Over the last few weeks we’ve talked about rejection, communication, and the importance of contracts. By now you might be exhausted. I assure you we’re nearly done. Before I set you free to go sell your work we need to cover what goes into your contracts.
Contracts should be considered the second phase of negotiation. They’re the documents that defend what you’re doing and getting paid, as well as what the client is expecting. Respond to the comments your client has on the contract and offer revisions that fall within your comfort zone. Make sure to include clauses on revisions, kill fees payments, and transfers of rights. I know that might sound overwhelming, but it’s crucial. Establishing limits on revisions keeps you from overworking and keeps the client critical when laying out the project. “Kill fees” exist to give you some cushion if, for some reason, the client chooses to abort the project. You’ve done work and deserve to be paid something. Travis says he often requires a half payment upfront that qualifies as a kill fee. Decide what you’re comfortable with and create one. Finally, the work will likely become the property of the client. Determine the time frame and how the project will be declared finished to ensure smooth transfers.
Free Tools: If writing a contract is terrifying, try to relax. There are tons of sources that can help you with that. One that you might want to check out that helps you build free contracts online called PACT. (Big thanks to Jeffrey for bringing PACT into the conversation.)
Okay, breathe! You made it! I know you’ve had a lot to chew on, but considering it constructively and critically will help you better sell your artwork, no matter what it is.
To wrap things up, here’s some last words from the great artists I spoke to:
“Draw every day. A little or a lot, no matter how small. A doodle a day is more than you had before.” –Travis Bentley
“Draw every day, do studies every day. Never give up, never surrender! And be sure to change your underwear every day.” –Jeffrey Kristian Morris
“Do art ten times more than you think you should.” –Galacia Barton