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How to Get Commissioned Comic Art

Emma Lawson

Staff Writer

Emma is a librarian and writer in Vancouver, BC. She writes mostly about comics, crafts, and fandom. Follow her on Twitter for Supernatural gifs, rabbit pictures, and more: @emmalawson.

Art is a huge part of the appeal of comics and if you’re anything like me, a beautiful cover or an interesting art style can get you to pick up a comic you’ve never heard of. That’s the beauty of comics—so much storytelling happens in the pictures.

Many of your favorite comic artists will also do commissions. This means you get get them to draw you whatever you want, for a price. Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson eating New York’s best pizza? Okay. Squirrel Girl and Tippy Toe beating up Iron Man? Why not! Batman reading his batnews in the Batcave while smoking a batpipe? Someone will draw it for you if you ask!

Not sure how to get commissioned art from comic artists? We’ve got a few tips below!

Marko & Alanna Saga ECCC 2016 commission by Kevin Wada

Marko & Alanna Saga ECCC 2016 commission by Kevin Wada

Know what you want

If you’re going to ask someone to draw something for you, know what you want them to draw! These artists aren’t going to have the time or mental energy to decide themselves what to draw for you. The whole point of a commission is that you get exactly what you want—so know what you want!

That’s not to say that the artist won’t put their own spin on your request. These guys are pros with their own style and ideas, but you need to give them the basic concept to work with.

Go to conventions

Conventions are the easiest place to get commissions done. You can visit artists’ tables and talk to them in person about what you would like to have drawn. Artists will often post commission prices at their table but even if they don’t, feel free to ask if they do commissions and what it will cost you.

Do NOT ask for commissions on the last day of the con—the artist likely won’t have time to complete the piece in time. Check in with your top picks on the first day if you can, or get on a commission list before the con.

Get on pre-convention commission lists

Many of the big name artists will schedule all of their commissions for a convention before the con even starts. The artist has more time to complete the commission, and you get to just waltz onto the convention floor and pick up your art. Win-win!

Check the websites and social media of the artists you’re interested in commissioning about a month before the con to see if they’re doing commission lists.

Don’t despair

Can’t get on a commission list before the convention? Don’t worry! Even if your number one pick is too busy, there are tons of amazing artists out there who would love to draw something for you. Take a walk down Artist Alley—you might find someone whose art you adore. Be open to new artists!

Follow your favorites on social media

If you can’t make it to a convention, you can still get commissions. Many artists will open commissions at various times throughout the year, especially for quick digital commissions. Make sure to follow your favorite artists on social media to keep on top of any commission announcements.

Have you ever had got a commission from a comic artist? Tell us about it in the comments!