Check out my new Skillshare class, Book Design Basics: Styling Novel Interiors!

Having a contract is essential for any illustration assignment. But what should go into that contract can oftentimes be confusing and downright scary, particularly for those of us who are more artistic-minded rather than business-minded. In this post, we’ll take a look at a great resource to help with your contracts and discuss the different things that should go into a standard one and the reasons why.

An Online Skillshare Class by Neil Swaab

While this news isn’t really about the business of illustration, it may be relevant to those of you out there who have been struggling with interior book design (for instance, working on your own illustrated novel):

I’m psyched to announce my new Skillshare class, Book Design Basics: Styling Novel Interiors! In this class, I teach you how to design a novel interior starting from a simple Word document and turning it into a fully designed book, ready for print or e-devices. Whether you’re just starting out and want to design your own self-published book and don’t know how, or you’re a professional artist/designer who wants some guidance on best practices for creating interiors using InDesign the right way, this is the class for you. And many of the lessons also apply towards other kinds of book design like picture books or poetry books, if you’re interested in that! So, please, check it out and spread the word!

When doing any kind of illustration work, it’s important to have a contract. Sure, it may seem a bit daunting for a beginner to delve into legalese, but contracts don’t need to be scary. They can be as simple as a plain-language document that outlines the general business between you and the client. In the world of illustration, they’re important for the following reasons:

Pricing your work is one of the most stressful things to do in the business of illustration. Asking for too much money may cause the client to walk away, but asking for too little will leave a lot of cash on the table that could have been yours. So, how does an illustrator determine an appropriate fee for each assignment? Let’s examine the criteria you can use to help decide a fair and honest payment.

Getting an email from a prospective client about a new gig is always exciting. However, before accepting any assignment, it’s important to take a step back to consider some things—there may be budget issues, rights issues, or a whole host of other matters that need to be addressed. The following checklist will help you determine whether an illustration job is worth taking on or should be politely declined.

In last week’s post, I discussed building a contact list. While I mentioned Art Directors as the primary target for your mailings, they’re not the only people at a company who can commission work. Let’s explore the other folk you might want to send your promos to if you’re so inclined:

Promoting your artwork is one of the most crucial aspects of the business of illustration yet can be daunting for those who are just starting out. Luckily, though, there are some proven ways to get your work seen. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, these are the most common strategies for driving art directors to your site:

No matter how much work you put up on your website, it won’t be effective unless it’s been properly scrutinized and edited. There are a variety of factors you’ll want to consider when weeding through your portfolio to see what makes the cut and what gets left in the pixel graveyard. Here are some simple rules for putting together a portfolio that will dazzle art directors: