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God, i haven't been in my studio for like three weeks, but i think about my work all the time. i always manage to push it out of my priority list. got any tips on staying focused?

ritzy, maybe there's something on craftster that would inspire you?
indeed, what DID ever happen to art busties? *BUMP*
i just got a job as an in-house designer. i'm pretty goddamn excited about it as this is my first "real" job that has anything to do with my degree.

been trying to find time to do illustration friday...anyone else?
i've been hired to do an illustration/logo for a fashion rep, and i'm not sure what the terms of the contract should be. she mentioned in passing that she'd have her clients use the logo too, and i may have misunderstood her, but that seems like a different kettle of fish. if i'm designing a logo for her, then she should be the only one to use it. she can use it on whatever she wants, but if some other party wants to use it, they should pay me again......right?
Sounds like yes, you should be paid by the others. But also like there could be a basic miscommunication here, and that she meant they'd be using it to represent her or something along those lines?
turns out she meant she'd refer her clients to me! AWESOME.
Um, you probably know this, mouse, but be sure to negotiate a good price..if she wants to use the logo as in the next x couple of years you should make a, darn, i don't know the name in english, but in dutch it's a 'licentie'which provides use of the design for a certain amount of time. The fee should be accordingly, since the commisioner gets business through the logo and identifies herself by it.

What i mean is don't sell yourself short! I'm sorry if you already know this, i hope this will mean more assignments for you in the future!
mouse's kind of a confusing issue. and i already told her a price and i told her way too low, and i'm kicking myself because i don't know how to go back on it. and i know she's on a tight budget. she wants a "temporary logo"...shes a fashion rep, and wants an illustration of herself, wearing one of her clients' outfits, to put on all her mailings etc., for this season. then next season, she wants a new one, with a new outfit. so technically, it's a four-times-a-year thing. admittedly i'm new at this, and i totally sold myself short, not realizing it was going to be more "logo design" than one illustration. and i don't really know what to do, because she wants it MONDAY (holy christ, deadline??). if i put up a fuss, i lose the job. which is more worth it? sticking to my guns about being paid what i should be, and most likely losing the job, and feeling like an asshole for raising the price i initially told her, or keeping the job, which will be good portfolio work and good references, and not being paid properly?
Since she said that she would refer you to her clients, maybe you can just do hers for what you originally said, because that's the fair thing to do, and just ask her not to discuss the pricing with anyone that she refers you to. It could be good business for you and next time around you know to raise the price.
i ended up writing her a big fat email saying i'd gotten off on the wrong foot, had to rethink things, and that if she understood that this was a learning process for me and that we'd have to re-discuss prices for any future designs, i'd do the current design for what we decided.
i'm waiting to hear back--if she doesn't want to take me, fine. i know i'm just starting out, but i'm sick of getting screwed over by people who've never worked with an illustrator before and expect us to be practically free, or to do tons of revisions and extra work without question. i mean, as a freelancer especially (and i'm only freelancing on the side now but hope to go full time when i can) we have to pay our own insurance, gas mileage, etc. sure, she's on a budget, but in a career as a fashion rep? i can guarantee you a pair of her shoes cost more than the price we originally agreed on.
Yeah, that's why i said it, Mouse. In the case of being a freelancer it's live and learn. There are always people who think you'll do a job for almost nothing. If it doesn't work out don't kick yourself for it. Maybe you cn negotiate some other deal; like she makes something for you. I do that with a friend of mine. I made fashion illustrations for her and she made me a beautiful coat. Just try and get out of it something that's worth your hard work. And if it fails, just move on.

Raskel's right about her not discussing your fee with other clients, and i think it would be just a decent thing. And don't present yourself as someone who does freelancing on the side, or that you're just starting. I never heard of a plumber who earned less, just because he just started, for instance!

An ex-teacher of mine always says: ask what you're worth, price-wise. It will bring professional clients your way; because you ask a decent price, they'll assume that you're a pro, and that you know what you're doing. And it will keep people who want it all for almost nothing away.

I had a negotiation training not too long ago. It made me realize i my hour price was too low. And it made me see a lot of things more clearly, for instance i gained a certain insight in myself and how i act in regard to clients when doing a freelance job. I learned a lot from it, maybe you can find some of these trainings where you live.

Good luck!
thanks everyone,
i ended up writing her an email saying that i had gotten off on the wrong foot with the project, and that i'd be willing to do this one for the price we'd agreed on (which was really, ridiculously low) but that future ones would have to be renegotiated--since, first of all, it was a logo, and second of all she wanted the deadline to be in four days--a day which, furthermore, is a national holiday.

she wrote me back and said she already had a designer working on her logo, that my sketch would only be on 25 invitations (NOT what she had led me to believe when we first spoke), and that it was best that we not work together, after all.

