Here are some freelance custom illosI did for a client. It’s kind of bittersweet to talk about them because although I’m happy with the way they turned out, it was not fun when the client decided not to pay me what she owed me after a lot of hard work.
Here’s the long, ugly story:
She had contacted me and asked if I was free to do a one-sided flyer for her. She asked for my hourly rate which I found odd since usually you give the client a rate for the entire project. But I gave her an hourly rate and she accepted it. I was then told that she also wanted several custom illustrations for the flyer and that it would be due in a week. I warned her that custom illustrations would take longer than simply laying out a flyer with a couple product photos and she said she understood.
So, I began to design the characters. It ended up being 9 different illos and a couple of changes to those original 9. The due date was changed twice from a week, to 5 days, then to 4 days! During that time, she had given me several revisions, but I managed to get it all done and to her on the 4th day. When she approved the layout, I sent her my invoice for payment…and heard nothing.
I emailed her a couple of times and finally received a letter from her in the mail with a check that was several hundred dollars short. The letter stated that she felt my invoice was too high and that the entire project of creating the 9 custom illos and 3 layout comps and the revisions, plus the rush deadline should have only taken me a total of 4 hours to complete! So she decided the amount she was willing to pay and wrote on the note portion on the check that if it is cashed, then it means that I have agreed that I have been paid in full. Nice huh?
I had sent her a freelance agreement that pointed out my hourly rate and what the project required and she signed it, but decided to take it upon herself to override that and pay what she wanted to pay. Unbelievable. But taking her to small claims would probably cost more than what I was due in payment, and I think she realized this. So I cut my losses but still ended up with some illos that I’m proud to have created.