Ian did a presentation on agencies and working with art directs etc, which I thought was very helpful (thanks Ian!)
It is always good to collaborate with other designers/agencies/clients and gallery owners and to deffinatly be doing self initiated projects, it is good to be adaptable and versile, work in new media and carry on experimenting! exchange your skills and carry on elarning things off your work partners/other illustrators. Keep supporting each other.
John Ferry said " Check list, Concept, Colour, Craftmenship, Contemporary style, Consistancy, Commitment and Confidence!
It is good to be consistant, some clients from looking at your work and know exactly what they want from you, so it is sometimes good to be fairly predictable. Always show commitment, any time you do work, get it online! on your blog website, keep people informed with what you are doing! This shows that you care about your work and want people to see it and having confidence about your won work makes clients trust you a little more, they will know that you will get the job done!
There are lots of skills to have to become a good free lance illustrator other than image making, things such as good manners, time management, networking skills etc, etc.
When working with art directors, we should always ask cetain questions about the commission, just incase they don't mention it to you, always ask for sixe of the image, colours, print run, fee and most importantly the deadline! You have to make sure you are able to do this piece of work by the deadline you are set and if not, be honest and tell them! They may give you some extra time. Also find out when roughs need to be sent off for approval.
Don't assume that they are more expierenced than you! (but don't be arragant)
And ask if they have any ideas that you could work with or if there is any way they imagine it to look.
Always work like a team player, try not to p**s anyone off! be flexable but don't be a pushover, as you don't want people to satrt walking all voer you and giving you impossible tasks.
Add notes to roughs, just incase things are not clear and always accept changes to your work, and always keep them informed of any problems, if it is problems with the work or time mangement.
Anything you do is yours! simple as, but always watch out for some agencies/companies that want your work for themselves, always read the contract as you can always say no, and tell them you don't agree with certain things.
Try to avoid signing all your copyright over as this can do yourself out of alot of money!
There is no copyright on style, but if you see your work somewhere you shouldn't see it, sort it out! Though if there has been 5 significant changes to a piece of work you feel is yours then there isn't alot you can do about it unfortunatly!
Working for free?
My opinion of this is that working for free is possibly a good idea at first, it could help build your portfolio and show that you are commited to what you are doing. But I probably would not do free work for the same people more than once as they might think you are abit of a pushover and will do antyhing asked. It is always a good diea to do free things while you are still studying.
You always base your free on the lenth of time the work will take, the print run, exposure, profile of the client, how much you want to do it and the going rate!
Always use a proper invoice! and always keep yourself a copy. Don't be affraid to call the accounts office just incase you haven't been paid ontime!
The pro's of being represented by an agent: They promote you, they do the leg work, they find you as much work as they can, represent you in toher countires, usually secure a higher fee for you, nervous lazy clients tent to use them, they invoice the clients for you (they do the tricky stuff!), they can act as a filter between you and the client.
I think I would like to be represented by an agent, as I'm scared of all the tricky business, invoices etc, but I suppose I would get used to it! But there are some cons, the biggest one being that they take 20%-33% of your money! (boo!)
It is best advised to only have one agent in the UK but you can have one somewhere else in the world!
But it is always best to try get some work published yourself before trying to get an agent.
I am so far happy with my promotional skills, my portfolio is getting better and better as time goes on, I am building my website which is looking pretty good so far (www.cargocollective.com/rebeccahadfield) I will be buying the URL soon. I am going to soon send off for some new business cards as I have a new number and a more professional email address and some new images to put on them, and I will be taking these to london to leave around! :)