The Web abounds with beautiful images. Seriously – a pretty picture is one of the easiest things to find online. Whether you’re looking for free stock photos from sites like SXC.hu, or random images to ponder from aggregators like ffffound, finding nice pictures is really not a problem.
Finding good talent for creative work, however, is an entirely different proposition. This is where the Behance Network comes in. This beautiful collective showcase lets commercial-level artists showcase their work, and makes it very easy to find top freelance artists in just about any niche you’re interested in.
This can be useful whether you’re looking to contract a freelancer for design work, or if you are a graphic artist looking for inspiration and new connections.
When you just land on Behance, the first thing you’ll notice is a grid of large, beautiful thumbnails surfacing talent from all over the website. This creative mishmash has gems made for major commercial venues, like this Typographic ID work created for Italy’s History Channel, or this mind-blowing 8-Bit Butcher Diagrams installation by Jude Buffum:
Works are all accredited and displayed by their creators, even if they were made for large commercial outlets. This lets you interact directly with the people behind big-time graphics. Many works include short introductory texts explaining where they were used, and sharing some of the thinking that went into each piece.
Searching and Filtering
As could be expected, Behance lets you filter works by many criteria. To me, the most useful option is location-based search. By combining this with filtering by creative field, you can get very fine-grained results. If you were wondering who are the top designers from your city or state, this is how you can track them down with one quick search. Another benefit of making a local search is that you will likely know many of the works being showcased – TV commercials you’ve seen, or billboards you’ve come across around town.
There’s also an Advanced Filter that lets you drill down to the tool level:
This level of detail is fantastic for bringing extra work into an existing project. If you have a large body of work made up in Corel Painter and need someone to make use of existing collateral, here’s how to track that person down.
Big Names Included
While sites like deviantArt are great for budding creators, on Behance you will find some of the truly top names in today’s commercial art world:
This image is taken from Michael Kutsche’s work, which I tracked down using the Corel Painter filter shown above. Even without talking to Mr. Kutsche, just knowing that he used Corel Painter to create the concept art for John Carter opens an interesting window into his style and workflow. In fact, the Tools part of the page reveals he used both Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop to create this mind-blowing work. Artists also tend to be generous with what they share: This page contains over ten large images of John Carter concept art. Another important feature is that Behance makes it possible to talk to the artist and possibly hire them (although you would admittedly need a sizable budget to hire someone of this caliber).
Finally, the Behance Network can help you find answers you’d be hard-pressed to track down elsewhere. For example, do you know who did the art direction and design for Adobe’s tablet Touch Apps? With Behance, you can easily find out – and I leave this last question with you, so you’d have an excuse to dive into the site and start exploring.
Who Did You Find?
In exploring the Behance Network, what interesting artists and big-name projects did you dig up? Let me know below!