How to hire an Illustrator

Illustrator Anja Reponen: Illustration of the equipment of an illustrator, such as a pencil and a notebook.

An illustration commission step by step

I. Describe your project

Consider the style of illustration you require thoroughly in advance and choose a suitable illustrator for the project. Be prepared to describe the commission clearly and in detail to the illustrator. Provide an estimate on the number of images you need and the schedule for the work. Professional illustrators know to ask additional questions when necessary, but a clear overall view of the work will increase the efficiency of launching the project.

II. Negotiating the price 

Request a quote from the illustrator or examine the pricing of illustrations and present the illustrator with a budget for the project as a basis for negotiation. The client should consider the extent of use for the illustration as that will affect the price. Typically, publication rights are sold for single use, but the actual range of usage should be specified in the contract. Consider whether your order includes other types of work, for example graphic design, and request a quote for the other work as well. Please note that the VAT for illustrations created for other than advertisement or marketing purposes is 0%.

III. The commissioning agreement

The use of the artwork, the extent of the usage rights, and the number of revisions included in the price are specified and agreed upon before concluding the agreement. The client commits to deliver the information and the materials required for the work in accordance with the agreed upon schedule before work begins. The commissioning agreement is always concluded before the illustrator begins the work and should always be made in writing. Sample agreements can be found at the top of this page.

IV. The creative process

It is recommended to leave room for the illustrator’s personal style and creativity. The combined views of both parties create the opportunity for the best possible outcome. The client may have a person in charge of the project’s visual aspects who provides feedback to the illustrator. If feedback is provided by more than one person, the fluency of the project is improved if all feedback is compiled and provided together.

V. The usage rights and the original copies

The client receives usage rights to the illustrations, the extent of which is specified before the work is commenced. The original copies of the works are owned by the creator, unless otherwise agreed upon. Illustrations cannot be published without the creator’s consent. The creator has the right to include the works in their portfolio as well as for other purposes under the agreement.

VI. Using the finished illustration

The illustrations cannot be modified, for example, used in a different size, cropped, with different colors or otherwise modified, unless otherwise specified in the agreement. The name of the creator must be presented alongside the work in accordance with industry standards.

VII. In case of a cancellation

If the client cancels the work after the agreement has been concluded for reasons outside the control of the creator, the creator is entitled to full compensation.

+ There are also two illustration agencies in Finland to help you with your illustration commissions, Agent Pekka and Napa Agency.

Free Illustration Contract Templates

Introduction to contracts

General delivery terms for illustration

Illustration commissioning agreement

Contract for continual illustration commissions