katiebird (eski) wrote in artists_beware,

Weird illustration job?

Nothing to beware of yet, but I wanted to make sure. I could use you guys' advice.

So I was contacted by this person on DeviantART (her profile said she was 14) saying that her father was interested in hiring me for an illustration job. I got his email and a link to his DA account, and was told to email him saying what my prices are.

Since I had no idea what the job entailed and what the purpose was, I decided to inquire to see what was up. He tells me the job is for a small toy company he is presenting ideas to. He wants three illustrations, but I'm still not sure what he really wants and what the purpose of my illustrations will be. He attached a picture he did, a mangled version of my Elemental Fire Fox piece and says he wants this but as a snake, a lion and a wolf. It's the head and front legs of the fox and pieces of fire connected with large awkward black blocks. My watermark is not found anywhere on the picture.

I would show you guys what it look like, but I get red-x syndrome every time I try to put it in photobucket. =/

He tells me that if the company chooses my art (which he apparently using to present his ideas) that there will be a job. That the toys will be sold in South American and possibly the US.

This seems iffy because:
a) The person's 14 year old daughter contacted me for this job, not himself. That's a little bizarre, why wouldn't he send me a note or an email himself?

b) He's already assuming he can use existing artwork of mine to present to this company, which I never said he could. He mangled a piece I did without my permission, which already rubs me the wrong way....

c) Vague city! What will these illustrations be used for? Who is paying me (him or the toy company)? What are the toys going to be like? What is the name of the toy company?

I'm afraid that if this IS something I shouldn't pass up, telling him he shouldn't have mangled my art will ruin the oppertunity for me. I simply don't know how to respond to this guy, or what to make of this. Also, how do I price each illustration if it's for a package design?

Not too sure on all this, so any feedback is a good thing! ^^;

[edit] I got an email response from him, but since this entry is getting s little long I'll lj-cut it.

I got an email back from the guy so lets see what you guys think now:

</i>"I appreciate your enthusiasm. I will try to answer as best I can.

- the black blocks are for text
- this will go on the package
- I will pay you
- you will not have contact with the toy company, you are a sub-contractor. I will need you to fill out a tax id form if this goes forward.
- I'm sorry I don't understand the last question

As the designer/art director I am originating the concept. I need the help of an illustrator to do the detail work and rendering. If I where you, the question I would ask is: what is my time worth?

As an artist, I understand your point of view, I've been there before. Just ask yourself how long will this take me and how much money do I want? Keep in mind, you will need to re-render, this is not a cut and paste job---I need a painter/illustrator.

If you have any more questions feel free to call or write.

(xxx) xxx-xxxx mobile"</i>

Tax id form? I've done subcontract work before and not had to do that. Is my experience normal, or is what he's asking normal? Just not keen on giving this guy that sort of information after how fishy this job arose.

I wrote back:

"Hey again Orlando!

I understand how to price my art, I have been doing this for a few years now, so it's ok. I just needed to know what the job was for, thank you. =) That last part wasn't a question actually, I need you to include the original form of my artwork which you used to create your concept in your presentation to the toy company.

I'm not interested in contacting the toy company, but I still (out of curiosity) would like to know what the toy company is, to see if I've heard of them or not. Knowing who is using my art is always a bonus when presenting my portfolio to other potential clients. Your company name will help in putting my portfolio together as well.

Knowing this is not a cut and paste job is a plus for me, as I'm not a graphic designer I'm an illustrator! I'm looking forward to the opportunity to render something totally brand new for you, should the toy company choose the concept with my art.

If it gets accepted, we can discuss a contract. I'm happy you picked me as one of the potential artists, I'm crossing my fingers!

~Katie Hofgard

[edit 2]

From him:
"I still need an estimate so I know if I can afford you or not. Keep in mind there will be three animals of similar complexity as the fox. Also, let's make sure we include the rest of the body of the animal. Not just the head. I don't mean to be pushy but, since I cannot afford to go to a large agency I'm reaching out to various artists. I really need an answer."

Not having my questions answered, I decided to give him a very basic estimate, no guarantees to see if that will get me some answers. I'm not too pleased with the way he's treating me so far, even though he's no being directly insulting.

"I understand exactly what you are asking of me, I still need to know
what your company name is and the name of toy company. My apologies,
this is an unusual way to approach an artist. I am also uncomfortable
that you altered my artwork, my watermark and copyright are not
visible in the alteration, and that you are using my artwork for a
commercial presentation without my permission. So please, understand
my apprehension.

If you were to hire me, each illustration will require a deposit of at
least ____. During the process of making the illustration, I will log
my hours and how many changes are made to each illustration (say, if
you're not satisfied with the first version or want major changes),
and likely there will be additional fees beyond a certain point.
Royalties are also an issue, but most of this stuff would be worked
out in the contract, so none of it is solid. Which is why I would
want to get to a contract before agreeing to anything for sure."

I hope I'm not letting slip a great oppertunity by being picky, almost everything about this says no to me. =( More updates when I get 'em.
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