Professional Practice Lessons

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been lucky enough to have Dan Peterson who has been teaching us professional practice. This has included everything from how to approach a client, how to agree a contract and even tips of business cards and websites.

As I would love to end up one day going freelance the sessions with Dan have been really helpful and have taught me a lot about what to expect in the future. I’ve learnt how competitive the art industry is and how fast freelance work gets snapped up but if anything it’s spurred me on to try even harder.

Something that is really important that Dan has taught me is different licenses that exist and what I should be aware of when giving my work to the clients. Depending on he license I can charge more for an illustration, if it’s only being used for a single purpose then I won’t charge as much but if the client would like to use it elsewhere then he price for my illustration may increase. Giving away complete rights to a illustration never seems like a good idea because once you’ve handed it over it’s not your anymore and the client can use it as many times as they want and even sell it on. Single use contracts seem like the ones I may use more often as a freelance editorial illustrator and I must make sure to make it clear that I’m only giving my client the illustration for a single use, if they want to use it again technically they’d have to pay me again.

I’m going to start by contacting as many art directors as possible from newspapers and magazines in the hope that if anything I can get my name known and my work seen. As I create papercraft artwork I’m lucky in the respect that I’m a bit different from the majority of artists who use paints and digital media. This in some ways works in my favour but it all depends on whether my papercraft artwork is something that the client would be interested in.

I think the most important thing for a new illustrator like myself to do is to get out there as much as possible. With me already covering the most popular social media sites it’s important that I keep them up to date and try to connect to as many people as possible. The more people that know about me and my work the better as I may be lucky enough to grab the attention of a potential client or even have my name brought up in conversation.

Something else that is very important is to reply to clients as soon as possible. Clients will most likely contact multiple illustrators for the same job and it may come down to whoever replies first who get the job. Freelance illustration can be very face paced and it’s important to keep on top of everything. I don’t want to disappoint any of my clients in any way because that will stick with them and they may not bother contacting me for jobs again or recommending me to others.

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