Well... we hit the $2k threshold tonight, so we've unlocked an art budget! I've done dozens of projects, but this is the first one (other than the cover for the MTDAA RPG last year) where I've actively sought out others to work with. +Erik Tenkar is cranking away on his dungeon level (I get more excited for this by the moment), and the Kickstarter Campaign just keeps gaining momentum (and very generous backers)!
So, it's time to have some serious discussions about art.
I've already had a few people approach me about contributing art. I am exceedingly grateful for everyone who is offering to chip in, and I want to make sure that the project belongs to the community and also reflects the highest standards of quality I can manage. I want to make sure to fill the book with quality images, and I want to invest the money of the backers wisely into hiring artists... you did buy this art, after all - you are going to own the rights to all of it on the back end. I want to make sure that the art you get is something you're going to be happy to have.
At one extreme we have the stalwarts of the OSR artist's ensemble... and some of these guys can eat up the entire current art budget for a half-page spot illustration. At the other extreme, there are some up-and-comers (a lot like me in many ways) who would probably be willing to donate a piece for the publishing credit and the exposure.
I want to strike a balance here; it's important that all of the art is of a certain level of professionalism, and that it all reflects the '81 B/X sensibilities that the game comes from. It's important that the art is well-crafted.
I suppose that the category I'm looking for is of the 'emerging professionals'. So, that means I'm also looking for suggestions. Where are some places to look for artists who are ready to break out? What connections do any of you have to artists who might be willing to contribute high-quality images without breaking the bank?
I'd like to start making some agreements and announcing some artists to sign on, but I want to also step carefully here and not commit too hastily without considering the different options we have available.
Thanks for your feedback, and thanks so much to everyone who has signed on so far. I'm truly flattered and humbled that you consider this project worth backing, and I'm absolutely dedicated to making sure this project is chock full of awesome.