I AM Sick of it! [RANT]

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  1. #1
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    I AM Sick of it! [RANT]

    So I freelance as often as I can...
    One thing i keep coming across is the "Mock up" mentality when dealing with artists. The "draw, paint, layout, design it for me and if I like it, I'll hire you" mentality. I've had enough of it, some people are so accustomed to getting mock ups from new artists that they refuse any other proposals which contain none.
    There has to be a way to educate these people, these potential employers. Does anyone have any good links to some good resources for them to read and get educated?

    On this last experience I had, I was pretty pissed until the client wrote this at the end of his rant:
    As a side note, i am a salesman by profession. I have found that nothing i ever did in the past got me a sale with someone i didn't know today.
    referring to portfolios.
    Then it was clear that ignorance was at play here.

    My response:
    As a side note, you are a salesman by profession. We are professional artists, not sales men. WE are not trying to "sell" you a piece of our "old" art. We are offering our PROFESSIONAL SERVICES to you. A service which quality can be evidenced by reviewing our portfolios. That is the purpose of having a portfolio sir.
    links people, give'em to me

    J.L. ALFARO


    "Be who you are and say what you feel,because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."
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  3. #2
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    I'm sorry, I have no link, but here's a hug.

    *hug*



    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

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  4. #3
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    When they ask you for a mock-up, tell them the billable hours that you will need to complete it. Give no mark-up for a sweetener if they're particularly stupid. If they give you a blank stare or act like they don't want to pay you for it, tell them that you could do this mockup and get paid for it, doing a professional job, or they can look for a student to do it with no promise of money that will be completed in their spare time. Ask them how professional they want to be about it.

    I think the thought of some stoned student drawing while watching family guy would be enough to make them realize your seriousness is an asset.

    Also, ask them if they would do an 'example' job for free. If they're selling something, ask if they'd design, produce and give something away something for free for a consumer to make their decision on whether to buy the product in the future.

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    I take offense to that rhineville...I am not stoned (yet) and I do watch Family Guy while I draw sometimes. Is there something wrong with that? :p

    You handled it pretty well OP. Do what Rhineville suggested about billing them for the mock-up. I do it all the time when dealing with a potential website design. Do a few quick mocks, let them pick, and then go at the one they decide.

    Good luck and if you ever find anything, post here so we all can see.

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  6. #5
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    I think the thought of some stoned student drawing while watching family guy would be enough to make them realize your seriousness is an asset.
    LMFAO, the image of Jack Black from Orange County comes to mind. Hilarious.

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    JL.Alfaro: Sucks man, don't get overly stressed out about it, dude.

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stark View Post
    I take offense to that rhineville...I am not stoned (yet) and I do watch Family Guy while I draw sometimes.
    I do too but if any show embodies the 'layabout' youth culture, it's family guy. Which is unfortunate, they have some pretty intricate, high-brow jokes on there. I guess the stoners just filter it out and wait for the poop jokes

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    This website deals with this and working for spec type issues. Takes it pretty serious too.

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  10. #8
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    Thanks Mark winters, thats a really good site!
    I will pass along the info

    thanks
    -JL


    PS: thanks for that hug Michelle pld:

    J.L. ALFARO


    "Be who you are and say what you feel,because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."
    -Dr. Seuss


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    sounds like they want your work for free. i'd be careful here. it wouldn't be the first time if a company published someone's mock ups without the artist being paid. now thats shitty.

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    My first question to any client is always, "do you have a budget for this?"

    This puts them back on their heels and immediately alerts them that this is a professional operation that runs on a payment basis. The project is not "for the fun of it" and . hey buddy, we ain't pals... yet!

    If they say "I'd like to see some mockup before beginning" you say, "the way I do it is a split up payment into three sections, always including up front money to begin. The upfront money, in the event the client backs out, is to be considered a "kill fee". (Don't call it a kill fee, by the way, just say its the first installment to begin work.)

    Once a client pays the first installment, they rarely walk away from the project. (In my experience)

    If any argument arises from this arrangement, just keep saying, "this is the way I work." Never say, "I'm sorry but..." Don't say, "I'm protecting myself" or "I've been screwed in the past". Just say, this is the way I work, I do professional work, as I am sure you do, and we both would expect a professional arrangement.

