pinterest.

Autumn (17m 42s):
That's not going, it was going to give you some beautiful images, but it might not take you two. The actual artist, it could take you to some website are tertiary website. Its it's a mess. Pinterest is an absolute master. As far as it goes with a new image and copyright and linking to the actual artist. I wouldn't trust a single artist ever listed there unless you do some reverse image searching and find out who it really was on deviant art. And another people polices people liked to go to Fiverr witch.

Autumn (18m 13s):
There are some skilled artists, but there's a lot of very unskilled artists who don't know their there, John rhe, or are some of the better techniques who aren't quite as well trained as the deviant artists. So you could go to Fiverr, but I don't really recommend it or at least be very cautious and to make sure you're getting what you're expecting and make sure you really vet that the artist is, is able to produce the images. They may be displaying as their portfolio because I've heard some horror stories that way where someone has an exquisite portfolio promises the world and does not deliver, but your under our contract.

Autumn (18m 54s):
So you do need to pay. Yeah.

Jesper (18m 57s):
Hmm. Yeah. And I think op work as well. Wouldn't that be a good place?

Autumn (19m 3s):
It's definitely a, a, I have an Upwork profile. So that is definitely a possibility you can go there. There's also people buy per hour by hour, which is the UK kind of version. There's a few, I think Contra is another new one. So there was a few freelance gig community's that are popping up. And so you can go in there and search and op work is in bad. You can usually find some people, it has its own issues. And I would say, if you really want to support an artist, go straight to DV in art because Upwork all these companies like people try our, they take a cut of the artists commission and sometimes it's up to 30%.

Autumn (19m 39s):
So if you can go to the artists directly, you will be providing them and be a better profit margin. And trust me, sometimes people want, I've seen want someone list that they want in a book cover and all this, and then listen to this and do this. And it was probably about what I would charge a thousand dollars for in their budget on Upwork $100. And it was like, Oh no, So. I think that would be another thing is to do some research and look around and kind of try to get an idea of what a budget is for this.

Autumn (20m 11s):
Don't go on to Upwork and list that you want this amazing Am Fantasy image, that's all of these details and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You're going to use it for your website and the book cover. And, and you want to pay $25 do go in with a rational idea. Arts artists have been trained. I mean, I have a four year degree. I've been drawing for 35 plus years. If you want someone have that skill level, think of them as professionals. Are you going to go to the cut rate surgeon or your going to pay for someone who knows what they're doing?

Autumn (20m 43s):
So to keep that in mind, this is a skilled profession on, these are amazing talented individuals in just like with you and your writing. You do want to get paid for your time of actually doing it.

Jesper (20m 56s):
Yeah. I also made a note of a 99 designs as another website, but I actually listening to what you just said. Maybe I shouldn't like that one as much as I do because the reason I like 99 designs is because you can create a project there and then basically you will have artists audition for you. So basically you get to pick whoever you think is the best one. And you can just move ahead with that person. But based on what you just said, that's prob from the artist's point of view, that's probably not very good, a good setup because you have to do a lot of additions and maybe you don't get select.

Jesper (21m 33s):
So you could end up spending quite a lot of your time as an artist without actually getting any orders. Correct.

Autumn (21m 41s):
So I started the 99 design profile and I looked at a few of the options and I thought about how much time it was going to take for me to do an audition two, possibly have my Work voted on and maybe selective one of 20. And then like, you know, I do better just making a premade and posting it on Facebook and or a deviant art. And I would have course, I mean, as an artist, you can go in and use probably that as a premade or as something else, somewhere else. Once you create a background image, if it's not selected, I don't think you're tied into a contract that you can never reuse the image that you made for your audition, but its, it could be a huge time sink and it was definitely not a route I decided to take, but I do know as an author looking for a book cover, it has an amazing, fantastic, ya know, option because ewe, you get all these ideas thrown at you that you might not have come up on your own.

