This is the blog home of #kidlitart, a live Twitter chat Thursdays at 9:00 pm Eastern, for children's book illustrators, picture book authors, author/illustrators and friends. Check back weekly to read transcripts, comment on previous chats and suggest topics for upcoming chats.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Transcript: 8/5/10

TOPIC: Spec art: pros and cons?

Spec art is marginally acceptable, and only in special cases:
for a beginning artist, to build a portfolio
character sketches requested from a publisher (never finished art)

Clients will judge your worth by what you charge; clients who get work for nothing don't appreciate the value, and are never satisfied

Licensing is a different case: works differently from publishing in that the product is created first, then sold--so spec work may be the norm.

Red flags to look for when approached by client: "good exposure" and "potentially lucrative"

Crowd-sourcing: a unanimous "no"

Contests in general must be scrutinized carefully; only respond to trusted organizers, such as HOW and Print

WFH: not always bad. Educational publishers work this way; also, art for book covers is usually WFH; there's a difference between WFH and flat fee (artist may not retain copyright under a WFH contract)

Stock illustrations: may or may not offer royalty

Pro bono work is a plus--but be careful of assuming all nonprofits make good clients.
Causes with a good track record for illustrators:
Robert's Snow
The Totoro Forest Project

Alternatives to spec work for artists just starting out:
Community projects
Group blogs
Small publishers
Personal web site
Postcard promos




Holly DeWolf's Breaking into Freelance Illustration

Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines
Comment about PEG: fees listed are slightly higher than the average illustrator can command--perhaps because only most successful artists are willing to share fee history

Tweet(s) of the night:

This topic brought out the the pithy:

@vvjonez: If I don't want to get paid, I might as well work on my own stuff.

and the funny:

@WendyMartinArt: You can die from exposure.

@DiandraMae: I always feel like they're offering a flesh-eating virus to me when they say "you'll get great exposure!"

@WendyMartinArt: In fact, if I expose too much I can be arrested.

@NVCrittenden: Spec art is only okay when your client is an optometrist!

Full transcript below:

#kidlitart 8-5-10

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