    Working with an agency is often different as they get paid by clients and then the pay you, so payment takes longer. And they may not go for an incremental payment schedule.

    kev

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  14. #11
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    As a side note, i am a salesman by profession. I have found that nothing i ever did in the past got me a sale with someone i didn't know today.
    LOL! This guy just told you that HE has nothing to show for himself!! Why don't you ask him to pay you first then? If nothing he ever did in the past got him anything with someone new today, then ask him to do something for YOU? Like put down a deposit!


    Kev is right, I wouldn't lower your standards for someone who is already showing signs of difficulty...and complete ignorance.

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  15. #12
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    Thanks guys, I appreciate the info

    Im not working with the guy, it was a discussion from a proposal submission...and Im out of that since he is a bit "difficult" and "ignorant". pardon my french.

    J.L. ALFARO


    "Be who you are and say what you feel,because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."
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  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JL.Alfaro View Post
    Im not working with the guy, it was a discussion from a proposal submission...and Im out of that since he is a bit "difficult" and "ignorant". pardon my french.
    Good. It would have been worse if you had gotten the job. If someone is a pain in the ass during the initial contact, they're not going to turn around and suddenly be a pleasure to work with once the project actually starts.


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  17. #14
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    Good. It would have been worse if you had gotten the job. If someone is a pain in the ass during the initial contact, they're not going to turn around and suddenly be a pleasure to work with once the project actually starts.
    very true, but I want to mention something purely for the sake of discussion. While this sort of thing certainly happens very often with clients of the low rent and deadbeat variety, it's also happening with big ticket high profile companies because that's just the way that they do business. Specifically, I'm talking about the advertising industry.

    From what I've seen of this branch of the illustration tree, they often are working on incredibly short deadlines, constantly change their minds, ask for proposals and mock-ups without guarantee of payment, and pay more than just about any other client if you do land the job.

    Point being that, as I understand things, this practice is something which many top ad agencies regularly engage in as standard procedure. Their artists are certainly compensated well if the job goes through, but often enough it does not. I would never recommend giving your time and effort away to a client who doesn't provide reasonable compensation (however you might define that) but there are times when some risk is acceptable and times when (as in this case it would seem) the client is being shamelessly exploitive.

    Just some thoughts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo View Post
    From what I've seen of this branch of the illustration tree, they often are working on incredibly short deadlines, constantly change their minds, ask for proposals and mock-ups without guarantee of payment, and pay more than just about any other client if you do land the job.

    Point being that, as I understand things, this practice is something which many top ad agencies regularly engage in as standard procedure. Their artists are certainly compensated well if the job goes through, but often enough it does not. I would never recommend giving your time and effort away to a client who doesn't provide reasonable compensation (however you might define that) but there are times when some risk is acceptable and times when (as in this case it would seem) the client is being shamelessly exploitive.
    Although sometimes risk is acceptable, its still a gamble to work this way. It will be a sad day in illustration history if that were to become a standard in the industry.
    I wouldn't have a problem with it, if it meant that your capabilities and skills were put to test. But developing spec work or mock up works leaves it solely to discretion, taste and preferences of the client. Something that can be done with the review of ones portfolio.
    Even if you get the job and get compensated well, still leaves the question;
    What happens to the other artists who placed all their efforts, skill and time? and keep in mind, the next time it might be you left on the sidelines.
    It would appear to me that better planning is needed in the advertising segment of the illustration industry. Either that, or have a few illustrators in your payroll and get as many mock ups as you need.

    J.L. ALFARO


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    I've never had to deal with this sort of thing with an advertising job. I'm not saying I won't, but I haven't yet.


    Tristan Elwell
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  20. #17
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    When I've worked with illustration, I've provided mockup illustrations on some occasions in order for the agency to sell in the project to the customer. The mockups have always been of simpler quality than a finished product, and I've never provided a mockup without pay.

    For them to be able to sell in the project, they agency needs to take a risk. You can take part of that risk by offering a somewhat reduced fee for the hours spent on your work doing the mockup in exchange for the promise of full pay of those hours at final delivery. But asking for a mockup without pay just sounds completely unprofessional to me. I'd never work that way. Same goes for design work. No prepay, no mockup.

    All the arguments already provided are very good, I just wanted to put down my experiences.

    Good luck!

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  21. #18
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    Different kind of work, JL, but over the past 3 years I've wised up to the fact that people don't jerk you around nearly as much if you lay out your terms and tell them you want payment upfront.

