Art for a game

Hello. I might be going about this the wrong way but here goes nothing!

Is there somewhere on the forums that I can reach out and find some artists for cover art? I can’t draw very well with arthritis.

Edit: I also ask here because a lot of the artists I’m getting in contact with want upwards of $300 for simple cover art (space as a background for the book’s artwork, for example) once they know that it’s going to be something that will be used to make money. I’m almost certain that this isn’t a standard practice.

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You can browse the Professional Services category, it has a pretty wide swath of artists with varying prices.

$300 is actually pretty low for most professional artists, especially for a commercial product such as a gamebook cover. You’re paying for not only the time it takes for them to personally create the piece, but also the amount of practice and training that has gone into honing their skill level. If you aren’t able to pay for custom art, another user has compiled a list of stock art websites that can be used for free.


I guess the jump in price from $100 to $300 once the artist was aware it was to be used commercially was a little shocking.

Will I be expecting similar prices in the services category? I currently live below the poverty line so money is definitely an issue.

That’s pretty normal. You aren’t just paying for the work, but also the rights to use of the work, as opposed to a personal piece where the artist retains the rights; a lot of artists offering commissions online are largely advertising for personal work, so it makes sense that their prices weren’t calibrated for your needs.

You’ll have to check for yourself, I’m not sure what exactly you’re looking for or what the general price range is there. But they are marketing themselves as commercial artist so you probably won’t come across any unexpected price jumps.


The price increase will be because you’re using their art to help sell your game, so they would be contributing to your sales. This is a way for them to get their cut.

For my WIP, I’ve told myself to wait until I’m near the end of my project to consider professional art. By then, I’ll know I’m actually going to finish my story; I’ll know I am going to publish (and earn that money I spent back); and I’ll be sure the art I get fits the vibes of the finished project best.

I’d definitely second @HomingPidgeon. Stock images are perfectly fine, especially for a work in progress. Think of it as a proof of concept. Worry about the perfect version much later. Good luck, whatever you choose :slight_smile:


I agree. Besides, I think HG tells you what image sizes they need and so on when you’re ready to submit your game, so it makes sense to finish writing and beta testing your story first and then see what art assets you’ll need and decide how you are going to go about getting them.

And then, by the time you have a complete or near-complete demo on the forums you should also be able to better gauge the level of interest in your game, so you’ll know how likely it is to recover the art investment with sales.


I feel a bit confused. Didn’t you post a price range of $75-95 for cover art in your own thread a couple years back?

OP, I cannot stress this enough: do not spend $300 or more on cover art for a HG title. Not unless your story is a guaranteed bestseller (which I would define as any story that manages at least 500 or more likes for its first post in the WIP thread). Because, sad but true, if you do it and it bombs, the artist will make more than you will for a long time to come. It took me the better part of two years to make as much as my Nuclear Powered Toaster cover artist did. Granted, there was a lot of other stuff tangled up in that, but it still definitely sucked that because of art expenses, my actual profit from that story that took hundreds of hours to write is like literally $24 right now.

For a first story, unless it is in that lofty atmosphere of a the future blockbusters, I would have $75-$100 as a good range. Maybe more if you qualify for a Steam release since that has other image requirements.


The price range that one artist charges (that is now a couple years old and they could be charging more now) does not mean that others should be charging the same price. Honestly I think that was an incredibly rude thing to say to try and invalidate @HomingPidgeon 's point.


I’m really not interested in litigating an out of date thread that doesn’t see recent activity anyway, but just to have it from the pigeon’s mouth, @Mewsly is correct. Like I said above, the forum has a range of artists who charge a range of prices, and the $300 baseline is not universal, just not uncommon.


If you want to save a couple bucks, use stock imagery ( and a simple, easy-to-use online graphics editing program like

Price to you: $0

This is accurate (Hello! HG Production Coordinator here!) I would recommend authors not generate the art for their game until they have submitted their game files and I have sent them the required sizes and various assets.


Sorry, this wasn’t meant to come off as an attack. It wasn’t sarcasm, I was legitimately confused. You either are or were willing to do these images for less than a third of the price point you were quoting to @RascaldeesV2 as an expectation when seeking HG cover art. It just struck me as odd.

In any case, I agree with checking the threads on the Professional Services section, and if there’s a particular author whose art struck your fancy, ask them who they used and what the price was. They may not feel like divulging it, which is understandable, but if they do you’ve got a line on someone who is already proven to deliver.

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I’ve found a lot of talented artists by browsing the “open commissions” tag on Tumblr. Just be sure that you’re clear about what their art will be used for (some people are uncomfortable with making content for commercial releases). Also, if you’re taking the photo collage route, be sure to double-check all the licensing requirements, if there are any! Some pictures are licensed in such a way that they are free to use in non-commercial projects, but must have author attribution or are outright prohibited from being used in commercial projects.

Good luck! (:


Totally agree! Do not do it unless you’ve got some best sellers under your belt first. Honestly, I’d go for a nice stock image that you can do some bare bones manipulation (ie adding a title) if artwork isn’t your thing. Commercially usable stock images range from free (be really careful to check any usage or crediting restrictions!) to under $100 for some fairly nice illustrations (frequently under $50). The thread I made with some suggestions for this has already been linked.


Holy mackerel that’s a lot of replies. I just woke up a little while ago.

Rest assured, I’m not planning on spending $300 on this thing. I’m not even sure I’d spend $100 on it unless I was absolutely sure it would sell well which I’m not sure if it will or not yet. Dunno how to gauge that. Mostly I’m price shopping at the moment in preparation for the time the game does need art.

Today, however, I’m definitely doing exactly nothing. Just started quitting as a three-pack-a-day smoker. I’m laying in this bed and snoring. xD


If it’s the one you put a WIP thread up for, then I would say you don’t want to go too high. Not because I think it’s a bad story, but it’s sci-fi. When it comes to IF in general and Hosted Games in particular, this is not a genre where stories tend to make big bucks. I definitely will root for you to be one of the exceptions to that, but at the same time it’s best to hope for the best and plan for the worst, which in this case means minimizing your expenses in getting the story ready. If it ends up making bank later you can always shell out for updated art down the line, like what happened with Aether.


Indeed. I’m aiming pretty high and hoping to make a break in the genre honestly. I love scifi with a passion. If I can inspire others to read more of it, that is all I can hope for.