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What Is a Comic Book Artist?

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Let’s be real–you probably already understand that a comic book artist is a professional who draws comic books. However, what you might not know is that while a comic book can have a single artist who draws the entire comic, they can also be created by a team that works together to bring the story to life. 

While having a lone artist drawing an entire comic can be great for visual continuity, there are many details and minor artistic tasks that can be handled by other people on the team. The advantage of working as a team to produce a comic book is speed. A single artist can theoretically draw an entire comic book, but the amount of time it takes will be vastly reduced if a team of artists works together. 

There are plenty of freelance comic book artists for hire that can create a comic on their own. This is especially true with the advent of digital art, as artists can save huge amounts of time by coloring large portions of their work at the click of a mouse. 

What Are the Steps to Illustrate a Comic Book?

Once a comic book is written and the overall idea has been fleshed out, it’s time to begin the illustration process. Back in the day, each of these jobs was done independently by a separate artist. 

Many comic book companies still do it this way. However, in theory, each of these jobs could be done by one dedicated artist with the help of modern digital art tools. That said, many artists still specialize in one of the following areas:


It is the penciler’s job to create the overall look and feel of a comic book’s art. It’s their job to create a black-and-white rough sketch of each image in the comic book, then come back to add more detail. Now, this is often done digitally and without a pencil, but the name and process remain the same. 


The next step in the process is called ‘inking,’ and the artist who does this is known in the industry as an ‘inker.’ It’s their job to go over the pencil sketch with ink to make the lines stand out. They also add texture to the images to give them a feeling of depth. 

The inker doesn’t just use an ink pen—they can use a variety of tools to make the art pop. It is important to note that at this stage, the comic is still entirely in black and white.


The colorist has one of the most important jobs of them all: adding color to a scene. While it may sound like this job is equivalent to sitting down with a coloring book and a pack of crayons, that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

It is this stage that can make or break the entire mood of a comic book. Choose a color that is too light, and the colorist risks making an otherwise grim scene look too upbeat. Conversely, using tones that are too dark may cause detail to be lost or set the wrong tone for the panel. 

Because of this, it is critical that the colorist works closely with all three of the other artists. They must make sure the colors match the feeling the writer wanted to convey while making sure the colors don’t outshine the work of the penciler and inker. 

Thankfully, with modern digital art tools, changing colors is as easy as clicking a mouse, whereas old-school comic artists would have to scrap a page entirely and start over if the colors weren’t right. 

Find Your Ideal Comic Book Artist With Guru

Have a look through our selection of thousands of comic book artist freelancers available for hire on Guru. It’s easy to examine testimonials and reviews, look at portfolios of previous work, and compare rates. 

Whether you want a specialist inker or an all-in-one professional, Guru is the easiest way to find a comic book artist. Get started today and find an artist who can help make your ideas a reality!

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