Finished up making your next great song and looking for the perfect art to go with it?
Searching for a visual artist within your budget could be daunting. Websites like Fiverr help you ease up the process a little by seeing each artist’s work & rate right in front of you in a searchable manner.
Still, Fiverr has earned a bad reputation in the last few years. Many freelancers offer really poor quality work & some outright scam you. So should you avoid it?
No! Fiverr is a great platform when you use it right & have realistic expectations. Besides, it is sometimes the only option for musicians who don’t personally know any artists.
As a digital artist, I sell my services on Fiverr, as well as hire other artists to help me with projects. Being on both ends of the stick, I’ve developed a general set of guidelines I follow whenever hiring from the website. I’ll share them with you in this article –
Set a realistic budget
When hiring on Fiverr, the basic principle to keep in mind is – “you get what you pay for”. Even though the website is literally called “Fiverr”, you probably won’t find any good artists for $5.
How much do you need to spend then?
Normally good cover art designers charge anywhere in the range of $100-300. Some professional artists might charge even more, but this is the ballpark range most artists work in.
If you’re on a tight budget and know what you’re looking for, you can also explore the $60-100 range. But anything less than that & you’ll likely be disappointed.
For people with smaller budgets, I recommend saving up the money and learning how to make some basic artworks on your own. It’s an important skill to have as a musician in 2020.
Have an idea for the artwork beforehand
Most freelancers on Fiverr are great executers but not so great at coming up with ideas. Coming up with an idea requires several brainstorming sessions & long back-and-forths between the artist and you. It can take anywhere from hours to weeks to come up with the perfect idea.
However, the sharp deadlines of the Fiverr ecosystem limit the time freelancers can spend on a project. Hence it’s better if you approach a freelancer with at least a rough idea, which the artist can refine further.
Figure out the style you want
When searching for artists, you’ll find people working in a variety of mediums & styles. 3D renders, photo manipulation, pixel art, illustrations, etc.
Your budget & your artistic choice are the two main guiding factors while choosing a style. For example – simple illustrations can be done within $60-70, however, intricate 3D renders can easily cost hundreds of dollars.
You’ll also find that some art styles fit your music better than others. It all boils down to your own brand as a musician. Always ask yourself – “does this style fall in line with the direction I want to take my brand in?”
Once you have figured out what style you want, you would have a much narrower list of artists. Try to stick to the artist whose portfolio matches your vision the most. If possible, try to avoid experimenting unless you are already comfortable with the artist.
Discuss the files you’ll receive
Figure out the platforms you’ll be posting on & the type of files you’ll need. For example, when musicians hire me for album artworks, I deliver a square & story version, both with & without text. I also offer an animated version of the artwork. These different versions can then be used to market the song release on social media.
According to your requirements, you might also need an artwork animation, YouTube version, Facebook cover, SoundCloud or Spotify banner, etc.
Make sure you check the deliverables of the gig & discuss it with the artist before hiring them
NOTE: “Can’t I just crop the artwork to fit my Instagram story?” Yes, you can. However certain artworks can lose important elements if you simply crop them. If possible, try to get a separate story version of your artwork.
This is obvious but still needs to be said. The artist you hired might be great, the idea you came up with might be out of the box. But if you don’t properly communicate that great idea to that great artist, the results might be disappointing.
Remember, the artist wants the exact same things as you – a killer design finished in the least amount of time. Without effective communication & a proper brief, the design might be different from what you wanted. As a result, the deadlines will suffer.
In the end I’d say, have faith in your selection process. Trust the artist and work with them as a team.