Being Screwed over for making a living.

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    Being Screwed over for making a living.

    Hi guys, I really hope any of you can help me as I've run into a problem with a job I've been doing over the last 3 weeks. I've recently had one of my first concept job's for a film and was commissioned to do a couple of portraits along with a series of storyboards. When the 2 images were complete, I meet with the director to discuss the storyboards and received payment for the images however he felt one image in particular needed a few adjustments. These were only small and was no problem but these changes continued over the next 5 or so days and became quite major. As any normal person would do I then proceeded to ask for a fee based on the 2 days I had spent making changes that were not in the original brief. He then responded with the most ridiculous allegory I've ever heard, saying he commissioned a portrait which I had not delivered and was like
    “If you go into a restaurant and are not happy with the food or service you are notobliged to pay.”

    Is this attitude common in the world of concept art and if so is there anyway of protecting myself from it in the future? Thankfully in this case I have been paid for the original contract but there will be more work from this guy and I need to lay down the law next time I see him.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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  3. #2
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    It depends if these were scope changes or if they were problems with the image, or that you had not followed the spec properly. You should really give a bit of leeway with early scope changes, but if they change their minds every five minutes, or right at the end, then you need to revisit the budget. Just tell them that you'll do the current change but any changes after, no matter how small, will be charged for. If they don't agree then you don't offer your services to them again.

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  5. #3
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    Thanks Baron Impossible.
    At first I agreed to a few minor changes based on the age of the character but i had followed the brief in everyway. Later he wanted the character to look like a completley different actress, something which he did a couple of times. This is quite understandable as it is part of the development of the character but so far I have spent 2 days making alterations so I think I was perfictly within my rights to ask for an extra fee.

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    Stew9 you are lucky, I am chasing a guy for my fee. He wanted some story boards and a cover for a presentation to close an advertising deal with a childrens clothing company, I recieved down payment and now they are refusing to pay the rest of my fee based on the fact that it's too expesive and that the top 'professionals' over here charge less. And yes, he gave me the same excuse he gave you.

    It's a weird thing with many of these types who deal with advertising, films, magazines n' stuff. They feel that because they take the risk of making idea pitches to producers or prospective clients without the guarantee of payment in the end, that you and I, as freelancers, should share the same risk. What a joke.

    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

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    You can always include changes and pickups in the contract. Mine has a pay for one round of changes, two rounds etc. The best thing to do is do the things he wants for the one likeness of an actres and as soon as it changes to another actresses likeness you have to let them know right then it is another portrait.

    What I've noticed over the last ten years with digital invading everythng is it allows people to not know what they are doing. So you get a lot of I'll know it when I see it. Ad to that the corporate mind set these days of because I'm paying for it I get to dictate every apect of it. This is not just an art problem, as I hear everyone I know complaining about people hiring them to do a job and then micro-managing the process as they change their minds or get feedback from committees.

    The honest people will pay you and the dishonest ones won't. You just have to decide not to work for the the bad ones. I used to think that I would never get work again if I told someone off or ended a contract but that is not the case. You have to stick up for yourself. The more you do the more you will find good people will seek you out and bad ones will stay away.

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    Exactly. Another viewpoint which I've encountered - though thankfully not often - is that because it's digital it's simple to alter at any stage - poof! - just like that, as though I'm using Poser or something and I can instantly change the character or clothing with a couple of clicks. The fact that I use real, posed reference, that I build up from a sketch through underpainting and onto full colour, without layers, is not something they want to hear. "It shouldn't be so difficult to..." Well hey, if it's not so difficult then do it yourself and save some money... assuming they actually pay.

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  12. #7
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    Sorry to hear that Line. I hope it all gets sorted soon and they pay up.

    Thanks dpaint, that makes alot of sense.

    When I got the email this morning I was pretty pissed so I'm glad I've listened to you guys before just venting at him. I suppose I've just gotta learn from this and make sure I have more imput into the original contract next time.

