How to Price Your Freelance Services.

Two weeks ago we posted about unpaid internships and free pitching your work as a freelancer. This week’s post is a continuance of that in ways. Below are a few links and check-lists that will give you some food for thought when you are struggling with charging a client for your time and work.

The first is a chart designed by Jessica Hische and is a humorous way to figure out if you should charge a particular client.

workforfree

The second is an excellent resource by Freelance Switch. They have 12 excellent links that will help determine your price regardless of the age of your freelance business.

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03 Goldcrock

The adventures of Dradjicka and Goldcrock started one night when Dee and I were attending an evening event for the Ottawa International Animation Festival a few years back. Both of us are used to our names being mispronounced, but this mispronunciation really had us giggling. Being under strong influence of animation, we immediately fashioned our superhero identities. Later on that week while at another OIAF event with Erin, her Mosquito Mask was born. I do not remember the exact story behind Mosquito Mask, I just remember laughing extremely hard. Anyway I have finally drawn Goldrock.

To me the name, when broken up into two parts, sounds like a Golden Crocodile. That is the basic idea I started off with. I guess the typical next step would have been do decide what type of character she was I.E. is she good or evil… I for some reason did not go there. Perhaps because the “obvious” assumption was that she would be a good character. In either case I started thinning about and brainstorming what a half human half crocodile would look like. This is the basic list of characteristics I came up with.

  • A recognizably human body
  • A tail
  • Golden crocodile/human skin
  • Creature of the swamp
  • Facial features have clear non human characteristics
  • Strong legs (perhaps more of a frog attribute but I figured they are all swamp creatures so I just went with it)
  • Claws
  • A warrior

Goldcrock - initial sketchA few things came out in the initial sketch.

  1. Tail should be on the other side… it would look more natural with her posture.
  2. The scaly skin is there to protect her vital organs.
  3. Her weapon (a sharp wooden tool) is attached to her leg for easy reach…I realized after drawing it in that it must have been subconsciousness inspired by Lara Croft.
  4. She has claws which will help her navigate the swamp and fight her battles.
  5. Clothing is Amazon Warrior inspired.
  6. I should not ink the outlines… I just did not like the look.

The final is the tweaked version of the initial sketch.

finalI showed it to a friend. His first question was “is she good or bad?”…Well she does not really look like one of the “good guys” and I do not really want her to be one of the “bad guys” simply because she does not look like a stereotypical “good guy.” My fried introduced me to the “Chaotic Good Character.”

“A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society.

Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit.

Chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment when it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.”

The definition is taken from http://easydamus.com/chaoticgood.html and I think that it fits Goldcrock perfectly. What do you think? 

GK

Link

I came across “The Creativity Post” recently, and I’ve been reading a lot of their articles. I have always been very interested in psychology, and I love their articles on psychology and creativity. The most recent one I read was called Profiling Serial Creators and it had a lot of interesting points. I felt though that it contradicted what I read earlier about creative people. The article in the Creativity Posts paints creative people as pretty socially adept and happy, whereas what I’ve read in the past seemed to always portray creative people as more withdrawn, oversensitive and in their own head, which is an easy recipe for depression.

Why Pay for It if You Can Get It for Free?

UnPaidInternship

This weeks Creative Resource post may be a bit controversial in nature simply because it is a bit of a criticism. The subject is Unpaid Internships, something which seems to be increasing in popularity within certain fields. It seems to be a floating rumour, particularly in the design field, that everyone starts off being unpaid interns…that it is the only way to get a job.  A recent Globe and Mail article breaks down the potential damage this notion and trend can have on the economy. “Why should they shell out hard-earned cash to pay someone who will do the work for free?”
The article highlights many good points and even mentions that certain internships are being auctioned off to the highest bidder. THAT’S RIGHT, people have started paying employers to get hired as interns.

“On charitybuzz.com, a six-week internship at the United Nations has been bid up this week to $22,000. So far, working at Rolling Stone is worth $1,350 and a summer with designer Rebecca Taylor in New York is $1,000. (Proceeds from the auctions go to various charities).” 

Not sure if those internships are paid or not, but it still seems ridiculous.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has a section which talks about the legality of unpaid labour. They outline 6 criteria which all have to be meat in order for the unpaid internship to be legal. They are as followed:

  1. The training is similar to that which is given in a vocational school. In other words, the work you are doing is similar to instruction you would get while in vocational school.
  2. The training is for the benefit of the intern. You receive some benefit from the training, such as new knowledge or skills.
  3. The employer derives little, if any, benefit from the activity of the intern while he or she is being trained.
  4. The intern does not displace employees of the person providing the training. Your training doesn’t take someone else’s job.
  5. The intern is not accorded a right to become an employee of the employer. Your employer isn’t promising you a job at the end of your training.
  6. The intern is advised that he or she will receive no remuneration for the time that he or she spends in training. You have to be told that you will not be paid for your time.

The truth is, and the Globe and Mail article also mentions this, that not all interships are bad. There are some that are designed to educate and  give experience to the intern. These sorts of internships are valuable and worth being “hired” for. Obviously it would make the financial situation a bit tights but that should not stop these sorts of internships from being offered.

What makes the unpaid aspect of internships hard to swallow is that most of them tend to take advantage of the intern without offering much in terms of experience or education. The idea really seems to be “why pay for it if some one is willing to do it for free.” Tisk Tisk is all I have to say to that.

unpaid-internship

Ok so lets say you do not want to work for someone. You are your own boss and do as you please. How should you look at freelancing your work for free, either to gain clients or exposure?  Well there is nothing and no one that can stop you from doing this if you chose to. Personally, I think freelancers should know the value of their work and value themselves enough to ask for it. It just seems more professional. That being said I have done free work in the past. In both cases I was very clear about what it would normally cost and that I am volunteering my time and work to support the cause.  In both instances the Graphic Design work was for fundraisers: One to raise funds for the Canadian Red Cross’ efforts in Pakistan after the 2010 flood,  the other a fundraiser to help support a women’s shelter in Ottawa. This was my way of contributing and it was my decision to do so.

There are tons and tons and tons of posts with information, tips and guides when it comes to freelancing, pricing and even free pitching your work. FreelanceSwitch has a post on this which I think is fairly stated and worth looking at. But there are tons…so just get on the google and read through some of them, they will paint a wide and colourful picture of the freelance world. At the end of the day this is a personal decision and no one can tell you what to do. However, keep in mind that when you work for free you are generally bringing down the monetary value of your work and your self as a designer/artist/photographer. It would be in your interest to get something really solid in return for your efforts and your work.

05 status

Status

Hello to you and HELLO to spring!!!  So exciting to have the birds, flowers, colour, and warmth  back. I hope that the warmth has sparked plenty of creativity in you all. Here is how April has been going for me.

Updates on Personal Projects

03 Goldcrock

Goldcrock is done. I will post about my process with this shortly.

09 Social Media Craze.

I have been very friendly with my camera this past month. The weather has been very influential in this matter. Most of my social media activity is taking place around Instagram and LinkedIn. Two of my instagram pictures were actually featured on BlogTO’s Spring in Toronto Post. Thank you BlogTO. If you are in the GTA area, BlogTO is an excellent way to connect with the city and to find out what is happening in it. So check them out via their blog, app, facabook page, and twitter. 

GK