7 ways to find an artist
When I first started designing games it seemed impossible to find an artist, I had no experience and didn’t know where to look. These days I have a list of handy websites that have served me well over the years and would like to share them with you.
There is an amazing group on Facebook with over 10,000 members called Art & Graphic Design for Tabletop Games. This group is fantastic for browsing portfolios and finding people with experience in the industry who are looking for work.
BoardGameGeek is the go to place for looking up board games but did you know it also has a forum dedicated to art and graphic design?
I always thought it would be hard to browse Twitter for artists and then I discovered the portfolio day hashtag.
Simply go to Twitter, search #portfolioday and select latest.
This will supply you with an endless list of artist portfolios which you can scroll through, you can also try filtering the list with a second keyword in the search if you want something specific.
I found several artists through Upwork when I first started out including the artist for The Isle of Cats. You’ll need to setup a cost, write a brief, and then wait for people to apply, but you can get a good number of experienced artists if you’re open to offers.
DeviantArt is a portfolio website for artists, it has a huge range of illustrators and graphic designers from all backgrounds and is where I’ve found all my recent artists.
There are 2 approaches to DeviantArt but you will need a free account:
- You can simply scroll through the endless artwork on the homepage until you find something you like. I recommend filtering by categories to refine the art to your requirements. If you find someone you like, I recommend you also look at who they are following as often you’ll find they follow people with similar styles!
- You can post a job description in the forum, these can get a huge amount of responses if you are too generic so make sure to include details to get good applications.
If you are still stuck and can’t find someone then look at recently launched Kickstarter campaigns. Often the artists will have already finished the artwork for the game and will be looking for future projects.
Finally, I recommend asking around and letting people know you are looking for an artist. People are always happy to share if they can help someone find a job!
If you are struggling, I recommend you spend some time thinking about your requirements:
- Are you posting detailed enough job adverts without being too restrictive?
- Are you being reasonable with your cost expectations?
- Are you posting in all the appropriate places (there are 4 listed above).
I would love to know if there are any other websites you use for finding artists?
Frank West is a gamer and designer based in Bristol, UK. He published his first board game, The City of Kings, in 2018 and now works on other games and organising events in the local area. His goal? To design and publish games focusing on immersive themes, fun mechanics and beautiful components. If you have any questions or would just like a chat, feel free to get in touch at any time!