    I did wonder if it was normal for the artist to write the contract or the person hiring you?
    In this case he wrote the contract which basically stated he owned all the rights to the artwork once completed which doesn't seem to give me much leeway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stew9 View Post
    I did wonder if it was normal for the artist to write the contract or the person hiring you?
    Who writes it isn't so much a problem, so long as it is agreeable to both parties and covers you as an artist. If you're not writing it, make sure you get a good long look at it - and don't be afraid to request changes should you need them to cover yourself. I know a lot of artists have a standard contract they've made up, it can make you seem more professional and ready for the task to a certain extent - but you're not going to be able to do that all the time.

    Taking risks is always going to be necessary, but you can have a lot to do with whether the risks you're taking are wise...or whether they will be to your detriment.

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    My theory on the subject is if you are going to charge extra for changes, you have to have the client agree BEFORE you do the work. That way he has the option of not having you do it (if you say it's 200$ for that change, he might decide it's fine as it is!)

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    Were you afraid for your rep? That's why you continued his sharade for a whole week after he payed you?


    I make sure to show clients work in progress, that's how i gauge wether they can tell their head from their ass regardles of their initial 'vision', and if i should cut my losses.

    My favourite however is when they can't, but they still want to seem like important visionaries. At that point, it's swindle time. I convince them that it was the best idea they ever had making me add this cool (completelly insignificant really) revision to the picture. The "target audience" will get their "expectations exceeded" (and lots of other empty bullshit expressions that trigger excitement in a modern enterpreneurial client's mind.)

    I even got away convincing one tool of an ex sci-fi producer that his 10 year old baby of a script won't go anywhere for another 10 years unless he makes it an online 3D rendered graphic novel with foreground and background separate for animation and paralax shifts.. The guy initially wanted a comic book..hah! Man was it a boon. It bunked because he wasn't much of a writer either, but at least me and my buddy made good money on that guy.


    Overall, try to avoid these kind of clients all together...they are usually cheap and won't make it anywhere regardless how wicked you make their commission. People who have big funds to comission artists with or any valuable connections, usually know exactly what they want and probably researched their shit as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraus View Post
    I even got away convincing one tool of an ex sci-fi producer ...., but at least me and my buddy made good money on that guy.
    .
    Well someone is a tool...

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    Craig D man, your punchline remarks are getting old, extrapolation is long overdue on your part.

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    Kraus, so you think it's a good exemple to lead ppl on for the purpose of extracting money from them? And you think dissing ppl who call you out on it is smart? Way to go.

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    When the small-time client becomes a big industry name I'd want him to remember me as the guy who went the extra mile and got a top quality job done without complaint, not as the guy who tried to screw him over then bad mouthed him on a forum. That's more than just courtesy, it's good business sense.

    That said, I've never had any client who I'd want to screw over so I guess it's a moot point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    Kraus, so you think it's a good exemple to lead ppl on for the purpose of extracting money from them? And you think dissing ppl who call you out on it is smart? Way to go.

    Ofcourse i do, otherwise they'll waste your time, or did you not read the thread.. Besides, i think "leading ppl on" sounds sinister. I rather say i inspired him to stick with us. Some clients need that little push because they're too damn indecisive and i don't got all day.

    I do sometimes wish i never convinced that guy, because people who know jack about art and who still want to hog all the art direction are a pain in the ass.

    You don't want to burn certain bridges.....you want to nuke them.

    As for dissing people who call me out on it being smart...Yes. Especially when they don't know what the f%$^ they are calling me out on and can't bother to do it properly. Hell, i'm begining to think Craig D either has a crush on me or some sort of beef.

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    Deliberately screwing people over and leading people on (which is exactly what you're doing, it sounds sinister because it is), no matter how stupid they are gives artists a bad name when people figure it out. Because they will figure it out. You're screwing up our jobs too, not just your own. So yeah, of course we'll call you out on that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraus View Post
    You don't want to burn certain bridges.....you want to nuke them.
    I've got just the thing to help you out with that goal. Just show it to potential employers and clients. Mission accomplished.

