Since November, I've literally spoken with over 100 artists of various styles looking for the perfect fit for my projects. Some are good, some are not so good, and some are so amazing it blows your mind. The problem is always finding the right one to match up with your (the writer's) vision of how things should look. The two that have been the biggest challenge so far are my detective / noir book (the late night cop show meets Daredevil/Batman)and my fantasy novel turned comic book. I don't know if it's that I'm being too specific on what I'm looking for or no one is going to "fit" for a while. Now, after some stumbling around, I did find the perfect artist for my detective book, Sachin, but I still haven't had any luck with the fantasy book. I've had a few artists I've spoken with, some who even tried to take a crack at it, but the "vision" of the book hasn't been met by any artists. Shoot! For me, the fantasy story is one that HAS to be told. It's a different approach to a fantasy tale and I also interpret some things in the genre a little differently. That's probably because I've read so many fantasy books since I was six that I need to do something different or I'll see myself that I'm being derivative.
To my point... finding "the one" for any project is something that I think some people don't put enough thought into. No disrespect intended, but it seems like a lot of artists have genres they fit a little better into so why force them into something that doesn't fit them perfectly? I'm not saying that writers should steer clear, I'm saying that if you find an artist you like but they don't fit the book you wanted them for, why not make something that does fit for them... collaborate on something that fits their style while still something you love, too. One recent example for me is Arnie (not trying to pick on you - ha ha). Arnie has an AMAZING style but he's into a certain kind of story, which is his right. I didn't have anything "on the pot" that really seemed like a great fit, but we both wanted to work together. The solution? We're creating an original superhero universe from scratch. It's taking a little bit more time since we're both starting from nothing on it, but that's part of the fun, we're going through the creative process together. When all is said and done, we'll have something original that we both poured ourselves into.
So... if you're looking for a specific style for a specific book, don't settle for anything less than what fits your vision. If you stumble upon an amazing artist and you two want to work together, find something for them or set them free. Don't stick them in something that they're not 100% into and you're not 100% sold on.
Another recommendation... don't put all of your eggs in one basket. We all have these ideas that are "the next big thing", right? What happens if you A) don't find the right artist, B) people don't see the vision as you do, or C) you do all that work to find out it's been done before? The solution, always have something else you're working on. I started with one idea, now I have almost two dozen. Why? Because once you get into that creative mode, things keep on coming, and that's a good thing. If you have an idea in the middle of the night, get up and write it down, get a notepad by your bed. If you have a particularly vivid dream, write it down and see if it's something you can use in a story. If you're driving with someone, ask them to write it down or text it to you... Don't let the ideas escape you! Faction, for example, was a brainstorm from November combined with a notebook from over a dozen years ago! I didn't know when I was going to use it, but when the time came, I was ready.
Ok, shutting up now... ramble done!