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company/client illustrating concern

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Hey again, everyone!

I have another illustrating question-this is more of a concern/woe...and if this should go in a different area I'm sorry and I hope it is moved.

I recently did an art test for a company that said they would get back to me the first week of September...  :turnblue well, that was then and this is now and I emailed them a week ago asking about the issue and I still haven't heard anything. I think I'm going to email them again but was wondering if anyone has ever had similar experiences/client issues? I have heard quite a few horror stories about this kind of thing.

The paranoid part of my brain is wondering if I've been duped-them taking my test and running with it...and the rational part of my brain wonders that if the company didn't end up wanting my services because of the test then wouldn't they at least send a rejection email? just a happenstance of life as an illustrator I guess...and frustrating one at that. :banghead
#1 - September 20, 2013, 12:52 PM

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How frustrating, Amanda! I'm not the most experienced at this sort of thing so hopefully someone else will speak up, but my take is this: As long as you have some kind of obvious email trail, a respected company would be pretty stupid to steal your work since you could prove that they did so.

If it was me, I'd definitely email them again at least once. I'd also investigate if there was any way to contact them as well. If you found them through someone else or another service, I'd contact THEM as well. I'd recommend going with the "I'm worried that the company may not have received my time-sensitive email; could you advise me how to get in touch with them?"

If you still haven't heard from them after a decent amount of time and effort (for me, this would be a few weeks), then I'd send them a follow-up email containing the full thread of your correspondence/attempts and say that since if you haven't heard anything, you're assuming that they AREN'T interested and are going to use the art elsewhere.

Fingers crossed for you!

Debbie
#2 - September 21, 2013, 05:09 AM
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Thanks, Debbie!

I just sent another email so we'll see what happens I guess  :P Thank you for all your suggestions!  ::-)
#3 - September 23, 2013, 07:07 AM

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I do some freelance illustration and graphic design, but not in the publishing industry, so this may not apply. But I would almost never send an unknown client any significant artwork without an agreement and a deposit of a portion of our agreed-upon fee. If they continue to be unresponsive, you could try sending them a bill - that often gets people's attention, but might not be feasible depending on what terms you were working under.
#4 - September 23, 2013, 07:35 AM

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Not an illustrator, but I've run into something similar editing non-fiction books when a client is considering several people and asking me to edit a chapter as a sample. Sometimes the client is just clueless, but there's a danger that the request comes from a sleazeball asking for different sample edits of different chapters from a dozen freelancers and then not selecting any of the freelancers, thereby getting the book edited for free. In my response to such requests, I note that because of the copyright issue, there will be a fee for doing a sample edit of more than a few hundred words (250 to 500, depending).

And FWIW, my proposal/letter of agreement for any project notes that I retain the copyright to the edited copy "until the client's payment is successfully deposited" ("successfully deposited" being code for "clears the bank").
#5 - September 23, 2013, 07:52 AM

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 :sigh Thanks for all the replies, AnneB & Anthony. It was an art test for a UK company- I assumed it was literally just an art test to see if they liked my work enough to continue working with me on future projects. I did a small portion of a would-be larger project and no money was exchanged. I've done art tests before and just assume this is standard practice for companies that want to gauge if an artist is a good fit for them or not.

I don't think I should go into details but I did sign an agreement. It just bugs me that if they didn't like the art test I sent them and didn't plan to ask me to work with them I feel they should at least send me an email saying so. Even the shortest email possible would be nice at this point.  :-\

#6 - September 25, 2013, 11:43 AM

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