Comic Book Publisher Looking for Pencil Artist or Illustrator For Wildlife Kids' Book
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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Comic Book Publisher Looking for Pencil Artist or Illustrator For Wildlife Kids' Book

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the many submissions I've received. I'm amazed at the talent I've seen from this forum, and I will certainly post future opportunities here!

    I've had so many submissions come in that I've decided to close the listing. It's going to take me awhile to review what I've got and to make decisions. I also make a point out of sending personal replies to everyone whom submits, so if you've made an inquiry and haven't heard from me yet, you will.

    Thanks, folks -- this has been a fun experience!

    Last edited by SeanJJordan; April 26th, 2008 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Listing Closed
     

  2. #2
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    I thought I might add a few quick general guidelines for how to apply for a job, since so many folks have seen fit to apply for this gig without reading my instructions.

    So, here they are. Feel free to post these elsewhere if you find them helpful -- I'd love to see more artists follow these guidelines!

    TEN QUICK RULES OF THE THUMB FOR APPLYING FOR A FREELANCE ART GIG
    by Sean J. Jordan
    http://www.seanjjordan.com

    1) Do you hate getting form letter replies when you apply for a job? Perhaps it's because you sent a form letter inquiry. If you are interested in a job, take the time to write a personal letter of inquiry that explains who you are, what you've done, and why you're interested in this specific project.

    2) Is the employer looking for a specific style? Take the time to select a few samples of your own that match that style and include them with your inquiry. If you don't have any samples in that style, create some. After all, if you're applying for a manga webcomic about elves and you submit a bunch of superhero drawings in the traditional comic book style, do you really think you're going to be considered for the job?

    3) If you are creating samples, go ahead and tailor them to the job you're applying for. I cannot emphasize enough how refreshing it is to a publisher to see an artist who is willing to go that extra mile. Those are the artists who tend to get gigs regardless of their level of experience.

    4) There is a big difference between conceptual artists, cover artists, illustrators and sequential artists. Some artists are good at all three disciplines, but most excel at one and are mediocre at best at the others. So, pay attention to what's being requested. Don't send conceptual art samples to someone who's looking for a comic book artist. And likewise, don't send black and white comic book pages to someone who's looking for illustrations for a children's book. Take the time to send the samples that show you are best qualified for the gig. Leave the rest in your online gallery, where the publisher can browse them if he or she is interested.

    5) Do not send samples that are not complete or that don't showcase your ability. I would particularly advise against sending nudes, self portraits, sketches, or other studies unless they are relevant to the inquiry. Employers want to see your artistic vision and reach, not your exercises.

    6) Do not send a resume. Let your work speak for itself. I have never asked an artist for a resume, and I have almost always found that they detract from my overall impression of the artist if they're supplied.

    And if the employer requests that you send a resume, it should be a list of clients, with dates, project summaries and contact information -- NOT a business-style resume. Keep it to one page. And don't even think about including jobs that aren't linked to your artistic career. If it doesn't build you up as an expert on creating and developing art, the employer doesn't need to know about it.

    7) It's all right to ask about rates or to supply your own, but I don't recommend it. Why? First of all, there are lots of studios out there who provide overseas artists at a fraction of the cost of independent freelancers, and they will try to undercut any bid they hear about. In fact, many publishers check with these studios to see if they can undercut you with someone with a similar style. I don't do it myself, but I've seen it happen.

    Second, you may be asking for the wrong amount. If it's too much, you eliminate yourself from consideration. If it's too little, you cheat yourself out of the fee you're worth. Most of the published rates are wrong, anyway. The only rate that matters if what the employer is willing to pay.

    I recommend waiting until a publisher has expressed interest and asked you what your rates are. You should counter by asking what their budget is per page or per piece. If they supply it, and it sounds acceptable, tell them that will be fine. If you suspect they're lowballing you, try for slightly more by saying, "Well, I normally do it for THIS amount..." and gauge their reaction. If they want you, they'll negotiate. If they look like they're about to take the deal off the table, quickly add, "but I'm very interested in this project, so I can probably cut you a deal." That's music to an employer's ears.

    If the publisher won't supply any figures, quote rates you've received in the past for comparable projects that are in line with what you want. Chances are good they're not sure what to pay you and they're waiting on you to make them a reasonable suggestion. Having that history to refer to makes it easier for them to trust that you're being accurate, especially if they can confirm those rates through your references.

    8) Employers are people, and they behave like people. They like people who are polite and thorough, and whom follow directions; they don't like people who suck up or whom waste their time. Treat them like you'd want to be treated if you were looking for artists on a project. Don't spam them with form letters, and don't send them obnoxiously large attachments or art that's in print-ready CYMK mode instead of RGB. Don't be a suck-up, either; be polite, be kind, but keep your dignity about you. No one wants to hire someone who sounds desperate.

    9) If you are applying to a want ad, chances are that you're not a superstar. Why do I say this? Because superstars don't have to look for work - it looks for them. So, regardless of your experience, don't act like a superstar. Act like someone who wants to work, who's eager to please, and who doesn't mind trying new things. And don't expect superstar rates for your work. Sorry, but you're just not THAT good.

    After all, if a publisher is posting want ads, it's because he or she doesn't have a lot of contacts, or because he or she is looking for someone inexpensive and/or specialized. Employers tend to hire the people they know. It's easier. So don't take the want ads for granted. If you're not hungry for work, someone hungrier will get the job 90% of the time.

    10) If you're going to apply to an add, please at least take the time to get the contact person's name right! After all... why should they consider your name if you can't be bothered to call them by theirs?