Autumn (22m 34s):
So, you know, some, sometimes it works out everyone that has a different work technique in a work flow. But as an artist, I stay away from that one because it seemed like, Oh yeah, it looked like a tough one. Understand? Yeah. Understand if there is Facebook to, because you can go in and search for art on Facebook. But I think it's very unwieldy and not a good search function. I would go for it straight for DV in art over that one as well.

Jesper (23m 0s):
Okay. Yeah. And I feel like for the rest of this conversation, I almost feel like we should disregard, but it covers and maybe just, and you can disagree with me here with me here or if you want it. But I almost feel like saying that book cover design is something you find somebody experienced with a book covers to do, whereas graphical artists for the rest of this conversation, meaning creating like a well basically artwork.

Jesper (23m 35s):
That's something different because to me a good book, cover designer we'll know exactly what the <inaudible> is looking for and what readers of that is looking for and they can find something and usually they can also find a well, you know, there's a ton more or better than me or them, but, but usually they can find images that they can just manipulate and make it look awesome. But also hit the shank or tropes. And that is a million times more important than having the most cool like dragon on the cover.

Jesper (24m 9s):
Oh yeah. Well that's not a good example because dragon on the covers it's within the genre, but some really, really cool art work that, that its just, it might look amazing, but just because it's a good artist doesn't mean that they know what to put on a book cover. And so I almost feel like I want to disregard book covers from here on out.

Autumn (24m 33s):
Well I think we should be just because of this title of this may be, think of book cover. So I think we should do like a two minute quick book cover rundown and, but I do agree book covers and artwork are entirely different and I think it's important that other authors realize that a good book cover is not necessarily the best marketing image. I mean, it should be a good marketing image of your book, but if you want something that is like a website image or just something more graphical, those I can add, those are often very different images are very complex.

Autumn (25m 9s):
They could be a very large, very in depth. When you look for a book cover artist, you want to find someone who knows how to take just a portion of that and make a composition that fits the color. The tone of the genre fits the tone of your book. And part of that is also having an amazingly good knowledge of type setting and font choice and layout and elements like that that are pretty different from just a large scale image. That is usually more like a scene from your book.

Autumn (25m 42s):
Those two things may not be the same. And so I think most authors might not realize that, especially if you, you know, you're thinking you're going to use this image for multipurposes. Sometimes you can take a little snippet of a bigger image and turn it into your book cover, but often it doesn't quite work. And if you ever, I did just find out this interesting tip. If you ever have questions about book cover is, and if yours is holding up, there is a website called lousy or maybe is a lousy book covers. But if you just Google lousy book covers, you will find this website.

Autumn (26m 14s):
And if you're ever wondering, you know, looking for a book cover artist and you're like, is this good enough go there? And you get a good feel for really lousy book covers pretty quickly. And if something, it looks familiar, you don't wanna go with a cover artist. So keep that in mine. I think when it comes to most book cover artists where they fall flat is the typesetting is the font choices and how it looks in with a placement on the image and what's behind it. If it's very legible, that's it's own totally different skill set.

Autumn (26m 46s):
So if you are going to get an artist and you want it for a book cover, you might have to get two different artists. If they're not someone who can understand the type setting and how its going to work when your book cover and that we won't even get into like the techniques you need to do to spit that out as something that's going to be printable at the right DPI, it totally different process.

Jesper (27m 9s):
Absolutely. And maybe that was enough about the cookbook come in.

Autumn (27m 12s):
Exactly as I would say, onward in to graphic design and to the general Fantasy image.

Jesper (27m 20s):
Yeah. So I was thinking we could sort of talk through the process that we used here recently when we hired a, a, an artist to do our work or our art work for us. And of course we use DV and not a, I guess that's not a surprise because what has been said so far, but what we did was basically we went into deviant art and we made a list of artists that we, the ones that we like the most basically, umm, and we also focused on not just the artist that we liked the most, but also the artists who then created the type of artwork we were looking for it because there is a ton of amazing artists on deviant art.

Jesper (28m 7s):
But what also becomes apparent once you just spend a bit of time they're is that their style differs, you know, some of them maybe making it well, some of them have had this kind of a bit of Katurah as well.

