Tag Archives: freelance

Mini mentoring session offer for Thought Bubble

Hi everyone! So, this year at Thought Bubble I’ll be free floating rather than tabling, which means I’ve got a bit more flexibility! So I thought I might offer a little free mentoring coffee meeting to someone who might find it useful!

This would be basically a little mini creative mentoring session – we can talk through either your work itself, or questions you’ve got about comics or freelance, for someone early on in their career who might find chatting to a professional a few years further down the road useful.

(If you’re reading this, you probably know my work, but I also realize some of you may want to send this on to friends you think might find it useful, who might not, so! I’m Sally, a freelance comic artist and writer based here in the UK. This year is my ten year freelanciversary! So I’ve got some solid experience under my belt on the freelance side of things, and I care about freelancers’ rights and wellbeing.

I’ve had work published with Dark Horse, Oni, IDW, Image, Oxford University Press, the Phoenix, and others, as well as working with museums, and other commercial illustration clients. My most recent book is Conspiracy of Ravens (Dark Horse), a middle grade magical adventure graphic novel with writers Leah Moore & John Reppion and tones by Niki Smith, out next month! Hi!)

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What can we talk about?
Feel free to tell me what it is you’re most wondering about atm – but probably one of these areas:
-Creative practice (style, creative direction, motivation, creative feelings!) – creative stuff is a bit nebulous, but I love talking about it, and if you’ve got some questions or concerns in this area I’ll do my best to be a sounding board and offer some hopefully useful perspective!
-Freelance/practical issues – what’s the process with a freelance job? Is (x) normal? How do people get (y) opportunities? What about contracts and agents? Happy to talk through this kind of stuff!
-Artwork/comics – we can have a look at your work (in general or a specific project) and chat about where you want to go with it and some next steps that might help.

What to do if you think this might be a helpful thing for you:
Send a short email with the subject line “Thought Bubble mentoring” to sallyjanethompson (at) gmail.com, with a short paragraph to introduce yourself and let me know what you’d want to chat about. Let me know:
-A quick note on who you are/what kind of work you make
-What specifically you’d like some feedback or info on
-A link to examples of your work
-What times over the weekend you’re available
Please email by Sept 13th , and I’ll select someone by 15th and get in touch to make plans! 
I’ll select based on who I think my experience could be most helpful to. 
Note: I’ll probably just set up one meeting this time around, as it’s my first con since getting fairly ill, and I don’t want to overbook myself. But if it turns out that this would be useful to multiple people, I’ll try and do this more at future cons!

Freeland Friday: Quality, Speed and Readership

Lately I’ve been thinking about quality. Or rather, quality as it sits in relation to speed, production realities, and reader perception.
I’m thinking about it now in particular for a few reasons.

Firstly, I’m currently working on the early issues of my first indie monthly comic, with all the attendant scheduling and process adjustments, and financial concerns, that entails.

Secondly, while in this frame of mind, I’ve been reading a few indie monthlies that have been huge successes. Titles that are amazing, popular, and which I have great respect for, so I hope this doesn’t read as sour grapes or anything. But as I’ve been reading, I’ve found myself caught up frequently on art niggles. Small things, but things I can’t help but notice – backgrounds or limbs that look sloppy rather than sketchy, copy-pasted panels where it’s clearly for time rather than a humorous or uncanny repetitive effect. So on and so forth. Part of me feels it’s snotty of me to let them bother me. But they do take me out of the story, and more importantly they relate to all the things about quality and schedules and readers that I’m thinking about right now. Because these are huge hits. Readers are obviously not as bothered by these things as I am. And given that, do they matter?

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Freelance (not quite) Friday – VATMOSS updates

As we approach EU-VAT-Reg-Day (Jan 1), here are some updates. A lot has happened since my first VATMOSS post (which you can read here if you need a bit of background on what this is about. If you sell digital content online, this concerns you).

I will be getting things off Gumroad, etc, before New Years, and know what a lot of fantastic individual creators,  small presses, and small businesses of different sorts will be calling curtain, and that is a horrible, backwards thing.

I’ll update a few categories here: Campaign updates; International; Third-Party Platforms; and Emailing Files.

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VATMOSS Updates and Twitter storm – UK and EU creators, please read!

I’d been hoping to do a more in-depth followup of VATMOSS updates, but time has not allowed (if you’re not sure what VATMOSS is, see my last post, w/ info and links – if you sell digital content online – comics, fonts, knitting patterns, etc – and are in the UK/EU, this affects you).

