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5 x Frequently asked questions to illustrators

Planet illustration studio company blog 024 / Looking at five of the most typical questions normally said to an illustrator. by freelance illustrator Adrian Cartwright

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5 frequently asked questions to illustrators

7th August 2015


After 25 years as a freelance illustrator in the UK I’ve heard it all, Well almost!
So I thought I’d share some tips for illustrators, Art directors, Graphic designers and all types of customer, who might need some illustration help.

Illustration customers come from a wide range of professions and backgrounds, so it’s more important to focus on the similarities they have.
Firstly they NEED an illustration, they found YOU and it’s up to you to re-ASSURE them that you’re the right illustrator for the job. One other thing they all have to do, but some are better than others, is to describe to you what they want. Easier said than done.

Perhaps it’s all down to you understanding them? I think so.
Communication skills are very important, and as I’ve said in other blogs (see our blog Library), some clients or customers are lazy and simply want to pass on the problem to someone else. If that’s the case, I suggest you look at a blog I did a few weeks back about “how to take a brief”.

Listed below are 5 frequently asked questions form customers to help prepare you and ultimately close the contract.

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We have a page dedicated to helping people take or give a commission here, but below is a brief summary.

Question: Can you do this sort of thing.?
Answer: This will depend on what they ask, but if the customer can provide a sample showing the style, normally easily found on the internet, this helps a lot! Or if they’re very good at describing what they want, you might be OK.

Question: How much will it cost.?
Answer: Welcome to the black hole of questions…not until you have a clear idea of what the customer is expecting read above will you be able to give a credible answer. I suggest you give them a day rate, but this can put many off. Naturally people will give you a simple idea of the illustration job, and if you win the commission, later you'll find out there’s more to it than expected, so build that into your cost. It’s best to be open and remind them that it’s an estimate until you’re fully briefed.

Question: When can I have it.?
Answer: Keeping a good work diary and schedule your days will really help, there’s nothing worse than delivering late. Explain that the times will depend on their assistance with feedback and information. Never give a quick turnaround to impress, it NEVER works. they will only expect it next time, and the time after that, and one day they'll forget to call you and now they need it yesterday. 25 years as a freelance illustrator has taught me that.

Question: What if I don’t like it or it’s wrong.?
Answer: I suggest you don’t let the illustration job get to a stage where it’s delivered and it’s wrong. Safeguard yourself and your customers.
To find out more visit: Need help finding the right illustrator…

Question: Copyright, who owns it.?
Answer: Typically the originator owns copyright, but gives the customer exclusive rights to use it for the purpose it was commissioned for.
That’s about as brief as I can put it and there’s many people who still misunderstand it. To read more about it, visit How to commission an illustrator.

There’s lots of information to help both illustrators and commissioning people like Art Directors or Art Buyers, so please follow me on social media and take a look at my website home page. We've got some interesting commission examples in the portfolio.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. And please link this blog if you like it.
You can follow me on the social media sites below.

Author: Adrian Cartwright illustrator at Planet illustration. Contact

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