The stages of a commissioned Illustration project and what to expect
The stages of a commissioned Illustration project and what to expect

My Illustration Process

If you have not done so already, please take a look at my portfolio to see if my Illustration style is a good fit for your project. With a good creative brief that allows enough time I can bring a lot to an Illustration and am good at taking direction with a professional attitude.

Stage 1: brief

Schedule Squirrel

When receiving an email about a new Illustration project, unless you have told me all the specifics of the brief I need to know already, I will ask you to fill in a questionnaire as this will help the project go smoothly and give me a good understanding of who you are and what you need from me. You can also fill in my online questionnaire here.

Unless you already have a planned budget and rights usage in mind which you can tell me about, I will take the time to ask you further more specific questions to determine what rights are needed for the Illustration(s) and for making an estimate.

Pricing Illustration depends on different variables as each project is unique and requires different license rights depending on what it is to be used for, the location, length of use and print run or circulation.

Unless other uses are discussed, the base license I grant my images at is an exclusive license for one time use in one country only. Additional license uses can be discussed and will be reflected in the price of the estimate for your project.

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I send the fee estimate along for your approval with a proposed work schedule and the details for the license(s) needed. If this is acceptable for your needs I send a letter of agreement which I respectively request is signed before work can begin.  I also request that a non-refundable deposit of 50% is paid. This can be paid securely online via use of PayPal.

Stage 2: sketches

I will take all of the information you gave me and use it to research and make concepts for your Illustration(s). The time spent in this stage will vary depending on the complexity and deadline needed for your project.

When I have made at least 3 tightly rendered sketch ideas for an Illustrations design which I feel fulfill the brief (This varies from project to project) I will submit them for approval as 72dpi JPEG(S) with notes detailing my ideas and decisions.

Please note that I will need feedback on the submitted sketches within the agreed time frame schedule for this stage to make sure that the project is kept on track for any deadlines.

Stage 3: revisions

If revisions are needed I will usually allow 2-3 rounds (an extra fee must be discussed if it goes beyond the limit set in the agreed terms).

Sweeping Copy

If the project is cancelled at this stage, the initial deposit covers it and you won’t be charged. If there has not been an initial deposit (say for a very tight editorial deadline) then it will be subject to a kill fee which will be invoiced to you.

Stage 4: final artwork

When the sketch(s) has been approved I will ask for your written sign off on the sketch phase and proceed to the final art production.

Painting Squirrel

This is the stage that takes the most time as I want to get the sketches right in as few revision stages as possible which is preferable if I’m on a tight deadline and more cost effective for you.

The final art won’t stray too much from the composition of the approved sketch except that it will be rendered in the preferred style and finish agreed to in the initial conversation.

I will submit a 72dpi JPEG(S) image for approval when I complete the final artwork and await your feedback.

Again I will need feedback on the submitted final artwork within the agreed time frame schedule for this stage to make sure that the project is kept on track.

Stage 5: delivery

Delivery Squirrel

If the submitted image(s) is signed off for approval I will send the final invoice payment with the terms of the license(s) agreed for the image(s) and the agreed size(s) and format(s) requested.

Upon completion of payment you will receive the production ready art files as a 300dpi TIFF file(s) (unless another format has been requested beforehand in the agreed terms of the project).

If the artwork is rejected at this stage then a kill fee for the remainder of the total fee agreed to at the start in the signed terms will be invoiced for.

Stage 6: feedback


I like to get project feedback from you to make sure everything went well and I can use your feedback to improve my process.

If any additional uses are needed for the completed artwork you can always discuss them with me after completion of a project and additional licenses can be paid for.

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