Autumn (28m 21s):
They have drawing, we have like a manga Banga is very popular. Yeah, yeah.

Jesper (28m 24s):
Yes. And it looks really cool, but unless that's what you were looking for, then that's not really a good artist to put on your, on your shortlist because well they would, that's the way they draw. Right. And not to say that some of them can't draw both cartoonish or manga and regular pictures or images, some of them can, but just be mindful when you start creating your short list of artists, they are that you want to look for people who are really good at it.

Jesper (28m 55s):
But also that matches the style that you are looking for. And a in our case, we were, we were looking for what, I don't know, quote unquote, realistic artwork, if you can call it that

Autumn (29m 8s):
I would call it realistic. But also we we're looking for something that was a hundred percent like hand drawn painted. They will find it. So there's the manga artists who do the more cartoonish style. There's the ones that are doing a hundred percent original hand drawn there's ones who are using Daz 3d, which makes three D models. And you have a whole set of people doing things with that though, whether they are merging drawing elements. And then you have photo compositing, which is, you know, taking stock photos and layering it in with some hand drawn elements and creating a wholesale in way.

Autumn (29m 41s):
So all of those things exist in all of those things are legitimate graphic artists. So your going to have to go through and find things and look for the kind of style that you like. And you also have to decide like, do you want the ones with a huge, fantastic landscape's or do you want ones that are really focusing on a character's or even do you want someone who's really looking at action scenes? Some people can do amazing characters, just standing there, but you want to throw in magic and you know, hitting something in a machine guns firing or whatever you're looking at in the, they really can't do that.

Autumn (30m 17s):
So it's in Fantasy you have a team of the machine guns shooting at like a giant Hawks and dragons. Those are, those are out there,

Jesper (30m 26s):
No machine guns get rid of the machine.

Autumn (30m 29s):
Oh, it's a whole different sub shot or a FANTASY we don't want that, you know, tanks. Okay, fine.

Jesper (30m 38s):
Yeah. So once we have a short list of artists, we went on basically just a regular internet search, a we just used the Google images to be honest, but we were just finding a balance of images in sort of the style and in the level of quality that we were looking for, because what we did next was then we created a list of all the kind of images that we wanted to create. So basically it was just like a long bulleted list with a, like one or two sentences, a description of what we were looking for know more than that.

Jesper (31m 16s):
So it could be, Mmm, well, it could be the dragging for example. OK. So we need the dragon. Mmm. And then maybe a few words about what this dragon looks like or sentence or two or something like that. And then we didn't the point was to find images on the internet with Dragon's, but we just found a random pictures of sorts of this is to kind of style in quality. We wanted just to show the artist's that, ah, this is what we're looking for. And here's then the list of things that we want you to create.

Jesper (31m 50s):
And I can't remember. We've probably had like, I dunno, what do we have? Like 30, 40 items all the way too long ago.

Autumn (31m 57s):
It was, I would recommend two. Definitely. Maybe have that narrowed down to maybe your top five, depending on, you know, your budget and just an idea of the, I think I have us having images of saying, this is what inspired us. Really. It really helps as an artist to be able to say, Oh good, you know, some kind of hand drawn sketch if a few ideas people, or even me as an artist, I've made a mood board, or if I'm creating to cover to get an idea of what's out there, what inspired me to make this cover?

Autumn (32m 27s):
So you want to make a mood board for the artists, your trying to hire that's when, when they love you for it.

Jesper (32m 36s):
Yeah. So what we did next was then of course, we reached out to these different artists on our short list and we basically just asked them for pricing information And well, surprise, surprise. It turned out. And some of them were incredibly expensive. Some of them were like these $4,005,000 per item. It's a while there was several of the other's who were well in the same price range.

Jesper (33m 5s):
I have, I guess I have to say that none of this is cheap, right? I mean, once you go out and ask for custom artwork, it has never cheap a so you have to go into this with the right expectations. Artwork will cost you. That's just, that's just the bottom line of this. But I think based on our list, at least we found that depending on the complexity of the images that we wanted created, I mean, some of them are more expensive than other ones, but at least I think based on what we found, we can expect to pay somewhere between 500 and a thousand dollars per image, depending on which one it is.

