I had the honor and privilege of being invited as one of the 5 panelists for the Graphic Artists Guild Live Chat event for the Southern Region of the country. This is one of three events in total they are doing this year for this region of the country. The other two will take place in a couple of weeks in Atlanta and Dallas. So of course, I was stoked! It was hosted at the lovely Design Moves marketing studio (I fell in love with this place!) and the owner Larissa Castelluber, in Oakland Park, Florida. We spoke about the importance of understanding, creating, AND using contracts with every single client and job. No job is too small for a contract. As artists, graphic designers, illustrators, and surface pattern designers we often take for granted how vital it is to protect our work, our rights, and ourselves professionally. Our panel was moderated by Yanika, a fellow artist who works with the Guild, and she guided us along several questions. As each of us took turns to answer, it was refreshing and comforting to see that regardless of the type of creative job each one of us does, we seem to come across similar obstacles. It was great to share this information about moving along through hurdles, because some great tips were shared! If you are an artist and have no idea about what to do when the time comes to give a potential client and estimate or a contract, this is my go-to resource: The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook. I use it EVERY SINGLE TIME I have a new job. It helps me figure out my rates, fees, and even more delicate matters like writing and sending out Cease and Desist letters (because it’s happened to me and I have successfully used them). Please do yourself a favor and get this book!