Book I illustrated now available



  • Just thought I'd share this since it's finally out. This was an interesting project, only 6 weeks (over xmas) total while trying to emulate the style of the other illustrator in the series. I had base sketches provided by the art director at Green Toys, plus feedback from the art director at the publisher. A learning experience for sure, but it did pay well:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01HG36N4A/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474017907&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=mixed+up+trucks&dpPl=1&dpID=41Ogh3DjZdL&ref=plSrch



  • @natiwata Congrats! Looks great!



  • @natiwata Anything in particular that you learned?



  • Congrats! Very cool.



  • This looks fantastic Nat! Congrats on the work and what sounds like a great experience. My nephew loves trucks, so I'm going to buy one of his Birthday.



  • @natiwata Just ordered it - looking forward to seeing your work!



  • Congrats @natiwata It looks great! I'll have to get one for my little guy. Did you get royalties too?



  • Congratulations! I too am curious to know some of the lessons you learned.



  • Thanks everyone!

    @Charlie-Eve-Ryan - Unfortunately there were no royalties attached to this project, but I did view it as a solid job. I debated whether or not I should share this, but I think it's useful to the community to say what the job paid. It was a 6 week contract and paid a total of $15k. I got $5k upfront, $5k after the first pass of all pages were finished, and the remaining $5k when art was final. Even though this was at a difficult time over the holidays, financially it was worth doing at the time.

    @QuietYell @Joy-Heyer - Lessons learned:

    I can get paid to explore a new style - One of the coolest things I learned was how to develop a style using the lasso tool and more texture brushes. For this project I was supposed to try and match the style of the the other, which was a good exercise but kind of hard and soul crushing too. The great thing was after the fact I was able to incorporate some of the new methods into my own style and make them mine.

    Being easy to work with can trump experience - I originally bid for this project and got turned down because the publisher wanted to use a very experienced illustrator. This person was good, way better than me. He'd worked on major animated movies and other books, so I wasn't surprised. Well, a couple of months went by and then I got a call from the publisher asking me if I would still be interested in doing the project. Apparently they had a lot of difficulty communicating with this person, so I got to pinch hit! I had worked with this publisher before and they knew that we got along well and that I always try and hit my deadlines with no fuss. A great lesson to learn!

    6 weeks is too short to do a 32 page picture book! I don't think I would do this on this timeline again, maybe if I wasn't also working full time at the game studio. It was pretty rough, usually 3-4 hours of sleep a night. I was a zombie!

    Taxes suck! Don't just say you'll set 30% aside for taxes, actually do it and leave it alone. Enough said.



  • @natiwata That's an awesome flat rate. Nice job on landing it after the other artist. Talented, nice and reliable go a long way. And way to go on killing it and busting it out in a short time over the holiday and in someone else's style to boot!! Taxes, GRRRRR!



  • It's cool that there is a built in potential audience too, because of it being a toy through Green Toys. Who was the publisher?



  • @natiwata Great insights! Thank you so much for sharing and for your openness.

    Yeah, trying to do someone else's style is painful. Having made a quick glance at what I assumed were the other books, you did a great job! Glad you learned some new tricks in the process!

    Relationships, cordiality, respect, discipline, reliability, etc. are all so important. I completely agree that I preferred to contract or partner with people I liked working with rather than difficult-to-work-with people. So glad that they saw such in you and were willing to "take a risk". I assume that this project went well in their eyes. If it went super-well, then it might be worth attempting to get a written testimony from them as to your work, work ethic & such.

    I bet that 6 weeks was quite rough. I know those kind of projects! At 42 days, that's 1 pages per 1.3 days, and that's not counting the cover nor admin, edits, etc. Whew... Good job finishing!

    Taxes do suck.



  • very nice! congratulation!



  • Awesome Nat! Congratulations. Well deserved, your work is amazing and I can't wait to get a copy. Also, thank you for the solid advice and for shedding some light on the this cloudy subject of $$ and time spent.



  • So great thanks for sharing!



  • @natiwata Got the book - i know it is not your personal style but it is still awesome! Can't believe you did these in six weeks!! Great work!



  • @natiwata awesome job! I can't believe 6 weeks (ok, yes I do believe it but that sounds crazy)!

    Sounds like the paycheck was maybe better than average for a "non-name" like yourself? I guess I was under the impression that about 1/3 of that was standard. So big kudos for landing that!

    Or am I wrong on average pay?



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  • Beautiful work! It looks amazing! Kudos for being able to crank this out on such an aggressive timeline. Also, thank you for sharing your experience as well. It helps a lot. Projects move so fast, it is good to take that "lessons learned" moment. :)



  • @BradAYoo Thanks, I hope it does help to share some financial info. Money is so often shrouded in mystery with this stuff which can lead to illustrators being paid less because they don't know how much their work is worth. I've really appreciate how transparent @Lee-White is about money talk.

    @Kevin-Longueil You bought the book?! That's awesome, thanks Kevin!

    @mattramsey I think $10k-$15K is decent pay for a full 32 page picture book. I couldn't imagine doing it for $5k, seeing as how much work it was and that there were no royalties.