Client: Do you offer an educational discount on your rates?
Me: Oh, are you an educational institution?
I’ve been a graphic designer and illustrator for around 20 years. For the last four I’ve been freelancing. With all of the uncertainty in healthcare and the economy, I thought I should start trying to find some steadier work. I applied to a job on Craigslist (yeah, I KNOW) with my resumé and a link to two portfolios (my business and my personal website). The position was with a puzzle book publisher.
Client: Congrats, you made it to the second round of applicants! We just need to you take an art test.
The test was comprised of designing a newer, flashier cover for one of their puzzle books and drawing an illustration for one of their puzzles. They send an old Illustrator file for me to use as a template for the cover and a screenshot of the puzzle.
My alarm bells went off and I basically emailed them back saying I was uncomfortable doing artwork on spec and that if they couldn’t see from my portfolios and my resumé that I was experienced enough to at least interview, then we were probably not a good fit.
I think that’s the most polite way to say “I think you’re trying to get a free design out of me.”
I love it! Can you do 7-10 more like it for your cheapest rate?I love it! Can you do 7-10 more like…
A client asked me to design a logo for something and I agreed. When it came time for payment, I had to constantly hound them. After weeks of constant reminders, I finally received payment with this note:
Client: Sorry! I’m bad at remembering these kinds of things!
I wonder how phone bills, rent, and everything else gets paid for then.
I do freelance illustration as a hobby. Because it’s a side thing, my prices aren’t high: just $20 for a lineart sketch and $35 for colored.
Client: I’d like the cheapest commission option.
Me: Okay, what do you want?
Client: I want a design of my character, but can you color the sketch?
Me: I’d have to charge more for that.
Client: but you just have to put color on it! It won’t be hard.
Me: Yes it will.
Client: I could do that in five minutes, so why can’t you just charge the uncolored price for it?
I want a website that WOWs me. It should be better than NOKIA’s. My budget is $200.I want a website that WOWs me. It should…
I design and make custom dance outfits. One client, upon realising that I not only wanted to be paid for the materials but also insisted on being paid an hourly fee (as per the contract they had already signed) gave me some suspect career advice:
Client: You could waive that fee if your deadbeat husband just worked a little harder. Why should I pay you to do your hobby?
1. This is my actual job, not just a hobby. These costumes pay my bills.
2. I don’t have a husband.
Client: Hey we moved to a new web host, but we want you to keep all the hard parts of the website running – we just won’t pay you for it.
Me: Uhh… Well, you were a long-time client so we can keep it up going for a short period until you can fully transition.
Six months go by…
Client: Hey can you make a few changes to the site?
Me: You mean the one I’m hosting for free while you “transition”?