Contracts Vs. Reality

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    @danielerossi said in Contracts Vs. Reality:

    This was a great episode with lots of takeaways as per usual. I have a question regarding commissioned pieces. Do they need a contract as well? Or is that more work-for-hire?

    Commissioned pieces: Yes. Use a contract. Your client could be under a misunderstanding of how they can (or can't) use the artwork they have hired you to create. Not to mention contracts provide clear deadlines, numbers of revisions etc.

    Work For Hire: Also must have a contract. This is because for a project to even be WFH, the term Work For Hire (or Work Made for Hire or some variation on that) must be written down and signed by both parties. Otherwise it is not a WFH and all rights are presumed to remain with the creator (that is, you)

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  • @davidhohn Thanks for clearing that up. Looks like I have some homework to do for my next client!

  • @davidhohn Thanks.
    Do you know of any contract templates for commissions, online?
    And I mean, good ones.
    Not long ones.

    I know of, and was briefly a member of the graphic artists guild, but at that time I was looking for help with self publishing authors.
    Years before that, I was interested in doing portraits and other commissions.

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    @jsnzart Off the top of my head, no.
    I have a standard licensing contract that is a single page but it's designed for licensing copyright(s) for reproduction.

    As I think about your question I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "commissions". If you can clarify the kind of project you mean perhaps someone else on these boards has one you can reference.

    Short of that I am a big fan of Tad Crawford's Business and Legal Forms for Fine Artists

    He also has Business and Legal Forms for Illustrators
    which is what I used to create my standard contract, but I think the commission information you might need would be in the Fine Artist version.

    I would also imagine that the Pricing and Ethical Guidelines would have a contract template (unfortunately my copy is unavailable at the moment or I would check)

  • @davidhohn Thank you very much.
    Commissions for portraits painted on canvas and/or paper.
    But, I am not really interested in it anymore. That was 10 or more years ago.
    Of course, I would still consider it, this year has been pretty bad.
    My main job for this year was going to be drawing portraits and cutting silhouettes live, at events.

    However, I'm still interested in looking at those contracts/agreements.
    And thanks for the links.

    Yep, I have it(Pricing and Ethical Guidelines). Will have a look through it.
    I thought it was mainly for illustration work.

  • @Lee-White I really liked this episode. Thank you for going into the nitty-gritty and opening it up with practical stories.

    I have a question've mentioned in a number of episodes that sometimes you need to renegotiate or draw up a new contract and I'm wondering if there's any risk associated with transitioning between contracts? Is this like exiting one car and getting into another or is this like having each foot on a different boat as they are drifting away from each other while you're deciding which one to commit to?

  • What are some normal parameters in kids book contracts for terminating contracts? I don't think this was addressed?
    For example, if you are halfway through and either the publisher or artist needs to pull out.
    Does the artist get paid in full generally, and if the artist pulls out, what are the general consequences for that?


  • SVS Instructor Pro

    Typically if the artist does not fulfill their obligations whatever part of the advance that has been issued to the illustrator is repaid to the publisher, but the work (and associated copyright ) remains with the illustrator.

    If the publisher does not fulfill their obligations then whatever advance has been paid is retained by the illustrator as a "kill fee". The work and associated copyright remains with the illustrator.

    But be careful! (this is why a podcast like this is so important) Read your contracts. It is possible that the publishers "boilerplate" (read: standard) contract only covers what happens if the ILLUSTRATOR doesn't do their job -- but neglects to address what happens if the PUBLISHER doesn't.

  • thanks @davidhohn , that's helpful. Yes - always double check the contract! I entered into one which is pretty airtight and all on the side of the contractor - so I have learnt that lesson the hard way. One main problem is i didn't have any standard to go by when i read it - what is normal the first time you do something? So that was an issue.

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