» Forums » New to Upwork » Re: Best way to post a project with an auditi...
Page options
Community Member

Best way to post a project with an audition or trial task before a large project?

Hi Upwork Community,


I am new to the hiring game and I would like to post a job in the hopes of finding a great illustrator. How would I post the job if I want the candidates to submit some kind of audition piece before sharing the full project and hiring them for the larger job?


Thank you for any input!

Community Member

You may tell potential freelancers that this piece will be the first piece in a much larger project. That may attract a larger number of quality applicants. But you are not required to reveal this.

Excellent suggestion. Would I just set the budget for the trial piece, then? Thanks for responding 🙂

re: "Would I just set the budget for the trial piece, then?"


It really depends on what your goal is.

If you really want to gauge how an artist will work out for your larger project, you are going to need to think about price.


So what you might do is specify that you are hiring an artist to do what she can do with one hour's time, and that you will authorize one hour of work and see what they come up with.


You could also specify the budget. For example, you could say:
"I know that, as an artist, you could do a very simple version or a very elaborate version of this piece. I am paying each artist $25 and I want to see what they can do for that amount. Even if that means creating a simpler piece than you could possible imagine."


Those are two real approaches that will keep a tight control on your budget.


These approaches are not bad. But they aren't perfect, either. Because an artist might try to "impress" you by doing more work than you're actually paying for. You wouldn't be able to know if an artist (for example) secretly did two hours of work even though she only logged one hour.

So the ultimate way to gauge how expensive it would be to hire various artists would be to hire them all using hourly contracts ONLY, and NOT tell them to spend only an hour. You could (for example) have them do a relatively SIMPLE task, one that should take only about an hour to do... but NOT put a limit on their time.


If you do this, then a few artists will turn in great work after only 30 minutes of work, and you'll know those are some very affordable artists to hire. Others might spend more time, and you will need to gauge whether or not you can afford them. Of course their hourly rate will help you determine whether or not you can afford them. Maybe you hire an artist who charges $80/hour, but creates awesome work in 15 minutes. And another artist takes 3 hours to achieve the same results, but is only charging $5/hour.


If you DO decide to hire artists without telling them a specific amount of time to spend on the piece, you can still save money by monitoring their work in the Work Diary and monitoring how much time they spend. For example, if you hire "Darlene" and she has taken 2 hours but hasn't sent you anything yet, you can pause the contract and ask her to to send her what she has finished so far. If you see that she is simply way slower and more expensive than all of the others, you can thank her for the work that she has done so far and close the contract without having her actually finish.

I have personally done a great deal of hiring for illustration jobs. I have hired dozens of illustrators. I typically like to give a complete (but concise) description of the task. This would be a job posting for a single concrete task that I can use to evaluate many illustrators and decide if I want them to work on the broader project. I explain the dimensions, the format (e.g., Adobe Illustrator vector file), and the complete description using a sentence or two.


Then, when I hire illustrators, I don't talk to them about the project other than to tell them to follow the description that was provided in the job post. If they ask questions, I typically tell them that I hired them based on their portfolio and I want them to use their own artistic license in creating the piece.


Of course this only works when you are genuinely commissioning original ARTWORK from actual artists.

Latest Articles
Featured Topics
Learning Paths