October 5th, 2010

RPG Artwork

Folks, I have a problem.

I am at the point that my RPG could use some artworks to give it some additional professionalism. Right now, it's just a 191-page pdf, which is okay for playtesting but nobody's gonna pay any money at all for that.

I have three artists who have already agreed to provide artwork for one or more books (that is, they have actual time to work for me; a fourth who I really want doing artwork for me is constantly too busy). Anyway, on to the problem:

I don't have a lot of money to pay these guys.

It's not like I don't want to- every time I reply to an e-mail discussing fees I feel like a shyster that's trying to get them to work for free. I just don't have a lot of money for artwork, and I can't do the artwork myself because, unless it's a technical drawing or a 3-D sculpture, I have crap for artistic talent.

I seem to be in a catch-22 here: I don't have money to pay artists, so I can't sell my product. And I can't sell my product without some amount of decent artwork. But I don't have money to pay artists... I mean, if $400 only gets me two A4, full-color cover pieces and header-sized chapter drawings go for $75-$100 each, I am seriously screwed.

I need advice on how to either stretch what pathetic art budget I have as much as I can, or creative (and legal, of course) ways to make money so I can pay these guys. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated- the only one I won't accept is 'give up'
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