advice for incoming clients
Have a clear vision, but be flexible and open to change.
Know what you're looking for. Sometimes clients come to me knowing exactly what they want, and others come seeking guidance and ideas. Both of these scenarios are okay, but I encourage you to think deeply about what it is you are looking for before starting a project with me.
Giving me total "creative freedom" does not always work and is not my preferred method of working together. The truth is, everyone has something in mind when they imagine what it is they are looking for. Please communicate this with me. Even if it's just a shape or a color scheme. Help me, help you by giving me ideas and explaining your vision. I LOVE when clients send me a sketch (doesn't need to be good, obviously!). Reference photos are super helpful as well. Send me pieces of my work you like and why you like it. Feel free to send me other inspiration you find as well, but know that I will not copy art from others, but rather we can pull inspiration from them: Examples, a color you like, or overall composition of a piece (shapes, sizes, colors, etc.) Together, we must create concepts of our own.
On the other hand, maybe you have a very clear vision of what you would like your design to look like. I ask that you come into the process with an open mind and trust my judgment as an artist. I may suggest changes in order to produce a design that best meets the needs of the project.
Communicate clearly and concisely. Especially when giving revisions feedback.
When I am starting a project or working through revisions on a project, I am looking back at your ideas and feedback. It is much easier for me to absorb all of the information when it is delivered in a concise manner, rather than me digging through email chains trying to find all the points you've made. It's no fun working on revisions when I get another message part way through with another idea and need to work backwards.
When sending me feedback, take some time to think through all of your thoughts and even sleep on it if needed. Then, send me a concise list of your revision request. During a project, I give 3 rounds of revisions included in the cost. After 3 rounds, there are additional charges. So make sure you think through everything you want to share with me for that round to make it count!
Think bigger than just the project. Think about your brand as whole- what other design assets could support your business?
While it's a longer process and greater investment to start, it is important to think about how your project can be supported long term by other design elements included in your project. Often, clients will return back to me wanting to create a second version of their design, request more color options or additional elements to connect branding. Example: Let's say I create some packaging designs for your coffee roasting company. But then, you realize you need to return for more work to keep the branding cohesive. Example: shipping package designs, website illustration, Instagram highlight covers, apparel/ sticker design.
If you think in advance about your brand and project needs, we can bring cohesive character to several of your products and bundle these together in a project. This is helpful for me as the artist, because I can envision all of these objectives together, finding creative and strategic ways for them to flow with one another. This is helpful for you, because it allows you to get more work completed at once, you are secured in my schedule (might be booked out when you return for more work) and you pay less than you would to work several different projects.
Consider becoming a retainer client.
If you are happy with the process and end result of working with me and wish to have regular work created, consider working with me on a regular basis by becoming a retainer client. When we work together on a consistent basis, you gain support from me, cohesive branding, retainer pricing and priority in my schedule. Plus, we get to build a long term working relationship, which is fun and helps me create even better art for you.
Communicate with your printers.
Whether it's a T shirt design, product packaging, a vehicle wrap, a laser cut sign, etc. There are always limitations and specifications in the printing and production process. For example, if you are going to have a T shirt screen printed, it generally costs more per additional color and most printers wont print more than 10 colors. If you are getting packaging designs, they likely have specific file sizes or ratios they need for production. They sometimes even have templates that should be shared with the designers.
Find out all the information you can about specifications your printers need before starting a project.
How much will my project cost?
Prices vary depending on timeline, scope and usage. You will be given a quote once I've gathered enough information on your project via a follow up questionnaire I will send you.
What is the difference between owning and licensing a design?
When you purchase the rights to own a design, I am handing over the copy rights to the artwork and you are then able to do what you wish with it. This option is best if the design we are creating has your branding in it (your business name). Logos, for example, are always owned by the client when completed. Owning a design costs more money, because I as the artist am handing over my work and cannot benefit or profit from it going forward.
Licensing a design is when a client either has me create a custom design or chooses an existing design of mine and licenses the rights to use it for a specific use or period of time. For example, a company may like one of my designs and want to use it for 200 T shirts. I could choose to license it to them for 200 products for the next year.
Licensing costs vary based on quantity of production, brand visibility and length of contract. But generally, licensing costs are between 2.5% and 15% of gross sales. Meaning, for every item sold, the artists receives an agreed upon percentage of the selling price (gross sales, not profits) per each item sold.
Licensing agreements contracts vary from client to client to best meet their needs and the needs of the artist. Licensing agreements can be paid via a royalty or a flat rate. Royalties are paid on a regular basis, based on gross sales. Flat rates are paid in advance to be used for a quantity of products. Both ways work great and result in the same pay. It is between the artist and the client to decide which route is best. Custom designs may have an up front advantage, to help pay for the artists time before the product is generating sales.
What is your step by step process working with clients?
1. Client contacts me via email or Inquiry Form on my website (If you DM on Instagram, I will tell you to fill out my contact form)
2. I send clients to this page, to learn about working with me and send them a follow up form where they can provide me in depth details about their project, budget, timeline and more.
3. I offer the client a quote for the project and ask any follow up questions needed.
4. Once client confirms, I create and send a contract outlining the project, timeline, cost and more.
5. I send the client an invoice for a 40% deposit.
6. Once deposit is accepted, I start drafting concepts. The first concepts are almost always a rough sketch. This is the phase in the process where the client should offer me any and all feedback they have. Concept sketches are meant to give the client an overall idea of elements included, composition, size and more. It is easiest to try out different ideas during this phase before moving into line work and color.
7. Once a sketch is approved, I begin working on the line work + color. I often send a line work version to review before adding color if it makes sense to do so.
8. Gather revisions request, edit.
9. Once design is final and approved, I send an invoice for the remaining balance.
10. Once payment is received, I send over all the files in a variety of file formats (AI, PSD, JPG, PNG, etc.)
How do I become a recurring retainer client?
If you work with me on a project and decide that you would like to work with me on a more regular basis (monthly, quarterly, etc), we can have a discussion about what would work best for both parties. My ability to work with you as a recurring client will depend on my schedule, what projects I am hoping to take on and how much work you are needing. I love to take clients on a recurring basis because it allows me to think of all of our projects together as one cohesive family. I also get to build a long term working connection with you, which is very fun.
How do revisions work?
During a project, I offer 3 rounds of revisions included in the price. After 3 rounds, it will be an additional cost. This means, you should make the most of each round of revisions and thoroughly think through your feedback and deliver it to me in a clear and concise way so we do not miss anything. More about this above in the "advice to incoming clients" section.
What are your favorite things to design?
So kind of you to ask! ;) I love working on projects with clients, but I really love when it's something I am super stoked on. My favorite things to design are: apparel designs, can art, packaging, album covers and other opportunities to get really creative. I would love to be designing more fully rendered art pieces for album covers for surf event posters. As far as subject matter goes, I love working with brands/ organizations centered in: Surfing, skateboard, snowboarding (any board sport, really), brewing companies, coffee, sporting events, beachy/ tropical, sustainability, getting outdoors, spreading awareness about a cause.