I think this is of everyone's interest so I like to share with you PACT *Professional Artist-Client Toolkit*
PACT will be a tool to help freelance fantasy, sci-fi, and comic book illustrators negotiate a better living wage for themselves.
Hi, my name is Jim Pavelec. I have been a freelance illustrator in the fantasy genre for 15 years.
Throughout my career I have watched contracts get progressively worse for artists, and our pay stagnate or even decrease. We all saw it happen, and we all complained to each other about it, but nobody did anything about it.
I decided to give a lecture at the 2012 Illuxcon symposium regarding the state of freelance illustration for fantasy and sci-fi artists. I wanted the panel to be a forum for ideas on how we could affect positive change in the industry.
I gathered fellow artists Todd Lockwood, Randy Gallegos, Aaron Miller, and Mike Sass to join me on the panel, and to brainstorm beforehand on some ideas. What we came up with was the idea of a website. You can hear about the inception of the website and the entire Illuxcon panel on the Drawn Today podcast:
or via this YouTube version.
I know you're thinking,"Oh great, another website where I have to post my images." Not to worry... that is not what this website will be about.
First and foremost, the website will be geared towards improving the standards for artists within the fantasy, science fiction, and comic book genres.
The site will be broken up into a free area, and a pay area. The free area will be a resource destination for illustrators.
In this section you will find:
- A definitions page of terms you may come across in a contract.
- Downloadable sample contracts, drafted by our lawyer, that you can use as a tool to start combating the proliferation of work-for-hire contracts. You won't always be able to negotiate out of work-for-hire clauses, but when you can, it will be nice to have professional documents to send to your clients.
- A downloadable PDF of Randy Gallegos' document "A Guide For Publishers Learning How to Commission Illustration." This document is the most comprehensive piece I've read on educating clients about rights, what it takes on the artist's end to make good art, and what good art costs.
- A list of the companies that are reviewed in the members area.
Yearly membership to the site will be $29, but for our Indiegogo supporters we have something special in mind. For $29 you will get a Two Year Membership! You will be given access to the site four months before its official launch. You will be able to provide feedback to help create a site that suits your wants and needs. You will have early access to all of the features and resources listed below. A forum will be set up during this Beta phase where you can discuss what you like and what you don't like.
The membership area will provide a ratings page. Imagine it as an Angie's Listspecifically for genre illustrators. There you can anonymously (or openly if you prefer) rate the companies that you have worked for along four different criteria:
- Contract Terms
- Amount of Pay
- Timeliness of Pay
- Ease of Work
Once you have given a score for each category, they will be averaged to make a final score for that company, which will then average into the scores that other artists have given this company. You will also be allowed to give a brief description for why you gave each rating. These descriptions will be available for other members to view.
You will be able to vote for each job that you have done for a company. Since many companies have multiple lines and art directors, your experience may vary from job to job, so the company's rating should reflect that. We will ask, though, that you do not mention art directors by name, and that you keep your descriptions courteous and professional. Any personal attacks will be removed by the website administrators.
We feel that this will allow members to make a more informed choice about which companies they choose to work for. Does that company pay on time? Does their pay meet a favorable industry standard? All of the stats to answer these kinds of questions will be at your fingertips.
Additionally, the members area will have a news page in which we will keep you updated on the actions of the companies in the industry (much like we have been doing on our facebook page). We will inform you when there is encouraging news on the horizon, bring attention to practices we feel are questionable, and report on everything in between.
The members section will also contain articles and interviews featuring industry professionals from both sides of the table. You will get to hear from artists and art directors alike as to their experiences in the business, and how they feel things can be improved.
We hope PACT will be a forum that benefits the industry overall, in a respectful, inclusive way, and with the involvement of our client-partners.
Finally, a page will be available where we explore solutions to the various problems we face. We will delve into the areas of contracts, spec work, contests, copyright, alternative revenue streams, the Fair Use Act, and many more. Here we hope to get your feedback in order to create viable solutions to these problems.
This will also help us create a thorough FAQ section.
This site will not be a place where freelancers go to bash companies, but a place where we can learn to be more professional, to promote an appreciation and more respectful attitude toward the work we do, and encourage companies to treat us in a more professional and economically viable way.
The site will be constructed by Tecture tecture.com/, a fantastic Chicago based web development company. They are real pros, which means nightly on-site back up and weekly off-site backup, as well as monthly maintenance. With Tecture in our corner we will be able to grow the site in any direction we need, and you will not have to worry about security, crashes, or an amateurish looking site. But, professionalism costs money (which is kind of the entire point of this endeavor), so the majority of the funds raised through the Kickstarter will go to pay for the building and maintenance of the site.
THE WHY SO MUCH?
Why do we need to raise $45,000 for a website? To begin with, we will be delivering a top of the line, bug free, slick, and user friendly website, and that costs about $25,000. On top of that, we have hired lawyers to draft sample contracts for your use, as well as using them to make the site air tight, so that no one can come along and sue us and shut us down before we even get rolling. As you know, unlike artists, lawyers know what they are worth, and charge for every minute of their time. But in this case, that's fine, because they will be fighting for us.
Also, we have to package and ship all of the rewards, which takes considerable time, and takes a chunk out of the money we raised.
Finally, once the site is live we will have to moderate it. This means time away from paying gigs. It would be hypocritical of me to ask people to work on moderating the site for free. The whole point of this endeavor is to help people get paid what they are worth, and that is what I will do, and that is why we need the funds.
HOPE WE CAN FUND THIS PROJECT, AS I THINK ITS VERY INTERESTING FOR ILLUSTRATORS, ARTIST AND ASPIRING ILLUSTRATORS! <3