Category Archives: Article

Freelance Friday 12: Sale or Return inventories

Happy Friday!

Like last week, this week is a resource post, based on things I was doing this week and thought might be useful to some.

This week I’ve got some work for sale at the excellent Memories of the Future digital-meets-analogue pop-up shop in Nottingham. So I thought I might share my sale-or-return combined inventory sheet and agreement, for use with shops, events or galleries who may not have a standard one of their own they prefer to use.

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Freelance Friday 11: Digital Content Agreements

Hello! First off, although I know you’re here for the freelance talk, did you know I have a new book out and buy-able? ^_~

Right! Today’s post is a bit of an odd duck, being very specific. But because it’s specific, there’s less resources available for this sort of thing, so I’m hoping it’s maybe helpful, or starts discussion.

Next week, a digital pdf version of my comic Now and Then will be available, for Nottingham’s Memories of the Future project. I realized that most of my usual contract template totally didn’t work for the situation of someone else reselling my work via digital files…

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Freelance Friday 10: On Selling at Conventions

Happy Friday everyone! This post is a response to some good posts around the net this week. Earlier in the week, Matt Badham posted some excellent thoughts on selling comics at conventions. This was followed by a great post by Joanna Zhou of Maqaroon, on tabling at trade shows (of course, lots of crossover to comic cons!). Both are great reads!

So I thought I’d join in on the theme-of-the-week and post some thoughts of my own, especially as we’re just coming into fall con season. (For those interested, this year I’ll be at Nerdfest, Nottingham; MCM, London; Comica Comiket, London; and Thought Bubble, Leeds.)

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So here are a few assorted thoughts, trying to add something to the conversation with hopefully not too much repetition. Take everything I say with a grain of salt though – despite doing cons for years , I still have very mixed results!

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Mini Freelance Friday – resource post

Okay, a shorter resource/link post this week, but hopefully no less useful for that!

The first thing I want to link to is the Pomodoro Technique time-management (concept? system?), which involves timed, short bursts of work and short breaks in between each one. I could write a dozen posts on time – how we use it, what we struggle with it, how freelance culture confuses work ethic and overworking – so I’m sure I’ll add more about this sort of thing in future. But for now I wanted to mention this, as I’m finding it really helpful. Especially when I’m working on multiple jobs, and have lots of admin bits and my own projects to keep track of…the To-Do list for the day can be fragmented and confusing and I sometimes don’t know where to start, so breaking things down into short, one-thing-at-a-time chunks really seems to help my focus. And having a timer go off to remind me to get up and stretch every half hour really helps my stiffness at the end of the day, as otherwise hours can pass without me realizing I’ve been sitting in the same posture for that long!

The second link for today is Zero2Illo – a fantastic resource for illustration freelancers. I highly recommend their curated articles section. The second Zero2Illo conference in Nottingham is in a few weeks (tickets available til Sept 30)…last year’s was lovely, a smaller conference with a really sociable feel. I’d definitely recommend it. (Make sure to say hi if you see me there!)

See you all next week!

 

 

Freelance Friday 09: Quoting Multiple Options

Happy Friday everyone! Last week I chatted a bit about the streess-inducing topic of quoting for jobs. Today is part two, wherein I extol the virtues of quoting multiple options!

Disclaimer: As always, this is based purely on personal experiences and approaches, and should not be considered as business advice, legal or otherwise. Any use you make of posts on this blog are entirely at your own risk.

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Freelance Friday 08: Quoting and Time

Right, this week and next, since we’ve been very loosely following the course of a project here, I’ll be chatting a bit about quoting for a potential job (whether that be giving a quote yourself, or evaluating what you can offer for a client’s set budget).

Not everyone approaches quoting in the same way. And every job is different, so no approach will cover every situation. Perhaps the most useful thing one can have is a few trusted colleagues who can offer advice  when you get a tricky query. There are a lot of illuminating posts by other freelancers out there though, which can really help, and I’ll link a few of those at the bottom of this post.

Next week, I’ll discuss giving a range of quotes, and adjusting them while still asserting the value of your work. This week, I want to talk about the usefulness of quotes based on time.

Disclaimer: As always, this is based purely on personal experiences and approaches, and should not be considered as business advice, legal or otherwise. Any use you make of posts on this blog are entirely at your own risk.

SallyThompson-FF-QuotingTime

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Freelance Friday 07: Valueing Your Network

Happy Friday! Carrying on from last week’s Network at Events blog, I’m going to have a quick look at what to do (or not do) with said network.

Also, continuing the downhill trend from last week’s sketchier illustration, this week there’s no illustration at all! Shameful! Ah well – I know you come for the words anyway, but hopefully I’ll get them back on track!

My network is something I value and do my best to tend well. So I have some rules for myself about how I behave towards my fellow industry peeps (all pretty much along the lines of thinking more in terms of relationships than “Capital N Network”) – who range from the vaguest acquaintance to some truly wonderful friends. These are just for myself – your mileage may vary, as with everything!

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Freelance Friday 06: Networking at Events

Hi everyone!

Continuing from last week’s look at offline methods as more along the lines of “creating opportunities rather than hunting specific jobs”, I wanted to have a look at offline networking – at events, conventions, etc.

(Just a sketchy illustration today, because Time. Sorry!)

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I think most of us have come across advice on the necessity of networking, making connections, etc. It can seem a bit of a task, something very intentional, different from just meeting people who work in your field…and I know for some it can conjure images of awkwardness and anxiety more than anything else. So I thought I’d look at a few concerns about networking at events…if there’s something not here that you’d like me to address, feel free to let me know in the comments! Continue reading

Freelance Friday 05: Print Marketing

Hey everyone! This week and next, I’m responding to a comment from illustrator Robin French on offline methods of finding freelance work. That got me thinking a bit, because I don’t know of any offline venues for job listings…I think the offline side of it falls squarely into the making-jobs-come-to-you side of things, rather than the going-out-and-finding-existing-jobs side. This side of things takes time (so I think hunting out jobs is a necessary part of most freelancers early years), but is of course incredibly important.

(What do you think? Do you agree that the offline elements of job “hunting” are more like “connection/interest-building” hopefully resulting in future jobs, or can you think of avenues I’m missing? Answers on a postcard! Or, y’know, in the comments section.)

So when it comes to offline marketing/networking/presence-building, I’m dividing that down a bit. Today I’ll ponder Print Marketing; next week I’ll ruminate on Networking, and then I’ll either launch into a longish Contracts series, or delay that a week and do a post on Conventions/exhibitions/events, whichever there’s more interest in (cast your votes!).

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Freelance Friday 04: License Basics (for potential clients)

Update!

Right, despite being a pretty simple comic, that took longer than expected – sorry for the delays!

This update is more of a resource than a post, and I hope it’ll be useful to some of you. It’s a 5 page pdf explaining the basics of copyright and licenses to potential clients who may not have commissioned art before. I thought this might be useful having written the same thing many times in emails when, after quoting a few options, potential clients sometimes ask what I mean by license.

The pdf can be found HERE. Terms of use: You are very  welcome to download a copy and use it to save a little time when you get the same questions, provided it remains intact with all 5 pages in one pdf.

Sample page:

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There’s of course an awful lot that I’ve not even touched on in there, but it does get somebasics down that you may want a potential client to know – particularly your ownership of the image, and the expense of buying copyright.

See you next week!