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Doug Wood
12-09-2014, 01:52 PM
Hello,

Recently I have posted a job ad here and was happy to receive several responses. I even received responses from artist I felt too good to be true. Then this story came to light: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/12/artists-and-colourists-beware-michael-pearson-and-the-fake-dark-horse-comic/

And this:
http://www.penciljack.com/forum/showthread.php?127759-Colorist-for-backend-Dark-Horse-project

So, my question is going forward what is the best way for me to verify myself to potential clients? How do you verify an artist is who they say they are?

I get a ton on responses saying drawing samples is the way to go, but I only have a budget for pencils, inks, cover art, concept art, and character designs. What is another non-paying (free art samples are bs in imo) way to verify a person.

SatyQ
12-09-2014, 02:52 PM
That's kind of tough. If someone is fabricating references that's pretty involved and shady stuff right there.

My best advice is it's probably best to set up with people who have some kind of a track record going for them - so if you're working with an artist, they probably have been doing work for others for a while. Ask for an eBay/etsy/whatever the kids are using these days feedback page, email addresses of a few regular clients who can vouch for them. (sadly, these could probably be scammed up by a skilled con artist but you could make a contact through the feedback page to make sure you were talking to the same person.) Someone who has ties to the online communities would probably be helpful, as well. So let's take you as an example. In your case, my auto-guard would be up just because you have 8 posts and joined in 2013. Probably not fair, but it's going to make someone cautious to do anything more than agree to do piece meal, pay as you go work until you establish a working relationship.

Doug Wood
12-09-2014, 03:30 PM
I do realize this isn't the first instance of fraud in the industry, but I definitely want to know what others do to help fight off the scammers.

Exactly right about me only having 8 posts on Digital Webbing and that's why my first question was how to prove myself to others. I have no problem doing piecemeal payment, but I do feel bad doing it that way, as paypal tends to take chunks each time. Is there any other way to help myself out? I know artist submit portfolios to me and maybe there is a way to contact through the site to make sure emails match up? I mostly feel bad that I have to cyber stalk the innocents and do my best not to offend in anyway. Maybe that should be a question too. What is a politest way to ask for proof?

ponyrl
12-09-2014, 06:28 PM
References. Get their references and contact them.

Robert_S
12-09-2014, 07:00 PM
What ponyrl says. When you contact these other artists, inquire about where their other work is featured so you can verify their claim.

That's also how you verify any contractor is what he represents himself to be. If you're having siding put on your house, ask for references and call them. Do the work to protect yourself.

Doug Wood
12-09-2014, 07:37 PM
Sorry if I sound like a contrarian, but what would I do in my case? I am looking to pay an artist for the first time. What references other than upfront money can I give?

Stewart Vernon
12-09-2014, 10:29 PM
That's the chicken vs egg scenario... Once you have experience and references it gets easier... but before you have that, how do you get your first gig?

And how do you prove reliability that first time?

Basically someone has to give you a break that first time and you have to do a good job... but you need someone to give you that benefit of the doubt at least once.

Not everyone has a friend/relative/contact in the business to use to get started, and yet new talent is found.

Scribbly
12-09-2014, 11:00 PM
Sorry if I sound like a contrarian, but what would I do in my case? I am looking to pay an artist for the first time. What references other than upfront money can I give?

What references? What about your comics writing skills?
The preview of two or three pages of your script for these artists that applied their artwork portfolios to your help wanted post and you already preselected as collaborators in your project?

Who cares about a guy posting lies online just to have the artist's attention?
I am completely sure that his comics writing skills are so bad and mediocre as his lies are.
Who cares about an artist posting fake artwork online just to have the attention of writers? I am sure that his artwork skills are so bad and mediocre as his lies are.

