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  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-16-2004, 05:59 AM
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M.McCabe M.McCabe is offline
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

Wonderful advice there michelle, thankyou for taking the time to write it I'm only 16 and I have been aking art seriously the past couple of years, I still have much to learn but hopefully I will become a better artist and be able to make a living from my art.

I've recently bought this book "2005 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market" mentioned earlier and it is a very good book to have, it's really helpful and gives you information on how to get into the industry.

Again thankyou
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Old 12-17-2004, 08:40 AM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

First and foremost, attend science fiction conventions!

At first, check out the science fiction/fantasy (SF/F) cons in your area. Go to their art show, look at the artwork (you'll learn how its displayed, and you'll be able to judge the overall quality of the show--which can vary greatly from con to con). Find out if there's an artists' reception; attend that and meet the artists. Go to the art auction; you'll learn how SF/F convention pricing works. (It's strange, to say the least!)

The convention should provide tons of info (mostly in the form of flyers, usually placed on tables near the registration desk) about other conventions you can attend. Also, most cons will accept prints and originals; most will also accept mail-in art. You mail your art (most artists mail prints, exhibiting originals only when they attend the con) the con art show staff will hang it, sell it, take a small commission, and mail you your unsold art back, and a check for anything that sold. (I usually include a bag or box of candy when I mail prints to a con; the art show staff are almost always volunteers, and they work very, very hard.)

Nearly all SF/F cons are held annually. Check with the art show staff at your local con, to find out how to exhibit your work at next year's con.

There are different kinds of SF/F conventions; cons have 'themes'. Some cons focus on fantasy books, some on science fiction books, some on 'media'--SF/F movies, television shows (even specific shows, such as Star Trek, Babylon V, etc.) Still others focus on costuming, others on role playing gaming, (vampires, SCA, etc.)

My advice is to avoid 'gaming' conventions; gamers stay in the gaming room the entire con (I'm not even sure they leave the room to use the restrooms!) They'll never take time to visit the art show, and thus gamers rarely buy artwork. (You might get the occasional ten-spot for a character sketch...)

Some gaming cons don't even have art shows, but most (oddly enough) do. You've been warned.

I've had the best luck with sales, and contact with publishers, at 'literary' SF/F cons; cons that focus on fans who enjoy books, magazines, and short story collections.

Ask around about after hours parties at the con; there should be signs placed, again near the registration desk, with info about parties both Friday and Saturday night. (Most cons run Friday night thru Sunday afternoon.)

These parties are where all the business gets done! You'll meet people who run conventions--and convention art shows--in other cities; Chances are, they've seen your work, and would love to have you exhibit at their show. You'll also meet writers, and perhaps publishers (or, at least, their art directors). Carry your business cards at all times, but don't take your portfolio to parties. If they want to see your work, they'll take your card to the art show the next day. Talk with the other artists to find out which conventions are well-attended by art buyers, and concentrate on exhibiting at those cons!

(There's often lots of booze at these parties, but if you're serious about networking to try to line up some commissions, don't drink too much. First, you'll want to present a professional image. Second, you'll probably be taking notes on business cards, which are easily lost even when one is sober.)

Very few sf/fantasy artists are paid well--at least at first. It may be (quite) a while before you can quit your day job.

I started exhibiting at conventions in 1996. I attended and exhibited work at the World SF Convention in 1997, and at the North American SF Con in '99.

I sold limited rights to one of my paintings in 1997; a small publishing (now out of business) company wanted to use the image as their logo. (I also painted seven book covers for them; and was paid for the logo rights, and only three of the covers. They returned only two pieces of my original cover art.)

But, I sold seven original paintings in 1997, and eight in 1999, which has led me to pursue more 'fine art' type shows and opportunities, since.

Last month, I was asked by a friend who owns a publishing house to paint cover art for an upcoming book. I was paid next to nothing up front, but I will receive royalties equally my average price for an original painting--

--as soon as all 3500 copies of the book sell!

I've pretty much turned away from fantasy art at this point; I'm back in school, majoring in fine art studio painting, and art history. I'm painting mostly in oils these days; the book cover will be the first airbrush work I've done in seven months...

I'm concentrating on becoming a full-time, studio painter by the time I graduate; two and a half years from now.

Unless this illustration thing finally takes off!

