How Do I Learn To Speak Artist?
November 29, 2012 1:03 PM Subscribe
I will soon need cover art for a self-published book. I'd like to get something original rather than buying a stock photo. I am quite ignorant about the world of visual arts. Please teach me how to communicate what I want to an artist--and how to find one?
posted by scaryblackdeath to media & arts (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This will be a sci-fi novel (space opera-style). I've already been pretty successful with a self-pubbed urban fantasy book, but for that I was lucky and had a photographer friend volunteer to put together my cover. I'm not sure a photo would work for this book, given that it's all set In The Future and In Spaaaace and all that.
Good covers are vital in self-publishing, so I'd like to do this right... but I'm not independently wealthy, so of course cost is an issue. I don't want to short-change an artist, but at the same time I can't afford more than a $500-$600 at the absolute most. One artist friend said that's the minimum I could expect to pay a professional artist, and that sounded realistic to me, so...
What I want seems relatively uncomplicated to me, but again, I'm not an artist; I may not be the one to make that decision. The tl;dr description would just be "a banged-up futuristic helmet," but I could naturally be more descriptive once it's actually relevant.
How do I learn the vocabulary to express what I want? I hope to get something close to what one sees on the covers of sci-fi books on the shelves at bookstores. Do I just call that a "painting?" Are there terms for level of detail or quality? I want it to look sharp, rather than going something swirly or psychedelic with lots of pastels... but how do I actually say that without sounding like a moron?
Are there places to post ads for this online? Would I save any money by looking for an artist outside the US, or is that just shitty of me?