How To Source Artwork

How To Source Artwork

At Fresh Tees, we bring your designs to life. Every day, new batches of customer creations flow through our printshop and transform into merch that inspires us to keep doing what we love. 

Oftentimes we get asked for advice or recommendations for artists to work with. To help you, below is a short guide about finding and hiring your designer.

Let’s begin!

Define Your Style

Before starting your search for a designer, it's important for you to know what you genuinely like and to have a clear understanding of what you want. For example, are you a deep soul who prefers an edgy look or more of a whimsical and colorful one? 

Expressing your style or brand personality through your merchandise takes time. Knowing this down to the detail helps you attract the artists whose work aligns with your vision.

Pro tip: Create your own moodboard! You can do this using a free creative platform like Pinterest. Search and save styles and designs that you love into a collection of references that will help you brief your designer.

Gold or Platinum?

Next, you’ll need to set a budget for your design project. What are you willing to spend on this creative adventure? 

Remember, you get what you pay for and the more glitter you want, the more $$ you may need to sprinkle towards your overall spend. But don’t stress – there’s a whole world of artists out there who offer various prices for different projects. 

Pro tip: Set a realistic budget and once you determine how much you’re willing to spend, you’ll be able to narrow down your options to identify the services of an artist or designer that not only aligns with what you want but is also one you can afford. 

Artist: tim_travers


Research Artist Communities

Explore the captivating world of online communities and platforms where artists and designers reside and where they connect with clients like you. Popular platforms include freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, or 99designs, and artist communities like Behance, Dribbble, or DeviantArt

Browse portfolios, read reviews, and directly contact artists.

Pro tip: Look for artists who make your heart skip a beat! Consider whether their work aligns with yours and/or your brand’s personality. Take your time to review the portfolios and samples and look for individuals who have a track record of creating high-quality designs. 

Create a Shortlist

At this point of the process, you may find yourself drowning in an ocean of artists, but don’t stress. Narrow your search by looking for artists and designers with good credentials and experience. Look for those who have relevant qualifications and glowing testimonials from previous clients. Some even list industry awards and special recognition they’ve received that showcases their expertise.

Pro tip: Verify the credentials and experience of the artist(s) or designer(s) you’re considering. Quality check their work and ensure the reviews you’re reading are provided by real people and genuine feedback. 

Artist: cloudsandcupsstudio

Reach Out and Discuss Your Project

Once you've shortlisted a few artists or designers who caught your eye, reach out to them directly and discuss your project in detail. 

Provide a clear brief, including info about your brand, the specific design requirements, the scope of work, and your budget. This will help you gauge their interest, availability, and whether they're a good fit for your project.

Pro tip: Share your brand's story, your vision, and your design needs to see if there’s a spark between you and the artist or designer! Remember, collaboration is the secret ingredient to a masterpiece.

Artist: pat.rogasch


Review the Proposal Options

Now that you’ve reached out and received proposals on cost for your project, it’s time to review all of the different options. Carefully review each of the proposals from the individuals you’ve contacted including their pricing, timelines, and terms. If you have any special requests, it’s best that you raise those now too so there are no surprises later on. 

Pro tip: Be open to compromise when it comes to the agreement so you can find one that works for both of you. If necessary, negotiate the terms to ensure they align with your needs and budget. Keep open lines of communication to address any questions or concerns.

Artist: nooseanddagger

Finalise Your Agreement

Congratulations! You've found "The One" – the artist or designer whose work makes your heart skip a beat. It's time to lock in the agreement. Finalise your agreement with a contract (this can be an email, proposal, or a brief) that outlines all the nitty-gritty details such as the scope, price, timelines, payment terms, and ownership rights to avoid any confusion.

Pro tip: Be sure that when signing the agreement, both you and the artist or designer share a clear understanding of the agreement and that it protects both of your interests. 

Artist: saara138artwork


Collaborate and Refine

Throughout the design process, maintain close collaboration with your chosen artist or designer. Act as their creative partner and provide valuable feedback on their work. 

Your insights and ideas will help shape the final outcome and ensure it perfectly captures your vision and/or your brand's essence. Be open to their suggestions as well – after all, they're the experts.

Pro tip: Communication is key in this creative process, so keep those lines open and the feedback flowing. Fostering a collaborative spirit throughout leads to a more productive working relationship and extraordinary results as the designs come to life.


Enjoy the Journey

Clients like you have enjoyed working with artists local and abroad to bring their projects to life. 

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