The business of freelance illustration- the first steps

By: andrew berwick illustration

Feb 20 2012

Category: 3rd year professional development

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TIME
Time is a valuble resource running out quicker than you expect. Managing it properly will be essential in my success or failure in the illustration industry.- Must set up a strategy for my own time management.

-know your personal clock (i work better at night)
-whan are you most creative/ mundain tasks etc and get into a routine
-make lists- (i already do this, just cant help making them as it makes me feel better crossing them off)
-set realistic goals and achievements
-Set own deadlines before the actual ones allowing yourself a buffer period.
Most of all i need to create a working schedule for me to follow.

CREATING A BUDGET
Analysing my own finances will help me in protecting myself in the future for unexpected costs and allow me to grow the business.
savings- have at least 3 months worth of savings in case of any hidden problems or slow periods.
set up a business account- essential in being able to pay yourself, doing finances properly etc.
doing finances- self done? (accountancy costs)

HOW MUCH SHOULD I CHARGE

every client, agent and job is different and there is no specific way to price your work. It must be a balance between what you want from the work and the budget of the client. Determining who gets/ keeps the rights also plays a part in how much to charge for the work. If the work can be expanded upon and be developed in a range of ways then charging more is essential.
tips- askupfront what is your budget. This will allow you to determine if you what the job rather than going in with a lower price. As my illustration career takes off i would expect to be able to charge more for my work because the experience would justify that high price. Working out how long it will take you and how many revisions the client wants will determine a price.
Delivering exactly to the contracts specifications will ensure being paid, if any more work is required you can charge.
tip- always overquote by around 10-20% its easier to haggle down than up.
Making an informed decision based on many factors is the way i will be doing my pricing. i will do a mental calculation of per hour (professional rates) and quote an overall price for the completion of the piece.

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