Illustrators are often a vital part of many creative projects. It may sound counterintuitive, but drawing is only one of the skills that illustrators need to have to be influential within their team. As a potential employer, it is essential to know what questions to ask a freelance illustrator so that you are sure to hire a competent person.
Essential Questions for a Freelance Illustrator
The following questions should help you find the best illustrators for your needs.
How Much Do You Charge?
Every project and company has a budget they must stick to, so finding out how much a potential freelance illustrator costs is crucial. Knowing the average hourly rate of an illustrator is an excellent way to determine whether the illustrator you are interviewing is expensive or relatively cheap.
It is crucial to ask this question so you can evaluate whether the illustrator in question provides good value for the money—or not. Getting the best deal you can is a fantastic way of driving efficiencies in your project or company and an excellent way to save money.
Ultimately, knowing how much an illustrator will charge quickly allows you to calculate whether you can afford their services or not.
What Is Your Illustrative Style?
Illustrative styles vary from person to person. Depending on the project you are considering, one style may be more fitting for your vision than another. Bearing that in mind, asking potential illustrators for past examples of their work will allow you to see whether their style is suitable for your needs or not.
Some illustrators may also have the ability to change their style at the request of their clients. So, it can be a good idea to ask for an extensive range of their past work, then you can determine if they can modify their skill to satisfy the unique requirements of your project.
Finally, knowing how they produce their work is also crucial. Most artists will submit their final product in a digital file for painless and high-quality reproduction. However, some illustrators may favor more old-fashioned techniques that are trickier to work with when looking to reprint or resize the image. Therefore, knowing their illustrative process is vital to establish whether it will be a workable deliverable for you in the future.
What Is Your Process?
Creating an illustration is a creative process, which means that one person’s strategy can vary significantly when compared to another illustrator. Knowing the artist’s strategy will allow you to understand the pros and cons of a person’s professional style to another illustrator you are interviewing.
Depending on the amount of interaction you may have with an illustrator, the working process may be of utmost importance to you. If you do not find their practices easy to get on board with, regardless of the quality of their work, you may find interacting with them awkward and troublesome. That’s why asking about an illustrator’s strategy will allow you to establish whether you can work with that individual effectively or not.
By asking how an illustrator works, you know whether their procedures align with your working practices. Basic things like what hours they work, for example, will come to light in this line of questioning, along with how they like to deliver drafts and their editing procedure.
What Is Your Average Turnaround Time?
Another crucial aspect to consider before hiring an illustrator is their average turnaround time. Regardless of the quality of their work, if they are too slow to produce results, they may not be the right illustrator for you.
That is not to say that illustrators with high-quality work will always take a long time to produce it—far from it. It’s simply good to know the speed at which your illustrator can work and whether their time frame works for you and your project.
Sometimes, it can be easy to be spellbound by an illustrator’s work and forget that you will have project deadlines to meet. But, suppose an illustrator is not capable of meeting your deadlines. In that case, the financial costs that you may incur may outweigh the benefits of using an illustrator whose work is excellent in all other areas. Luckily, you can easily avoid this scenario with a thorough interview process.
The Necessity of Questioning Freelance Illustrators
Illustrators create highly personal imagery and tend to have unique workflows and deliverables. That is one of the reasons interviewing a freelance illustrator before employing them for a project is vital. It is essential as the employer that you know how an illustrator works, so that you can be confident they will create images and pictures of a standard and style that works for you—and within the right time frame and price.
Style, standard, time, and price can make or break a project. Ultimately, interviewing illustrators is the best way to ensure you do not suffer from unexpected but avoidable problems.