I’m currently trying to make a name for myself as a freelance illustrator, and was approached through Instagram about an illustration job for a novel:
Client: I’m looking for an illustrator to make eight illustrations plus a cover design for a book I’m writing! I really like your work and I think it would fit what I’m looking for!
Me: So nine complete illustrations?
Me: I charge about 60 dollars for complete illustrations (I’m still trying to build a client base so cheap prices bring people in right now), so the total for all nine illustrations would be about 550 dollars.
Client: Okay, let me put together a contract and I’ll get back to you.
Client puts together contract and emails it to me. The whole thing looks good so far. I told them in would not sign the contract until I had been paid upfront for the work. A few weeks later I get another message from the client.
Client: I know we talked about a payment of 550 dollars for the illustrations, but I found another illustrator who is willing to do them with less detail for 450. Would you still be willing to the same amount of detail for 450? I need an illustrator who is affordable and serious.
Me: I would love to help you bring your vision to life, but getting paid less for my work would go against my moral standing as an artist. I’ve worked very hard to get to where I am, and I cannot compromise what I believe my art is worth.
Client: I know exactly what you mean. I’m working very hard on my novel and I wouldn’t cut any corners myself.
Me: Thank you for understanding - I’m looking forward to working with you!
Client: Oh, no. I’m going with the other illustrator. It’ll save me 100 bucks!