Nowadays, it’s rush up and finish what I have on my work table so I can jump to the next project that comes along.
Most of the time, it’s a waiting game of sorts. Most of the people I deal with on my freelance gigs tend to act like they couldn’t be bothered, yet, they take up much of my time when it comes to negotiating with my skills for their project.
Illustration jobs for books tend to be somewhat shady. Lot’s of grays. My idea of sourcing out your illustration needs is this: it’s either you have a Creative Director and list down instructions for the illustrations you require – point by point, angles, number of characters , etc – or you could give me the script and let me draw them how I understand the story. When you give me a script it is bound to be an artist’s interpretation, not someone else’s idea of how the drawing should be.
And most of the time I followed this line of thinking, it worked.
Now I’m holding onto some scripts with the illustrations done with and inked. Sure I got my down payment. Had to make sure this project doesn’t end up like what most freelance jobs I did – botched payments, rates scaled way down, and worse, some are still unpaid. The last I heard from this project was “OK”.
Which is not okay really, because with my experience with this publishing, there are gray areas that need to be addressed. So I finished this stack. And I wait for someone to inform or ask me when can I submit the finished illustrations.
Last Sunday I sent sms telling them that I’m done, which is really a dead giveaway that they have to prepare the balance for this particular gig.
And all I got was “OK”.
Like I said, lots of grays.
That was last Sunday. Monday came and went – no calls.
You’d think accepting jobs for a publishing firm will give you black and whites.
So this morning I missed a call. And the reason was, I was in transit and I was informed, that someone in management wants to “talk” to me.
They know I finished the job already. An email would have sufficed since I scrimp and save just so I can keep myself online. Asked them to call me in the afternoon, but, and I hate to repeat myself, they act like they couldn’t be bothered. If someone wants to “talk” to me, only means they want to negotiate something.
How can they teach values if they don’t even value the skills and talent of writers and artists? Those in their employ are dwindling in numbers. I only accepted this freelance job because the old lady is nice enough, but to have cut the rate down, and now I’m skeptical about the balance, it’s just so insensitive of them to think they can just call me in the middle of something and drop everything so that they can “negotiate” the terms again.
Feels like a commuter patiently waiting in line at an MRT station, for a train to come, only to be told that there are no more trains.
I find ways to do a project, even take the necessary measures to finish early. But to have this one done and not getting any calls for balance payments, whew, I have got to get me some new projects.
I don’t have to go and tell them what I think.
But I think I’ll hold on these illustrations for the meantime.