Monday, 28 September 2015

How a Late Paying Client Can Ruin a Freelance Business

Aaaah dear. This again. This AGAIN.

As an artist and a freelance illustrator, I've always known the key differences in the two. As an artist, I work by myself, for myself. I create work that I love. Art that makes me calm and happy. And the way I am able to make art is by creating illustrations for different clients. 

And I love it.

There's nothing better than getting a challenging brief and really pushing yourself, and then getting it right. Also as an illustrator, I end up working more collaboratively. My job is to help visualise what the client wants, and sometimes I have to pull away and do my own thing to get the best results. 

It's all cool.

So the job's over, and weeks turn into months, and no payment shows up. This becomes really tricky. A freelance budget is constantly precarious. You're relying on the goodwill of your clients to pay when they say they will, and if they put it off, forget to pay you, or flat out refuse by dodging emails or losing your invoice, then you're in trouble.  

A late payment can be the difference between just getting by, and wracking up extortionate bank charges. A late payment can be the end of the line for an illustrator. 

It's hard to imagine for many people not getting a pay check every month. Every month, on the dot, you'll get paid. You may have had a slow month at work, it may have been one of the most stressful, but you know each month that the money is coming in. 

This is not the case for freelancers. 

I can budget all I want - things can look rosy. Jobs are lined up and are being illustrated. And then, the silence after the job. The long months of worry as you watch your careful plans for your business' survival crumbling. 


Because your huge corporation of a client wants to hang on to your bill just one month longer. Screw the illustrator. She'll be fine. We don't care any way. 

Well - here's the thing...a late payment is death to a freelancers business. A business that they've spent years nurturing with loving hard work and long hours.  

So clients, when you've commissioned an illustrator...just pay your damn bill. 

Thank you.