I suppose this is similar to what I went through some months ago when I began “The great editor hunt“. The way I went about it that time seems to have worked well enough, gaining me an editor with whom I am very happy. So I figure, why not follow that winning strategy with regards to finding a cover artist?
And with that in mind, I have begun querying a few cover artists. So far, I’ve only sent RFQs to two artists, but am planning to find several more. Unfortunately, the more I inquire, the more I find that I may have to do this in two stages. Here’s the problem I’m running into – most of the cover artists I’ve found so far just use stock images that they can purchase online, and then use some basic manipulation to create a composite image for the client. The end result is a good product for a reasonable price. But it’s not necessarily what I’m after.
You see, I’ve found a piece of artwork that is very close to what I would like for my cover – just not quite close enough. However, the quality of the artwork is phenomenal, and has shown me that what I want to do is possible. Now, since I’ve already found a piece that is close to what I want, and is definitely of the quality that I’m after, the logical thing would be to track down the original artist and hire him to do the cover art. Logical, right? But I can’t find any contact information, and Photobucket states that they will not serve as a conduit between artists and potential buyers, as the volume of queries is simply too great to deal with. And with no way to track down the original artist, I have to try to find someone else who can do the same level of photomanipulation quality in Photoshop.
So I have to find someone who specializes in digital artwork (photomanipulation, specifically), and see if I can get them to create an image I want to use on my cover. Then, since most of the digital artists who specialize in photomanipulation don’t actually create book covers, I will then likely need to take that piece of artwork to a cover designer so that they can integrate it into an actual book cover.
The real question is going to be whether or not I can afford the cover that I envision. I guess I’ll never know unless I find someone who can do it, right? So, if any of you know someone with mad skillz in Photoshop, point them my way, would you? I would REALLY appreciate it.