Hi Daring Adventurers,
This week we are starting a series of blog post about being a professional freelance illustrator, and there is no better place to start than the proposal.
Often the first step of any project is getting the project. At the beginning of your illustration career you will have little or no client base, so you will likely be competing for jobs you find either posted on online job boards, through word of mouth, or by soliciting work from publishers. Regardless of how an illustrator finds any specific opportunities, you will need to prepare an estimate or proposal for the potential client. You will be competing with other artists for the job. Budgetary concerns may affect whether you will be commissioned to do the work. Many illustrators often underbid their work, because of the fear of their proposal being rejected. Remember price is not the sole concern of the publisher/client, but is included with your ability to deliver a quality product and meet their publishing schedule. The proposal document should include not only the price, but an estimated time of completion with certain milestone to be met. You should also devise a numbering system for your proposals in order to maintain your records. Typically, you will be bidding on a number of jobs at the same time and may have multiple proposals outstanding. The numbering system should be utilized to help you develop your working schedule and help you keep track of proposals that are still outstanding or have been rejected. Never forget that freelance illustration is a business and you should treat it as such.
Until next time Daring Adventures, keep creating and pursuing your artist careers,
– Anthony Summey