What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
Yes, depending on the budget of the client, I have a sliding scale. If a client demands an hourly rate, I charge $35/hour. If the client requires a flat fee, I work within the client's budget, or – in the case of an established publication – I will negotiate their standard rate.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Depending on what I'm hired to do, I first meet with the client, either by phone, online or in-person, to determine their specific needs. I then do a draft to give the client an example of what I plan to do. Once we've agreed on the specifics, I dive in and start the project.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have a certificate in graphic design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), have a minor in fine art from the University of Chicago, and have taken a series of individual drawing/illustration extra-curricular classes since I was fifteen. I have been making art for as long as I can remember, and before that, too.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
Once upon a time, I was working a corporate job, in corporate America. It drove me crazy, so I quit, and decided to do what I always assumed I'd do: become an artist. I absconded to RISD to do their three-year certificate graphic design program, and upon completion, after spending a few months in Barcelona, I promptly began working freelance. I then began working at a magazine, where they discovered my illustration abilities, and, realizing that I really loved it AND was really good at it, I started doing that as well.
What types of customers have you worked with?
All who require creative work!
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
Recently I did a series of icky bug illustrations for Hemispheres (United Airlines) magazine. It was fun, and took around four hours (and exists in my online portfolio, dianalurio.com!).
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Look at their work to make sure it's your style. Know the steps your project includes, and how long a decent illustrator will take to do it. Talk to them before you hire them! Make sure this is a person you want to work with. You should make sure they're doing the work for you and not for their portfolio.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Do I like their work? – check their website, or ask for a complete portfolio.
What are my specific needs? – describe your project in detail.
What am I imagining? – even if you say, it's up to the artist, you still probably have a vague idea of what you want.