When hiring an animator or an artist, how do you insure that you don't become solely reliant on that artist or animator? When writing a script and giving art direction through writing, how do you insure that the designs are simplistic and the drawing are simplistic enough so that you can change artists or animators at any time? Do you need to give specific written directives, and do you need to write it in a script or a different form of document? I am trying to figure how the industry does it.

  • 1
    This doesn't seem to be a question about writing, so much as a question about business practices in the animation industry. Writers in animation are normally for-hire, not originating projects (the exception would be people who both design and write and are responsible for the character designs), so this issue is unlikely to arise.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 23, 2022 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


I am not an expert, or an artist, but I recall seeing once on TV a "Bugs Bunny" character dictionary; basically sketches of Bugs Bunny in dozens of poses, by one of the original artists.

Other animators of Bugs had to comply with that.

You might be able to do a similar thing. Get one artist to make some concept sketches (uncolored line drawings, often not fully detailed) of your characters and background (buildings, landscape, etc) and then go head and try and hire other artists to imitate those; "this is my character, I need a sketch of this same character hanging upside down." (or whatever).

Concept sketches are relatively cheap. Build up a dictionary of these, so you can provide this to other artists.

I wouldn't dumb it down too much; hire real artists. If you ask them for a concept sketch and they cannot imitate the ones you've got, that artist isn't for you. Thank them for their effort and pay the not-accepted fee.

Of course this costs more money, there is no cheap way to make sure you can switch artists at any time.

Also, be sure you always have all rights to whatever is drawn; in writing as part of the contract. Do not assume you do because they are "your" characters.

Any illustration should always be done in sketch as a concept before you order the full detailed version of it. Sketches are far less time for the artist than a full detail drawing, and in the sketch is where you want to correct any errors, like "No, this does not look like my character's legs" or "these background buildings don't look right" or whatever.

You have to be firm. You can do that politely, but insist your dictionary be followed.

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