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Navigating Contracts

Lesson 9 from: FAST CLASS: Working Successfully with Clients: A Class for Illustrators and Designers

Lisa Congdon

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Lesson Info

9. Navigating Contracts

Lesson Info

Navigating Contracts

All right. The contract. Um, So once you've settled on Creative direction, a timeline that both you and the client agreed on and a fee that meets your bottom line. You want to write all of those things down into an agreement. I'm gonna use the words agreement and contract interchangeably. They're essentially the same thing. So any written agreement, um contract sounds more formal, but a written agreement is really basically a contract in some ways, emails or contracts because they're written communication between people. But you really want to have a separate contract. And we're gonna talk about contracts. Now, as I mentioned, I read a book called Art, inc The Essential Guide to building your career as an artist. And this book has a whole section on contracts and um goes into a little bit more language and depths around contacts, but we're going to cover them now and what should go in them. It also stipulates everything you're responsible for delivering and by when. So the terms of the...

contract, the length the rights how much the client is required to pay you and by when they also as she said, protect you legally. So, the client is obligated to pay you. They are your protection. Okay, 99% of the folks who reach out to you and hire you are legitimate businesses with fantastic ethical practices, but you may engage with a client who disappears. This has happened to people I know or attempts not to pay you in these rare but real cases, the contract is your legal protection even with your best most ethical clients. Your contract is your legal protection. Okay so you always want to sign a contract before you begin a job. Always you also want to prepare your own contract or written agreement in the case the client doesn't have one. So most of the time your client we'll have a contract for you to sign. I'd be a little cautious if they don't. But in some cases you're working with small businesses right? Who have never hired an artist or a photographer, a designer to do anything before. So most corporate clients at a certain level will have a contract or understand the importance of contracts. And so it's sort of like not an issue Because they're going to expect you to sign one. They're gonna expect you to ask to sign one where contracts are sometimes more important are with those sort of medium size to small businesses who maybe this is the first time they've ever worked with an illustrator. They don't even understand what rights they are entitled to, what rights you're entitled to. So writing all of those things down is especially important when you're working with a client who's never really done this, worked with an artist or a photographer designer before. So the graphic artists guide guild handbook to pricing and ethical guidelines. Um also has a section that has boilerplate contracts in it. The contract that I used for my own illustration work. Um is derived from a boilerplate blake contract in the handbook and I sort of took it and took out the parts that I felt like were the most important and simplified them and put them into my own agreement. So whenever the client doesn't have a contract, I make sure that I have one.

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