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Edmonton AB, Local beware

Now this post is going to be dead local, so if you don't live in or around Edmonton Alberta then feel free to skip it.

On May first I was a volunteer artist at free comic book day's evens at Happy Harbor 3. Between doing sketches for food bank donations I was approached by one of the management for Edmonton's female roller derby team, E-ville. Seeing as I tend to make a habit of comic book art and they have an super villain theme they asked if I'd do images for their next set of event posters. I was pleased to give over my contact information and in a few days received an e-mail about pricing and the time to meet and bounce ideas around.

I consider myself semi-pro right now, I'm just wiggling about in small projects and working on the old portfolio to get into comics and was willing to do something for them that I could also put in the portfolio. My pricing was $75 - $100 for something like this in quality:pickledance.deviantart.com/art/Female-Pyro-164730943

Now $75 for something I'm spending a good 7 hours baseline on AND copyrights in contract to use the image again is dead low. But within 2 weeks I'd gotten no reply at all. I can fully understand anyone deciding on another artiest ext. but I GOT NO WORD at all and spent time holding the spot for them when I could have been doing other projects. The complete unprofessionalism in their not getting back to me at all has me some what peeved.

So artist beware if you are in Edmonton and are approached by E-ville. They don't give notice if they change their plans.

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Artist's beware has moved!
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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 5th, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
I'm really not seeing the beware here. It's normal for people to shop around before they buy with anything whether it's comic art, vaccines or cars. In any other field customers really have no other obligation to contact prospective sellers unless they either put money down or made an actual appointment. Generally in retail, items are only held for short periods of time because customers are known to not show up or call back.

In that 2 weeks did you try contacting them to ask if they were still interested so you could move forward with your own projects? If they didn't show up to the appointment did you continue to hold the spot or contact them then? It sucks if you got stood up at an appointment, because that is an honest waste of your time, but it's kind of par for the course.
I can't really recommend a sure-fire way of guaranteeing that you will only get serious inquires.
Jun. 5th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
I did e-mail them to see what was up and got the cold shoulder. That's when I dropped it.
Jun. 5th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
With any freelance or even professional work, no customer or potential customer is ever obligated to call you back unless specific arrangements have been made or a contract entered.

It really falls to you, as the seller, to follow up with them if they're taking too long. Gotta sell yourself hard sometimes. ;)
Heck, I work for a large art based company (in Edmonton! :D) myself, and our sales guys almost always have to chase the customers for followups and such. Even AFTER they've entered a contract with us.

Really, sending you a 'no thanks, can't afford it' email is a curteosy at best. It'd be nice if they did, but there's no harm in sending them an email (or phone call, whatever) asking for information yourself as well. :)
If they choose to ignore it, well then just consider them a lost cause and focus your attentions on bigger, better things!
Good luck! :)
Jun. 5th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
Thank! I did send them an e-mail back but got no response at all. I'm used to this kind of behavior from individual commissioners but it just seems really unprofessional in actual business on their part.

Like I said up there, I've no real problem that they went in another direction, I do have a problem that they wanted a meeting, including sketches and contract, which I did, but were in the end a waste.

I'm planning on bringing a few commission contracts with me when I do other art events in the future to save myself the wasted time.
Jun. 5th, 2010 03:17 pm (UTC)
Whoops, sorry I guess my reading comprehension kind of sucks today. I didn't realize you'd gone through the trouble of setting up so much, sketches and all.
It does still suck, but like I said - onto bigger and better things. ;) Bringing along copies of your contract etc is an excellent idea. For an artist, that can be just as important as business cards.
Jun. 5th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
> I didn't realize you'd gone through the trouble of setting up so much, sketches and all.<

It's not mentioned in the original post. I read it as a simple stand up, not that materials had been used. Echoing what others have said that you (op) shouldn't do work or hold a spot without money. I'd write it off as a learning experience.
Jun. 5th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
I plan on it.
Jun. 5th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
What others have said. I'm a bit amazed you'd say to avoid someone over this, or call it "unprofessional".

When job hunting, it's pretty normal for people to not get back to you. This could be either because they decided against you, or just forgot / are still thinking about it / are lazy / whatever. So it's good to do one follow up contact but if you don't get a positive response leave it there.

Don't do work / hold a spot / count on money until it's in your hand, or at least until you have a definite contract.
Jun. 5th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
I give out quotes all the time with no response.
I make it quite clear if I do not get a deposit I will not hold a spot for them in my queue.

I suggest next time, make your TOS perfectly clear: "I will not do ANY work without payment or a deposit. I will not hold a space on my queue without a deposit to hold it."
You should NEVER touch pencil to paper until you have money in your hands.

Lots of businesses think that they can take advantage of creative types. I suggest taking a look here: http://www.no-spec.com
Jun. 5th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)

Unfortunately unless you have a signature on a contract, you may frequently find this happens. Is it irksome? Yes, but it's also a normal part of doing business. Don't count on a job until contracts are signed.

Basically until it's finallised don't do any work on it, if they can't tell if they want to hire you from your portfolio? Then the job and you are not a good fit or they have issues.
Jun. 5th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
Welcome to the industry. Never do any work (except very quick ideas sketches to secure a commission) without a contract or cash. Clients will change their mind as much as they possibly can.
Jun. 5th, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
Honestly, getting comic book art is probably the last thing on their minds. I don't know if you know anybody involved in roller derby, but it is a life consuming thing to run a league. It's more than likely slipped their minds innocently.
Jun. 5th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
I second this. Running a team is a nightmare. I know over the last few months some of my girls really didn't have a life outside work and roller derby. We put on a tournament for all of Scotland. It was awesome.
Jun. 5th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
For such a local-specific thing, that will probably effect nobody on here, this is a very small issue.

How exactly do you "spend time holding the spot," as you've said you did? It would be smart to consider everybody a flake and assume everyone who inquires about work unlikely to get back to you, until you see money in your account. Unless they've paid you...why hold a spot?
Jun. 5th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
I plan on taking it as a learning experience.
Jun. 6th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
This is... kind of not worth a beware, I think. If we look at it from the customer's perspective, what exactly did they do wrong? They chose a different artist, or perhaps chose to put the project on the backburner. Yes, they got a sketch for free, but that's something you should have said no to, as any self-respecting artist with an unsigned/nonexistant contract would do.

You call yourself a semi-pro, aspiring to be a comic professional, and your work definitely backs that up. But I'm surprised to hear how you handled this if you consider yourself semi-pro.

For all we know, E-ville could be wonderful to work for, just don't offer to do anything for free until a contract has been signed -- the same way you would for any commission. I don't know anything about them, but this seems like an unfair post. Two weeks is not a long time, really.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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