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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    United States
    Thanked 15 Times in 8 Posts

    A quick question on some freelance illustration decorum.

    Is it ethical for an potential employer who is screening a X number of applicants to ask for some preliminary production work?

    I responded to an ad seeking detailed illustrations of techno interiors, all need original design. This is a fairly small job, (around 1K), and the client has agreed to my price.

    However, the client has made no mention of hiring me, but has begun to give me detailed descriptions on what is needed, hinting at wanting to see sketches and ideas. My mention of contract has not been responded to.

    While I dont want to lose this opportunity (i don't know how many people have applied, or who theyre considering), I'm also worried that without a deposit, they may simply take my concepts sketches and render it themselves...

    Is " No contract, No deposit = No sketches (not even rough ones)" a reasonable attitude?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Vangroovy Island, BC
    Thanked 189 Times in 112 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiralfish View Post

    Is " No contract, No deposit = No sketches (not even rough ones)" a reasonable attitude?
    Very. I wouldn't touch the thing until you have the contract arrangement worked out. Their oversight on that could simply be them being eager to get going on the work. But you are fully within your rights to protect yourself before you get too deep into any project and to push to get some sort of agreement in place before proceeding.

    At the same time, you could weigh your own eagerness to do this work against some caution and simply do up some very rough ideas to show them. Don't commit to too much time, but at the same time, do it as a show of good will assuming that everything's on the up and up. But that's totally up to you. I think that anyone wanting to see a lot of IP specific work upfront in order to make their hiring decision is really bad form. But I do understand it happens. And I've done work on spec before myself (through here in fact), but that's something you have to feel totally comfortable with.

    Just a couple cents there. Ultimately, you are not being unreasonable in your concerns. You just have to be able to make value judgments on the arrangement to decide just how you want to proceed. Not everyone is out to do harm. But it happens.
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    United States
    Thanked 15 Times in 8 Posts
    That's a good point. I might do some roughs...

    thanks for the advice.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Thanked 49 Times in 26 Posts
    It is not the right question if it is ethical. Ethics depend on a lot of things and are probably at least a bit different for everyone (even with big overlapping areas).

    But it is a bit fishy that the employer likes your work and agreed to your price but somehow doesn't want to commit further. So your idea of doing a few roughs sounds good.

    Although if you really want to think of them as evil bastards then it could be that they are playing this game with a few (or even a lot of) people thus getting access to much more than just your useful material in different states of completion.

    But you should somehow address the unprofessional "no contract, no money, but do some work for us" attitude of them. If they were to suddenly not contact you then chances are high that you would not see much or anything of your money. Meaning that if they value your work and are not just out to exploit you then they will try to arrange something somehow. And if they really want to just take advantage of you then no matter how much work you do you will probably end with nothing positive from this job.

    And of course there is the possibility that the situation is somewhere between the two extremes.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Algonquin Land
    Thanked 29 Times in 11 Posts
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