Today there were two sessions by Anna Steinberg at my university; an illustrator, teacher and member of the editorial board of the AOI's varoom magazine. She gave a fantastic lecture this morning with some seriously useful information about the commissioning process, with lots of advice through real-life examples of her projects.
Particularly useful words:
- Ask someone who wants to commission you which work of yours they like and where they saw it. Shows you exactly what they have in mind and which of your means of promotion is working.
- Pricing is based on the image's intended usage, not the image itself. Copyright remains with you, you are just letting people use an image for a certain amount of time and in certain ways.
- Keep doing interesting self-led work. If you only promote your conservative client work, you will get more conservative commissions.
- Be somewhere you find stimulating.
- Be ready for luck.
This was followed by a freelance workshop, where we completed a commission in a group in just over an hour. It was for an illustration to accompany an article about owners making their pets fat, and it was very enjoyable to discuss this through visual ideas with fellow illustrators, as well as highlighting problems with the client's contract and setting our fees.
Our final outcome was a drawn up version of these roughs, with a vet trying to communicate to the oblivious unhealthy owner that there is a problem.
Such a proactive and illuminating day.