Illustrating a storybook
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    Illustrating a storybook

    Someone has offered to pay me $100 to $200 to illustrate 50 pages of a storybook in one month through Photoshop. I have to work with a 23 year old artist, who have already made the storyboard. We are using a cartoon style, not that difficult in my opinion. (He showed me the style he wants)

    He mentioned that my pay might be low because I am "only a student". I thought this should not matter. Also, the contract he wanted me to sign was printed off a regular printer. Does this sound legitimate?

    It is my first time getting paid to illustrate for an author, I want to know what I shall look out for.

    Edit: I apologize so much, I thought he wanted a graphic novel, but when he showed me the storyboard and rough draft, they were more like storybook illustrations.

    Last edited by CLANLESS; October 15th, 2011 at 04:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie G View Post
    What you need to look out for is absurdly low pay for a mountain of work. If there are only 4 panels per page, your pay rate is 25-50 dollars per panel, so I hope you can do at least 10 an hour if you want to make anywhere close to minimum wage.
    Go back and read the original post.
    Quote Originally Posted by D.M. View Post
    Someone has offered to pay me $100 to $200 to illustrate 50 pages of graphic novel in one month through Photoshop.
    Since even $100 a page would be a generous rate for this sort of thing, and nothing to apologize for, it sure sounds like the quoted price is for all 50, not per page. In which case, hoo boy.


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    Echoing Elwell here, hoo boy. If they really mean 200$ for 50 pages, I suggest saying no and asking a reasonable fee per page and if they decline, dropping the whole thing. That's absurdly beyond "low" payment.
    As for the "regular printer" thing, I wouldn't worry about that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie G View Post
    I'm not sure what I was missing
    I think it was the "25-50 dollars" and the little cent mark got lost in there. I at least originally read that just as "25-50 dollars per panel".

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    Sorry, not graphic novel like a comic book, I meant like storybook illustration for children. I had to clear that up. My mistake.

    In a few days I will post a sample of the style I will be working with. I do not think it is that difficult or time consuming of a style.

    He also offered to pay me per book sold. We did not determine the pay/book though. He is an entrepreneur himself.

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    Please don't do this.


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    Good point. That is what I wondered too, "why not invest and take out loan if you don't have the money?"
    I found this author on our school's billboard, so I thought it was legitimate. I wanted art related work for my resume, so I called him. But when he said that he will be self publishing through Lulu, I began doubting him. I asked for his credibility, if he published other things before. He said he called high schools and they were interested in using his work for honor level classes, and also claimed to have been involved in a 2 million budget movie (that failed when he left). But, where's the proof? He claimed to be writing other novels but said he did not publish them as he wants to publish them under himself.

    He said that I should read his story before working with him, because he wanted to work with people who believed that his story can become popular. Then, he said even though he is a writer than a businessman, I can work with him and be the head illustrator for his entrepreneurship (which he did not even start yet). I am only a freshman in college, so me being a head illustrator, seriously I don't think that is very credible? I am thinking of going with my gut instinct and drop the whole thing. I may just stick with work study and some freelancing on the side. He also said, "don't get into this for the money". :s

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.M. View Post
    Good point. That is what I wondered too, "why not invest and take out loan if you don't have the money?"
    I found this author on our school's billboard, so I thought it was legitimate. I wanted art related work for my resume, so I called him. But when he said that he will be self publishing through Lulu, I began doubting him. I asked for his credibility, if he published other things before. He said he called high schools and they were interested in using his work for honor level classes, and also claimed to have been involved in a 2 million budget movie (that failed when he left). But, where's the proof? He claimed to be writing other novels but said he did not publish them as he wants to publish them under himself.

    He said that I should read his story before working with him, because he wanted to work with people who believed that his story can become popular. Then, he said even though he is a writer than a businessman, I can work with him and be the head illustrator for his entrepreneurship (which he did not even start yet). I am only a freshman in college, so me being a head illustrator, seriously I don't think that is very credible? I am thinking of going with my gut instinct and drop the whole thing. I may just stick with work study and some freelancing on the side. He also said, "don't get into this for the money". :s
    Seriously? I don't know shit about business and even I would know to drop this faster than a hot mutant potato trying to bite my thumb off. Do yourself a favour and don't do it.



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    If he really had a super-awesome story that schools were interested in, chances are that he could get a publisher to pick it up and the publisher would pay for the illustrations. So what's wrong with this guy's book that he has to publish it through Lulu and pay a college student a tiny pittance to get it out there?

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    I visited him this morning after posting this thread. I asked him which high schools were interested in him and asked if he can forward me the names of the schools and their letters of interest in him as I wanted to see what kind of classes they will be taught in. He got angry about my lack of trust. Even went on to say that the other artists he worked with never asked about the pay as much as I do, and that he had other artists who were willing to work with him who had more experience than me. Well, okay, go with them then, why deal with a college freshman? He found the artists on craiglist. Wow.
    I asked him for the contact information of the other artist I will be working with ,who is apparently from China, and he said he cannot as he respected her privacy. Why does she need privacy from me if he already spoke to her about me? If he has a one month deadline, shouldn't he be sending out everyone's contact information as soon as possible so we can get working already? Yikes.

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    Compulsive liar/parasite.

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    Fast. And far.


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    Glad to know I am not the only one who found the whole thing fishy. Thank you everyone.

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    ***Some things I have learned as a professional Designer / Artist:

    1) People always seem to want control over your creativity AND for bottom dollar while THEY make plenty off of you.

    2) Everybody in business needs to ask for at least HALF of the quoted cost UP FRONT as a deposit. That way the client can't walk away scott free...and if they do you have something. Deposits deepen their commitment to the project 100 fold. And the deposit is not truly "paid" until it is in your account; a check in the mail or waiting to bounce doesn't count.

    Your work is worth plenty (forget that "just a student" comment). If any client seeks to make money WITH your work then they can pay you well FOR your work.

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    The moment he mentioned my pay being good "for a student", I thought, "great, he's going to be one of those people." Should've dropped the whole biz right then.

    He never suggested giving me a deposit. Perhaps did not even do his research on dealing with artists. Never even mentioned how much his books will cost, how much he plans to pay the artists, and whom I will be dealing with. And seeing today that he badmouthed former film directors and screenwriters that he worked with, I was sure I did not want to deal with this guy. Not surprised if I am next on his trashtalk list.

    What a waste of my time.

    Last edited by CLANLESS; October 15th, 2011 at 08:17 PM.
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