Sorry for the delay in getting this out. I've been busy with a lot of things all going on at once. Aside from the holidays, we were without power for about 9 days, which was not fun.
I am offering the below as an example, nothing more. Do some research, read up on contracts and how to deal with them. I'm not offering anything but a suggestion and anyone reading this and failing to obtain work or loses a job(s) or any client who get rejected by an artist because of this blog, please note that I'm offering my suggestions as nothing more than an example. Following them or failing to do so, does not in any way legally bind me to anyone or their work. I do not represent any lawyer, law firm or artist on any way.
I mentioned in my last blog that I would talk about contracts, so here's the skinny: They are what you NEED in EVERY job. Do not start or even think of beginning a job without one. If the client asks for a sample or two (or more) before committing to a contract, you're only response is a firm, no comprise, “No”. The trouble is a lot of young artists will feel pressured to make that deal and end up comprising themselves a well as many losing jobs because they feel they have to, “pay their dues”. Well, paying them means that you work you trail off and never give up. Any client who wants you to do samples before submitting to a contract is telling you a tale tale and looking to get you for nothing. You want to be taken seriously? Want to be respected and be a professional? Then if they don't offer a contract at the start, then you do. If you're going to be doing a charity job, then protect yourself, and even though you're doing the work for free, you make sure that you're covered by a contract. A lot of things can happen in any job, no matter how large or small, so make sure there's a contract to protect you.
When the client offers the contract, then you take a good look at it, read EVERYTHING and make sure that you understand. If you have any questions, seek out an attorney who handles Intellectual Property Law. Many will give you a free consolation and can answer your questions. Do searches online for any contracts that you might need. There are also several books for artists that have contract in them and all you need is to print them up.
And just so that you know, when you talk about a deal with anyone who's hiring you, make sure that you save ALL e-mails (if they offer you a job via e-mail, then you state what you want for that job, and they agree, that's a contract but make sure if you can to get a real one, with signatures), record the phone conversation (letting them know that you're doing so before to start talking about anything, of course) and even if you're simply talking to them, then its a good idea to have someone with you because anything said can either come back to haunt you or free you. Sadly, I have to say, Don't trust anyone offer you work until all the paperwork is signed.