    Copyright 2008, Sean J. Jordan. All rights reserved. This may be freely reposted, provided it is for informational, non-commercial use.

     

  3. #3
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    You've been very succinct about the particulars of this project in everything except what you're willing to pay, or some kind of guideline on YOUR budget?

     

  4. #4
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    Looked to me like he hung the range $150-200/page out there as a starting point for the negotiations.

     

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    It's not clear to me what he means. When he says:

    "I have worked with many comic book artists over the last several years, and I have a good idea of what most freelance artists are making doing comic book work. Please note: the GAG prices are highly inaccurate and only reflect the money you can earn at a major publishing company like Marvel or DC. Landing those jobs requires an enormous amount of ability and experience, and many artists are quickly flushed out because they cannot meet deadlines. I know many experienced comic book artists who are making no more than $150-200 per page."

    - from the tone of it, it sounds more like he's suggesting he isn't willing to shell this kind of money out, or that most of us shouldn't expect this kind of payout. He's not said anything succinct here about pay - all he's said there is that he says he knows how much one should expect in the business, which isn't much, and that freelancers should expect less. Sounds more like he's expecting an artist work for a significantly lesser sum, and is being ambiguous about it instead of being upfront and declaring what he's willing to pay. After all, for us working artists, that's as important a point in a job undertaking as any warm fuzzy feelings we're going to get for the doing of it. I can't understand why he hasn't stuck it at the top of the post with the other important project information, in no uncertain terms.

     

  6. #6
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    "To put it simply, nobody's getting rich doing comics except for the creators who have gotten lucky or started their own companies."


    thats not true at all, and u should know that most artist dont care about the history , but the money $$

     

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    Someone who goes out of their way to seemingly persuade that pittences are 'normally' paid to hardworking artists and doesn't spit out their price in the same breath... well guys, I wouldn't hold mine for him paying anywhere near $150 for this job.

    It's true that some people are willing to do work for very poor pay, but that's their choice - there is money out there if you know where to put yourself. Being a professional artist is 40% hard work and 60% hard-core self-promotion and making sure you get what you're worth. If he's as experienced as he claims, he ought to know this. I can't stand people who expect hard work to be done for next to nothing - but then, that's generally the kind of person who approaches a freelancer, isn't it?

     

  8. #8
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    Eh Guys???

    "I pay net15 for each batch of 10 finished pages that are turned in, once they are approved by the editor or art director. I will also pay piece by piece on net15 terms for artwork used to create the cover or for artwork used for promotional materials."

    I think this is what you`re looking for....

    I would love to apply, this is a project I would thoroughly enjoy, but I dont know if that converts well to Euros???

    Is that $150 per approved page?
    Therefore it would be $1500 for the cover art??

    Or am I mistaken???

     

  9. #9
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    Deffectx,

    You are 100% wrong on that point. I've known many, many artists who are willing to work for peanuts to get to work on the project that they WANT, often giving up more lucrative offers to work on projects that they HATE.

    Often, the artists who want the most money are simply the people whom have the highest opinions of themselves and, thus, are the most difficult to work with.

     

  10. #10
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    Psy,

    Thanks for the question! I don't know where you got 1500 from... I don't know anyone who gets that much for covers, aside from some of the high-end painters like Alex Ross, Greg Horn or Arthur Suydam. And even then, that money is coming from companies like Marvel and DC, who can easily afford it.

    The correct answer is that I have budgeted $200 per page, which includes the costs of the letterer, colorist and pencil artist. The cover is budgeted at 200 as well.

    In my experience, folks, the only way you're going to get insane amounts of money is if you:
    1) Work with someone who has a lot of money, and no concept of what they're supposed to pay.
    2) Work with someone who's got no experience and who highballs everything. (These folks usually go out of business, fast.)
    3) Work with someone who has no intention of paying you and who will tell you whatever you want to hear to get you to do the work.

    Incidentally, (and this is not in response to Psy, but just a general statement) I'll be up front in saying that I would usually shy away from an artist whom is more concerned about the rates than he or she is concerned about the project. Not only is it bad form, but those artists tend to jump ship the moment a better offer comes their way.

    -SJJ

    Last edited by SeanJJordan; April 26th, 2008 at 01:04 PM.
     

  11. #11
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    I'm kind of surprised... there have been threads here that offer only 15 bucks per page and didn't get nearly as much heat.

    Hope you find the right guy for the job!

     

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanJJordan View Post
    In my experience, folks, the only way you're going to get insane amounts of money is if you[...]

    Incidentally, (and this is not in response to Psy, but just a general statement) I'll be up front in saying that I would usually shy away from an artist whom is more concerned about the rates than he or she is concerned about the project. Not only is it bad form, but those artists tend to jump ship the moment a better offer comes their way.
    Hmm, I don't believe anyone here is asking for "insane amounts of money" just "money that covers more than min. wage per hr/pays my bills." $200 is a decent rate for that if your artists are fairly quick at what they do.

    Also--I find it odd (and telling) that you place enthusiasm over artists interested in rates. Afterall, they don't want to waste their time with runaround any more than you do, this is a JOB and a full-time artist has to be concerned about things like paying bills, and it's YOUR project not ours. I'm amazed at the amount of writers who think their stuff is so the shit that artists should fall overthemselves to do the work (I'm not saying you are, it's just a trend lately). This is a business transaction, not highschool. Enthusiasm is bonus, but I wouldn't put it as a deciding factor when considering talent, style-fit, reliability, and rates.

    That said, $200/pg is decent and I wish you luck in finding your artist(s) if you haven't already. With a fair rate like that, I'm sure you have.

     

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