    God! I wish I'd toughened up years ago!

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    what I do is before I do any actual work, even if it's a rough draft, or sketch or mock up, is to let the client understand that I will be charging a mock up fee, or a sketch fee. if that's all they're interested in.

    If they are looking for a final illustration or some other kind of finished project I let them know that if they hire me to do it, I would include the sketch as part of the actual project. what this does in my case is to show me whether the client actually is interested in my work or just looking around for freebies. (which does happen sometimes)

    One time I got a call from a company that wanted an illustration ASAP, and they wanted me to send them 3 sketches that same day!, this was a company I had never worked with before and they were on the other side of the country, so I told the person I was talking to, that even though I could have the 3 sketches done by the time they needed them, I couldn't do any work until I had a deposit and a contract was signed. Well, I guess they were very interested in my work, because they sent the check overnight, I got the check the next day at 10.30am, and they got their sketches that afternoon.
    So my point is: it's up to you to let the client know how you want to get paid, and how serious you are about your work. However, be prepared to be turned down. for some reason people are used to not paying artists.

    Sepulveda

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    Well, I don't have a link to anything too useful, but I did write this a while ago.

    http://ursulawilliams.wordpress.com/...r-your-project

    Freelancing sucks butt at times and I think you have to be firm with clients. Let them know from minute one that they are entering a business contract with you. This is how YOU work, and if they can't accept that than don't accept them as a client.


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    On the other end, you have to watch out for "feature creeps", - clients that refuse to pay up until you do this one extra thing, repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse...

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  25. #22
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    Mungus, I call this "Mission Creep" (based on military parlance)

    At least Icarus tried!


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  26. #23
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    Ah... I may be inexperienced in this field, (though I have worked in interactive advertising a bit...) but shouldn't the agreement be made to work together, the client pays the artist a bit, and then mockups made for the client to decide upon? And theeeen finished, with completion payments?

    Dunno, I think I probably just restated what y'all said...

    <_< This is an informative thread, even if it started out as a rant. I have no links for you, unfortunately... Sorry... I do want to learn more about this industry, even if it's going all wonky. Good luck with this, you professionals you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Mungus, I call this "Mission Creep" (based on military parlance)
    Thank you, I was about to say the same thing.

    I have a potential client that has admitted to me that the reason she has gone through three other illustrators so far on her children's book project is that she can't afford to pay for their work up front. She is willing to share any profit from any sales she may make when she self-publishes.

    She's telling me this as she is talking to me from her horse stables.

    As much as I'd love the work, and as much as I could use the extra money, I don't buy the "I can't afford it" line. She tells me that she doesn't want cartoony illustrations, nor does she want fairytale type illustrations, she only wants 32 realistic illustrations to go with the narrative at the bottom of each page. So basically, she wants a 32-page picture book, but is unwilling to pay for any type of work up front, yet still wants to be able to make changes in the event she doesn't like the images any illustrator may provide.

    I told her I don't do spec work, as that is exactly what she is looking for. She didn't call back.

    Go figure.

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    wowsers, you dug this up, didnt you...
    anyways it pretty much got sorted out with this

    J.L. ALFARO


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    Reminds me of my first freelance job. I designed a logo for a game store, and based on the description the guy gave me I came up with a series of thumbnail sketches, he chose one stating that it's exactly how he imagined it so I fleshed that out and gave him a couple sketches of that and used macromedia freehand to make the final "illustration" which he said he was ecstatic about and gave me 50 dollars.

    At the time I thought "well good god damn this is a huge sum of money for a simple job!" but in retrospect that actually only equated to about 3 dollars per hour if I were to look at it as an hourly wage type job, and what's worse is the following week he hired a guy who he thought I didn't know to photochop the shit out of the logo I'd designed and turned into some lame ass XXXTREEEEEEEEM attitude thing.

    That game store closed it's doors for the last time a month later, which made me giggle.

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    I think you have to feel the situations individually.. I am about to create some simple Illustrations for a larger newspaper for free, just to show them How they could fit in.

    Its more like a sales tactic sometimes to make a live pitch doing something unique...

    I don't consider that sort of thing free work If I get the feeling these are serious people who might end up being a long time customer for me.

    Having that said. I do not advice anyone to work for free.

    But then you need to have a portfolio with "products" your client want to buy...

    So you might need to make something for that specific client "for free" beforehand... Something that you think fits the glove.

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