How much do you charge?
My rates take into consideration all aspects of the project at hand and are calculated based on the following:
1. Artwork fee
This is the cost to produce the artwork and accounts for sketching, creating, editing and finalizing the work.
2. Usage rights (ie licensing)
This portion of the fee is based on how the client intends to use the illustration.
What is licensing?
When a client commissions an illustration they receive the rights to use that image for a particular use agreed upon at the start of the project. They don't own the work. They simply get a license to use it.
Licensing is a standard part of all commercial creative industries, including photography and music. Musicians get paid every time their song is played and photographers grant clients the license to use their photos in specific ad campaigns, books, magazines, etc.
Licensing fees will take into account all aspects of use:
How much is the license going to cost?
As a general rule, the more rights you need to license, the higher the fee will be.
Imagine a small handmade candle company wants to use an illustration on 100 labels to sell at the farmer's market vs. a huge advertising firm that wants to use the illustration in a multi-media ad campaign for a well-known beverage brand, lasting 5 years worldwide. The advertising firm will pay a much higher fee for the extensive use it needs, and rightly so. They are getting a lot more use out of the illustration in a way that is bringing value to the client.
The license fee depends on the specific rights you need (see above) and the size of the client.
Who owns the commissioned illustration?
I retain all copyrights and ownership to my illustrations (as is standard for commercial illustrators) and the client receives the rights to use the illustration as needed.
Logos are a different story, and all copyrights are transferred to the client in this case.
Why don't you sell your copyright for illustrations?
In most cases, it's really not necessary to sell copyright to the client. It comes at a much higher price tag than purchasing specific use rights.
Remember, you're paying for the way an image will be used, and buying the copyright is not a way to get around this. The copyright fee would have to account for all potential future uses of the image, so expect a considerable fee for this ask.
I always hold onto copyright so that I can at least publish the image in my portfolio and my own marketing materials, enter illustration contests and make it publicly known that I created the work.
I'd like to do some more research on licensing -- have any resources?
You bet! Licensing can be a bit confusing to understand at first, especially if you don't come from a publishing or advertising background.
Here are some great resources from industry professionals:
How long will the project take?
The timeline is going to vary from project to project, depending on how much work is involved, number of revisions, etc. If you have a set deadline, let me know upfront so I can plan accordingly.
Note that the sooner I receive feedback, the sooner I can make revisions :)
What's your process?
Here's a quick overview of how each project typically unfolds:
The client tells me what they're looking for. We establish all project details upfront:
I put together 1-2 initial concept sketches to explore the project direction. The client is welcome to add any feedback and input at this point.
3. Refined Draft
Once we've settled on a specific concept and direction, I go ahead and develop my rough sketches. I add more detail, bring in some colour and polish up the design.
Client reviews the refined draft and is welcome to request changes.
I make any final edits to the artwork and submit a preview to Client for approval.
6. File Handover
Everything is complete and the high res files are swiftly sent to Client.
Still have more questions? Email me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.