Guys promising artists $200 per page, having the artist working the full book and not paying a penny after?
That is what drawing samples are for. You may ask your choosen artist to illustrate 2 or 3 pages of your script. The artist does a good job matching the artistic level of his portfolio and if you approve these samples, you pay right away for these samples.
After all, these page samples will be part of the whole work.
At the same time, the artist who gets paid for his samples will know for sure that your payment promises are for real.
By illustrating your script the artist also will learn how good or bad writer you are. Time for walk away or keep attached to your project.

This is the whole credibility that needs to be verified in a freelance work. Is not rocket science.

ponyrl
12-10-2014, 12:10 AM
That's the chicken vs egg scenario... Once you have experience and references it gets easier... but before you have that, how do you get your first gig?

And how do you prove reliability that first time?

Basically someone has to give you a break that first time and you have to do a good job... but you need someone to give you that benefit of the doubt at least once.

Not everyone has a friend/relative/contact in the business to use to get started, and yet new talent is found.


Said artist needs to pound the pavement for building his portofilo and for his own experience at working for a client. Said artist could work for local community organizations that would love to get work for their projects.

Inquire local businesses that may be looking for a freelancer for graphic work, character design for logos, ads, etc.

Building up a small client list, even if it's not in the area of illustration you want, still shows potential clients that you've worked for someone and have followed through on a contract.

Doug Wood
12-10-2014, 12:59 AM
Thanks for all the responses.

Scribbly
12-10-2014, 01:03 AM
References. Get their references and contact them.

References, references about Ponyrl. Yes, I just need to get his references and contact them. Very easy. Hmm...but where in Hell can I find these references? Hmm...also, where to contact them? Hmm.
Are these references going to check up my own references before answer back to me? Hmm.

HouseStark
12-10-2014, 01:55 AM
Get recommendations from people you know and trust.

Robert_S
12-10-2014, 02:15 AM
Sorry if I sound like a contrarian, but what would I do in my case? I am looking to pay an artist for the first time. What references other than upfront money can I give?

I don't know what the rules here are for contracting work, but I wouldn't pay until I get what I'm paying for.

Perhaps paypal can help there. If you get ripped off, there might be something they can do.

But ask them for references of previous work and follow up by contacting this previous contractor.

AmitMosheOren
12-10-2014, 03:28 AM
What references? What about your comics writing skills?
The preview of two or three pages of your script for these artists that applied their artwork portfolios to your help wanted post and you already preselected as collaborators in your project?

Who cares about a guy posting lies online just to have the artist's attention?
I am completely sure that his comics writing skills are so bad and mediocre as his lies are.
Who cares about an artist posting fake artwork online just to have the attention of writers? I am sure that his artwork skills are so bad and mediocre as his lies are.

Guys promising artists $200 per page, having the artist working the full book and not paying a penny after?
That is what drawing samples are for. You may ask your choosen artist to illustrate 2 or 3 pages of your script. The artist does a good job matching the artistic level of his portfolio and if you approve these samples, you pay right away for these samples.
After all, these page samples will be part of the whole work.
At the same time, the artist who gets paid for his samples will know for sure that your payment promises are for real.
By illustrating your script the artist also will learn how good or bad writer you are. Time for walk away or keep attached to your project.

This is the whole credibility that needs to be verified in a freelance work. Is not rocket science.

The perfect answer by my opinion right there.

Stewart Vernon
12-10-2014, 05:13 AM
Said artist needs to pound the pavement for building his portofilo and for his own experience at working for a client. Said artist could work for local community organizations that would love to get work for their projects.

Inquire local businesses that may be looking for a freelancer for graphic work, character design for logos, ads, etc.

Building up a small client list, even if it's not in the area of illustration you want, still shows potential clients that you've worked for someone and have followed through on a contract.

Basically, yeah... that's the longer version of what I was getting at. You can't start at the top, you have to start at the bottom... but in order to start at the bottom, someone has to give you a job when you don't have references.

If literally nobody gives you a job without a reference then you would never get that first job!

So, yeah... you have to start smaller and may even have to do some free work in order to get something out there for the public to see and to have a reference so that you can get the next gig... then the next one... and then at some point you get to start naming your terms and picking your jobs (hopefully).

