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How to work with an illustrator


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Hi, I’m Tony and I’ve been a seller on fiverr for over two years. I offer my services as an illustrator to buyers here on fiverr. Over all I have had an excellent experience here. The vast majority of people I have worked with have been very pleasant and I have had a lot of fun creating a variety of art I would have never thought of on my own.

One of the biggest problems I run into with my clients is lack of experience working with an illustrator. buyers simply don’t know or understand what I do, how the process works and that this is indeed how I make my living and not just a fun hobby. I know it is an issue with the general public and not just one here on fiverr. I also draw caricatures live at a resort and people are always asking me if this is what I do, or if I have another full time job.

The real discussion that I want to start here is this: What is the best way to organize a store front to inform potential buyers of how the process works without having to spend half my time educating them?

Here is how my process as an illustrator works here on fiverr:

Step 1: Buyer contacts me with an idea/project and I respond with a quote and a timeline.

Step 2: Buyer orders a $5 sketch and I create the sketch(es) based on the description of their project.

Step 3: I deliver the sketches and the customer accepts them or requests revisions. Minor revisions are made in the final art, while major revisions often require additional sketches.

Step 4: The buyer places the final order for the agreed price and I create the art based on the approved sketches and deliver the final on time.

This is how the process works if I am doing a project that involves on illustration. But if I am doing a larger project, such as a children’s book, I also have to create a book dummy, do type/text design, and at some point in the process agree to a contract.

Due to the variety of projects that I get, I don’t want to limit myself in my gig descriptions because it may turn away potential buyers.

At the top of my gig I request that buyers contact me first before placing an order. This often leads to a lot of back and forth with my clients, explaining what I do before I ever pick up a pencil and start creating. Steps one through three often take longer than actually creating the final illustration. What is the best way to communicate with potential buyers to be efficient, informative, personal, and all while providing the best customer service possible?

I have considered creating a form letter to give to my prospects, but I really feel that it takes away from the personal interaction and the customer service. I want people to know they are talking to a real person.

What are your thoughts?

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  • 2 months later...

Hello Tony,

I’m a writer looking for an illustrator and all I say is that l am confused from the outset. Some people offer full copy-writes while other retain them. The extras are confusing where vital information is not available. I cannot find anything or guidance on what to look for or agree upon so it would seem that each gig is a matter of hit or miss.

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I think yours is a good method of offering services, giving an easy access to profesional illustrations (by the way, they are really good) for a logical price (low price for the sketch and idea and higher but still cheap price for its making). I see it logical to explain it to potential buyers, too.

However, I think the problem it is not on the “how” but on the “what”. As you said, costumers doesn’t understand that your works are your job and not a hobby. That is because they don’t know that a good illustration is important for a book, or how many hours do you spend on making a drawing, or how many years of studying do you have to pass to get all the theory and technique you need for being a good illustrator. I understand them though, since nobody teaches you how to be a freelance and illustrators often go unnoticed.

Maybe trying to explain what is an illustration would solve the problem. But it is still hard.

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Very professionally explained;however, not all sellers respond to ideas or questions.

I have inquired of some that never returned an answer. I have purchased gigs that were

never completed. You may have your standards, but not all do. The fear is that you start a book with one illustrator and half way through they stop!. What is the recourse for the

buyer? There may also be a language problem with some sellers. So far I have met some great illustrators. Smiles, 🙂

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