If I were in retail then I could just walk to the store down the street and see what my competition was charging. Because illustration is more of a solitary pursuit, my only natural connection with other illustrators' business practices is through mutual clients. Now, these clients may be lovely people, but I can't exactly trust them to tell me what I should be charging.
Perhaps if I had gone for that MBA I could somehow analyze the current economic climate and figure this stuff out on my own, but I didn't get an MBA and I personally know no artists who have. In the absence of this training I am forced to rely on industry guides, like the GAG handbook, and on the kind guidance of others in my field. Unfortunately the GAG handbook never seems to have exactly what I'm looking for in it.
I would never make an agreement with any of you to charge a set price (no offense), but being open about what we're charging allows us all to understand the market conditions better. Every job is different, and each illustrator has their own unique issues (location for one), but knowing industry trends is an important part of any business. It's up to me whether to charge at the top or bottom of that range, but at least it will be an informed decision.
Senior Graphic Artist
California Science Center
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From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- on behalf of Jim Perkins
Reply To: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-
Sent: Wednesday, May 5, 2004 3:14 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: pricing
>And I love "For all the saber rattling, I doubt that stock houses fear
>collusion. They know artists couldn't collude to go to a restaurant."
I love this quote too. Although, it goes on to say...
"They know artists couldn't collude to go to a restaurant. We lack the
organs of collusion. We don't have an effective freelancers' organization,
a newsletter, or an industry web-site."
If you turn this around, isn't Brad Holland saying that collusion is
possible if such organs did exist? We *do* have a listserv which allows
these personal opinions to be shared widely with others. By running the
listserv, the GNSI and the university that hosts it are facilitating such
I agree with Clara - we just have to be careful not to give the impression
that we are trying to set "industry standard" pricing. It's one thing to
announce "I got paid this much for this job." It's quite another to say
"you *should* get paid this much for this job." I've been guilty of this
myself, but we have to be careful.
I also think it's a shame that we have to worry about such things while big
businesses get away with it every day. A federal judge declared Microsoft a
monopoly and wrote a 250 page report about how they had abused their
monopoly power. Yet they got off with a slap on the wrist because the Bush
administration will do anything to suck up to big business. Likewise, most
of the medical publishing companies have been swallowed up by two or three
giant conglomerates and they now have the power to force work-for-hire
contracts on all of their freelancers. Yet the Justice Dept. isn't taking
them to court.
James A. Perkins, MS, MFA, CMI
Assistant Professor of Medical Illustration
College of Imaging Arts and Sciences
Rochester Institute of Technology
73 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623
RIT office: 585-475-2443
RIT fax: 585-475-6447
Studio voice: 585-226-8149
Studio fax: 585-226-6965