As you know art directors are mostly the people who will be commissioning illustration from you.
They are by nature extremely helpful people. This is because they need to make sure that whomever they are working with that their isa feeling of collaboration towards the same goal that is creating interesting and hopefully imaginative artwork for their book or
It might be you think dealing with an art director all sounds a bit scary especially when you have to talk money with them, however as
you will have read in the section on pricing your work, the art director is normally given a general budget for illustration (double, full,
Half or quarter pages) from the publisher and therefore will have a figure in mind when you speak with them in the first place.
That can make things a bit easier if your happy with what they are offering.
But what happens if you are not and feel an extra £100 - £200 or more for the job would be more suitable for what they are asking you to do?
Firstly its important to ask yourself why the art director has asked you. It is in essence the fact that you will make the subject they want
illustrating be a great deal more appealing to read and they feel that your way of working is the best way forward.
Secondly This reflects well on them. The art director is employed by the publisher to give their magazine or book a particular look and
feel that people find interesting and want to buy it. If they don’t achieve that they will eventually be moved on to another magazine in
the publishing house or end up working elsewhere.
So the power s in your hands. It is important always to stick to your guns and get what you feel you deserve.
Communicating with art directors
Firstly it is important to look like you know what your doing., by being polite and at all times positive even if things aren’t going right.
The art director may know you are fresh out of university or haven’t had many or any commissions to date.
Don’t worry they will help you along and be encouraging, as its in their interest to do so.
What they don’t want at the other end of a phone line or email communication is an illustrator who is panicking, they have to much
work to do and are probably working with several illustrators and photographers as well as you all at the same time.
Knowing the right words to use when communicating will make you feel more confident and give a the art director the impression that
you are more established. Below is an example of how you might communicate with an art director when creating an editorial job.
Lets say for now our art director is called 'Mary'
When an art director contacts you to see if you are available to do the job: They may or may not have told you some details about it in advance. If not they will send you the brief.
Thank you for contacting me. I’m available to do the job. Can you please tell what the budget and deadline for sketches and final
Most magazines for example already have particular budgets for quarter, half, full and double page illustration. Most illustrators ask
what the budget is and if it feels right then say yes. Its important to get what you deserve but try not to haggle over 50 quid more if it
sowers the relationship with an art director before you have even begun the job.
Many thanks for telling the budget for the job.I'm happy with, so we can get started straight away.
If you are not happy with the budget you might say....
Many thanks for telling me the budget. If possible can you possibly add on an extra £100 to the overall budget as (give your reason)
I believe this would be a fair reflection on he the amount of work you are asking me to do.
It is usual for an the client to ask for amendments to the artwork. This is normal but if you should agree in advance extra payments if the amendments become to excessive or after the deadline is gone. In editorial you can add on between £50-100 per major amendment.
Finally the art director mght ask you what you charge. Think this through carefully and when possible ask an experienced illustrator.
By all means email me Chris Arran. firstname.lastname@example.org
The art director may well have in mind a way that he or she might like you to work and send an example of an image from your on line portfolio to help convey what they have in mind. This might inform how you approach the job.
Your sketches have to be clear and feel free to annotate parts of them if you need to add extra information.
Here are my three different idea’s
Sketch 1 I think represents most what we are trying to convey with the illustration, however you my like either one of the other two
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
On to final artwork
As you are creating the artwork it is important to let the art director see how it is developing during the time you have. This cuts out any nasty surprises.
Sending a low res jpg is fine around about 300-400kb’s in size will do it.
Final artwork approved
Don’t forget to make your artwork CMYK (there is a how to in the technical page of this site)
Send it with wetransfer.com
it was great working with you this week and I hope will will work together on another project soon.
Send your invoice to the Art Director or they may well give you an email of somebody in their finace department to send it to instead.
If the client asks you to make a few amendments take it in your stride, however if you feel they are asking for far to many for the price
agreed, ask for an amendment fee. This can be around £50-100 extra per amendment.
Don’t forget they are not buying the actual artwork you have created only the use of it normally in the UK and for a distinct period of
time (one month if it’s a magazine)
If they want to publish it online or in another country you should discuss with them how much they are willing to pay for that.
The copyright and ownership of you image that you have created for them is always yours unless they ask to buy it and own it outright.