FUCK HER. i am so fucking mad. fuck, fuck, fuck her. i hope she breaks one of her fucking skinny little bones falling of her fucking six-inch, three thousand dollar fucking stilletos. ugh. it's not that i'm all that mad about losing the job--okay, yes i am, a little--but it's more the principle of the thing, that she expected me to do an illustration in four days for what would work out hourly to be under minimum wage. FUCK THAT.

and i'm really pissed off at myself for fucking up in the first place. but now i know.
For any working artists out there-- is it wise to get individual pieces copyrighted?
Mouse, don't be too hard on yourself, she fucked up in the first place. Maybe it's for the best you don't work together, you wouldn't have gotten anything out of it. And four days for a logo?? That lady is truly out of her mind. It's not at all professional of her to have a designer alreay working on a logo, if she acted like you'd be the only one designing it, and if you still were in the process of negotiating. Actually, it goes against all the rules we work by! You have the right to know if she hires you on an exclusive basis, or else you could've decided not to take the job after all. So fuck her, you don't need that shit! You did the right thing, because now you know she wasn't honest anyway. Better opporunities will come along!, i've experienced this myself.

Don't blame yourself! Look on the positive side, you'll prolly never make the same mistake again. me dense, but what do you mean exactly? To like, put on black and white officially that the pieces you made are actually made by you? Because every piece of art you make is automatically yours. If someone else wants to use it they need you permission, period. Maybe i got the question wrong. If that's the case, let me know.
I think you got the question right, but here's why I asked-- You know those colorful sculptures you see in basically any major city that say LOVE, with the L and O stacked on top of the V and E? Well my painting teacher told me that the guy who made the original didn't get the legal rights to the piece, so all these other people are profiting from that image and he hasn't gotten any money from his idea since he sold the original.
thanks sonik. GRRRR.

i just started my design job today. it's pretty fast paces and i learned a billion things just today, but i feel like i can keep up. i'm excited.

*EDIT chickened out
how the crap did i manage to...
kkb-- here's a link to a good article about robert indiana (the guy who did the love logo). i think that it's more of a situation as, he didn't know how to prosecute people who used his logo without permission, rather than that the lack of copyright prevented him from backing up his case. like sonik said, anything you create is automaitcally copyright by you. i would absolutely not worry about it, but if you do sell a piece for publication, make sure the terms of use are explicit in the contract.
I just got an illo gig with Benefit Cosmetics! Also, if anyone is in Baltimore,..Atomic Books just consigned my comics. Can I get a 'woot'!?
WHOAH greenbean that's AWESOME! congrats!!!! *jealous*
Thanks guys! The bummer is that I got the gig right before I leave for Europe, so its a rush job (cursed timing!)
I'll check in with you guys in a couple weeks! Late!
greenbean, seriously best of luck with all of that. with any luck, your stuff will become as recognizable as the stila illos!

if you don't mind, may i ask how you snagged that gig? do you have an agent? did you send stuff to benefit? did they contact you through something else?

*needs promotion tips like whoa*

and europe, damn. awesome. where are you going?
Mouse, i started with calling potential comissioners, bureaus, advertising agencies, magazines and the like and asked for the art director. Then i would send stuff thru mail. The best thing is to call back after some time, tolet them know you're still here. I don't know how it works in the U.S., everything goes through email i guess.
I have an agent, they have all the good contacts. But i just finished an promotional illustration for a contest which will be launched in oct. for Venuszine, and they asked me because i sent them a self designed christmas card last year.
It's a combination of hard work and luck. Your illustration activities should be 50% drawing/creating and 50% PR, ideally.
heh, I lucked out with this one. I have a cheesy comic/zine that I sell at fests and stuff, and the head designer at Benefit picked one up, like, several months ago (she didnt introduce herself, so I didnt know this had happened until she told me yesterday). She contacted me about the gig, I had never sent them anything, so it was a surprise.

The gig is for promo material they are giving to fashion editors, and I'm not sure if it will be available to the public. So as of yet, I won't have stuff on packaging, but hopefully they will consider me. That'd be cool to do Stila type stuff! That would be considered "identity" work and it will cost 'em!

Its funny, I have been lazy with the PR thing for awhile but had kept telling myself, "well, you're going to Europe and cant take new jobs now, so send stuff when you get back" so its a mixed bag of good luck and bad luck that I get the job now and have to do a two week job in two days. Eeek! I might pull an all-nighter and sleep on the plane. (I'm going to london, switzerland and portugal).