Autumn (33m 45s):
Yeah. So that was going to say about the going rate for, especially at night, we were looking for hand drawn, but this has a lot of work. Even if you're a fast at it, it's a lot of where you're not pulling in other elements. I can make things go faster. So these were young. Yeah. It's not cheap. And you should definitely go into it expecting to pay a certain amount because do you know that's what you're asking for is quite a high level of technical skill.

Jesper (34m 10s):
Yeah. And and 502, a thousand dollars per game is that it's not the expensive ones. Yeah.

Autumn (34m 17s):
Oh. But there are some amazingly talented people who probably it could be making more than they're charging. So you can always look for those.

Jesper (34m 26s):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean the, if you just want one image, for example, if you want a single image, then I think, I mean not, not, well, it could be wrong to say that everybody can, you can probably find the money for that, but that's not fair to say either. But my point was just that you don't have to be as insane as us to have like a list of 30 of 20 or 30 items you want created two times $500. Right. That's insane. But, but it's just us. So, you know, I have to be a stupid answer.

Jesper (34m 57s):

Autumn (34m 57s):
No, Oh yeah. That's do you don't want to go crazy. You don't want to have to be putting this on your credit card because it just like, you know, editing and everything else. What your going to get back. If it's for your book or something, you got to make sure you're balancing your budget here, but Hey, if it's your Christmas birthday present and you can scrape up the money, all of these are so cool. They're so I can see, I just love what I, like I said, we've been shown it's totally worth it.

Jesper (35m 24s):
Yeah. So basically we got back all the pricing information from these artists and then of course we had to make a choice. And since we already made the short list, based on the stuff we saw on deviant art, basically from an artwork prospective, we knew that all of them were good already. So the question then becomes, what do you do then? And at least for us, we didn't actually just pick the cheapest one. But instead we actually factored in stuff like how quickly did the artist reply to our emails?

Jesper (35m 59s):
Because I don't know about UDL listener, but at least for me personally, I hate working with somebody who you constantly have to chase four, getting a reply. I really, really hated a, so I want to be able to send an email and get a reply within, say a day or two or something like that. I think that is a fair expectation. If this is a professional working relationship,

Autumn (36m 24s):
Definitely I can agree. That's one of my pet peeves. And another thing you wanna think about To is there a schedule? I mean, if their really good, but I know a couple of cover artists that is literally taking commissions for a March, 2021. So that's an important thing to maybe ask is when would you fit me in, is it someone who can fit you in, in a month or two? Or is there someone who's two years out because they are doing a new role and you know, gaming are there or something and you are, they just literally, well not, they would love to work with you, but, and not right now.

Autumn (36m 56s):

Jesper (36m 58s):
It just made me think that there was actually one of the artist's on the list who didn't even send back pricing information. It just wrote back, well, you won't be able to afford me anyway. And it was all in all of the person wrote back to us. It's like, okay, yeah,

Autumn (37m 12s):
You should go with someone. You, Mmm. We might not have been looking for commissions' or at least not out of the, the water's we were looking. And I think that's an important thing is how chatty, you know, not only how fast or they reply, but, or are they like one or two words or is it someone you, can, you feel comfortable talking to, you want to make sure that you can get information back and you know, they're there getting what you're asking four, are you at least for like, you communicate with them without like being yelled at Yeah and what I do. Yeah.

Jesper (37m 42s):
And then this is important. Once you have sorta made you a pick here, and of course we can't tell you how, how to pick a day, pick the person, but of course, price, the price does matter. And I think it met us a lot. How fast are we applying that? And also what Autumn just said about, ah, how, what feel do you get about the person write? But the next steps then becomes important. I'm in our case, when we did, we, we basically agreed with the artist to do three trial images for us and just to get a feel for how do we work together?

