NarCranor wrote:Good advice. I am currently working with four separate artists on various Star Wars related web comic projects. I find that getting an artist to collaborate with is really about having a geniune infectious excitement for the project you are creating. If you aren't excited about it, you artist isn't going to get excited about it, and that is the key. The second you get that artist excited about your story idea, that's when you have them. This is really important since a writer's workload on a webcomic is so much less than the artist's.
NarCranor wrote:Another thing that I find breeds success in an artist hunt is to be personal. A random post asking for ANY artist will get you NO artists. Go to deviant art, or look at portfolio pages. Email artists specifically commenting on what you like about their work specifically, and why you think THEY would be the perfect artist to collaborate with. If your artist feels like they just got picked out of thousands of other artists, its gonna make them a lot more interested in what you have to say. It is kind of like going to a club and trying to pick up a girl. If you walk in and just scream hey, will any girl dance with me, you aren't going to get any ladies. You have to go up to each one personally and ask them specifically. Then it becomes a numbers game.
NarCranor wrote:Another side of things is how to keep your artist happy once you get one. I usually talk to my guys (and girl) 4-5 times a week online, sometimes not about the comic at all. By creating that mutual friendship, and not just having a strictly business relationship, your artist might be more into the comic. Also, if all you talk about is the comic, your artist can begin to feel like you are hounding him for pages. A little small talk goes a long way.
NarCranor wrote:The quickest way to lose an artist is to stifle their creative freedom. You can't be a nazi dictator of the story. You have to be open to changes in the script and page layouts. If the artist wants to do something differently, and you strongly disagree, don't just lay the hammer down. Explain why you need it the way it is. A good artist should be focused on serving the story anyway, so if there is a plot reason, they ought to agree. Otherwise, I would suggest trying to rearrange some things. It is just very important to stay flexible.
NarCranor wrote:Talk with your artist before you get too far into writing. One of the first things I like to do when starting a new project is to ask my artist if there is anything specific they want to draw. Even on projects that are already written but trying to find an artist for, when I do find an artist, I still have that conversation, and see if there are places to fit things in for them. A certain character, environment, creature, etc. Find out what they want to be drawing. Then keep that in your head when you are developing your plot and script, and see if you can't work at least a few of those things in. This not only gives your artist something to look forward to when drawing, but it makes them really feel like they are a part of the development process.
NarCranor wrote:Finally, and this might seem contradictory, but push your artist. Try and get them in the mindset of taking their work to a higher level. Let them know you are interested in helping them hone their craft, and that when the project ends, they will be a better artist for it. Write scenes that are going to push them. If their experience tends to be a lot of pin ups or action splash pages, challenge them with a few emotional scenes that require a mastery of expressions. Don't overdo it, or you will push the artist away by overwhelming them. But you have to challenge them enough to keep them interested. If they are a traditional comic artist, try having them paint a cover for the book. Giving an artist new challenges is really important to their satisfaction.
NarCranor wrote:Anyway, just a few more tips for you fellow writers out there. Artists, would be curious to see your responses to these tips. Anyway, happy webcomicing!
- This is probably the only part of the entire post that I don't agree with 100%. Yes, it's very important to be excited about the project, but my personal experience has been that the more excited a writer is - the less prepared they actually are. It's like they get this idea in their head and just start looking for an illustrator before they are actually ready to do so and have the proper material put together.
McDuffies wrote:Say, what kind of work do you usually get engagement for?
Yeah... every aspiring writer will be mad as hell if you suggest to them that writing is easy, but secretly most of them think so too. There's a lot of sense of entitlement in idea that having several high concept ideas equals being a competent writer. Of course actually finishing the script, which includes being reliable in coming up with ways to tie those ideas together is a lot more difficult, let alone going through any kind of editorial evaluation and revision and whatnot... Finishing even a bad script is miles away from starting one.
That said, writing is still generally less time-consuming than drawing. I'd argue that people put less into their drawing than writing, that, say, in mainstream comics, one out of three well-drawn comics is actually well-written, so that writers should perhaps try to match artists in effort and time - but writers would still be less paid and more replaceable so noone would bother.
But anyways, it's easy to be excited about a project when you're secretly expecting that it'll be a lot of reward and minimum of commitment.
Looking back at my post, I hope I didn't make it sound like writing is easy or that all writers are over-excited. I write comics as well (I mostly illustrate, but I do in fact write some of my own stuff which I will be launching very soon), and writing comics can be a HUGE pain. But a lot of fun. The problem I often face with writers (not all) is that they don't know how to write a proper comic script, OR they write it as if they are writing a film (which is a very different type of script even if it is formatted as a proper comic script). Writing does in fact take a lot of time to do and you have to be really good at it to do it right. However, 95% of the time, the illustrator(s) is spending a lot more time drawing the page than the writer took to write it. Especially if the work needs to be in color.
I feel that writing a truly good comic can, in many ways, be more difficult than illustrating it. Illustrations will only go so far if the writing sucks, but a captivating, well written story will bring people back again and again regardless of the artwork.
McDuffies wrote:One thing I learned early on from some cartooning book was, you shouldn't be worried about someone stealing your idea because theoretically you should have many more ideas on the side. IF you don't, plagiarists are the least of your problems.
MichaelYakutis wrote:Great. Now I feel like a chump for having my newest collaborator sign an NDA before going over the details lol.
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