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Hire an Artist FAQs

How much will it cost to commission an artist?
How long will it take?
Will I own the copyright?
How is work delivered?
How do I know that I will like the end product?
Can I ask for changes if I don’t like the illustration?
How do I pay for the work?
Can I speak to the artist directly?
Will I own the original artwork?
What does the artist need to know from me?

How much will it cost to commission an artist?
Professional illustrators charge according to how an image is going to be used, rather than a specific hourly rate. Therefore, the fee to commission work for a local business or local publication will be different to the fee for a national ad campaign or newspaper. Prices for bulk projects start from as little as GBP50 (approx. USD100) per image, although single images are unlikely to be less than GBP150 (approx. USD300).

How long will it take?
Many of our artists are professional illustrators used to working to tight editorial deadlines for newspapers and magazines. While it is always good to have as long as possible to complete projects to avoid any unforeseen problems and allow for revisions, it is often possible to complete work within 24 hours if required. A week is usually a good time frame to work to.

Will I own the copyright?
When you commission an artist you will have agreed to pay a specific fee to create and license use of the image for a specific purpose. For example, if the image is for use in a magazine it is likely you will buy ‘first use’ which means the right to publish the image before anyone else on one occasion. Artists occasionally sell ‘all rights’ to an image, but this is usually a more expensive option, and often unnecessary. Additional rights can be obtained at a later date if required.

How is work delivered?
Rough artwork and final image(s) are usually delivered digitally by email in JPG format. This speeds up the commissioning process and means artists and client can respond quickly to alteration requests, and give feedback where necessary. If you prefer to work more traditionally, we can deliver roughs by fax or post, and finished artwork by post either as hard copies or on disk.

How do I know that I will like the end product?
Our artists are professionals and adhere to the high standards you would expect from those whose work appears in nationally and internationally-known newspapers, magazines, books and comics. All artwork created will be of a similar standard and level of complexity as other samples by your selected artist displayed on our website.

Can I ask for changes if I don’t like the illustration?
For each piece of artwork commissioned, a minimum of one and maximum of three black and white roughs will be supplied for approval. Requests for alterations to the roughs will be accommodated as long as they are within reasonable expectations and limits. Major alterations to any piece of rough artwork or finished artwork may be treated as a new commission and billed at GBP25 per additional rough or 50% of the piece rate for one image for each final image needing modification. Roughs and final artwork will correspond to reasonable expectations and standards.
Rough artwork may not be published, printed or otherwise distributed without the prior consent of CartoonStock. A 50% ‘kill fee’ will be payable to CartoonStock should you decide not to proceed beyond the supply of rough images. In the event of finished artwork not being used as licensed, the full fee will still be due.

How do I pay for the work?
We take 50% of the full fee when we instruct the artist to start work (when you confirm your order) and 50% on delivery of final artwork. You can pay by credit card or invoice (subject to credit checks).

Can I speak to the artist directly?
It has been our experience that jobs are completed most smoothly when we instruct the artist. We have a wealth of experience about what can be done within the field of illustration, and this gets the best results. We also ensure that work is completed on time and on budget, and that the highest professional standards are maintained. However, there will be occasions where a client feels that talking to the artist will help the creative process. Should that be the case, we request the artist rings the client to discuss the job in more detail.

Will I own the original artwork?
It depends. If a client is commissioning an artist specifically to create original artwork for private use (such as a caricature for a retirement/business/personal gift) then the client is paying for, and receives, the original artwork. If a client is commissioning work for another purpose (i.e. publishing, advertising, marketing etc.) then the fee quoted is usually for the creation and licensing of the image, not the physical artwork. However, this can often be purchased separately if required.
Please note many of our artists now work entirely or partially digitally and so there is no hard copy original artwork. In these instances we offer signed or unsigned prints of the image. For details of our high quality print options please visit Gifts.

What does the artist need to know from me?
We ask that a client provides as much description as they can of the final product required. This should include any suitable reference materials, such as copy to be illustrated, or photographs for a caricature. However we appreciate that working practices vary and will talk your requirements through with you so the artist receives as much information as possible in order to complete the project successfully.