Just a sketch or two...
November 14, 2006 2:34 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to hire graphic designers for simple sketches and illustrations. I'm looking for decent quality work and I'm willing to pay fairly. How would one go about this? What should I budget?

I've been doing web design work for a little while now, but my biggest limitation to business growth is that I'm not a particularly proficient illustrator. I'm not very good with results (not terrible either), and it takes me a long time to sketch ideas or make things come alive either on paper or on the screen. Once I'm beyond the sketch phase, things move pretty quickly.

I've tried to practice with it, but there's an immediate need for decent-quality artwork that I just can't fill by myself with my limited schedule. Searching stock databases to find specific types of illustrations takes too long, and the prices for exclusive use are often beyond my reach. I know some illustrators personally, but their professional rates are staggering for the small projects that I've been doing. I don't need a month's worth of graphics work, just a few hours here and there.

If I wanted to contract out work like simple sketches and graphical elements (repeating background textures, buttons, decorative elements), what could I expect to pay for such things? Do graphic designers have hourly rates or rates for simple elements like clipart sketches (not entire websites)? If I start commissioning graphics work, I want to offer fair and competitive prices for the work.

Any info about this or related stuff would be appreciated.

Ex: Take a look at the selection of the Pin Up Girls images on Fenderskirts Vintage. I'm not big into vintage illustration per se, but the silhouette images (Pinup132) are good representatives of the things that I'd like to include in my designs. I can do a lot with vectorized cut-outs and quality clip-art. It just takes me too long to make them myself with my dinky mouse and shaky hands. Full color illustrations could be nice for larger projects, but I don't know much about those either.

(BTW, I'm willing to accept that some things just take a long time to complete and that my ideas might not be feasible for small projects with tight budgets. So please do tell me if I'm crazy.)
posted by brianvan to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe click that "Jobs" link in the upper right corner of this page. :)
posted by The Deej at 2:41 PM on November 14, 2006

Sounds like a job for a college student- try posting on craigslist.
posted by InfidelZombie at 2:49 PM on November 14, 2006

istock has a buy request program that might work for simpler clip-art style things. As for larger, more-detailed illustrations, maybe go through Workbook.
posted by clh at 2:52 PM on November 14, 2006

Also, get a Wacom tablet. You're not making it any easier on yourself with a mouse. It might extend what you can do on your own. Even if you can't draw it certainly makes tracing easier (and is much more pleasant to use than a mouse anyway).
posted by nathancaswell at 2:55 PM on November 14, 2006

There was a freshly minted graphic artist looking for job help last night.

Istock is a good option, though I haven't used their request program yet.
posted by dw at 2:55 PM on November 14, 2006

Elance used to be a good place to get/fill illustration gigs. I have no idea how it is in the last year or so, but it or something like it might be a good place to scour for going rates and post your illustration needs.
posted by Gucky at 4:36 PM on November 14, 2006

Please see the post on here made by Teevee's Bella on the 13th.
posted by JayRwv at 4:49 PM on November 14, 2006

Response by poster: I sent an email to Teevee's Bella about potential work for my current project. Hopefully it's something her boyfriend will find interesting. Also, I intend to search craigslist or post jobs where possible.

That said, I want to know how to manage graphics freelancers in general, including where to find them and what they should get paid. I don't want to make a fool of myself by lowballing the salary. If I can't afford it in my current budget, I will raise my project quotes until I can.

(Why should I be stuck doing it for less money? I should charge rates that cover the cost of the work being done, whether I farm it out or do it myself. At the very least, I should be getting paid market prices for my work!)

Tablets have been part of my research lately. Maybe for X-mas. Also looking into replacing my 7-year-old monitor with an LCD, but that's a question for another day.
posted by brianvan at 5:51 PM on November 14, 2006

Check out www.aliceychen.com. She specializes in medical illustrations but is a true artist. I am sure she could hook you up.
posted by SciGuy at 7:17 PM on November 14, 2006

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