Illustration of a D&D Party consisting of a dwarven bard, goliath priest, young human wizard, and a human barbarian. Art by Kiri Leonard.

Where to find an illustrator for your D&D character

You have made a badass character, and now you would love to have artwork made of your character, but where do you find an artist?

The internet is filled with amazing artists, and in this article, I will share some great online places where you can find an illustrator to bring your character to life. Further, we are going to discuss how much it might run you, as well as how to go about hiring an illustrator.

The popularity of roleplaying games, especially Dungeons and Dragons, has been on the rise in recent years. As an avid player myself, I know it’s incredibly thrilling to get an illustration done of your character. If you are not an artist, it can be daunting to navigate how to have custom artwork made.

I hope this article will shed some light on the how-to and help guide you.

Let’s dive in!

Tip: Once you have found an artist you like, you will need to research if they are available for commissions. Some artists will announce this up front on their websites or social media, whereas for others, you may have to email and message privately to find out. We will dive more into this here.

How to find Artists and Illustrators on Social Media

  • How to find Artists on Facebook: Explore the group D&D Fantasy Art. This is a large group filled with fantasy artists of varying skill and price point, and a majority of them are available for commissions.

Portrait Illustration of Pirate Captain Gren Llast. Art by Kiri Leonard.
Captain Gren Llast The Seawolf

Illustration done for LockeTheLegend.com

Portrait Illustration of Elven Sorceress Yvessia Solemnbranch by Kiri Leonard.

Sorceress Yvessia Solemnbranch

Illustration done for LockeTheLegend.com

Other places to find Artists and Illustrators

Art Community Sites

There are a number of art sites online but some of the most popular at current are ArtStation and DeviantArt. Both of these have a section for job postings where you can post a listing to hire artists. Otherwise, you can browse the galleries and message the artists whose work you like privately to ask them about commissions.

Of the two sites I vastly prefer ArtStation. It seems to have more professional artists and a more user-friendly layout.

Here is an example of my ArtStation page.

Personal Artist Websites / Google

The drawback of Social Media pages is they can be chaotic and contain a mix of different posts other than an artist’s work, because of that I find artists’ personal websites to be the best place to explore an artist’s portfolio to see if they are a good fit for you.

To find an artist’s website, if you don’t know the web address, just go to your favorite search engine (Google, for instance) and search for the artist’s name + art (or portfolio).

If you don’t have a specific artist in mind, you can also do a general search for ‘Fantasy Artists’ ‘Character Artist’ ‘DnD Artist’ and see what comes up. I don’t recommend this method as most artists have very poor SEO on their websites and therefore are unlikely to show up in Google searches.

Illustration of Geralt of Rivia and Roach. Commissioned by Doug Cockle. Art by Kiri Leonard.
The Witcher: Geralt of Rivia

Illustration commissioned by Witcher voice actor Doug Cockle

How much does it cost to have your D&D character illustrated?

I wish I could give you a straight-up number here, but this is one of those situations where it depends on many different factors. Artists and illustrators have very different rates, depending on their experience, where they live, how quickly they work, and what rights you need.

You will need to ask the artists you have picked what their rates are and see if it fits your budget. Decide ahead of time how much you’re willing to spend. You can find artists willing to draw your character for as little as $30, but you may also find artists who charge $100, or $200, or even $600, or more.

The bigger your budget, the more likely you’ll be able to hire a more experienced artist and therefore get a better piece of art.

To give you a ballpark, the RPG companies I have worked for offer artists between $150 to $350 for single-character illustrations (no background).

Illustration of a female pirate captain named Sally Galston by danish artist Kiri Leonard

Captain Sally Galston

Illustration done for LockeTheLegend.com

How to hire an Artist or Illustrator for illustrating your D&D Character

Once you have found an artist whose work you like, you will need to hire them. I’ll give you a short run down of that process here, but we will go more in-depth on the hiring process in a future article. For now, you can check out my article here on making a book cover for a self-published author.

You will need to message the artist and work out the budget, deadline, and payment with them. Work out all the details and put them in a contract that you are both going to sign; this way, everyone knows what’s expected of the job. Then you need to provide them with a description of your character and any possible reference images you may have on hand.

You may pay them a deposit (50% upfront) and then the remaining 50% once the art is finished and delivered to you. This can again be different from artist to artist. Ask your chosen artist what their structure is like.

Now go find an artist and have some badass art made of your badass character!

Q & A: Will you illustrate my character?

You can find more information on my commission services and availability here.

Official Pathfinder Characters by Kiri Leonard

Illustrations commissioned by Paizo, Inc

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