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Written by : Cyril Nagg
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hi everyone a few weeks back i made a video about some of my favorite picture books from my favorite illustrators and today i wanted to share with you uh some books that i think every illustrator should have and read and they are filled with information about pricing licensing uh contracts and as always i will leave all the links to them below so let's start with the first one uh this is actually one of the first books i got when i became an illustrator it's one of the publications by the aoi the association of illustrators and if you know my channel you know that i always recommend joining them because they are always very helpful the book is called the illustrator's guide to law and business practice so it sounds very serious but the book is really nicely and accessible written by simon stern so even on this spread uh one of the first one in the book you can see that there are lots of helpful information already included uh licensing uh taking into consideration if the use of your work will be international global national fees for reusing your artwork again agency extra fee extra payment for a rush job all the different branches of illustration industry book covers usage territory so all this information we'll find in here so i mark some pages that i wanted to show you and the first one is writing a license this is an extremely important one because i'm noticing that even some illustrators working in the industry they still don't know that they should license the work and you will probably at some point when working in the illustration industry have to educate your clients about that so it's really important that you yourself know as much as you can about the subject and you can see here uh very brief examples of different licenses so for example here here is an example for magazine illustration license for brochure for greeting card for a book jacket because those are all very different branches of the industry and so they will all demand different types of license so next thing i wanted to show you uh are these so you've got the whole chapter very brief one but very um easily written about different fees and it's once again divided about in into different categories of the illustration business because each of them will demand a different fee if you are also looking for more precise information about pricing your illustration work i also made a video about that and i will leave the link to it above and below in the description box the author of this book has been an illustrator working in the industry for over 30 years so this book covers also things like contracts you've got the whole chapter about agents i'm receiving a lot of questions and messages from you asking about agents so it's very nicely written here how it works and at the end of this book you will also find some advice what to do if you will find yourself in more extreme situation like resolving a legal dispute so that's it i really recommend you this book especially if you are a beginning illustrator it's very accessibly written it's very easy to read and i think you will learn a lot so the next book i wanted to show you is this one it was also one of the first one i got when i started out as an illustrator and i got it uh after a recommendation from holly exley it's called becoming a successful illustrator that's the second edition that i have and it was written by derek brazil and joe davies you can also find a beautiful illustration by holly axley right here at the beginning and what this book does is to lead you uh very nicely from the very beginning of the illustration so explaining to you what the illustration industry is about and finishing with some contracts and some agreements so it goes from a very general overview of what illustration business is about and it ends with a bunch of very practical and good advice and information for illustrators it also features a lot of different illustrations and for example a very nice part about being professional as an illustrator this is not something that is very common to find in this kind of books next thing for example i want to show you is different ways that you can self-promote yourself and your art this is also a question that appears a lot um when you leave me comments so for example here you've got ideas about portfolio websites newsletters social networking networking and so on and the last part i wanted to show you um this is actually very nice because at the end of the book you've got um activity spreads and i know that when you start working as an illustrator it's very hard to find your niche to decide what you want to focus on so here for example by checking the the fields that you feel good at uh the book will help you to figure out what would be a good um branch of the industry for you to work on so for example also at the b at the end you've got examples of creating an email email newsletter and yeah activity about understanding fees so a lot of very nice and practical information so again i'm going to leave all the links to the books below this one i think is great for beginning illustrators so the next one is this one this is the biggest and the newest book in my collection it's really heavy and it's the graphic artist guild handbook pricing and ethical guidelines so this book as you can see it's mostly dedicated to graphic artists and graphic designers but also if you want you can find a lot of general useful information what is great about this book for illustrators is that you've got the whole chapter dedicated to illustration fees and prices and you can see here in the in the index node that all the illustration branches are divided because a very important thing to know is that um if you make an illustration uh and you make it for a magazine and you make it for packaging even if it if it takes you the same amount of hours and time and effort to complete it you should price it completely differently because packaging is generally much more expensive than editorial illustration and those are some basic information that every illustrator should know probably also you will have to inform your clients about it because uh it often happens that smaller clients don't know about illustration prices and licensing so it's very important for you to know it so i will show you a little bit about it you've got a general note about pricing and then you start with um division uh in illustration uh industry branches so you've got advertising with its different price and you've got a whole charts of um examples of prices how uh color and black and white illustration for advertising should be priced of course it's all very um it's just an example and you can see that you've got quite big brackets for price fees but even so this is a very good guidelines for you to know that you shouldn't charge under that and uh in my personal opinion it doesn't matter where in which part of the world you live in but when working with international clients you should never go below below those minimum fees that are mentioned here because you are doing harm not only to the whole industry but mostly to yourself as a professional
Thanks for your comment Libby Joneson, have a nice day.