    Clicky.

    Last edited by Two Listen; February 18th, 2010 at 08:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vijil View Post
    You're screwing up our jobs too, not just your own.
    I don't think employers are that dense. If anything, Kraus's behavior would make the next artist look like a saint.

    SECONDS: Do you work from life of photographs?
    FRAZETTA: I work from my head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vijil View Post
    Deliberately screwing people over and leading people on (which is exactly what you're doing, it sounds sinister because it is), no matter how stupid they are gives artists a bad name when people figure it out. Because they will figure it out. You're screwing up our jobs too, not just your own. So yeah, of course we'll call you out on that.

    First of all i like the distinction you made between "Our jobs" and "Your own job"... That's right, i'm not a part of this self righteous f$@#^%g Pleasant Ville possy you have going here.
    I don't have to treat my clients the way you treat yours, and i certainly ain't networking with your ass, you serve no purpose to me as a fellow artist, and so i really don't care if i gave you a bad name. You feel outraged by Kraus? So do other consecutive foos who felt the sudden urge to "call me out on it".

    On a serious note though: If you concider buttering up a time-wasting client so he stops wasting time and gives you a gig to do allready (a.k.a: starts being a goddamn client) as sinister, then boy i sure hope you allready have a job up to your most noble of standards...

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    lol .

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    Wow...You really don't get the principles of networking, do you. Networking fellow artists is one of the best ways to get more jobs, and alienating them is the best way to get yourself blacklisted in the industry. Who do you think is going to recommend you if they're too busy to do a job? Who's going to forward interesting job offers to you when they can't take them? How about if a client asks for a recommendation for something?

    You sneer at your fellow artists because you can right now, but one day you'll find that contempt will be incredibly detrimental to you.

    p.s. Many of those artists you find so useless to you right now will one day become your bosses...or, based on their experiences with you here, they definitely won't.

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    I wonder what would happen if we send Kraus towards's Stew9's art director's way.

    On the opposite spectrum there are clients who are just as hardpress to milk an opportunity as much as Kraus. Art students and interns, burnt to the core. He's just more verbal and open about it here. Though I agree with other mention it's a good idea to keep your doors open.

    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" I know it's just a saying.

    triplebird O_o

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    RyerOrdStar: Oh geez, spare me the regurgitated bullshit. I network with people that matter, on a specific personal basis.
    I'm not here to make a good impression on the forum so someone some day throws me a bone...that's to damn passive. Maybe that's your path, but certainly not mine. If i want something i go and get it. And besides, you can't please everybody.

    "p.s. Many of those artists you find so useless to you right now will one day become your bosses......or, based on their experiences with you here, they definitely won't."

    I'd be surprised if they become anyone's boss with their attitude. There's a reason why they are useless to me right now and will remain so unless they get a personality and relax their sphincters. Then i'd have to make a company, and only then they'd be of use to me as employees.

    But hey, don't worry, i'd hire you anyday because your last name sounds like a royal familly member on the run from the reds.

    Last edited by Kraus; February 19th, 2010 at 03:46 PM.
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    Don't you all get it?

    Kraus is a rebel, maaaaan. He ain't a part o' yo' system. Kraus don' need you, he got 'is own back.

    That's why he's here, at a public forum, trolling it up with everyone, 'cause he's a lone wolf.

    On a related note, isn't this sort of crap supposed to be reserved for the Lounge only? I thought that's why it existed.

    -My work can be found at my local directory thread.
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  38. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraus View Post
    RyerOrdStar: Oh geez, spare me the regurgitated bullshit. I network with people that matter, on a specific personal basis.
    I'm not here to make a good impression on the forum so someone some day throws me a bone...that's to damn passive. Maybe that's your path, but certainly not mine. If i want something i go and get it. And besides, you can't please everybody.

    "p.s. Many of those artists you find so useless to you right now will one day become your bosses......or, based on their experiences with you here, they definitely won't."

