Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ninja Mountain Podcast #3 - Client Relations

It's our longest episode yet! Dare you enter... the House of Client Relations?

Or get it via iTunes

It's the usual group of guys (Andy, Jeremy, Jon and Patrick), tackling the big subject of what they broadly call "client relations": working out contracts, getting paid, "exposure deals" and other scary stuff. They also discuss the best method of figuring just how much you should get paid for a job. In addition to all that, they even find some time to review a couple of books, and give a recommendation on a Photoshop utility you might like.

So strap in and bite down hard on some leather. It's going to be a crazy ride!

Show Notes
Genuine Fractals
Franklin Booth: Painter With a Pen
Bernie Wrightson's Frankenstein
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art



Kat said...

just started this one. I gotta say, you guys are hitting some majorly useful topics. Thank you guys for doing this. :)

Ninja Mountain said...

We live but to serve you, Kat! :) Thanks for listening.


Jeff said...

Your rantings have not gone unnoticed! Veronica has written a small review of your work on

(let me know if anyone wants to send me a better photo... I know how vain artists can be :)

jon said...

A photo of me from 10 years ago before I lost the eye to the narwhal, looks to advancing decrepitude and hard liquor, and the hand to carpel tunnel? I'm really quite happy with it.

Thanks for the kind words about our shenanigans!

Andrew said...

I'm just waiting for one of you to say your website like so;

h t t p : / / w w w...etc etc

Great show, excellent advice.

Changewinds said...

Thanks for talking about the important topics! It's great to hear from people that are in the field.

Ninja Mountain said...

Thanks Andrew - we'll try to get Jon on that next time. :)

And Changewinds - we appreciate your comment, glad to have you on board!

ATOM said...

I'm really looking forward to this every week! Well done guys,love it!


Ninja Mountain said...

That's great, Andy! Thanks a lot.


Ryan said...

I love this podcast! It is without a doubt the best source of information I've found about the freelance art industry.

Ninja Mountain said...

Thanks Andrew and Ryan,
Very kind words indeed. :)
We'll keep working hard to bring you guys the best show we can. So far, we are having a blast.
Keep those show topics and questions coming in!

Kii said...

As a student who hopes to major in illustration, these have been invaluable to me. These have been questions I've always wondered about, but never found the right resource for answers! (Especially on exposure, rates, and contract negotiations.)
I know that everyone mentions White Wolf and Wizards quite often. I'd be interested to know if you still continue to get work from these companies despite the growing unpopularity of the tabletop genre.

jon said...

Kii - Thanks!

As to your question, both of those companies are still very much in business, and both still producing a wide range of products requiring art. So yup - there's work out there to be had with those guys.

Roleplaying games haven't been as crazily popular as they were in the 80s since, well the 80s (!) but they still chug along quite nicely from our perspective. Its worth remembering too that both of those companies also produce a wide variety of other products - board games, card games and so on, and one presumes they will continue to do whatever is suitably profitable.

I think its pretty safe to say for all the guys on the Ninja Mountain Podcast we also work in a variety of other fields too. I do believe that topic of diversification is up for discussion in a future episode, so stay tuned!

Jeffrey Lai said...

you guys are awesome!
followed over from jons DA.
At uni they never discussed any of this, even though its so important!
now i just have to follow the advice and start emailing some scary people *_*
(i look forward to future podcasts~)

Nicole Cardiff said...

I really like the "People have died from exposure" line - I think I'll borrow that one (with attribution) the next time I have that discussion with someone.

Lord, though, I'm not nearly as convinced that companies go out of business from hiring sub-par art...

Ninja Mountain said...

Thanks Jeffrey and Nicole!

Jeffrey - that was a big reason we started this. There's just SO much that we learned "on the job" over the years, and are still learning today, we thought it would be interesting to discuss all that.

And Nicole - you're right, you do see too much "got what they paid for" art out there, but even though it's not usually a _cause_ of a company going under, it's often a sign that they're going to be in trouble...

Glad to have you both with us!


HigherDepths said...

I've been 'lightly' freelancing for a long time, but have gone full-time this year. It's fantastic to hear you all talk about your experiences as beginners, and about subjects like payment which never get discussed...awesome work. More please!!!

Ninja Mountain said...

More is on the way!! :) A big part of the reason we're doing this podcast is that we all would have enjoyed having access to this info when WE were first starting. So we're happy to be here to help now.


Jason Embury said...

really great podcast, highly entertaining stuff fellas. I think the non-payment segment was actually one of the best things I've ever heard talked about really publicly. :D Love that it's on iTunes now too, very convenient.

Ninja Mountain said...

Hey, thanks a lot Jason! Yeah, unfortunately that's something everyone has experience with eventually... grr... Glad to have you listening (I feel silly that it took me a minute to place your name, btw... )


Meredith said...

This is great! The discussion about negotiating contracts was something I really needed to hear. I'd been resigned to either doing work for hire or staying out of RPG work as the only options for a while.

Although I'm jaded enough now to know that licensing contracts need to be negotiated.

Ninja Mountain said...

Thanks, Meredith. We're all glad we can help a bit!


jorge f. muñoz said...

Amazing podcast! i'm just starting in the industry and I have been burned a few times already, this episode in particular will save me some headaches in the future.

Please keep it up, we'll keep listening.


Ninja Mountain said...

Thanks for listening, Jorge! There are no headaches on the Mountain, only the occasional infection. ;)