Commissioning an Illustrator, how does it work?
At the beginning clients are usually skeptical and think “how does it work?” what is the process of illustrating or even if they even going to like it? Well, it’s not as scary as it seems. Let me explain really fast the process, because I believe educating clients is an important step to achieve success.
Basic communication: My client sends me what type of illustrations he needs and for what purpose/ usage they needs it for. Then I’ll ask the client a couple of questions, for example: what technique he wants? Does he want the originals? Black and white or color? With the background or no background? What is the deadline? etc. After receiving the answers, I’ll send them a Deal Memo with a flat rate price, detailed information for what is they are paying for and the conditions of payment.
NOTE for Illustrators: It’s important for both sides to keep everything on paper in case of miscommunication or formal issues.
Learn from my experience: Years ago as a beginner, I met a client and we talk about the project. I trusted him and his good intentions and I was naïve enough to not take any deposit up front. Also we didn’t have any agreement signed. I worked on his project the whole week. The client loved it but on the last minute he decided to change his vision and make some “small” corrections. I told him I’ll have to charge extra for that, because it will take at least another two days to make the corrections. After he never showed up and my all work was for nothing. I know so many more stories like this from my friends and it was a huge and painful lesson for me. Therefore I beg you, don’t make the same mistake I did and save yourself!
NOTE for the client: Having a document signed with clear information, process of our work and with a paid deposit, makes everything so much easier and protects you against the illustrator not keeping a deadline or eventual disagreement apropos details of your project. Also it makes both sides involved and protected.
Meeting: When we agree on a Deal Memo, then we’ll have a meeting where we’ll casually talk about the project, so I can understand exactly what my client has in mind. At this point we’ll sign up the Deal Memo (for bigger companies I’ll add the contract) and when the deposit is paid, I’ll begin to work on the illustrations.
Consultation: The easiest way for both sides is communicating by text message or e-mail. It worked for me even when I was working for European clients (I just had to remember about the time difference ;)). I’ll simply send the progress of my work; therefore my client is included to the process. I always ask if it’s ok and if I can move forward with the project, so we both know we are on the same page. Usually takes up to 3 “check outs” and the illustration is done.
Final: Now comes the final payment after which I’ll send the project via Wetransfer. Usually it’s regular jpg. plus in png. formated with a transparent background. If my client wants the original, we just meet or I’ll mail my work to him.
I always do sketches at first then afterword I scan them in high resolution and finish my work digitally, so it’s prepared for print, social media or advertisement.
You’ll probably wonder how the illustration is going to turn out... well; I believe you are choosing me because you admire my style. That’s going to be the core of how it will look like. If you have a different style in mind though, and you are looking for some artist to reproduce, we can always talk.
I’m signing my own name to each piece of work, so you have that guarantee that I’ll always do the best possible job for you.
Easy, isn’t it?
More questions? Never hesitate to ask: firstname.lastname@example.org