Are you interested in working as a freelance artist? Want to know how to get your work in front of the companies that are looking for your type of drawing style? Then your best bet is to check out the Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market book, a yearly publication that lists all (or almost all) the companies in the United States from book publishers, magazines, galleries, record labels, and more.
Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market is basically a phone book with lots of information on submitting your art to a company from a company’s address, media they accept or work with, contact information, style they use and are looking for, terms of commission, submission details, and tips when you are submitting your art to them. Also found in the book are useful articles and interviews with popular artists.
Here are two entries within a 2004 edition*:
DARK HORSE, 10956 SE Main, Wilwaukie OR 97222. Website: www.darkhorse.com. Contact: Submissions. Estab. 1986. Publishes mass market and trade paperback originals. Types of books include comic books and graphic novels. Specializs in comic books. Recent titles include: Astro Boy Volume 10 TPB, by Osamu Tezuka; Reid Fleming/Flaming Carrot Crossover #1, by Bob Burden and David Boswell; Joss Whedon, Karl Moline and Andy Owens. Book catalog available on website.
First Contact & Terms: Send photocopies (clean, sharp, with name, address and phone number written clearly on each page). Samples are not filed and not returned. Responds only if interested. Company will contact artist for portfolio review interested.
Tips: “If you’re looking for constructive criticism, show your work to industry professionals at conventions.”
ANTARCTIC PRESS, 7272 Wurzbach, Suite 204, San Antonio TX 78240. (210) 614-0396. Fax: (210)614-5029. Email:—-. Website: www.antartic-press.com. Contact: Rod Espinosa, submissions editor. Estab. 1985. Publishes CD ROMs, mass market paperback originals and reprints, trade paperback originals and reprints. Types of books include adventure, comic books, fantasy, humor, juvenile fiction. Specializes in comic books. Publishes 18 titles/year. Recent titles include: Ninja High School, Gold Digger, Twilight X. 50% requires freelance illustration. Book catalog free with 9 x 12 SASE ($3 postage).
Needs: Approached by 60-80 illustrators/year. Works with 12 illustrators/year. Prefers local illustrators. 100% of freelance illustration demands knowledge of FreeHand and Photoshop.
First Contact & Terms: Send query letter of postcard sample with brochure and photocopies. Accepts e-mail submissions from illustrators. Prefers Mac-compatible, Windows-compatible, TIFF, JPEG files. Samples are filed or returned by SASE. Portfolios may be dropped off every Monday-Friday. Portfolio should include b&w, color finished art. Buys first rights. Rights purchased vary according to project. Finds freelancers through anthologies we publish, artist’s submissions, Internet, word-of-mouth.
Text Illustration: Negotiated.
Tips: “You must love comics and be proficient in doing sequential art.”
Instead of owning the book, your best bet is to actually go to your local library, find an edition (the more recent the better, of course), and photocopy or write down the information for your reference. From there, send in you submissions as they have requested it and be sure to follow through. If you’re not into freelancing, it’s always good to check out what companies out there are into your field – in our case, publishing comics – and at least becoming familiar with the industry Who’s Who.
* Contact information may have changed between then and now. This posting is just so you get an idea of what to expect when you look inside the book.