Figure what style are you looking for

Lets set one thing straight: It is nice to expect to be mind-blown by artists style and creative genius just like in the movies. In real life however, we need to make sure things like creativity and style, will go our way. Why? Artists are just humans who can not read your mind or guess what style you like.

So, before going to hire an illustrator, do your homework. Figure out, what kind of illustrations you actually want. Is it 3D? Pencil? Flat? Black and White? Colourful?

Only you can decide. Browse the internet, go to gallery, check out the competition. Have fun. And figure out what you like.


Make sure you know what you want in the visual

While you don’t really need to be ultra specific about every single pixel or dot (believe us, micromanagement does not work anywhere), it is good to have an idea of key contents in visuals. Establish basic stuff, like what you want to say with the artwork and what exactly has to be there, such as objects or elements.

Be specific with audiences and markets

Besides naming elements, be clear about the uses and dedicated audiences for artworks. It will help you and artists to further clarify, how to approach the artwork.


Set your budget & deadlines

Setting budget is the easiest thing when you know what you want. Split the budget to 2 parts. Part one will cover the work of artist, part two will cover the license usage rights. When budgeting the work, think about complexity of your artwork, the more complex you want it, higher budget it should be (since it will take more time for the artist to create).

Licensing usage rights is more complex thing. Some platforms like Minty have integrated AI, that will calculate cost of license for you directly from brief. Others just need to calculate it on their own.
When making an estimate, simply get back to step 2. and review your use and audiences. Again, if you want your artwork to make money for you for more time or broader audiences, the license will be a bit higher.

First sketch (right) and final illustration (bottom) by illustrator Anna

It is always good idea to settle for license budget before the artwork is out, since the license rights will cost you fraction of future budget that will artist ask for after illustration will get “traction” or become famous.

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Some of the best artists who would love to work on your projects are on the other side of the globe. Minty will help you to find them and make them part of your remote team.
Our 1 seat programs start at 15€/month.

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Pick artist and give him a contract

Once you know the style you prefer, picking artist is a breeze. Always reach out to more artists with your brief, but keep the number compact to avoid confusion. Ideally, send your brief to 3 to 5 illustrators, and wait for their responses. With platforms like Minty, you don’t really have to be anxious about unresponsive artists, as the AI automatically finds you another illustrators, who use similar styles of your choice.

Once you have your match, make sure there is a contract. Platforms such as Minty generate contract for each collaboration for free, so you do not need to pay extra money to your lawyer.

It is good if contract defines also payment conditions, to make your collaboration more seamless. Minty Contracts cover every step of collaboration, from drafting to final artwork delivery, so both sides are covered in whole process.


Enjoy collaboration

It’s good to plan a collaboration realistically. Never expect that first draft from illustrator will be the right one and don’t be shy to reply in feedback rounds. Professional illustrators are expecting you to give them comments.

Expect on average from 3 to 5 feedback rounds, with first round dedicated for black and white sketches, second for full colour sketches and third for final illustrations.

If all the previous steps have been completed, there should never be more than 5 rounds, unless of course, you change your mind completely. If this happens, make sure to extend your budget, since artists are only humans, and as mentioned before, they can not read your mind.

Collaboration illustration by Bessa

It should not happen that often, but if you decide to illustrate something completely different, set up completely new collaboration instead of twisting the brief and extending the feedback rounds, which will cost you more money anyway.

This way, you will end up with first completed illustration available for use, satisfied artists, and clean slate for new collaboration, probably for much lower costs, as the illustrator already knows that working with you is fun and easy.

First sketch for a wallpaper illustration for WeTransfer app


Use the Illustration!

Make sure you have the right resolution or type of files you need (such as vectors or bitmaps). Then, you are ready and set.
Congrats, your creative ammunition just got super engaging visual to convert tons of new leads and buzz for you.

Cover Illustration: Life Tastes Good by Bessa