Many teams struggle on finding artists for their game project. I think indie producers should go through 4 major steps that will help you find artist for your game.
 Do you really need an artist, yet?
Ask yourself: do you really need an artist for your project right now? Or could you use placeholders? Usually you don’t need game art in the beginning of the project. Try survive without real art before you really need it – because if you start getting art in the beginning there’s always the chance that you change plans, artist leaves or something else happens. If you have just started out the project, I really recommend to do a some sort of prototype before even thinking about getting artist into your team.
Get artist when you really need one.
 Don’t get as many people as possible in the team
Some teams start gathering “anybody that’s willing to contribute to the project”. While that might sound like a good idea, there’s two major problems with bigger teams:
- Bigger teams means more management. More management means less time for actual development. That’s a big disadvantage.
- Bigger teams means lesser royalties. The more people there are to share the cake, the smaller pieces is left for individuals. When doing serious projects that need to generate income, this can be a serious problem.
Be sure to find artist for a specific need, not “because it’s cool to have 20 people in the team”.
 Don’t try to find artists from a pool of programmers
If you’ve gone through steps 1 and 2 and decided to get an artist to the team, then be sure to know what places to check out. Some people post on programming forums and wonder why no artists respond. Consider this example: would you go to a bank to get a haircut?
Probably not. If you want to get a haircut you go to a barber. If you want to get programmers to your team, you go to programmer forums. If you want to get artists for your team you…
… naturally go to a place where artists are: artist forums rather than programming forums.
Probably some of the best places to go are CGTalk.com and ConceptArt.org. CGtalk is a website where all types of artist meet: 2D, 3D, concepts, etc. and with great variety of styles. There’s even a sub-forum for WIP/Critique: Game Art Design. ConceptArt.org is a great place filled with beautiful art and skilled artists. You can post your job postings to other forums as well, but be sure to mention about your project in art forums – since these are the best places to find artist in your team.
 Be open and give as much details about the project as possible
It’s very important to give lots of details and information about your project and your company or team. Tell people what kind of person you are after and what needs to be done. Tell about compensation. Tell if you want a project specific artist, or somebody to work also in the future. Put links to your game website. Show images or gameplay movies. If your post starts to get really big, then cut some parts and add links to external documents (such as a design document or project road map).
Here’s a checklist of items you could put in your post.
- A headline, title or sentence where you describe what you are looking for (for example: “Wanted: 2D pixel artist to do 6 characters, paid position”)
- Company or team name with a website URL
- Game project name with a website URL
- Brief 2-3 description about the game project – what’s the game project in a nutshell
- More details about the game (genre, theme, main idea, snippets story, design, screenshots, gameplay movies)
- Possibly link to game design document
- Current team structure
- Compensation (paid position? royalties?)
- Description about the work that needs to be done
- Qualities and skills that applicants should have
- Mention that you want work examples (either links or attachments)
- Mention if you need CV/Resume from applicants
- Proof or past work (mention if you have finished projects earlier)
- Target platforms
- Contact info
In a nutshell: think about if you really need an artist yet, pick the artist for a specific need, go to a place where artists are and finally – make a proper announcement about what you are looking for.