Sonik! Good luck with venuszine. I love them. I'm jealous! I've sent them stuff too but I guess its not their style.
Good luck to everyone else too! ((art busties))

**By the way, if anyone wants my zine you can lemme know when I get back and I'll sell it for cost.

Late! (for real this time!)
i'm always hesistant to reveal things here, i like my anonymity, but i keep trying to post about this and chickening out. now i am drunkposting at 1am and i would like to tell you all that i have two illustrations in the current issue of bitch; for the childfree article. and there we are. yay.
Hi, everyone. =) I wanted to introduce myself here as a newbie art bustie.

I am an aspiring fantasy and sci fi artist and a current Illustration major. I've done comission work, but am at the going-to-college-for-it stage before starting a career. My work is mainly fine detailed graphite drawings; however, I have been experimenting with some digital colouring.

Looking forward to getting to know all of you lovely art busties. =) Take care and best of luck!

(Congradulations, mouse!)
hi seraphine! welcomes.
I have a super stupid question. I am starting to dabble in illustration and cartooning, and was just wondering....what kind of paper is the best to use? I can't even decide whether to paint them or use ink or what. Rives seems so expensive (I am considering making a graphic novel) for a project so large....what would work here? I sound like such an idiot but I dont have a lot of money to throw at testing new materials. Advice?
mouse can get away with a lot. or at least i feel i can. high quality, slightly thick printer paper, like epson matte papers, are good and really cheap ($14ish per package, which is your typical printer-paper sized stack). you can get it at kinko's or staples, or any printer supply place. experiment, it takes more liquid materials in a sort of unexpected way (very fast drying) but i actually like that.

also, i find that strathmore materials are very good quality for the price you pay, so are utrecht. they are super ridiculously cheap, and while they're definitely no rives, neither are they dickblick or what have you. i particularly like strathmore's bristol.

personally, i'm still at the point where i cannot afford top quality materials, but you make it work. it's great to work with topnotch materials, its easier to make what you want to happen, happen, but it's not like your art is going to suffer so significantly if you're on a budget. you can do it, and you can do it well, you just have to be resourceful.
gumby_cc, it's not a stupid question at all.

I use 100lb. Strathmore Bristol "board" for most illustration projects (graphite, pen, coloured pencil). It's acid free, heavy weight, and I usually use the vellum surfaced variety (though there is 'smooth,' with a noticably finer tooth. However, the extra tooth is good for some mediums, such as coloured pencil). ($10 for 20 sheets, 11x14).

Recently I tried out Borden & Riley's 108 lb. #234 Paris Bleedproof Paper for Pens, though I used it for a fine-detailed graphite drawing. The smooth texture allowed me to achieve an amazing amount of detail. It's thick and -stark white-, which I love. ($12 for 40 sheets, 14x17).

Bristol is a tad more expensive (you get less sheets for about the same cost as the normal drawing papers), but I haven't found a type of paper I like better.
Bristol board! I totally forgot about that type of paper! I used to use it in college for my color class. Thank you guys, that is really really helpful. My goal by the end of the summer is to have a site up with at least some newly completed projects, so I guess we'll see.
Thank you very very much.
who here does illustration friday?
this is a cross-post. I have a comic/zine on sale
here. Its dorky and self-published, but its there if anyone wants to support a fellow Bustie. cheers!

ps. mouse, i'll have to pick up Bitch! and I dont do illustration friday but I am on IllustrationMundo
Hey! I'm on Illustration Mundo too.

Good luck with your zine. Greenbean!

whoa! illustration mundo, what is THIS?

*signs up*

greenbean, your stuff is great :-)
Hi to everyone,
I got a question: Does anyone know any good art/design-zines in Europe who are interested in submissions?
Hi Sonik: I read one of your posts where you wrote about 'licentie' - I think this could be licensing and it would be great if anyone knows of
some address or site more Europe-located who is searching art and design for licensing (we're around Italy and Germany). So anyone interested in what we are doing, here's our

Oh, and if people like/are interested in our events (see site above) - we got many events where the most various artists can participate.
Cheers to everyone & have a nice weekend!!!
Flux Magazine is a good uk magazine, they have a "gallery" fold out back page, which accepts proposasls each issue.
Hope that's of some use to you!
Love Naomi x
i'm really completely at a loss in regards to how much i should charge for work. i don't know what my rate would be. it seems that illustrators are very very touchy and close-mouthed about this subject--nobody wants to give away their secrets--but i really have no freaking clue how much i'm worth. i'm just starting out, yes, but i'm way past (and sick of) taking $75 craigslist jobs for illustrating somebody's wedding invitation or drawing a portrait of their kid from some photograph in disneyland. i don't mean to be vain at all, but drawing is the only thing i've ever been able to do well and i know that my work holds up to much of what's being published right now.

i was thrilled to get the illos in bitch, but they admittedly don't have much of a budget and i know that what i got paid for that is not representative at all of what more mainstream editorial illustrations would cost.

if you'd rather pm me than post on here, that's fine, but i'd really like to know--what the hell should i charge? what's too low, what's too high? this is one of the things that's holding me back, and i'd love some insight.

thank you <3
mouse, that has to be one of the largest sticking points for all of us artists. I am in the same boat as you: just starting out, but have had my decent share of commissions and am tired of getting paid too little for something that I do so well (no vain intentions on my part either).

