Thursday, June 20, 2013

Episode 121--Professional Artist Client Toolkit!

This week the Ninjas are joined by Aaron Miller and Randy Gallegos to learn more about PACT--The Professional Artist's Toolkit.
The team at PACT reveal their plans for the site and how it hopes to better the situation for freelance illustrators everywhere! They also need your help to get the site off the ground.
Consider becoming a supporter and visit their Indiegogo page!
We also tackle challenging questions from our listeners.
Don't forget to listen to the episode's "B side" tacked on by special request at the end of the first half. 
What to do when a publisher breaks its contract with you!
We've all been there, folks.



David Michael Wright said...

Great Episode! The ArtPact site sounds awesome - The 'troglodyte' nature of what we do opens us up to exploitation, and this kind of site would offer everyone a window to look through and see what is happening throughout the whole industry in one place.
This site really needs to happen! I'm personally just getting going as an illustrator business wise (though I've been at it a while) and I'm still in the process of trying to build up a steady client list. I don't have a network of illustrator friends I can share info with and ask about how companies treat there artists, how much they pay etc. So this kind of information would be invaluable to me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one in this position.

Anonymous said...

Even with a site like Art Pact, you should still have a network of illustrator friends, David! I mean, I know networking can be a bit awkward, at first, when you don't know anybody that well, and are basically showing up out of nowhere, all "here are my toys; wanna play?" But it's worth it, in the end. Helps you get where you want to go, business-wise, artistically, et cetera.

Shaun Patterson said...

On face value I really like the idea of PACT. I think the issues that they are trying to tackle are really central to what we do (Fair pay etc.)

I found some of the discussion around the function of it to be a little problematic. In this age of whistle blowers I believe that while I have no problem being very honest to my peers about the true nature of a client, I would be wary that putting that up on a website would get me blackballed by ADs.

This fear is even heightened when there was talk about getting the publisher's POV.

I think most artists do not want to take that kind of risk for strangers. I like the idea of educating the industry as a whole and I know personally that I have had to spent alot of time educating clients to make both of our live's easier.

As always, a great discussion by the Ninja Mountain crew. I am certain that your tidbits of wit and wisdom have helped me in the development of this fledgling freelance career that I have established so far.

Anonymous said...

I did find it reassuring that the art directors the PACT guys had spoken to seemed to like the idea of being able to check on how they're doing.

That said, I am planning to post positive reviews of my best clients, rather than negative reviews of my worst ones (I haven't had a really bad client in a while, and I feel that knowing who's good to work for is just as valuable as knowing who's bad. And, yeah, I want to see how it goes before sticking my neck out...ha, ha!).rubbing mponsMa

Anonymous said...

Ignore the snippet of nonsense at the end of my comment...for some reason, the "prove you're not a robot" text appended itself to my comment.

David Michael Wright said...

Yes – You’re right.

I guess Art Pact or otherwise, it all comes back down to the frog chorus really doesn't it? (

…and right again – definitely not a natural Networker.
Working on it though! I love the forum you guys have set up, and I keep telling lots of people on deviant art that they are awesome (only when they are of course), I’m even thinking of trying to revive the word ‘Mega’ soon to really up the ante!

Networking is definitely a W.I.P with me – though I’m sure once I figure out the secret handshake, and which sock to set at half-mast I’ll be just fine :)

JG said...

YAAAAY!! New Ninja Mountain!! AWESOME!! 2 in a row!!. Always a pleasure to have a new episode, and great follow up to the talk from last time.
I'd listened to the Drawn Today podcast with the Original PACT talk, and you've provided more food for thought here. Good questions and suggestions for the PACT Team. I really hope people will rally behind this. I am going to spread the word to my illustration friends, and friends of art. maybe IRL even. I also plan to offer bonus drawings for my friends who support it, so maybe the people that follow me will have more of an incentive to support PACT. (fingers-crossed)

I am in a similar spot to David, while I have Illustrator friends, most of them are like me and work day-jobs, freelancing on the side.
PACT would be a great tool for networking, hopefully they will incorporate a direct message system as you guys suggested. I imagine it would work a lot like YELP, so that you could gauge the credibility of the reviewers as well as the companies being reviewed.
I know they had discussed possible ANON profiles, but then you may have too much trolling and bullshittery, unless they were strictly policed.

I see the apprehension about being black-listed by Companies, but as Socar/glassman pointed out, you can keep it positive with your reviews. You can certainly share a negative experience in a professional way, instead of just trash-talking. Accountability would keep the reviews more balanced hopefully…
In addition, any company that earns a terrible review, is probably not a company you want to work for anyway, right?

Ninjas, as established Illustrators, how do you feel about moonlighters and beginners getting in on something like PACT? Is it annoying for you, having clawed your way to the surface on your own, that now these great resources are being offered to fledgelings? Do you think it will escalate the competition in the market and make things worse for you? Or it is better to compete with informed illustrators than bottom-feeders that drag the market down by slaving away for little or no money and a chance at "exposure"?

Thanks as always for bringing the AWESOME guys!!

Anonymous said...

I can't speak for all the Ninjas, but I don't find it annoying that newbies will be able to access this information, and possibly get a better start than we did. I would rather see new artists entering the field with all the knowledge I didn't have. I don't want to see newbies grubbling about at the bottom of the barrel, accepting insulting rates, thinking that's just how it works. That hurts my business, as well as theirs; it hurts us all. There's really no need for it.

New illustrators should be concentrating on entering the market with a quality product, which is worth a good rate. It's easy to look at what's out there, especially in the sf&f/RPG markets, which tend to have a lower barrier to entry, and see the worst stuff, and go "Oh, I can do better than that; I'm ready." But that is the wrong attitude. Everyone needs to be looking at the BEST work out there, and going "That is the standard I need to be aiming for." And then, we need to be honest with ourselves--are we close enough to that standard that we're not going to be embarrassing ourselves, out there? Should we be freelancing now, or getting in some more practice, first?

Once an illustrator has a product they are proud of, they should let their rates reflect the pride they take in their craft. :-)

frostfyre said...

Good heavens, my question was answered on the show! It is such a small community, I am glad that something like PACT is even being attempted. Don't take low end jobs is sound advice, I am starting to see that entrepreneurial efforts like those of Brom or Brian Kessinger are worth far more than any work for hire gig might pay.

In any case, I am very happy to see the ninjas involved with the now funded PACT, and hope to someday have the nerve to make the leap to independence myself.

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