on freelancing and stuff

Here's the thing about freelancing, if you have breadwinner anxiety issues like me and Jed. If you are TOTALLY freelancing, the way Jed is now, you can't relax and concentrate on ANYTHING ELSE because you constantly feel like you "should be" working, or looking for work. Because you SHOULD BE! Unless you are hugely successful and have a steady stream of reliable high-paying clients.

That's why Jed had to graciously bow out of the Henbanes Color-Off, and I have to graciously respect that. Good luck, Jed!


I took a screen shot of the little icon to prove that I am nearly finished with muy version of the Henbanes cover, and to open the challenge up to the first person who thinks he or she can whup me. First come first served.

CAVEAT: Of course this all hinges on eeTeeD's permission to send you hios copyrighted line art for you to color. eeTeeD, let us know what the rules are as far as that is concerned.

As long as I was screen-shooting, I also shot my whole little "to-do" list to share.

HENBANES: you just read about it.

ESCAPE: Dobbs' book cover, almost done! Hopefully finished in time for his birthday lunch at my house Sunday!

GAGSTA: next Nickelodeon Gag Station header, in progress.

ARTIE: icons/logo job for Benny. What up, Benny???


DAISY_005: My beautiful dog. I'm preparing the hi-res tiff for something special and secret

BLOG_TEMPLATE: Hey, guess what? Remember when I asked if anyone was crazy enough to archive the first 2 years of this blog? Colin is that crazy! So this is the template I set up for him. Tonight I'll see him at the Pioneer Valley Cartoonists Schmooze, and we'll swap notes, and he'll get his copy of The Henbanes! It's all just a big swirling ball of networking taffy!

TEENY08: In progress. Teeny Weeny in the Year 2525!

10: This is a page from "Easter Egg Fred" one of my children's books. I WAS working on it because it's my favorite, but I'm about to start working on "Toolbox Fred" because it is the easiest and fastest to finish, and I think will be the easiest to sell. This is jumping up to the TOP of the list very soon!

P2P: Re-design of panel-to-panel.net. More on that soon...

1: page one of an Illville comic I was working on for Runaway. I hate to abandon it... but, sigh, I must concentrate on children's books for now.

TAGDOG: It's gonna be that new Come Draw With Me activity I promised. I'll get to it...

There's more, but this is all I have on my desktop right now.

Who will accept the Color-Off Challenge??


Jed said...

Thanks Mark, and well put!

My freelance anxiety is starting to ease up a little. It looks like I'm probably about to make a series of vector drawings of gastro-intestinal conditions, and other freelance fun. I'm hoping to be very very busy very very soon. By the way you will never see any of this stuff ever.

And let me lament here, once again, on the perils of spec: why do so many people want the free? What's up with that? The typical thing I seem to deal with is people wanting me to AUDITION for jobs. They want free-of-charge sketches. They want a sample illustration for the book they MIGHT want me to illustrate. I have three different portfolios of work for them to choose from to demonstrate the kinds of things I can do. So what's up with this?

Thus I am forced to make replies like this one:

Though I'm sure your offer is sincere, if I were to
produce finished artwork for everyone who gave me the promise of more work, I'd be producing finished work at the whim of anyone who had the notion. I'm not a student building my portfolio--I do professional work and I can't give away my professsional services.

Does this sound testy? I've tried to be more polite. I often am. But really, the request seemed just too outrageous. Besides, it seems like they haven't given up on me entirely. After this they asked me what I'd charge for just a sketch.

So, you know, stand up against spec work! Don't be afraid to say "get lost"!

Marky Mark said...

That does sound a LITTLE testy and defensive. Resist the urge to explain. Just tell them something like "I appreciate the offer to submit spec work but cannot accept it at this time." Don't waste your time educating them on what it means to be an artist.

Personally I'll throw them a bone and offer to do some rough idea sketches and talk about the job for free. If it's a really lucrative job I might do one SMALL finished piece to show my chops.

If you act like you're a pro and can't be bothered to jump through hoops for people, you'll BE a pro who can't be bothered to jump through hoops, and they'll respect that. They'll even think "Wow, he's a pro."

You gotta have the talent to back it up of course.

I know you want us to beg to see the vector drawings of gastro-intestinal conditions, but I'm not going to beg. I'm too proud. Nice try, though.

Jed said...

I don't usually get that testy. Maybe I just didn't want to do the job. "Really lucrative job" is key. It looked to be some small press book that would pay pennies. I think for stuff like that, it should be a done deal--they like your work, they want you to illustrate the book, you make an agreement for x ammount of pictures, for y pittance, the end. I offered, as a compromise, to do a tight sketch for $50. More than reasonable, I thought.

Hey, I'm willing, totally willing, to jump through the normal industry standard hoops. Sketches=you're being engaged to do the job. If after you've done a reasonable number of sketches and your at a tight sketch or finish stage and they still don't want to use the work, a kill fee is 25 to 50 percent of the job. I think that's totally reasonable.

But offering a few rough sketches in the beginning is probably fair enough.

eeTeeD said...

the color-off kind of loses its point if contestant #2 is not jed.

Marky Mark said...

that is kind of a non-answer. =/

Benny said...

They love Artie!
I think he's gonna "fly". We've had the initial meeting and they have the comps.
Stand by with your hand sticking out.

Once again: How could you be Sherman? YOU, SIR, are NO June Foray!

Benny said...

You have every reason to be testy! Unfortunately, if you want to cultivate the clients, you gotta kiss a certain amount of ass. We've gotten into the same mess at my place by doing ENTIRE CAMPAIGNS for hesitant assholes on spec. We try and try to get away from it, but just can't.

If you really want the job, you may have to go the extra mile.

The vindication denoument to the above campaign illustration is that JUST TODAY we sold the very campaign to ANOTHER person who had the balls to use it, and LOVED the idea that it had been rejected by the pussy that rejected it!

La la la la

Karma is so fine. Give freely with a good heart and you will receive. It's very simple. But don't forget the delicious taste of sour grapes savored in private.

Your pal,

Jed said...

Also I'm totally willing to jump through hoops, but its important that people understand that they have to PAY you to jump through their hoops. Sketches, revisions, all that stuff costs money. Up to a POINT, revisions are part of the initial deal, but, you know, there are limits. After, say, six reasonably resolved sketches, and the guy still isn't satisfied, it's time to bust out with the hourly rate. I'm not mister I'm too aloof and above it all and awesome to cater to my client--but I'm not going to bend over backwards without being compensated for the work.

That means: unless you're Bill Gates or Exxon or something, or, you know, I'm vying for the big bucks, no finished work on spec. Period.

And, I'll concede, sketches are fine, but nothing tighter than a few roughs or thumbnails for free IF you're convinced they're totally legitimate.

These are all my brand new rules. I'm still figuring this out. It's not like these are time honored practices. I've done my share of hoopage. But I'm trying to come up with some reasonable ground rules here so I won't go totally insane.

Marky Mark said...

Benny - TRUCE!

The thing is, many others have compared me to Sherman because of the red hair and the glasses. Even when I was a kid, even before Tuffy, even my own loving family!

I'm sure I just became accustomed to subconsciously identifying with Sherman, and I "projected" that onto you.