As some of you may realize, I sometimes do character portraits over on r/characterdrawing. If I’m honest, I have mixed emotions about the sub.
On the one hand, I like to do warm ups before I settle in for a long stint of art-ing. Why not draw up someone’s character as part of that warm up? Sometimes those character descriptions help when I’m having “artist’s block”.
On the other hand, it often takes me between an hour and three hours to do one of the characters, and if I’m going to be spending that kind of time on something with my time already limited, shouldn’t I be getting something out of it?
I’m getting sidetracked. The point of this post is to help those of you who might want my illustration for your character to get me to pay attention to your request post. I’m not even really sure there are any of you out there (I’m not famous or anything, so most of you may not even be familiar with my art!)
That said, I suspect that these are some ‘best practices’ to get most artist’s attention so it might just help you in general.
Fix your post Title.
I suspect that if you learn one thing from this post, this is it. Nothing will get (or lose) my attention faster.
[LFA] – Gotta have it. You did read the Posting Guidelines on the sidebar of the subreddit didn’t you?
Descriptive Keywords – Sometimes I’m looking to draw a Kobold. Sometimes a Mage. If I see those in your title, I’m far more likely to open your post on that day.
One or Two Personality Keywords – This is one of those things that are like chess. It takes moments to throw some random words into a title, but a lifetime to master. If I can get a feel from your title – again – I’m more likely to check out your post and see if we’re a fit.
Beautiful on the Inside
Use the template – It’s easy to give either too little information or too much. Using the template that has been provided helps you to keep the description post to information that artists like myself will find most useful. The easier you can make the experience for me, the more likely I am to draw your character.
Moodboard / Reference Images – These sure don’t hurt, especially when it comes to more unique elements. Telling me you want ‘cool armor’ isn’t as clear as showing me an image of the sort of armor you like. It also helps because it gets other people to upvote your post if they want to see the character illustrated. Lastly, it also reduces my time and effort invested in researching elements of your character which means I’m more likely to jump into drawing them.
Not too Much – Just as important as getting the critical elements of your character into your post is the ability to keep it brief. If I see a wall of text, I’m honestly likely to move onto another post.
Think It Through and Make It Matter
This may seem kinda obvious, but I don’t want to spend my limited time on a character you just rolled up and are going to play next week with a group that may never meet again. I am far more interested in drawing the character that you’ve been playing every weekend for the past three years.
How do you show me that? By writing clearly. By editing your post and refining it to use the best descriptors and clear English (when that’s reasonable).
Man That Sounds Like a Lot of Work!
It really does, doesn’t it? But here’s the thing – if I’m going to spend hours of my time to do something for free, doesn’t it deserve at least a little time and effort on your part to make a worthwhile request post?
What’s more, even if I don’t personally take on your character, I promise it’s far more likely your post will attract the efforts of one of the higher caliber artists who work in r/characterdrawing. It tends to be a ‘you get out of it what you put into it’ kind of thing.
Lastly – Offer Me Money
I make no bones about it – I’m a mercenary. I can be hired. What’s more, my rates are really reasonable when you compare the product you get for the price you pay.
So while you don’t have to offer money to get me to draw your character, that certainly moves you to the front of the line.
For the cost of one dinner out at a diner, you don’t have to post, wait, and hope that someone might be interested. You’ll have artists like me competing to be the one you pick.