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Perusing the art/media jobs section in the hope that something besides a tattoo artist would be wanted in my area, I ran into the following post:

artist needed (hope hull al)

I have written a book and need someone to draw some pictures . It is a fairy tale . If u are interested pls email me.

Basically, I guess, would YOU go for it?  I haven't emailed them.  Frankly if this is the way they post online I'm not sure their book would be any good, but maybe they were using a cell phone or something and I can give them the benefit of the doubt.  If I do inquire, what would you expect the author to offer to make it worth my time?  Obviously people illustrate for books all the time, but I am completely clueless as to how they get paid for that.  Should I perhaps say I am interested and then see what they have to offer, maybe come back here for advice first?

I DID try to search the archives for this; I know there have been people asking for help for commercial works forever, but the "advice for artists" tag is quite... lengthy.

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( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 9th, 2013 09:02 am (UTC)
Honestly? No, I wouldn't touch something like that. No mention of a budget, and as a writer if they are using short-hand typing like "u" and "pls" then... well, I'm not sure I'd take great stock in their quality.

If you do inquire, I'd be asking a ton of questions like:

- How many images?
- My standard rate is _____, what is your budget?
- Whats the time frame?
- Is this person a minor?
- Is a publisher involved?
- Many many more questions...

Just too much info they've left out, I wouldn't take them seriously or take the time to contact them.
Nov. 10th, 2013 02:24 pm (UTC)
Nov. 9th, 2013 09:41 am (UTC)
I've lost count of the amount of times i've been asked to illustrated someone's 'children's book' and it turns out they haven't even written it or got a publisher interested...

The fact it seems it's actually written is good start however as mentioned above, the ad seems a bit unprofessional. My advice is ask-
If it's paid (hopefully upfront).
If it's going to be a publishers producing it or if it's self-published.

These two are the first two most important things.

('Paid when published' deals are generally to be avoided. This is because a lot of books don't make it to being published or are unsuccessful. If they're going through a publishing company, they like things to be illustrated by their own artists they have on their books and can reject art done by other artists. This is because they believe that certain artists/styles are more marketable. It's too easy to do a lot of work and end up with no money.)

You will need to look at contracts/copyrights- DO NOT WORK WITHOUT A CONTRACT.
Also remember that there's a lot of work in illustrating a book so make sure you price it sufficiently and that there's enough time on the deadlines.

(Sorry, would put a bit more details but have to dash off now!)
Nov. 9th, 2013 09:59 am (UTC)
Publishers will usually pair unknown writers with known artists (and unknown artists with known writers) so that the work would get more interest once in stores. Breaking into this as an artist is difficult unless your art style is marketable and/or unique.

If the book is going to be self-published, well, as previously stated, it does not look like the person knows what they are doing if they are posting with chatspeak. I would not recommend it.
Nov. 9th, 2013 10:14 am (UTC)
Out of curiosity, I'd e-mail them and ask about the budget. Sounds like it will be a handshake and 5 bucks or something.

My advice is don't do it, usually people will provide more information and will use propper english...
But if you ask, tell me what he answered. xD

Also: What sankuri said. Usually if he has a publisher, they will ask their "own" illustrators to do it.
Nov. 9th, 2013 10:28 am (UTC)
No, absolutely no.

I was asked to illustrate by my friend's mom, who is an RN and had written up one of those pamphlet things they have for free at doctor's offices, you know...

and she wanted to give me $200 for 50+ images. After some thought I realized how absolutely ridiculous that was.

This person's typing does not instill confidence, at all.
Nov. 9th, 2013 01:09 pm (UTC)
echoing others. i'd email and just ask what they're willing to pay. if it's "for exposure" or totally not worth your time, then forget about it. it's probably a vanity publication anyway.
Nov. 9th, 2013 03:13 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, children's books are something that a LOT of people think they can do, but don't have any idea how to go about. I've seen countless ads on Craigslist for illustrators, almost none of them are willing to pay what an artist is worth because they're just individuals with a pet project.

I've been to the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrator's southeast conference and taken a class in illustrating for children's books, and the publishers I've heard from have said that they don't want art with the manuscript submission- they pair the story with an illustrator themselves. They also generally don't like to see 100% finished books, because it seems like the illustrator would be less inclined to want to make revisions. There are some exceptions of course, but for someone just starting out in this field, it's definitely better to play by the book.

