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Old 04-27-2005, 02:10 PM   #1
spades
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Start-up Art Business help

I am about to start freelancing and then eventually starting a small media studio. I have never actually worked in the feild professionally before, so I'm totally clueless when I comes to protocol. Things like the standard way of dealing with clients, standard fees and standard expect project duration.

I really would appreciate help from anyone knows about things like this. So if anyone who has started a small multimedia business are is apart of one, does'nt mine me asking a few questions please holla back.

p.s. any online resources on this would be cool


thanx

Last edited by spades : 04-27-2005 at 02:25 PM. Reason: p.s.
 
Old 04-28-2005, 02:50 AM   #2
Lunatique
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One thing I have learned early on is to pick your clients carefully. If you are desperate, people will smell it and take advantage of you. Be confident in your ability, and deliver what you signed on to do. Get everything in writing, but always keep in mind that a contract won't mean a thing if the company files bankruptcy. If a Chapter 11 is filed, you probably will never see a dime of the money they owe you. This is why you pick your clients carefully. Research the company you're about to do work for, and if possible, track down the people who has doen work with them as ask them for their opinion of this client.

As a rule of thumb, I never quote prices--I let them make an offer. If they offer too little, then I quote a price.

Always try to keep the copyright to the work you do if possible. Or at least, the right to display the work you do on your own website or in demo reels.

Take NDA's seriously. They WILL sue you if you screw up.

No matter how small the project, or how feeble the fee, you do your best on every gig. You can only build a reputation if you always do your best work.

Take deadlines seriously. Nothing ruins reputation faster than failed deadlines.

As far as project duration goes--you can only set that standard yourself. Everyone's speed is different. Of course, the faster you are, the more clients you'll get (unless your work really sucks). In today's market, many studios promise impossible delivery dates just to out-bid other studios. That is a vicious and harmful way to operate, and I wish people would cut that sh#t out. It makes life a living hell for employees when owners of studios pull that stunt. Clients should also be more realistic with their expectations of turnaround time.
 
Old 04-28-2005, 03:20 AM   #3
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spades--

I highly recommend you investing in a book that will be a keepsake as you begin your path for your business:

Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines

The retail price in which I bought it (11th edition) was $34.95 usd ($54.99 can). I still have to reread through it because the legal mumble-jumble throws me in a loop, but I do highlight important facts so I can place it in my contracts.

And if you are to happen to have some people working for you, please choose your staff carefully as you would a client. A client may stiff you, but a partner will rob you blind. Please, take it from me. Even if they are family.

As for online resources, it's as simple as plugging in the keywords into your favorite search engine. You're new best friend just may be www.gag.org .

Good luck!
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:16 AM   #4
spades
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Thanx Lunatique and Furneral Laugh nice tips.
 
Old 04-28-2005, 08:35 PM   #5
JA-forreal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spades
I am about to start freelancing and then eventually starting a small media studio. I have never actually worked in the feild professionally before, so I'm totally clueless when I comes to protocol. Things like the standard way of dealing with clients, standard fees and standard expect project duration.



I really would appreciate help from anyone knows about things like this. So if anyone who has started a small multimedia business are is apart of one, does'nt mine me asking a few questions please holla back.

p.s. any online resources on this would be cool


thanx






I like to learn how others approach the business of cg art too as marketing processes and outlets change quite often with digital media.

I use my 3d art designs as art content for web and other media promotions. You have to settle on a production process and art style. This art style becomes your art style "brand" that only you can offer to clients. Also it is easier to set up a production system based on styles of brands than for many different styles of service products that are disconnected by topic. For example if you are showing work for a series that's using a "Chrome" style of design topic then don't add the "Green Forest" styled series to the "Chrome" series. You may have other artistic styles to choose from so include these in a flip book but always connect them to one topic of use per set of images. It is also easier to match a clients needs to a service with a method like this. You can hook up your IT client to the "Chrome" series and the organic cleaning product client to the "Green Forest" series of design offerings.

You can make these series as complex in their detail of offerings as you want them to be. You can go wild with your art designs within these limits. And you can build these series up with practical topic offerings that can be altered later to be custom fitted to a businesses needs. Don't assume that your clients won't want to see prepared designs. Don't assume anything and always be prepared for everything. Work like small business but think and operate like a corporation. Computers make this possible.

I learned the hard way just throwing my stuff out there just because it looked good. Your art is a product like any other product or service so package it accordingly. I was so "small town" "ye ole graphic art shoppe" when I started out.

Clients like to see your art in a practical application not just as random pretty pictures without function. Define everything that you have to offer and serve it up in a practical application like a mock ad if one piece you are showing is not from previously commissioned work. To get ideas check out out retail products that use art for branding. Some clients do not want their work to be used in your promotions. Ask before using any of the work that you did for your clients for promotions.

There are more ways to operate than mentioned here, but I have found these steps to work as a good foundation in the beginning.

I hope that this helps along with the other folks great tips.
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Last edited by JA-forreal : 04-28-2005 at 08:40 PM.
 
Old 04-28-2005, 08:35 PM   #6
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