Best Way To Find Independent Designers?
Problem: I need some graphic design work done.
I'm developing a website with a college friend of mine.
I need a lot of icons, reward badges, a logo or two, and other related graphical features. I could do it myself, but my skills are mediocre at best. I'd like to outsource it for better quality.
Some of the use case are specialized/unique, so using stock icons isn't really something I'd want. Or some of the stock I'm looking at doesn't meet the quality/resolution I'd need it in. I want a cohesive feel to everything.
I have some idea mockups, but want someone to flesh them out properly, or suggest other ones that they feel would be a good fit.
Results would need to be complete with multi-platform versions, along with a vector file that could be loaded in Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape. I would also like to have nearly exclusive rights to the art. I'd want at least a year or two before the art is released CC3.0 or something like that.
It would be nice to compare different styled themes before I choose a set. I'd like to be able to see an icon or two with potential looks: soft shadowing, cartoon style, sketched, realistic, high-contrast, shiny, etc.
Essential Question: Where do I start?
The thing is, I haven't the faintest clue where to start looking for someone who would be interested in doing this type of work, or how much I should expect to pay them. Similarly, I have no idea how to phrase this in a job description.
I know there are crowd source design sites, but I'm not sure if that would be a good idea considering my requirements.
Best answer = most helpful:
Ultimately the answer most helpful in solving my problem will get my acceptance.
If one answer really floors me, or ends up leading me directly to a candidate I use, I'll be sure to give some bounty points when if I get enough points here to start a bounty.
Use your own judgement, but I might suggest that a good answer addresses the following related questions:
Where can I find artist portfolio collections who might be willing to do this type of work.
What can I expect to pay for this type of work.
What should I have prepaired for an artist to help the process go faster.
What kind of language should I be using to recruit for these tasks.
Also, feel free to link to as many related questions as you can. The more I know going into this, the more confident I'll feel.
Example mock-ups that need completion:
Concepts art (c)2011, all rights reserved except where required to relinquish for use in this site.
I am a regular user on stackoverflow, so I know how much it means to reward good answers ;)
Also, my apologies if this is not the right place to ask this type of question. I did some searches on stack-exchange and this place seems the most fitting area to ask.