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Thread: I need advice!

  1. #1
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    I need advice!

    Hi,

    Forgive me if this isn't in the right forum. I badly need advice concerning what is acceptable when charging for concept art.

    I'm currently working on a huge contract that will span months. So far it's been a dream job and I've been getting paid fairly. Every now and then my client doesn't exactly know what they want and so I'm stuck working days on a character design (anything from quick sketches to fully rendered pieces which take hours and I'm not compensated for this.) and I'm starting to feel taken advantage of...

    The deal is that I get paid for finished pieces once the process sketches have developed a character design that has been approved. Sometimes however, the process sketches can take days to develop because the client doesn't know what they want. And therefore I'm not getting paid for my work while at this stage. At what point do I say enough is enough and start charging for my time? Or is this normal? I don't want to mess this up as I otherwise have a good thing going here. But it's frustrating to spend 3 plus days on a design only to have it continuously rejected and therefore not paid for. How can I approach my client with this matter? Any and all advise would be very appreciated!!!

    Last edited by joel seguin; March 29th, 2013 at 10:58 AM. Reason: bad spelling
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  3. #2
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  4. #3
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    It is your responsibility to assess the client's experience level and communication skills, the job's requirements and your own abilities in that area and come up with a price that will pay you enough that you will feel good about it. Based your billing on how long it would take you to render a single beauty shot huh?

    You messed up when you agreed to get paid only for finished, approved concepts without specifying how many rounds of revisions, or pages of thumbnails or whatever. If you can't specify how many revisions then you need to assume the worst and bill as though you will be doing lots of work and get paid accordingly. If you offer a budget price then don't be afraid to tell your client that and stand up for yourself. They pay a budget price then they have to accept budget service. If they want to pay top notch money then they get top notch service.

    Here's my advice: You really can say that. Honestly tell a client that they aren't paying for that level of service. Grow a pair and tell your client what's what in a respectful and helpful way. Always remembering that you want to help them get what they want and have fun doing it. It's your fault too though. If they haven't articulated what they want why have you started work? Just tell them that you don't have what you need and get started on another job. When they come back tell them what your schedule is like and that you'll have time for them next week or whatever. If you do that a couple of times you'll find that they will stop dicking you around and take you seriously as a professional whose time is valuable.

    Another one: get buy in at every stage of the process. Don't let them be wishy washy on the decision making. Nail them down and get approval so that they have to take the creative responsibility. If they chose that direction and it didn't work then they messed up and they can either accept the result or pay to have it done again. If you just let them be vague and took the creative responsibility on yourself then you don't have a leg to stand on.

    And just reading your post again- You do a fully rendered piece when you haven't got approval? WTF?

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  6. #4
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    Thanks for taking the time and giving me your honest advice Atreides. I hear what you're saying here and your advice is invaluable. I guess it comes down to what I can and can't do and making sure I let that be known by the client. Thanks again.

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