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Questions about hiring an artist


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#1 dustin321   Members   -  Reputation: 151

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 12:27 PM

Sorry if this is the wrong forum, but I didn't see a more appropriate one. I have been working on an Android game for a while and now need to hire an artist to create several assets for my game. I'm not trying to hire anyone with this post, but I do have a couple of questions.

 

1. What is the typical process of finding and hiring an artist? I posted a detailed description of what I needed on a site and said it would be paid and never even got one response. I was planning to pay through Paypal. 

 

2. Is there some sort of contract that I should set up? I had planned to just make a one time payment for the assets. I do not want there to be any confusion where the artist thinks that they "own" part of the game and should get commission. They can own the assets, but not the game. Would just telling them the details be enough? 

 

3. Finally, what should I expect to pay? I have no idea of what the price should be for these assets. I need one background image, a character image in four directions, and several accessories in each of these directions. I understand that there is not any set price for art, but is there any range which I should expect the price to fall into?

 

Thanks in advance for anyone who can help. This is my first time hiring an artist for a project. 



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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8669

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:35 PM

0. Sorry if this is the wrong forum, but I didn't see a more appropriate one.
1. What is the typical process of finding and hiring an artist? I posted a detailed description of what I needed on a site and said it would be paid and never even got one response.
2. Is there some sort of contract that I should set up? ... I do not want there to be any confusion where the artist thinks that they "own" part of the game and should get commission. They can own the assets, but not the game. Would just telling them the details be enough?
3. Finally, what should I expect to pay?


0. I moved this to the Production forum.
1. You look for artists (you don't just post an ad) by scouring through sites like the Classifieds here, the vendors list on Gamasutra, etc. Then you contact the artist through the contact information the artist has posted.
2. You absolutely need to write a Work For Hire contract that includes the rights you need.
3. They'll tell you how much they want for the job. You can try to negotiate, if they want more than your budget can afford.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18887

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 08:06 PM

The most important of them: you need a contract because without it you have no right to use the work.

You don't necessarily need to be the one who writes the contract, and it doesn't necessarily need to be on a work for hire basis. Many professional artists and studios have their own contracts for use.

A contract from the artist or art studio will be written more to guard their interests rather than yours; it probably won't be a "work for hire" basis, but on an assignment of specific rights basis. You might find their agreement acceptable, or you might not.

If you use their contract rather than your own you still must have a lawyer review it. If you miss some essential rights it might make the artwork unusable to you.
Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#4 dustin321   Members   -  Reputation: 151

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:02 AM

Alright, thanks. Sorry for the late response. 



#5 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6332

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 10:09 PM

1. What is the typical process of finding and hiring an artist? I posted a detailed description of what I needed on a site and said it would be paid and never even got one response. I was planning to pay through Paypal. 

 

I actually go to artists, not public boards, most of the time. DeviantArt is a place to start, or conceptart.org, or even even here you'll find artists posting in the art threads, and you can look them up on their websites.

The idea is that you are not a top tier publisher, and nobody will line up to work with you, so you'll need to do some convincing.

Now, most freelancers are open to discussion once you actually initiate the dialogue. They might just not feel compelled to check on ads everyday, or may not feel like they are the perfect fit.


 

2. Is there some sort of contract that I should set up? I had planned to just make a one time payment for the assets. I do not want there to be any confusion where the artist thinks that they "own" part of the game and should get commission. They can own the assets, but not the game. Would just telling them the details be enough? 

 

 

I recommend milestone or asset based payment. It helps reinforce trust on both ends: the artist gets paid regularly and knows you are not a scammer, and you get assets delivered on-time because the artist wants the money. Win-Win.

As for an actual contract, you can do so. I tend to work with NDAs just to set the tone, but it depends how high profile what you are working on is. To be safe, having a contract and/or lawyer on hand is advisable.

 

 

3. Finally, what should I expect to pay? I have no idea of what the price should be for these assets. I need one background image, a character image in four directions, and several accessories in each of these directions. I understand that there is not any set price for art, but is there any range which I should expect the price to fall into?

 

That is too vague. Level of quality/resolution is important. Content of the background, the style of art (pixel art? painting? illustration?) size and style of character, etc. all of that is more than relevant.

One way to do business is ask for a quote after providing technical requirements. Then, if the price is too high, adjust reqs and ask for a revised quote. There's nothing wrong with negotiating the price with the artist, quite on the contrary. If you build a strong understanding on both ends at the start of the engagement, both parties will enter that relationship with more assurance.

As for a range, I've paid assets anywhere between 0.25$-100$ and that's as an indie only. It can go much higher (especially with, say, full pieces such as concept art, models, etc.)



#6 Greg Quinn   Members   -  Reputation: 147

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 02:53 PM

From someone who has wasted a lot of money on getting art re-done many times.. here are my tips..

 

1.) Advertise you're looking for an artist, stating a little about your game and the art style you're looking for.

2.) Filter down to 3 artists who have the best portfolios and who you feel communicated the best in their response, and whose prices suit your budget.

3.) Get each of these artists to do a small sample of work for your game. Make sure the requirements are clearly defined and both parties know EXACTLY what they are getting. 

4.) Request some small changes to the artwork to determine the artists adaptability and willingness to make changes

5.) Settle on the artist who gave the best sample, responded well to changes and who you felt was the best to work/communicate with.

 

Now that you have an artist...

 

1.) Make sure the requirements for each milestone are clearly defined and both parties know EXACTLY what they are getting. 

2.) Define terms of payment and the policy regarding revisions/changes

3.) Work in SMALL MILESTONES

 

I cannot stress #3 enough. When working with any new party, SMALL MILESTONES protect both parties. If the artist dissapears with your money, a small milestone will limit the impact. I've heard many horror stories of someone hiring a new artist without doing any research or reference checks, then paying them $1000 upfront and never hearing from them again.


Edited by Greg Quinn, 16 February 2014 - 02:54 PM.


#7 RalemProductions   Members   -  Reputation: 200

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 11:35 PM

Find someone dedicated to the idea...

 

set a budget. You're gonna need $100 or so per 3D model (low poly count)

If you're doing 2D it's a whole different game.

If budget constraints are an issue, maybe you can look at buying packs of assets on a site.

Skype, FB, Messenger are a must for an artist on your team.

Pitch the idea of the game. These are creatives.

Hope that helps

Best

Josh 

www.ralemproductions.com 






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