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My Google-fu is failing me: is there a site in the same vein as Rent a Coder, but for hiring artists? In particular, I'm looking for a site which fits the following criteria:

  • Allows me to specify the style and scope of the work I'm looking for beforehand
  • Allows artists to "bid" on the project, including time and cost estimates
  • Showcases the work of the bidding artists so that I can see what kind of quality I can expect from each bidder
  • Is designed specifically for smaller, short-term projects or one-off graphics

It seems that the original incarnation of Rent a Coder is dead (the above seems to be some sort of knockoff), and that it was probably killed by an unsustainable market full of unrealistically low bids for large projects by unskilled and unqualified "coders." That being the case, such a site might be poorly suited to art as well.

The reason I'd like such a site, though, is that as a "bedroom programmer" with a small budget and little experience in this sort of thing, I have no idea where I should be looking for art or how much I should reasonably expect to pay. Thus, a site with good competition where market prices are somewhat transparent would be ideal.

Any other suggestions about how best to acquire custom artwork as an indie developer are also appreciated.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you're interested in artists, the best I can recommend is oDesk. I used it once for an artist, and it's fairly good, because it allows you to track their time usage per ten minutes (it takes screen-shots of what they're doing) and it bills by the hour.

There are a fair number of artists there; when I posted a request, I got around 10-20 proposals. (I asked for a nice 2D title screen.)

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Thanks! This looks like it's pretty exactly what I need. –  Mitch Lindgren Apr 4 '11 at 18:26
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It sounds like you're after assets rather than an actual artist. If that's the case, then I'd suggest TurboSquid.

Rather than separate artists, it has a whole load of art assets, where some you have to pay for, and others are free (generally "you get what you pay for" applies to the site). The advantage of this site is that you can see exactly what you're getting before entering into any agreement with the artist.

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Thanks! This site looks like a great resource. Unfortunately, it's not quite what I'm currently looking for... I should probably have specified that I'm primarily looking for 2D illustration/digital painting, as opposed to textures and 3D models. I am also looking to commission custom assets rather than buy stock. That said, I'm sure I'll use it in the future, and I'm sure it will be useful to others, so have an upvote. –  Mitch Lindgren Apr 4 '11 at 18:24
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Here is a blog post from Danc @ Lost Garden trying to hook up artists with developers. Karnak games has a great "how-to" on hiring game artists.

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There are a few sites like what your describing. I can't remember them but here is one of them.

http://flashgameart.com/artists/

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