If you want to get into book illustration, join SCBWI, send in a portfolio to, just know that these Craigslist people aren't the way into the industry. It might be an okay private commission, but illustrating children's books is a massive undertaking, so make sure you charge appropriately for all the roughs, revisions, illustrations, page layout stuff, etc.
Nov. 9th, 2013 03:16 pm (UTC)
Oops, didn't finish that thought. Meant to say "send in a portfolio to publishing houses". Also, SCBWI is beneficial because many publishers don't accept cold submissions except at these conferences. Otherwise they'd just get way too many submissions to ever get through them all.
Nov. 12th, 2013 07:52 pm (UTC)
Do you have a link?
Nov. 12th, 2013 09:27 pm (UTC)
...it's the first link to come up on Google...
Nov. 9th, 2013 03:19 pm (UTC)
If a potential client can't be bothered to type out every word along with their budget and time frame, then I won't bother responding to their ad. To me, it sends out a signal that they don't care about their project enough to actually take the time to make a good pitch.

I am also hesitant to trust anything posted on Craigslist, but that's just personal preference.

Nov. 9th, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
This sounds like one of those deals where they tell you: "I cannot pay you upfront, but when the book is published, you can get a cut of the profits. Oh, and it's SO good for your resume to have published works."

It's another way of saying I'm too cheap to pay you for your hours of work, but you MIGHT get a couple bucks if I sell any copies. Not worth your time.
Nov. 9th, 2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
If that is the ad in entirety the answer is a resounding NO.

By how you've phrased this post, you already have a gut instinct its not worth it, stick to that. You won't be getting on the NYT best sellers list with this project.

Lack of proper grammar, details and the most obvious: payment means that they're throwing out feelers for someone to give them free work or something along the lines of exposure = payment.
Nov. 9th, 2013 06:24 pm (UTC)
Yea, anyone who uses "u" and "pls" is probably not professional and probably won't pay you. Seriously, this is why spelling and grammar are important.
Nov. 9th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
As a writer, I also say NO. If they can't be bothered to use proper spelling or even attempt to write a pitch outside "[i]t is a fairy tale," their project likely won't be worth a second glance.
Nov. 9th, 2013 08:20 pm (UTC)
I think any job offer that offers so little in the way of details is a red flag, period.
Especially when you consider how classified ads have a character limit and still offer a lot more information than what the client has posted in their ad.
Nov. 9th, 2013 09:07 pm (UTC)
I frankly don't trust job postings on craigslist unless it's for a well-known company (I just got a job with a chain restaurant and they had posted on craigslist that they needed people because they needed A LOT of people.) I've been burned a few times by people on there and there are one too many stories of shady folks using it for me to trust it.
Nov. 9th, 2013 09:21 pm (UTC)
That's not even the worst graphic/art ad I've seen. My personal favorite is "We make a men's health and fitness magazine. To apply, draw me a picture of a hot chick and e-mail it to me."

On Craigslist if the listing does not include a dollar amount, a budget, or complete words, it's a waste of time. This sounds like it's either gonna be "But you'll get exposure!", "all I need is five pictures, it's easy!", "I'll pay you if I like it," or some other classic line from someone who doesn't know how to hire. It's not worth the headache.

If you want better freelance opportunities, try Odesk. My job counselor recommended it to me and it's pretty good!
Nov. 10th, 2013 05:34 am (UTC)
"We make a men's health and fitness magazine. To apply, draw me a picture of a hot chick and e-mail it to me."

How much do you want to bet they were just trying to get free porn?
Nov. 10th, 2013 06:18 am (UTC)
Oh they were totally looking for free porn. I almost sent them a totally serious cover letter with an MSPaint scribble of a baby chicken on fire.
Nov. 10th, 2013 11:08 am (UTC)
*ROFL* That would have been perfect. XD
Nov. 15th, 2013 06:46 am (UTC)
most CL art jobs are either "for exposure" "pay if it's good enough", 'paid when my project profts" etc.

Avoid like the bubonic plague.

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )


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