- Cyril Nagg, Staff Member
hello art friends it's your girl anusha said here your resident illustrator extraordinaire and today we are going to be talking about contracts whenever you work on a project with a client even if it's something small you always always always need to have a contract in place i don't care if you're making a quick 10-minute logo for your best friend's neighbor's cupcake business you need to protect yourself contracts are designed to protect your work and to establish ground rules for the project that you're working on so that there aren't any misunderstandings later on about the schedule what materials you have to submit to the client payment copyright and so on however i know that for a lot of artists especially when you're first starting out contracts can seem a little confusing all of that legal language feels really intimidating and you want to make sure that you're not missing anything out in this video i'm going to list out some things that you should be including in your next illustration contract and i'm going to explain why each of those points are important to make sure you're ready for the next project that you work on and at the end of the video i'm going to talk about some of the questions that my followers sent me talking about what red flags to look out for in a contract what to do if a client goes against your contract and what to do if you want to make changes to the agreement i've included all of the timestamps below in case you want to skip ahead to you know the stuff that's interesting to you and if you do learn something today consider giving this video a like and subscribe to my channel i post tons and tons and tons of videos on what it's like working in the illustration industry and my life as a picture book illustrator finally big disclaimer i'm not a lawyer i'm not an agent i'm just a silly little artist making videos based off of my own experiences as a freelance children's book illustrator in the effort to make this video as simple and accessible to everyone as possible i'm not going to cover any of the heavy legal stuff because that's just not my area of expertise and this basic contract is mostly gonna be for general illustration use if you need a contract with a lot more protections please do your research or get your contract checked by an actual lawyer i'm gonna include some resources at the end of the video that you can check out for more in-depth research with that all out of the way let's go what is a contract before we talk about what to put into a contract i want to explain what a contract even is and why having a contract at all is important even for the little jobs first of all technically agreements don't always have to be a written document they can also come in the form of a verbal agreement with the client or even your email exchange with them those are still valid forms of contracts and are legally binding however if you ever have to go to court it can be harder to prove exactly what terms were agreed on or if an agreement even exists at all so it's always safer to have a written contract which is what we're talking about today as i said already a contract is a document signed by both parties that is written proof of your agreement it lists out the exact details of the project and the relationship between you and the client a contract can look completely different depending on the type of project that you're working on editorial illustration contracts will look different from publishing which look different from licensing which look different from casual commissions and so on and it all depends on what the needs actually are for example the publishing contracts that i see for my picture books are usually very long and intensive since they have a lot more details to cover like royalties and sub rights and promotion and i'm also dealing with an international mega corporation with big fancy lawyers but that doesn't mean that all contracts have to be dense and confusing and full of big legal words you can write it out more simply especially if it's for your general illustration use in fact it is ideal so the contract is as clear as possible so that your client can actually understand what they're agreeing to so why have a contract why can't i just jump straight into my next new project i trust the client and i don't want to make this complicated or scare them away well number one because i love numbered lists number one a contract specifies all of the exact details of the project including the schedule what you have to deliver the rights the deadlines as well as smaller details specific to the project for example on a picture book this could include details like artist credit royalties publicity and how many copies of the final book you would receive number two because you have all the details you and the client can always refer back to the contract and avoid any miscommunications about the work or process or payment later on you both agree to it and the proof is right there number three on that same note it also avoids the artist from working outside of the agreed scope if the client asks you for a teeny tiny fourth illustration that shouldn't take any time at all you can point to the contract and remind them that you only agreed to three illustrations and you'd have to be paid accordingly for any additional work four it clearly explains the payment structure what you're being paid when how and in how many installments number five it includes protections for the artist like kill fees and late fees to make sure that you get paid fairly and on time six if the client wants to make any significant changes to the project or if the project isn't working out and either of you have to terminate it you have clear guidelines on how it should be handled no mess no drama seven if any disagreements occur or if the client goes against the contract you have written proof of what was agreed on which is extremely important if you need to take legal action and go to court and number eight having a contract is a sign of your professionalism and capability as a working illustrator similar to investing in a domain name for your portfolio it just looks good and it is a clear sign to the client that you are serious and you know what you're doing without a contract you risk being taken advantage of not being paid having your work stolen or used improperly and god knows what else on that note if you have a client who refuses to work with a contract i would see that as a huge red flag and i would actually avoid working with them since it clearly shows that they don't have good intentions if you are working with a larger client they will likely have their own standard or boilerplate company contract that they send to all of their artists however it's important to understand that whoever is creating the contract will always write it in their favor so a boilerplate is designed to benefit the client as much as possible which in turn might take advantage of the artist instead remember that contracts are flexible documents and you always have the option to negotiate them so that the terms benefit you as well if you're interes
Thanks Carter your participation is very much appreciated
- Cyril Nagg
About the author
I've studied statistical classification at Coastal Carolina University in Conway and I am an expert in intercultural communication. I usually feel dorky. My previous job was public relations specialist I held this position for 25 years, I love talking about rail transport modeling and kayaking. Huge fan of Quinton Reynolds I practice archery and collect books.
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