I am currently dealing with no less than my fourth graphic artist. It has been an ongoing struggle. The book that I'm currently attempting to publish has been completed (in the content sense) for some time. In fact, most of it is older material that I finally organized and polished. Originally the goal was to publish the book in February 2009... that's what the first draft of the Title Page said anyway. Obviously, that didn't happen.
Part of the hold up has been dealing with artists in an attempt to get a book cover I can live with. My first artist was a total flake that offered to help and never came through. The second artist was referred to me by someone and I saw some examples of her work. We had a lunch meeting where we talked about the book and ideas for the cover. She took notes and listened attentively. She said she'd have a draft back to me within two weeks. That was months ago.
The third artist was also a referral. She seemed professional; she had a contract for me to sign and a portfolio. We talked about the design (she also took notes). I thought we had a pretty clear understanding of what I was after. We signed the contract. I paid half the fee and we agreed to meet in one week for a review of the first draft. We met. I gave her some input and she said she'd have a final draft completed in another week. She canceled that meeting; sick. The next week she was unavailable. I've emailed her twice for status updates since... no reply. That was weeks ago. So, she has half the money for the job and I have nothing.
That leaves me at artist #4. So far we've been in fairly regular communication since I told him what I wanted. I think he's beginning to understand what I need and has given me several rough drafts for evaluation. None have been exactly what I want, but they have gotten progressively closer. That seems like a good thing. I'm hoping that he can give me something completed by the end of October.
But, just in case, I've contacted Artist #5 as a pre-emptive measure.
Reviewed the latest designs this morning and I think it's finally getting close to what I had in mind. The artwork and layout is great and with some minor tweaking of the text I think I will finally have a book cover!