The early contact with a new client is important. Like many illustrators I get enquiries from lots of people who have never commissioned an illustrator before and so don’t really understand what is involved. I try my best to be as helpful as I possible, even though I know from years of experience that it doesn’t always lead to a commission.
However, there will always be some enquiries that leave you feeling exasperated! The ones where the enquirer seems to have got the illustrator confused with their local charity, rather than a professional in their chosen field. Most of us are very hard working with bills to pay. Here are some examples of the kind of emails I sometimes get:
“When you’ve delivered the final artwork and I’ve paid you, can I have my money back, please?”
“When I looked up free illustrators, the website that recommended you, said illustrators willing to work for free. Are you still willing to do that?” – May I just add here, that I do not appear anywhere offering to do free art and the mention of free art was from a promotion run by a single agency over 10 years ago and nothing to do with me. My cat would never forgive me if his supply of treats stopped.
My worst experience ever was when the artwork I created for a client was actually stolen. Worse, they insulted me first, and then stole the artwork. Shocking! I needed at least three strong cups of tea and lots of chocolate cake after that one!
You may now be thinking, why on earth is she working as a freelance illustrator? Well, the answer is that despite the (thankfully rare) occasions where I am metaphorically biffed on the nose, I am passionate about Illustration and particularly enjoy narrative illustration. And despite (or maybe because of) the more bizarre enquiries, I do get genuine, exciting and creative commissions to work on.
So having said all that, I am very approachable and do help a lot newbies get their projects off the ground. You can ask me as many questions as you like, just click that contact button and send me a message.