Big Illustration Party: Contracts

The final podcast in the recent series that we were set to listen to was based around the act of drawing up contracts when you’re in the Illustration business. It was a real eye- opener for me to see how much more business there is than I originally thought, and showed me that the sooner I establish myself professionally the easier it will be to get my foot in the door when I’m let out into the real world.

Going over the basics in a nutshell, the presenters advised one to draw up a standardized contract that can be easily edited to meet yours and whichever clients needs, and it would definitely get changed as you learn about the ins and outs of the business anyway.

They gave great advice, like that if a client doesn’t like the idea of a contract, it’s probably not a client you want to be working with anyway, which makes sense to me! They also advised that we add a kill fee, which is a fee you would get if you get cancelled before you’ve finished your commission, and a late payment fee, which should be up to 5% of the project salary.

Other things that were touched upon (and that taught me lots) was how to charge companies for different types of projects, for example if the product you were illustrating for is a billboard, it is acceptable to charge more then for a once-run newspaper editorial, because of the audience seeing it and because of buy-outs.

Licensing of your work was another thing that was spoken about. They said to specify in the contract who had the rights to the final outcome and for how long, and that if you didn’t establish if it was a work for hire piece of not there could be trouble on the horizon, because you might not even be able to use the piece for your portfolio! This shocked me a bit, but I guess that’s just the way the business world works!

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