Jesper (38m 16s):
We agreed that were not going to pay for any of it before all three is done. And before we were happy with all of them and then the artist's will do those three images. And then afterwards we will decide if we like the working relationship than we wanted to work with the artist on a more permanent in the long term basis. But for dad, I think it's important to have some sort of in place with the person. And when I say contract, it's not like you have to start writing 20 pages of contract or whatever, but you need something in writing that clearly lays out stuff like, okay, who owns the right to the images once they are created?

Jesper (38m 52s):
What about the payment terms? As I just said, Oh, we prefer only two pay once the work done, but there are different ways of doing that. You should also agree. They're what type of files are to be delivered? Is it in black and white? Is it in color? Ah, what is the resolution rate of the files? And also what is the turnaround time that you agree? So if I place your order today, when am I going to get the first draft of the images? When, when can I expect the final images to be done and so on and so on.

Jesper (39m 23s):
And so those things, you need something in writing two to, to, you know, lay out those terms so that it's clear to everybody because a otherwise you might end up in some trouble later because also as, as we talked about here, right? If, if we are talking more than just the single image, just turn images, for example, there could still be $5,000, right? So you don't want to have $5,000 floating out there on kind of a Well.

Jesper (39m 55s):
I don't know quite what we have agreed terms right now. I would start a good idea. Yeah,

Autumn (39m 59s):
No, you definitely covered everything. And I would also say, even if you agree with EVERY you, I think you're touched everything that I can think of it, especially the copy. Right. But you also might want to work on you. No. What can they share? Even like, you know, are they going to be able to post some drafts on DVD or in art? Or is there something you we're trying to keep under wraps into a big reveal, you should have that kind of a communication and possibly have that in a contract. It's not quite the same as, you know, if you were sharing, I'm an unpublished manuscript with somebody and you're worried about them stealing the whole thing.

Autumn (40m 33s):
Well, you know, you'd need to know who owns the rights to the work in progress is sorta the way to think of it because there are some artists who we'll be sharing it on their social media. And if you don't want that shared while it's still working draft, make sure you make that clear and yeah. Payment terms. There's a lot of different ones. Sometimes it's at the end. Sometimes its, you know, thirds are as you're going a long as you hit certain milestones, but most artists, if you're hiring someone whose professional has what they are used to, most of them are a flexible on certain issues.

Autumn (41m 6s):
So it shouldn't be too difficult. But again, so you want to make sure though, you don't want to just go with what they're saying. You want to make sure you know, the file types and what a difference is between a P and G filed is in a JPEG in your resolutions, on what size do you need? You need to know all of that so that your getting what you expect out of and you don't end up with something, this size of a thumbnail that you can do anything with.

Jesper (41m 32s):
Yeah, absolutely. So

Autumn (41m 34s):
I don't know autumn, if we are, if we should not conclude something like Like the top advice, uhh, when finding and working with an artist space, do you know based on everything we talked about or maybe something we didn't mention, what, what would you say? The number one advice I would be, I would say be as an author, looking for something, going with an idea of what you want be kind, but B specific always be a polite. It's a very nice you say you don't want someone who comes across to as demanding before you even get to know somebody.

Autumn (42m 10s):
But I would also say Mike, to me, coming from an artist point of view, you know, if you go, if you can find their exact website or their portfolio on DV in art and contact them directly, instead of through a third party like Upwork, that really helps because artists, they are expensive. They except for the ones who were making it big, its, you know, it's, you're doing this. A fulltime are in your spare time and it's not a high paying gig despite talking about, you know, something that costs a thousand dollars.

Autumn (42m 42s):
It takes a lot of time and a lot of work to make that. So the more you can put towards the artist directly, instead of having another party, take a portion, that's just a win win for everyone. Alright, next Monday it should be a fun one. Everyone talks about the daily word counts. Like what is a good target to set? Or should you even care about something? Like what counts

Narrator (43m 8s):
If you like, what you just heard? There's a few things you can do to support The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Jasper on Writing Fantasy for as little as a dollar a month. You'll get awesome rewards and keep The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast going to stay safe out there and see you next Monday.

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