Scribbly
12-10-2014, 06:08 AM
Say the artist lives in Philippines and all his former references only speak tagalog.
Or in Italy, Spain, Brazil, Netherlands, Chile, France, Germany?
How do you verify those references?

JennaP
12-10-2014, 12:23 PM
When I do video game writing stuff or similar, I request 50% up front, or a smaller (relative) deposit for larger projects.

I am also willing to pay that 50% up front to anyone I'm hiring. Not everyone asks for it, though.

Paying for test samples is not always within a writer or small publisher's budget, of course, especially if you end up having to do it more than once.

Make sure you have a good online portfolio - and this goes for writers too. I only have one published credit so far (everything else I've done is in production), but I have a DeviantArt portfolio I can link people to. I WILL do unpaid samples if, and only if, they can be reused for my portfolio or potentially other projects. (So, if you want four pages using your characters, I expect either payment OR permission to use it in my portfolio if you don't hire me. Otherwise, believe me, I'll either not do it or be looking for ways to file off the serial numbers ;)).

Doug Wood
12-10-2014, 02:31 PM
I forgot I wanted to mention that I understand that for some this will all be a no brainer topic. But I always hear about individuals in the arts field being dupped by scammers. I was hoping to start a conversation to help the vunerable or too trusting among us. Sorry if instead I came off sounding ignorant or ridiculous.

Bulletboy-Redux
12-13-2014, 06:07 PM
Google their name. Look for evidence that they have done something--anything--that other human beings have laid eyes on. People who are serious and passionate about their work usually leave a trail. Other people work with them or see their work and mention it on the internet. Or they have credits. Something. Even if the trail shows one failure after another, at least they're trying.

People who generate absolutely no hits (or just self-generated hits from their own blogs or social media accounts) should be viewed with wariness. Either they're rock-bottom beginners who haven't done any actual work yet, or (worse) they're just talkers. They have lots of dreams and ideas, but don't seem able to actually execute any of them. Either way, both those types are shaky prospects.

johnjohn
12-14-2014, 11:25 PM
Apologies here, but I'm curious about a few things, and this isn't meant as a shot or dig or trying to be an idiot and spam up a thread but genuine questions.

1) Shouldn't there be a link to the actual opportunity, like there was with the First Comics job openings earlier this year?

2) Why would someone go through so much trouble to fake a job ad for a comic company?

Sorry if I seem naive, but I'm kinda baffled by that, especially by #2.

Not meaning to hijack your thread Doug, and I hope you didn't get too burned by all this.

Robert_S
12-15-2014, 02:12 AM
People who generate absolutely no hits (or just self-generated hits from their own blogs or social media accounts) should be viewed with wariness. Either they're rock-bottom beginners who haven't done any actual work yet, or (worse) they're just talkers. They have lots of dreams and ideas, but don't seem able to actually execute any of them. Either way, both those types are shaky prospects.

Yeah, this would make me look bad because I have nothing produced. I'd try to leave some trail, but I decided to go into graphic novel because Hollywood would want to own my story and I want to retain the rights.

Plus, there is more to the story than can fit on 120pg of screenplay.

I would be honest up front though. I wouldn't hide the fact than I'm new and would even pass on the script so they can judge the story for themselves, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm new.

Bulletboy-Redux
12-15-2014, 01:00 PM
Yeah, this would make me look bad because I have nothing produced.

No worries. Doesn't make you a bad person. Just makes it harder to verify that you're reliable.

Doug Wood
12-16-2014, 04:33 AM
No worries John. I did find the whole thing to be bizarre, as I have seen others mention, what would a Frankenstined comic book gained him? But he is hardly the first to prey on others.

I haven't had any of these kind of scammers approach me yet, but I tend to think of everyone is a positive light. So, do I worry I could fall prey due to being too trusting. I also hate seeing others fall victim when others could have shared how to prevent.