In 2019 autumn I gathered all my inner strength and posted a few of my illustrations in a Facebook group, asking whether the people in that particular illustration group thought I was good enough to be an illustrator or if there are any areas where I need to develop, their thoughts are very much appreciated.
I got a surprisingly great overall response – basically everyone loved my work and said that whether or not I like to admit but I am already an illustrator. I was blown away by the love and appreciation my art works received in that group! From that single post I got 3 job offers to illustrate children’s books!
Unfortunately my post was deleted by an admin since they didn’t allow that kind of questions in their group so I lost contact with 2 of my possible partners however, one wrote a private message as soon as she saw my art work.
She was very enthusiastic about dot paintings in general, she was a yoga teacher for children (very much admirable work) and she was in the process of writing and publishing her first book on the subject!
I got very enthusiastic about it, not only because this could have been the first time my art work got published but also because I have been doing yoga for many years now and even considered to become a teacher myself – but then I chose dot painted illustrations! 😀
So we immediately clicked and had a lot in common, she was from Poland but she has lived in England and my mum lives there, too so we even thought of a possible chance to meet up some day in the future.
So I wrote down all of the story and it became a really long, boring explanation of how things went the wrong way so I decided to share only some key points of why the collaboration of her writing and my illustrations didn’t happen. If you would like to hear the whole story, I talked about this experience in a video where I said all that has happened between us:
- She was a first time publisher and she didn’t know what she wanted, she spent days writing to me about basically not knowing anything about publishing a book while she expected me to figure out what could be best for her and already work on illustrations before even she knew what she wanted.
- She didn’t want to sign a contract.
- She wanted exclusivity not only on the pieces I made for her but also on me as an illustrator (she didn’t want me to work for anybody else in the UK).
- For that she was willing to pay me about €2/hour (that’s how much it came out at the end when she finally sat down to think about how many pages and what sizes she will need from me).
- She changed her mind all the time and then said that she didn’t mean it like that earlier.
- She asked for multiple skecthes before we agreed on anything.
So after one week of wasting my time and energy I finally have had enough when I realized that she would want to pay me about €2/hour for all of my services and then I wished her all the best in finding another illustrator and said to her that I was not the best candidate for her needs. She had a hard time accepting that but eventually she let go.
And I haven’t been looking for any other opportunities since then.
Why am I writing about this?
First of all I hope that if I get it all out of my chest, I will be able to gather my self-confidence once again and offer my illustration services. I also hope that if any authors, poets, bloggers or other sorts of writers read my article, they will get some ideas of how not to approach an illustrator. I think I should follow up with a “How to approach an illustrator” article and I think I will 🙂
And finally I hope to let my follow illustrators know that even though we would all love to get amazing opportunities and make the world a better place with our illustrations, there is a line that should not be crossed.
Please let me know in the comments section how would you have dealt with this situation? Do you think I should have accepted the offer?
Have a great day,
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