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Suggestions for Upwork re: illustration cients

I know there are lots of freelancers for which "Looking for someone to do this by then." is pretty straightforward.  Art isn't like that at all.  It's hard to put into words sometimes, even for artists.  I'm so sick of vague posts that say "Need a sketch." or "Illustrate my children's book."   I gnore those, here's why.


Illustrators are always encouraged to develop a unique personal style.  No matter how versatile we can be, we are told that it's almost impossible to be successful that way.   This kind of post gives me no idea whether what I do is what the poster is looking for.  I don't know if an author is looking for something Like "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" or "Beatrix Potter." 


I know Upwork offers descriptors, but  even words like "Cartoon," can actually mean a lot of different styles.   "Colorful Style" could mean just about anything. 


I've gotten to the point where I just don't spend credits on such vagueness.  When that happens neither the client, Uwwork, nor the freelancer wins.  Is there any way Upwork can encourage art clients to be more specific?????


 I LOVE it when clients post samples of the style they want for from the internet.  God, I wish they all would!   If the poster isn't completely sure, maybe they could answer some simple questions.


What is the style? 

    A lot of clients may not know Art Nouveau from Art Deco, but they can give a general description or state an artist style name.  Most people know "vintage" from "anime."  They know Leonardo Da Vince from a stick figure.  Get them to use their words.  


What general size?  Or for us digital artists, what's the general shape or aspect ratio?  Don't know?  What's it going to be used for?  Hang it on your wall?  No problem, here are some standard frame sizes...


What media look?  Even the most un-art apreciative know the difference between a realistic painting and a black line  drawing.  Pastel? Watercolor?  Kindergarden Crayon!?  (Anything, please!)


What age of child is the book for?  Posters may not know what a "YA Market" is but they can probably tell a todler from a teenager.   That makes a HUGE difference for the entire look of the book.  It also means that the 50+ artist that answer that post have a wealth of applicable styles that the client will love.  




P.S.  Just saying, and I know that posters use every currency in the world, but if I see one more post asking for a 32 page picture book to be illustrated for $8 I'm going to scream!  


Community Member

Is there any way Upwork can encourage art clients to be more specific?????

I'm sure there is, but it would likely require Upwork to employ functions for creating jobs that go far beyond the current implementation. Doing this would add depth to art/illustration job descriptions, but it might not make clients happy, and Upwork is always concerned about client retention.


Simple grammar checking and AI-assisted job description creation aside, adding this depth would require the client to actually think and the last thing Upwork wants to do is create obstacles for clients. I'm using the word "obstacle" because I truly believe these questions (i.e., What is the style?, What general size?, What media look?, etc.) would require clients to think, and a lot of people give up if they have to think too much.


I agree, though--most clients could do a better job of posting specifications for the artwork they seek. The two biggest issues I see with clients requesting illustrations are: 1) as you stated, many clients don't know the difference between styles or genres or size/aspect ratio or resolution, and have no idea what to ask for; and 2) many clients still don't realize that freelancers have to spend Connects--just to get more information about their job because the description they provided is vague or incoherent.


I once thought it might be good if clients were allowed to verbally post their job descriptions. Meaning, the client states what they want in a 2-minute audio recording, and that becomes their job description. Some people can verbalize their thoughts or desires better than they can write them.

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