Best social-networking to enlist a collaborator?

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Rachel Ventura
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Joined: September 30th, 2011, 12:29 am

Best social-networking to enlist a collaborator?

Post by Rachel Ventura » February 29th, 2012, 2:35 am

The post title didn't allow me to elaborate in full. There's a sub-board on here for critique partners, but that isn't exactly the same as a collaborator, i.e. someone who'd be creating the work alongside you. Like John Durvin here, I'm thinking of turning one (maybe more) of my ideas into a graphic novel/comic book, but while I myself could certainly write the dialogue, I can't draw at all, and have only minimal hobbyist skills with regards to graphics software. So my question relates to where/how is the best place or avenue to take to seek out an illustrator who'd work alongside me (well, not physically of course) to draw the pictures while I write the dialogue. I just did a brief search on "how to create a graphic novel" and one of the articles did say, common-sensically, that if your artistic talent isn't up to par, to seek out someone whose is.

This maybe isn't a social media question per se but I'm aware that there are some sites geared specifically to visual arts, Deviant Art being perhaps the most well known. New Grounds is another that seems geared more towards video game culture, and the popular webcomic XKCD has its own forum connected to it (which also tends to include a broad spectrum of discussions about nearly everything besides the comic itself). I think one of my great difficulties with the whole creative process is that I'm a visual person by nature and struggle with simultaneously "syncing" the movie-in-head with whatever I'm writing -- I'd like for there to be an eventual "image" outcome. (It may be "internet brain" or physical ADD, although this probably tends to prove the grownups right in saying that video games/TV/computers DID kill the imaginary magic dragon star.) :(

And if/when I do start on this highly intimidating venture of the social media realm, is it OK to discuss other things besides the creative process and/or the work in question while I'm "in progress" or does that lend itself to already being a fragmented, unfocused "platform"? Like say for instance my hypothetical collaborator and I are working on something, and/or I'm working on a solo project, and can't think of anything else "literary"-related to put up or discuss online, is it OK to have an article about some other topic, i.e. music or sports or the internet or what have you, as sort of "not putting your colored Easter eggs in one bunny basket"? I obviously don't have anything published yet or even satisfactorily in the works, and I might want some sort of confidentiality agreement between artist and writer (or even personally with myself, i.e. first rule of book club is don't talk about your unfinished entry into book club). ;) Also, since mine is a special case in that I don't have real-world friends to pool from as potential "followers," I'd really be starting from scratch; how soon after one starts on the primary outlet (the blog/main site) should additional outlets be added? I've read something like six months of regular blogging is a good starting base before launching "spin-offs" into Facebook (which I probably won't use now at all because of stupid "Timeline") and Twitter and the other networks? Sooner? Later? Somewhere in-between...? :)

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Mira
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Re: Best social-networking to enlist a collaborator?

Post by Mira » March 3rd, 2012, 7:54 pm

This is a really good question. I've alittle picture book I've considered self-publishing, but I have no clue how to find an artist! If you ever find out, Rachel, or anyone has an idea, I'd love to hear it too!

Rachel Ventura
Posts: 152
Joined: September 30th, 2011, 12:29 am

Re: Best social-networking to enlist a collaborator?

Post by Rachel Ventura » March 26th, 2012, 5:11 pm

Mira wrote:This is a really good question. I've alittle picture book I've considered self-publishing, but I have no clue how to find an artist! If you ever find out, Rachel, or anyone has an idea, I'd love to hear it too!
I actually located a couple of articles recommending against seeking out an illustrator unless you already know of one, or can do so yourself -- the exception, of course, being the self-pub route (which I tend to view as being a last resort). And even then, the advice is also that when querying a picture book, the story and the art must both be equally appealing. You don't get repped for one if the agent doesn't like the other, or if one isn't up to par (usually the written part). S/he won't tell you to revise the writing if the art is good, or vice versa, rework the pictures if the writing is great. So you're better off presenting one -- the writing -- rather than striking out doubly with a package deal. :?

http://danidraws.com/2009/01/22/how-to- ... ture-book/
http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2011/08/ ... your-book/

Someone who posted on the second blog said that Deviant Art was in fact a good place to network. But the general consensus is that unless you're self-pubbing, best to present just your story as-is (text only) to an agent, because the pub. co. (if your ms gets that far) will match up the manuscript with an artist willing to illustrate it. The reason I asked was because I've been reading The Phantom Tollbooth, not only because it's terrific and a classic but because the general plot of a child being whisked off to a faraway fantasy world full of adventure is similar to the one I'm working on (which is similar to a LOT of others since perhaps Moses floated away to Egypt or even before). But I don't have any friends like Norton Juster did in Jules Pfeiffer; in fact, I don't have any friends at all.

But I wonder if the same is true for graphic-novels. Absolute Write has a list here of agents who accept graphic-novel queries, and there's another list here at the blog of Niki Smith, a comics illustrator herself. There is also a discussion at comics blog ComixTalk of writing queries for comics. One of the commenters on that article -- who seems rather young, judging by her name ("Madison") and her mention of writing a manga -- said she was looking for an artist to help complete the visual part of the work.

The gist I get from the first two articles, however, is that quality illustrators come at a premium. Probably way out of the budget for someone like Madison... or me. :roll:

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