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  • RE: Portfolio Feedback, please?

    @baileymvidler Bailey, I think this looks wonderful! I really like the one with the bird attacking the fairy's house, that's lovely! And the monkey one is very well composed. I see SUCH an improvement in your work from the last time I looked at your work. There's a certain polish to it now, it just looks so much more professional than it did before. Your whole site is lovely and easy to navigate. I think you should send it out there! Sure you can expand it by adding more pieces, I think 15 total would make it look fuller than it is now. But that's something you can add to in the future. Right now, it's already at a great place. Send it out, then keep drawing while you wait for answers 🙂 Congrats on the overhaul dear. I can tell how hard you worked, it really shows.

    posted in Artwork
  • RE: Charges for illustrating for an app?

    @Neha-Rawat It is based on good faith 🙂 You can arrange with them a schedule to compile and invoice your hours. For instance, with my studio I bill them all worked hours after 2 weeks (if I did work during those weeks). For the estimate, you get better at it the more you work. At first I'd say give yourself some wiggle room in the estimate, so if you think it'll take 15 hours, say it'll take 20. If you end up taking 15 they'll be extremely happy! Under promise, over deliver 🙂 Also tell them up front that the time it'll take will also depend a LOT of the amount of changes they want you to do and if they change their minds, so while you'll try your best to abide by the estimate, it's possible that the actual number of hours will be different. Keep up good communication during the whole process. If you're starting to lag behind because you're using up more hours than you thought in the earlier stages, tell them as soon as possible.

    If they request a large change, inform them that this will take x amount of hours to do and will bust up the estimate. This will allow them to make a final decision with all the facts. For example, I've sometimes been asked to do a "small change" which only looked small to them because they didn't understand the process. When told "this will take 8 hours to change", they were shocked but then they have the option of deciding if it's so important that it's worth it for them, or if it's not. I talk to them to figure out what they're trying to accomplish with this change, and if there's a way to compromise by doing another less time-consuming change that would yield a similar result to what they want to achieve. If I can find a solution for them that only takes 3 hours instead of 8, everyone's happy. So yeah, just be upfront, communicative, and generous with your expertise to make an hourly project successful for all parties 🙂

    posted in Questions & Comments
  • RE: Charges for illustrating for an app?

    @Neha-Rawat Hi Neha 🙂 Actually I can help on this one! I started my career working in a studio that makes apps for children, and even now that I am freelance I still have some occasional work from a local mobile games studio.

    My experience is that this sort of work is always the very definition of scope creep LOLL... If you think it'll take 10 hours, it'll probably take 20. If you think it'll take 20 hours, it'll probably take 50 haha... That's because not only the illustrations have to be great, all the creative leads must approve as well as clients and execs, AND it need to work inside the game as well. I sometimes get messages weeks after delivering something that they're running into a snag integrating it into the game and need it exported differently, or some such thing. If a game story element or mechanic gets tweaked later on to polish the game, the art might need to be tweaked to reflect that.

    The other thing to consider with apps is that it's overwhelmingly Work for Hire contracts. The app is the studio's brand and IP, and they require all copyrights of the art most of the time. Now that I do children's books I've come to value my copyrights and not sign them over, but for app work it is different and very much the accepted norm in that industry. Only accept if you're comfortable with that. It makes sense too with what their usage needs are, so it's not just a whim. You would likely not be able to resell such specific work, and in your contract they would most certainly insist that you not ever attempt it.

    Considering these 2 things, it's my belief that game/app work is best charged for BY THE HOUR or using a day rate. This way no matter how much they make you touch it up, you're paid for all of it. Last job I did for them, they changed their minds and had me start from scratch 3 times!! But it didn't matter because if they wanted to waste their money, it's no skin off my back. I even charge them for the time emailing back and forth and getting briefed, the same as an in-house artist on the clock would. Now, when I worked at the studio my salary came down to about $30 an hour but this was for a stable full-time permanent position. For freelance work on apps, personally my hourly rate starts at $50 an hour. But it can be much higher, it's up to you to negotiate depending on your needs.

    posted in Questions & Comments
  • RE: Portfolio Advice

    @carrieannebrown That's not true. Of course if you have done a lot of professional work it's a bonus and you may find it easier to get an agent. But it's not an absolute rule. Sometimes agents sign brand new artists if they like the portfolio enough. A good enough portfolio will get you both work and possibly an agent. The only thing stopping you is not sending it out... It costs us nothing but a few hours to send an email with a link to our portfolio to dozens of publishers and agents, so I'm truly confused why so many people hesitate so much :o Worst case scenario they say no, and you're in the same position you are in right now. Right?

    posted in Questions & Comments
  • RE: Portfolio Advice

    @carrieannebrown I really like your portfolio and I think you have a real shot if you send it to publishers now. You will always be improving it, so don't wait for it to be "perfect" to send - it's always in motion. But I think you show enough children book type work that you won't confuse an art director. As for the commissions, the golden rule is that your portfolio is only as good as your least good piece. Don't put anything in there that you feel isn't as good just because it's paid work. I don't think art directors care whether your displayed pieces were paid for or not, they just want to see good work 🙂 And only put in there the kind of work you want to do again.

    posted in Questions & Comments
  • RE: Trying to figure out whether I should look for an agent or not?

    @timidpoker If I remember I think they said that if you're already successful then it's easier to get an agent, and you're also in a better negotiating position. That's true for sure, but not the only way to do it. I actually got my first agent about 6 months after I started. But we weren't a good fit, I left and joined another agency that I really like. There's really no rules set in stone with agents. Sometimes they sign brand new artists if they like their portfolio enough, even if they have no experience. Sometimes they'll sign a veteran artist. Everything goes. For sure, if you're able to find your own work it sounds more appealing to them, because you're already "tried and tested". They know if others have hired you, it means they'll probably be able to find you work too. But if your portfolio is smashing enough, they might go for you anyway 🙂 The portfolio is the bare minimum though, you can do anything until you have that.

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Trying to figure out whether I should look for an agent or not?

    @timidpoker The main reason to seek out an agent to to get paying contracts, not to get exposure. And agents can help you do that, true, but you still need a portfolio to send to the agent to convince them to sign you. So the first thing you should do is get that portfolio website done. Without that you can't get anywhere, so forget about social media for now and get your portfolio done 🙂 That's the best thing you can do for your career. Success on social media is NOT the same as success in your illustration career. I know illustrators with 10,000 followers who can't find work. I know illustrators with 50 followers who get too much work and have to decline half of it 🙂

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Trying to figure out whether I should look for an agent or not?

    @timidpoker You don't need to be famous to get an agent 🙂 An agent just helps you get some work. They probably won't be able to provide you enough work for full-time, so it's good to be able to find clients by yourself too. For instance, my agent gets me about half my work at this point, and I find the other half myself. However, Instagram is not the best way to find work, and the number of likes you get on pictures is no indication of how successful you are as an illustrator. I've been working full-time as a freelance illustrator for over 2 years now, and I've only gotten one single job from Instagram: a tiny portrait commission, not even a real contract. So don't focus too much on exposure and getting Instagram famous, instead send out your portfolio to publishers and art directors, offering your services! That's the best way to find work.

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Basic Perspective Final Assignment (wanting critiques)

    @Jesse-Rivera Oh yeah ! What an improvement from your first upload!

    posted in SVS Class Work
  • RE: Setting Up A Wordpress Website For Artists - Free Course

    @Geoffrey-Gordon That's amazing and I think very needed. Honestly, you should sell this! The value it's providing is big!

    posted in General Discussion