All right, the contract. 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. Contract sounds more formal, but a written agreement is really basically a contract. In some ways emails are 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 goes into a little bit more language and depth around contracts, but we're gonna cover them now and what should go in them. So why, why are contracts important? Why do we care if we have a contract or not?
It keeps you and your wor...
Yeah, it keeps you and your work protected. You... It also stipulates everything you're responsible for delivering and by when. So the terms of the contract, the language, the rights, how much the client is required to pay you and by when. They also, as she said, protect you legally so that the client is obligate 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, 'kay? So you always want to sign a contract before you begin a job, always. You also want to prepare you own contract or written agreement in the case the client doesn't have one. So most of the time, your client will 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've never hired an, a artist or a photographer or 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 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're entitled to, what rights you're entitled to. So writing all those things down is especially important when you're working with a client who's, who's never really done this, worked with an artist or a photographer or designer before. So the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook to Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, also has a section that has boilerplate contracts in it. The contract that I used for my own illustration work is derived from a boiler plate 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.