I used to go by the hourly charge, then slap on a bit extra for the cost of supplies. Yet my $10/hr for drawing (plus brainstorming--I told clients that the more info they gave me the easier it would be for me thus the less time to pay for me brainstorming/planning out the work) has not been satisfactory. I get paid much more than that at my mundane office job.

Suggestions... hmm. Don't tell the client prices right away, until they describe the commission to you in detail. Find an hourly rate (in advance) that you feel comfortable with, and after you get the commission info, calculate the approximate time it will take you to complete the work. Add on a charge for use of supplies, then see if you are comfortable with the end total.

I take anywhere from 3 hours to 40+ hours on a single drawing. If I was doing a 4 hour drawing, I may charge $15-18/hr for it, but if I was spending 40 hours on a drawing, I may settle for $10/hr for it, since I -am- just starting out in the field. Though I don't know... maybe I am undercutting myself as well. I am also curious to hear others' responses.

Hope that helped, at least a little, mouse!
hmmm. it does help, seraphine, but i'm also curious as to sort of, flat rate payments. like how much is your standard spot illustration for an editorial? how much for a full page? how much for fashion? how much for a logo? i rarely sit down and work on something start to finish in one sitting, so it's harder to calculate hourly rates.

maybe i should just suck it up and buy the graphic artist guild pricing and ethical guidelines book. meh.
Thanks, Naomi. Think I will give it a try.
Three Cheers to art & artists!!!
Don'thave time to go into price/hourlyrates right now, but i will asap!
mouse, I apologize but that is all I can offer on the subject... =( Like I said, I am also just starting out. Perhaps sonik and the others can explain a bit further. I am also interested in hearing different points of view.

I am working on a project for my guy's work. He needs a 4-foot by 4-foot top view of a solar system, minus the planets which will be added later (table top war game style). I only have vellum bristol for the job (crazy expensive to use for this, I know, but it's all I've got since stores are closed today). I was thinking about using watercolour and trying out that crushed salt trick to make faint stars. Any tips? I'm a graphite girl, so watercolour scares me as it is. But I really want that space feel with black and blues.

Thanks in advance!
Seraphine is right, you should ask a lot about the comission itself. It helps you define what exactly you have to do, and how much time you spend working on it.

There's no need to be vain about anything, if you want to make a living doing illustration/art then you have to ask a price which allows you to buy some bread now and then. An hourly rate of $95 is not out of proportions. Who pays your sick time? Who pays your holiday money? Who pays for your pension? You. So it's good to calculate that in your price. And all the extras; adjusting sketches, calling the art director, sending stuff in the mail, books/ schooling/training.

When i started out i was afraid of asking too high a price. I was just starting, all that. But if you stick to your low wages, people expect to get a bargain, even if you're years further in the business.

And doing comissions in the U.S. pays better than working in the Netherlands. Maybe it's because of the costs of living, but don't ask too little, it's not necessary. Plus it's ok to say no now and then. Sometimes it may look like there's nothing else on the horizon than what ou can get now, but if it pays little it should be at least a great comission, fun to do.
Is this any help on pricing and related issues?

which is "Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines."

It ain't cheap, but if it does what it claims to, it sounds like it would be worth it.
the horly price i said is probably not completely correct, since i converted the euro. It should be higher.

Also, advices on pricing (from the union of designers) and how much a freelancer should earn are not allowed over here. The goverment sees it in the same light as some scandals have evolved; building companies that negotiate a price together; the one that gets the job pays the rest of the companies. It's called 'kartel' over here. Which is by no means what illustrators do. If one thing, it allows clients to use people who are not yet established to get cheap work done.
This is such an "it depends" issue. Bitch for instance is a small magazine and would not be able to pay as much as say, Rolling Stone. It also depends if it b/w, backgrounds or spots, ect. A big client should pay over $75 dollars hourly or flat rate of $100 per spot, $500 to $1000 for spreads. For a smaller client on a budget you have to ask yourself if its worth it. I've low-balled for projects that are a labor a love. The thing I stress the most is no redos without a fee. If they arent paying me enough then they must take what they get. I'm not gonna spend all day trying to tweak something into fitting into their mental image unless they pay more. Also keep the contract open for renegociation. For instance, the recent work I did for Benefit is not for public comsumption, its for fashion insiders. I made it clear that eventho the work is done, if they decide to use the images again, for packaging or their website for instance, then they have to pay me a new fee.
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