Chris Gralapp wrote:
>>I like to play the role of activist whenever I meet or interact with a
>client or publisher, to show them WHY I charge what I charge, and just HOW a
>trained scientific illustrator can actually save them time and money in the
>I figure no one else is going to tell them this, and the secret saleswoman
>trapped inside of my illustrator's body gets to shine when I'm selling my
>Also, Client Ed 101 goes a long way to help out your fellow illustrators--by
>keeping quality and integrity high, and not undercutting each other, we can
>have a semblance of a good standard of living!
>If need be, I explain the steps involved in producing a careful and esthetic
>illustration. Many people think that one can simply set pen or brush to
>paper, or the computer equivalent, and have an instant picture. They don't
>consider research, photographic and other references, models, the
>preliminary sketch, the revision, the scan, and all the other elements of a
>final piece. When the client begins to understand the process, they may
>better appreciate the value of the work.
>Perhaps most important is the client's perception of your competency. I
>like to provide service, service, service to my clients, and take pains to
>be a 'hassle-free' vendor. It's my job to make life easy for my client.
>That extra consideration pays off in repeat work, and long-term
>relationships. Some of my clients have become good friends!
I agree very strongly with the client education and good service part of
being a freelance illustrator. I also base my business on these things.
You know, it's funny, while I spend a lot of time educating my local clients
(and yes, many of these folks have become good friends because of it) I
always feel a bit funny trying to educate publishers. Logically, I know that
it's a necessary thing...and obviously many of you spend a great deal of
time in education while bidding out big book project...but I can't help
thinking that they must know something more about the illustration business
than say a local store that needs some clip art. I suppose that publishers
are like any other client, if they don't want to be enlightened, you can't
enlighten them. I guess next time I'm bidding out a book, I'll be a bit
braver about adding more educational type information about the illustrations.
The answer to the artist ~ comes quicker than a blink ~
though initial inspiration is not what you might think.
The Muse is full of magic ~ though her vision's sometimes
dim ~ the artist does not choose the work, it is the work
that chooses him. <> Charles Ghigna