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How NOT to Approach an Artist

[For your edification, a real life example from early May:]

"Subject: Hey

I need an illustrator for my childrens book. Can u send ur best lion and princesses along with prices."

(No, really. That's the whole thing.)

This email suggests several possible presumptions, all equally alarming-

  • I have drawings laying about for every possible human/animal combination so I can just have them prepared in case the time comes when they're relevant .


  • I will work on spec for a project that I know absolutely nothing about, by a writer I know absolutely nothing about since he refused to even introduce himself. (I only know to say "he" because of the name on the email address.)


  •  Artists are not professional people who deserve the same respect as any other professional people.


  • Spelling and grammar are for chumps anyways.

    I thought about emailing him to find out more, maybe politely explain to him the proper way to commission creative people, but I figured we would both just end up angry and frustrated in the end. And I assumed that whatever price I named would be considered too high, so all the effort would have been for nothing. It's not like I'm so overcome with requests that I have more work than I can take on. But I think it's important to have some kind of standards and demand a certain level of respect for yourself and your craft. Too few people are willing to just offer it, as already shown above. Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1Ygp5vxLJ

    1 comment:

    1. Number one rule I learned when I was assisting a photo retoucher and studying commercial photograhy is to never under value yourself. My former boss was hit hard with the recession and his high end clientele wasn't calling so he was desperate for work. He received some pretty lame requests (maybe not as bad as yours, but pretty bad considering his portfolio and the caliber of work he did). He turned down all offers from disrespectful and un-professional people. And also once you set your price low you will regret it if he refers you.(hypothetically)