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Notes on Freelancing

Work-wise, I’ve been having a lot of balls in the air at once lately. And it’s showing up in the lack of updates to this page. Sorry.

Speaking of which, a veteran illustrator provides some great advice in 17 lessons in 17 years of freelancing (via Drawn!). I’ve been doing this for coming on three years now — and I still feel more like a slumming househusband than a proper freelancer. The part where I get stuck is in the self-promotional aspect of this biz. The combination of not being a natural salesperson and being easily discouraged leads to much frustration; a boxful of unsent promo postcards is testament to that. I would also add a point about the importance of having a “kill fee” for first-time clients (especially individuals). It saves a lot of headaches in the long run. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting to have a really good year where a client doesn’t flake out on me.

Having a good website also helps a lot — check this one for Canadian illustrator/letterer Ray Fenwick. I wish I had as distinctive a style. Neat stuff.

2 Thoughts on “Notes on Freelancing

  1. Baden Smith on September 29, 2006 at 8:11 pm said:

    Can you please explain how the kill fee thing works? Thanks.

  2. Baden – a kill fee is compensation for the work you did on a project in cases where the project falls through before it’s finished, or if the client decides on using a different person. Sometimes it’s a flat fee discussed beforehand; other times it’s a portion of what would have been paid based on the hours you already put in.

    The important thing here is to to broach the subject with your client before you begin the work (sometimes I forget!).

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