How to Hire an Illustrator - The Illustration Project Process
Whether it’s a 3 day or 3 month long project, the following guide has been written to help you understand how a typical project goes with me, From the initial inquiries (to determine illustrator availbility and project price) through to the final deliverable.
Please note there might be differences due to the nature of your project, but the general stages should remain the same.
1. YOUR INITIAL ENQUIRY / THE CREATIVE BRIEF AKA THE PROJECT SCOPEThe following information, from my experience and from analysing my enquiries from various industry professionals*, is very useful to include in your first enquiry.
- Who you are and Who the project is for
- Project title and description
- Number of illustrations/single files
- Content and subject of illustration(s)
- Technical details: Size (i.e 4000px by 5000px @ 300dpi) and format (i.e JPG, PNG, TIFF)
- Any supporting documents/ inspirations/blank contracts that will help visual/understand more about your project.
- License Details:
+ Usage: what the illustration be used on/in
+ Territory/Area: Where will the illutration be used (UK, US, Worldwide/Online?)
+ Duration: How long you will need the license for.
+ Start Date: When does the license start
*Such as art directors who live and breathe commissions; they are already familiar with the information that gets them to the “confirmaton of availabilty and pricing” stage as quickly as possible.
2. ILLUSTRATOR AVAILABILITY & PROJECT FEE QUOTEAfter the information above has been ironed out, availability and a price quote is provided to the client.
3. PROJECT CONTRACT AND DEPOSITFollowing your approval of the quote, an agreement will be sent to you. The agreement includes: creative brief, schedule, license and terms of service.
An invoice will be provided if a 50% deposit is required to start the project.
The project begins after the agreement has been acknowldeged and (where required) the deposit payed.
4A. PROJECT START: INITIAL SKETCHESI’ll typically create two or more concept sketches based on the brief; every project is different, complexity and size of project can affect this number. This will be presented to you via email/conference/etc. Example
4B. INITIAL SKETCHES - CLIENT FEEDBACKThis is the part of the process where you select the chosen concept and provide feedback on any changes to the chosen concept (if any):
what you would be looking at in particular is composition and layout (how big the subjects are against background, where they are positioned), clothing, expressions, mood etc. Your feedback will be consolidated and the chosen sketch is amended in a round of revision(s).
4C. FINAL ILLUSTRATION - DEVELOPMENTThis is where I develop the chosen sketch into the full illustration (Details, Line work and colour). The final illustration will be presented to you for feedback.
4D. FINAL ILLUSTRATION - CLIENT FEEDBACKThis opportunity to provide feedback on changes (if any), which will then be consolidated into a round of revision (s). At this stage of the process, the amends are expected to be minor: (i.e colour, texture, shadows) as composition, layout and subjects would have been finalised at the sketch stage.
4E. FINAL ILLUSTRATION - APPROVAL AND DELIVERYThe final artwork will then be presented to you for approval. If the project requred an 50% initial deposit, the remaining 50% is to be paid at the same time as approval before delivery of the high resolution file. After approval, the artwork will be delivered in the specified file formats (JPG, PNG, TIFF, PDF etc).
5. DIFFERENT PAYMENT TERMSFor projects not fitting the definiton in 4E, an invoice will be sent to you, the payment terms are 14 days from invoice date, only altered by a previous agreement and any agreed rights/licenses are transfered only when the invoice has been paid in full.
6. ROUND UP: PROJECT FEEDBACK AND SHARINGAfter the completion of a project, I ask for feedback so I can understand how you found the process of working with me and use your feedback in my strategy to streamline the client processes. After your approval/you’ve published the work, I may also share the illustration in my portfolio and social media pages.
I hope the above information has been helpful, if you have further questions or want to work with me, get in touch!