    I'd be surprised if they become anyone's boss with their attitude. There's a reason why they are useless to me right now and will remain so unless they get a personality and relax their sphincters. Then i'd have to make a company, and only then they'd be of use to me as employees.

    But hey, don't worry, i'd hire you anyday because your last name sounds like a royal familly member on the run from the reds.
    Translation:

    "Here on the forums, I'm the baddest of the bad. In a world where anonymity rules, you can bet I'd be the first to tell anyone they're full of shit, no matter how reasonable their point of view may be!

    Good luck finding my personal portfolio or contact information, too. Because there's no way I'd have the guts to act like this in real life. That's just how seriously I take my art. My supreme authority only reaches as far as I'm able to remain anonymous on the Internet. If anyone found out that in the real world, I roll over on command, it'd completely ruin the reputation I claim to not care about!

    And no, the reason I do these things anonymously ISN'T because I'm not actually this tough in real life, it's TOTALLY because the entirety of CA.org is but a pawn in my master plan to be Supreme Art Director of the Universe. Don't even think about suggesting otherwise, or my lack of typing skills will surely annoy you to the point of just saying to hell with it - causing you to never take anything I say seriously, resulting in an instant victory for me.

    Cheers, jerkwads!"

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  40. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraus View Post
    Besides, i think "leading ppl on" sounds sinister.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kraus
    At that point, it's swindle time.
    I don't see the distinction.

    Just because your clients might be assholes doesn't mean you have the right to be a cunt (pardon my French).


    As for the portraits, you probably should have told him before you started doing the work. Dunno what else to say without regurgitating what the other folks have said.

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    Hey guys, thanks to everyone who gave me their advice. Turns out doing the opposite to what kraus suggested actually works!

    I ended up sending him the nicest email possible under the circumstances and stuck to my guns. He decided he would rather leave the picture as it is than pay for any changes but at least we both know where we stand. Currently I'm now in the position of juggling 2 jobs which is quite frankly amazing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Two Listen View Post
    CA.org is but a pawn in my master plan to be Supreme Art Director of the Universe.
    That's one of the funniest things I've read in months!!!!

    Still, Kraus has one small point, many clients are indecisive and really do waste ones time. It gets even more frustrating when their indecisiveness costs you time and money.

    I may not side with Kraus' attitude but I don't disapprove of it either, because it works for him. There's no problem with that. I'm not sure it gives artists a bad rep, and even if it does I don't think it matters, if someone needs you they will use you. Look at lawyers, politicians and bankers!

    Generally tho, being goody two-shoes isn't good either because it turns one into a push-over, and that is surely a bad rep for artists.

    The best strategy is always to behave professional, kind yet firm and decisive, know who you are and let the client understand that you, the artist is in control.

    That's how I managed to get the fee I mentioned in an earlier post. Yes, the client saw things my way.

    Also, as has already been said, a well written and clear contract, that anticipates any situation, that has also been clearly discussed with a client beforehand is the best way to keep safe.

    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

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  43. #29
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    Two Listen: Easy now boy...seems you're taking it personal despite the fact i never actually adressed your ass here. Don't worry your exposure of Kraus for the hack he is will finally get you attention, see you got 2 people thanking you allready, lord knows you've been in my shadow for way too long.

    Allthough i'm flattered, i've managed to completely highjack the thread and provoke at least 5 people by simply replying to the OP. I could be the badest troll ever if i wanted to.

    "Because there's no way I'd have the guts to act like this in real life."

    Forums are real life as far as i'm concirned, or is this place full of chatter bots? Ofcourse face to face you'd find me way nicer, but don't blame it on me blame it on the impersonal nature of text where i express my opinion without concidering your facial expressions.



    Anyway Stew9, i'm glad your client was sensible and you didn't have to resort to my methods, good on you.

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    Thanks Kraus, don't worry I know what you meant in your original post.
    I've been way too much of a push over in the past and quite often it helps the client if you are just clear and confident about what they are gonna get out of it.

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