LOL

K
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Last edited by Keith Russell : 12-17-2004 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 12-22-2004, 04:00 PM
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Mparker Mparker is offline
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

Keith,

Thanks for mentioning conventions! I can't believe I didn't mention them, since that's where I've shown my work until this year, where it's been mostly on the Web (I've been transitioning into a completely new body of work, so held off from showing in person until I had enough to fill a couple of shows).

SF and fantasy cons tend to be the bread and butter of the fantasy and SF artist. Not to mention how sheerly inspiring it can be to walk into a REALLY good art show, like the ones at WorldCon or DragonCon. Drooooooool.

Heh. I had a publisher dissapear with 4 magazines worth of my and other artists I know's originals, never to be seen again, let alone paid for. The publisher later showed up under a different name soliciting for new artists. Sigh. Thing is, I knew at the time that they had a good reason for not returning the art. It had been confiscated for an unrelated court action involving a moving company. The problem is that the publisher never bothered to actually TELL any of the artists (I just put 2 and 2 together to figure out what happened). Had they told us, we would have been happy to help them through their hard times and keep up the business relationship. But they didn't. So they are evil.

Michelle
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Old 12-23-2004, 01:10 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

Michelle, yeah, there's definitely some 'evil' out there.

But, many publishers are also sincere fans, who really enjoy what they do, and do it for love, far more often than for money.

(Kinda like us artists!)

Good luck with your new work!

K
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Old 12-28-2004, 05:52 PM
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

I enjoyed this article very much and it inspired me to do a 'faeryland' image. I've posted it in this forum.

I enjoyed doing it as it is such a pleasure to work from imagination.

The tip I liked/found useful- in the article was...do your normal style of drawing and then add in fantasy elements to get started, e.g., pointed ears.

Well, I think I got started. I may go on and do more...
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Old 12-31-2004, 02:01 AM
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

oh, you chose such beautiful examples of fantasy art, sure to get anyone interested in it.

Very good article, simple and to the point. Perfect for introduction.
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:03 AM
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

Several words about the convention art circuit.

It varies wildly. Total sales at a show vary from under $2000 to over $100,000, sales by one artist varies from 0 to over $10,000. You can be paid as you check out, or it can take months. Different things sell well at different cons. Each con tends to have its own rules and paperwork.

Prices are low compared to most markets. On the other hand, most will let you mail in, most don't charge much, and there are a *lot* of them - probably a couple hundred, maybe 100 of which might be worth sending to. How do you know which they are? The SciFiFantasyHorrorSpace_ArtShows email group on Yahoo is a good place to ask:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SciFiF..._ArtShows/join
It's also good for advice on how to sell at these shows.

You can do whatever kind of art you want. There are no art editors telling you what to do. On the other hand, you'll have to learn pricing and presentation for the venue, and what sells (or where your particular type of art sells).
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Old 06-04-2007, 04:07 AM
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

hmmmm...it seems like your telling me what i want to hear...but i like the advise none the less
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:11 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

harleylady here from nz love your art its choice.[quote][quote] art is from the heart and it touchers souls and talks to the devine spirit we all have inside us.bit of poetry i am inspired to write words. from robyn

Last edited by harleylady : 12-26-2007 at 09:13 PM. Reason: i am truly impressed with the artist and how they are inspired
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:21 PM
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

The article Getting started with fantasy art is sooo useful - thank you.
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:21 PM
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

The article Getting started with fantasy art is sooo useful - thank you.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:01 PM
MichaeltheMystic MichaeltheMystic is offline
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

Indeed! I never really considered a career in Art or Literature, either, for that reason. I love my work a lot but even though I submitted to sites featuring it, they never paid me. I have to support myself through other means.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:18 PM
iwan rse iwan rse is offline
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

for getting started dont forget to check FARP/elfwood. they have tons of fantasy writing and drawing tutorials..

http://www.elfwood.com/farp/writing-tutorials.html
http://www.elfwood.com/farp/art-tutorials.html
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:36 PM
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Re: Getting Started in Fantasy Art

Great article!

Getting started is really as simple as starting to sketch from your imagination. Drawing from your own mind is a unique experience that can be very rewarding. I remember knowing from an early age that drawing what was in my head was far more interesting than trying to draw what was around me. I suppose it's that child in us all wanting to explore the possibilities.
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