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December 20, 2012
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Help with Contract

:iconeuterpe-the-egret:
Euterpe-The-Egret Dec 20, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I've been commissioned to storyboard, draw and ink a comic series for a writer. This project should take quite a good deal amount of time and effort and in the end, we are planning on splitting (assuming anyone buys it...) the profit 50/50. My friend introduced me to clientsfromhell.net recently and it has made me realize people are not the most honest when it comes to money and paying artists. I'd rather not have a problem with this and thus I'm trying to whip up a contract.

I'm looking on docracy.com for a contract (or I can make one) so that we will be able to digitally sign it. I'm not sure what to look for or to include in the contract. This is the first time I've ever even needed to bring up a contract. Looking through the different variations of contracts, I must admit that I'm a bit lost and slightly overwhelmed.

What experiences do you have with art contracts? What should I make sure to include? Any suggestions you can make will be extremely helpful.
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Devious Comments

:iconjoancoleman:
I don't split profits 50/50 ever. Half payment upfront or after initial artwork is created is the safest bet so at least you are some what covered. The problem with contacts is they are nearly impossible to enforce and over see what is indeed owed to you. If you get stiffed/ripped off, more then likely, the amount of money it would take to peruse the other party would out weigh the total that is owed.

My suggestion is if this project is something you WANT to pursue simply for the experience or just because it would be fun, go for it and do your best to create a solid contact, like *Omega-WereWolf suggested but don't be completely shocked if the contact is not upheld and beware even if you are in the right you may not have any reasonable recourse.

Best of luck :hug:
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:icondanydiniz:
danydiniz Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why don't you look for a professional? Lawyers can make those kind of contracts and help you.
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:iconeuterpe-the-egret:
Euterpe-The-Egret Dec 20, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I don't have money at this time to do that and need a contract pretty soon.
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:iconlegendarysuperman:
LegendarySuperman Dec 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I don't know anything about making contracts, but I will advise you to have proof of the agreement in more than just a digital contract. Be sure to save all emails/notes/any other way you've had communication with this person, so if something does go wrong, you have multiple pieces of evidence to the deal.
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:iconeuterpe-the-egret:
Euterpe-The-Egret Dec 20, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you. I'll start compiling that now.
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:iconvomitbear:
Wow!
I wouldn't know what to tell you.
I've seen first hand what the bad side of that stuff is.
I managed a hobby shop many years ago and we did a lot to support independent artists and comic creators. The horror stories.:no:

I'm not sure how digital contracts work.
Is it like a notarized document? Is there any legal binding?

I wouldn't even know where to go to check and see if your State would recognize the contract in a court dispute. I guess call your Congress representatives.

Good luck
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:iconeuterpe-the-egret:
Euterpe-The-Egret Dec 20, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
From what I've read they are legally binding and so I'm working to whip one up.
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:iconvomitbear:
Well, one thing you need is transparency.
So if the product does sell and turns a profit the books are open so you can see what's going on.

You might need a payment plan too.
Because if you're marketing this item and it sells the company might not get paid until after the product is shipped to retailers.
So you have to consider language that stipulates payment occurs within a certain time period after money comes in.

Also, who owns the art? Can the company use the art for other purposes? Etc...
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:iconeuterpe-the-egret:
Euterpe-The-Egret Dec 20, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you! These are great things to think of and include in the contract.
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:iconvomitbear:
I heard a lot of horrible things back in the day with comic artists and writers just getting ripped off so bad it was sad.
It goes all the way to the top too with some of Marvel's old school original artists fighting for royalties etc...

It's just an ugly place on the business side of comics.
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