An skilled’s information to accumulating comedian guide artwork
Are you a comic book fan who appreciates the arts and wants to collect more than just the comics? Well you can with original art.
Whether it is to admire, collect, give, or invest in original comic art, the comic industry is thriving. I have been collecting since 2007 and have seen how much the market can change in a few years.
At this point in my life, every comic book convention I go to has become less of a hobby and more of a ritual. I put together a budget plan, put my portfolios together, pack my sketchbooks, and roll to Artist Alley for the rare opportunity to meet comic book artists in person and hopefully snatch a great piece or two.
But if you haven’t started already, it can be daunting. Where would you even start? What is the right and wrong way to get sketches and commissions from your favorite artist?
Let’s wrap it up so you can start collecting original comic art online and / or at conventions and be better prepared than ever when I started.
What is original art?
(Image credit: Joëlle Jones)
Let’s start here. What are you looking for when your goal is to buy original art? The word now also means “traditional” art, ie a physical medium on paper, canvas, wood, etc.
What is on the proverbial side is a multitude of things: the original art for comic book pages / covers, preliminary sketches / concept art, original commissions, rejected work, and even privately commissioned work.
“Original” also means “unique” when it comes to the digital art market. Many comic artists these days work digitally to save time and sell the print of the page as a 1/1 artist’s copy. It’s still art. It’s still original, but it just takes different tools to create it.
Where do I start looking for original art to buy?
(Image credit: Kevin Wada)
This may seem pretty straightforward, but the answers are plentiful. The largest of these is the Künstlergasse of every comic convention. But with the currently largely non-existent disadvantages, there is always the Internet.
I found a few hidden gems on eBay, but you can also search for available pages, covers, sketches, preprints, prints, etc. on Heritage Auctions or in some cases the artist’s own online store.
Some artists belong to a group led by an agent / representative, which makes it easier to set up a commission or to check if a particular piece is available. These middlemen make it easy to navigate the water if you are not used to the market or buying art (we’ll get into that in a moment).
There are plenty of artists on Etsy too, but if you are looking for a specific artist you should just check their website and see their commission and store policies.
Can I get art directly from the artist?
(Image credit: Brian Stelfreeze)
Certainly! Most artists love to interact with their fans and make a little extra money. When unavailable for commissions, they usually have pre-made pieces such as small sketches, preliminary graphics or even pages, thumbnails, prints, etc.
If this artist has an agent / representative, he has a website and a contact. This representative has the information and prices for anything you could ask for. That side (or sketch) that you may have put your heart on could be an expensive price tag right now as the reps take a percentage on every sale.
There are few large groups when it comes to art representation: Felix Comic Art, Comic Sketch Group, Essential Sequential, and Cadence Comic Art. Each has their own artist stable, but all of them are very helpful in making sure you get the artwork that You looked at.
Can I commission new art and not just something that has already been made?
(Photo credit: Evan ‘Doc’ Shaner)
Of course – if the artist is available. Commissioning is viewed more as a side gig for most professional artists, as working on comics itself is their main source of income.
That being said, artists can create a list of assignments during downtime (depending on this downtime, the list can be small or long) The problem with this could be that the turnaround can vary when the work starts.
I know I’ve been waiting for a commission for a year (but it wasn’t worth it). If the artist needs to extend the turnaround time, be patient.
What does original art cost?
(Photo credit: Evan ‘Doc’ Shaner)
This is the toughest subject, but a pretty simple answer: whatever they ask.
Prices fluctuate for specific artists or even titles for various reasons. Similar to most things, everything is largely based on demand. Some smaller independent artists who are just starting out or whatever may be the case may charge significantly less than more established stars. But the days of $ 5 to $ 15 sketches are almost over with – and rightly so -.
Usually $ 20-100 is pretty good for a solid quick sketch by the average comic book artist. If you’re looking to get bigger, see what a full commission costs. If your budget is bigger, go to a page, then a cover. All of them have different price points, but covers are considered more important as they are widely used in marketing and are used to sell the book, so to speak. However, as a result, they tend to be exponentially more expensive.
How do I know I’m getting a good deal?
(Photo credit: Ryan Stegman / Annie Wu / Howard Chaykin / Valerio Schiti / Stan Lee)
It all depends on how you view your purchases in your collection. Do you see it as something to enjoy, appreciate, and appreciate, or something to look for in return for a return on investment later on?
I’m definitely in the earlier group and actually rarely sell a piece that I’ve personally commissioned, but I’ve absolutely sold pieces for artists who have become more famous over the years than I got random pieces from theirs at the beginning of their careers Picked up shop. I even made a couple of trades.
But when you happily walk away from an artist no matter what you paid for, with a piece that you enjoy, I think that’s always more than a lot.
Are you looking for a unique gift for a comic book fan in your life? We have put together a comic book gift guide – with the perfect gifts for comic lovers.