After looking through the sticky and several threads here it seems that the best way to go about this is to post as much detail about my request as possible in order to get a remotely accurate quote. Hopefully I'm doing this right!
Just to be clear from the very start, I am only after a quote at this stage. I don't want to get anyone's hopes up as to whether or not this will turn into a paid project as for the moment, I just need to know what kind of prices I'd be looking at to get this done as I literally have no clue (I'm clueless!). From there, I need to then decide if I even want to go ahead with it and if I do, where it fits into my budget, priority-wise.
So, on to the details!
I have created my own original topographical map with a fair bit of detail to it. However it's use and reason for existence is solely to allow me to understand the world I'm creating from a realistic point of view. For everyone else, I need a much more stylised map along the lines of something that would be present in a standard medieval swords and sorcery fantasy world.
Some examples of what I'm hoping for are linked to below. I got these links from posts on these forums but was unable to determine who the original artist is (in terms of their nicks here, if they even have one) so hopefully I'm not doing anything wrong by linking to them and not crediting the appropriate people For the record, these maps are both gorgeous!
Unlike these maps, however, I wouldn't require any political boundaries, city placements, or any place names or roads included. As a topographical map, the map I would like the artist to use as a template has only indications of height, depth and coastlines. There are no rivers, lakes, forests or mountains indicated other than what would logically be in place due to the topography. I would require that the artist interpret the topography for the placement of most of these aspects of the map, with the exception of some predetermined aspects (about ten or so things, including a couple of mountain ranges, a continental river, a forest, etc. that I already have in mind) that would be discussed before the project begins.
There is no real time limit to this project. It's something I would like done but am not pressed for time to make it happen. At this stage of its development, it is more of a personal project than a professional one.
Although I would like to pay for the work, I would be doing so on the agreement that neither of us use it for any commercial application. I'm happy for the artist to use it as a reference for their own work, but other than that would like it to be kept private. I would like the right to use it in the future for a commercial application but if I was to do so, I would first seek to pay the artist a reasonable amount for that right and would be willing to sign a contract (not sure how these things work, so, whatever the ethical standard operating procedure is, I'm happy to follow) to that effect.
Essentially I'd hope to one day use it in a published work, but I'm not holding my breath, so for now it's just for personal use
For reference purposes, here is a low-quality, low-resolution example of the topographical map I've created and would want the artist to use as their guide:
The scale indicated by the symbol on the map is 200 miles.
Thanks for any quotes!