However,  a quick post is needed anyway, for this important update:

The excellent EU VAT ACTION site are organizing a Twitter Storm for tomorrow, at 10AM GMT. Their site has fantastic and specific information on what to tweet, to who, and with what hashtags, to make the greatest impact.

Building on the petitioning and contact with HMRC in the UK, the aim of this is to push the European Commission to suspend the new regulations, before they break up over Christmas and the regulations roll in Jan 1.

Further updates as I’m able and as news becomes available, but keep an eye on the EU VAT ACTION site as well. While you’re there, please please also sign the EU-targeted petition as well.

Freelance Friday – VATMOSS

Okay! So big, important post today, targeted at UK freelancers who sell digital products, about new VAT regulations that apply to you (and other EU freelancers: this discussion regards EU-wide legislation, so any changes or thresholds are agreed in Brussels will, as far as I can tell, affect you too – you may wish to skip to Updates/What to Do Section). There’s already been a lot of incredibly valuable information, thoughts and action posted around HMRC’s new VAT changes, but I thought I’d try and collect as much good info as I could in one place, in case it’s helpful.

*Disclaimer – as always, I remind you that I am not a lawyer, and nothing I say should be considered legal advice. I’ll leave that to your lawyer and HMRC.

This is all to the best of my understanding – if you spot any errors or old information in here, please do let me know!

This’ll be quite a long post, with a bit on what VATMOSS is, what our options are, selling through third parties, Kickstarter/Patreon and donations, updates/things to do, and useful links.

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Freelance Friday – On Being Cheeky

Woah, what is this, two FF’s in a row?!

Recently I was at a coffee shop, where I ordered a coffee and a piece of delicious-looking cake, which I gazed longingly at when it was brought to the table, grabbed a forkful, and….it was awful. So, unusually for me, I plucked up the nerve to take it back to the counter, and they traded it for me, while I mentioned how sorry I was for the bother probably 20 times, and then struggled to enjoy the much-nicer replacement cake and my coffee because I was so embarrassed. And it reminded me that I’d been wanting to write this!

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Freelance Friday – Nose-to-the-Grindstone Times

Hey everyone! Gosh it’s been ages. Largely because I tend to want FF posts to be lovely things, illustrated and with time taken over them…but when time’s not there, I think I’d rather post what I can instead of leaving this series so untended! So I’ll try and do more miniposts 🙂 So, onwards!

Over the last couple of months, I’ve had a period of serious over-working.

I’m generally a big proponent of balance. I don’t think the way our work culture glamourises over-work, makes it into a virtue, is at all healthy. And I’m hoping to take some time off drawing-work at the end of this year to spend some time on business planning and examining my working and scheduling methods to help avoid it more in future. But, even then – and I may be wrong in this – I kind of think there’ll probably always be those times, now and then. Those times where you have to take extra work. Those times when you need the extra income. Those times when you get screwed over by clients’ schedules. Those times aren’t sustainable, and aren’t something to take as the norm. But those times happen…

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Freelance Friday: Interviews

Hi all, and apologies for the quietness on here lately. It’ll likely stay sporadic for the near future, but I’ll try and add some more FF thoughts, or at least some good and useful links!

I had a busy internet week, with several interview-ish thingy’s out on various sites, so I thought mentioning them here would be a good idea, especially as a couple of them relate to freelancing.

-Most relevent is this interview with Nottingham-based Bees Make Honey, (where, along with the Gumroad $1+ pay-what-you-want, you can also get the Now and Then pdf for £1- plus some other great comics!) Their Creative Startups series is all focused on creatives’ business experiences, with questions about finding clients and using agents, and there are some great resources linked at the end. Give it a read here!

-I was also happy to be featured on Comics Alliance‘s great Hire This Woman series! This is less freelance-focussed, but is about how I work and the kind of work I like to do, so hopefully also of interest! 🙂 Give it a read here!

-And this one’s not freelance-y at all, but the brilliant Comics and Cola had me on their Comics Shelfies series, and I know I’m not the only one who likes to gaze at bookshelves! You can check mine out here 🙂

-And finally, while not from the last week, there’s this recent interview on the Comics Beat, with some really thoughtful, in-depth questions that cover some freelance-relevent topics like balancing workloads, personal projects and growth, etc. Check it out here!

 

Freelance Friday update

Hello everyone!

You may have noticed the lack of posts both this week and last. Given current busy-ness (and breaks – a couple of days off is reasons on for today’s lack protest, so perhaps we should call this a post on the necessity of time off! ^_~ ), I’m going to re-label this a not-quite-weekly series for now. Keep checking back, I’ll try and still keep it fairly regular, and hopefully we can kick back into full gear in the new year! 🙂