Art Outsourcing Knowledge Base

Hello there! I’m Jon Jones, and I plan, staff, and build outsourced art teams. For more information on the services my company offers, check out smArt Production today!

Over the last decade I’ve managed art outsourcing and production on dozens of projects of all sizes, from indie to AAA. In 2009 I founded smArtist, the game industry’s first art outsourcing management agency, offering my specialized outsourcing management services on a contract basis. During that time, I’ve written, blogged, and spoken about art outsourcing extensively, covering everything from how to source and manage talent, develop art style guides, create effective documentation, best practices for giving feedback, and general productivity tips and recommendations of powerful tools to outsource content more effectively.

I decided it’s time to organize everything I’ve written into an easy-to-read, categorized page with links to the content I’ve produced. It’s essentially a desk reference for art production and outsourcing, and the vast majority of it is original content produced between 2005 and 2016. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only guide focused on art outsourcing and art production for the video game industry. I’ll update this as I create more content. Also, I’m compiling all of this information into a book that will feature all-new content, as well as updating existing content.

If you have any questions, comments, or wish to inquire about my consulting services, contact me!

Overview of outsourcing from start to finish:

Sourcing and managing talent:

Sourcing existing art content:

Art project management tools:

Tools and technology for managing teams and remote collaboration:

Business intelligence, research, and marketing:

Style guides:

Creating effective documentation and art briefs:

Writing feedback:

Technical know-how:

File management and organization:

Managing communication:

How to outsource specific types of content:

Managing contracts and finances:

Tools for managing tasks and schedules:

General resources:


If you have any questions, comments, or wish to inquire about my consulting services, contact me or visit my company website. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the book!

Art outsourcing and production for the game industry