'Where art and the imagination collide'
To make what can be a potentially complicated and daunting decision a little easier, I have listed below the most regularly asked questions that potential clients may ask me. So it may be very useful to read through the FAQ to see if your queries are answered. By all means if you do have any further questions, then please do contact me.
As a client, how much can I expect to pay to commission your services?
This is perhaps the most important question a client will ask me, but it is also the hardest to answer because I like to treat every project individually and give it the due care and attention it deserves. I always strive to accommodate potential clients as much as possible with competitive rates, but do please consider a realistic budget before contacting me, to compensate me for both the time and effort which goes into producing illustrations to a high standard.
Do you work with clients on a purely Royalty only basis?
The answer to this is no, I do not. Royalties in general rely on the success of a project to offer any financial return.
Unfortunately, like may business' I cannot rely on speculative promises.
As this does not guarantee a return for me after I have provided a services, this sadly doesn't put food on my families table or a roof over my head.
Can you provide me with a sample illustration before I commission your services?
I would hope that a client can get a good idea from the many examples on my portfolio of how an illustration may look, but if you do feel that a further image is required, I am more than happy to provide a sample illustration before a client decides whether they would like to work with me. I do try to work to a system which involves the initial illustration being paid for, but if the client decides to commission me then the price of the illustration shall be deducted from the total balance. I do believe this to be a fair method as obviously I am using studio time and my resources.
As the client do I own the copyright to the images I have paid to be created for my project?
As with the previously answered question, it is in fact standard industry practice for the Illustrator to retain full copyright to any image they create. This actually is not as bad as it sounds, because although Authors may wish to seek full copyright to the art work produced for them. This is usually of little benefit to them. In general an Illustrator will grant the client a usage licence giving the client freedom to use the images however they see fit for the duration of the book's life, it would therefore be of no gain to the author however, if an illustrator forfeits copyright they then lose the right to use the image on their portfolio etc, or to be acknowledged for being the creator.
When commissioning your services will there be any legal documentation to safe guard both my financial and intellectual investment?
The simple answer to this question is yes. I do not take any form of payment before a mutually agreeable contract has been drawn up and signed by both parties. The contract template which I prefer to use, is provided by the AOI (association of illustrators) and recognises also the importance of illustrator discretion and confidentiality when both reading and working with a client's manuscript.
How would I make payment when commissioning your services?
I work to a very strict but what I believe to be a fair policy that involves not undertaking any work until payment has been made. I ask my clients for an initial payment of 50% of the agreed cost of a project to get the ball rolling, and I do not ask for the final 50% fee to be settled until the commission is completed to the client's complete satisfaction.
As a freelancer do you consider illustration projects which incorporate a style which is not on your website?
The answer to this question is no. I produce illustrations using only my own styles of work, as these are styles which I have developed myself and would like to be recognised for, and I wouldn't be comfortable producing substandard illustrations which I have had to produce in a style which is not natural to me.
How do you work in terms of royalties?
Before undertaking a commission, I liaise with each client to decide if a royalty payment will be honoured. This is very much dependent on the nature of the project, how many illustrations are used, what they are being used for, and the potential return.
When the illustrations are completed how will I receive them?
Upon the completion of a commission, I offer a number of ways for the client to receive their illustrations. All work is digitally edited, sized and made print ready according to the client's requirements, before being dispatched to them via either email, memory stick, or by other means such as Google Drive.
As a paying client will I receive the original artwork for my project?
It is considered an industry standard practice that the Illustrator should always keep the original art work that he/she produces. Under some circumstances a fee can be agreed between parties to purchase the originals, but the selling fee is usually a high one!