9. Be confident when talking about money
Lots of editorial organisations have set fees they pay for the work of an artist. Previously, this used to be measured by size, but this now tends to be reflective of workload and time constraints.
At The Guardian, all commissions are treated the same, regardless of gravitas of subject or the artist we use. However, the fee will be slightly higher for a one-day turnaround (often the case with commissions for the opinion pages). This is to reflect the pressure on delivery and constraints – knowing that the artist wouldn’t be able to take on another project that day.
10. Be honest about your workload and commitments
If you don’t feel able to complete the commission, let the client know. It’s best to limit damage where possible. Highlighting concerns early on doesn’t make you vulnerable, it makes you professional.
Honesty makes for a healthier working relationship. It’s really obvious to the commissioner when something isn’t a creative’s sole focus, and that’s OK, but it’s a bad idea to take on too much work if it’ll affect the quality. Through transparent conversation, I know about our regular artists’ work and life commitments, and will keep this in mind when commissioning. It’s great to be able to work flexibly around an artist and accommodate their situation.
11. Deliver the best quality possible
Try not to over-promise or oversell what you do. There should be an internal slider of time, fee and amount of work.
If you do the artworking to the standard you want the work portrayed, this will save time on the commissioner’s side – and that will only ever reflect well on you and your integrity. Often in editorial, the print colour profiles will vastly differ; however, preparing your artwork in CMYK (for print) and (RGB) digitally will really help control your desired outcome.