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Author Topic: Looking for someone to do scientific illustrations  (Read 1011 times)

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« on: April 27, 2020, 15:57 »
+3
I am looking for someone who can make illustrations for publications in scientific journals.  The subject area is plant pathology/genetics/molecular biology.  Would need illustrations of effects of microorganisms on leaves, interactions between plants and pathogens, molecular processes involving proteins affecting cell function, that sort of thing.  I can do photo manipulations, labeling and simple things in Illustrator myself but for anything else we need someone with much better skills.

In real life I work for the Government, and now that we are on maximum telework for the foreseeable future and can't do much in the lab we are focusing on writing up previous experiments and also writing review articles.  Reviews often get cited a lot and that can be helped with some nice illustrations.  Ordinarily we would do those ourselves, but most scientists are not great artists and I would rather pay someone who knows what they are doing to make a good illustration rather than having my people spend time making lame drawings that will not be as useful (like one I just reviewed yesterday).  We have ideas for several possible figures and can outline what we want and provide a (probably handwritten) example.  Several years ago we did an article where the society publishing the journal had an artist on staff who made us a really nice drawing for free (which I thought was nuts - would have happily paid them).  I've seen that illustration used in many presentations since so it definitely is worth the time to make good art.

I have not hired a graphic artist before so don't have a good idea about amounts but that can be negotiated.  It does need to be someone who is doing it as a business and can take payment by credit card (Paypal won't work - sorry).  We would buy the illustration and use it with our manuscripts.  Since I work for the Government everything is in the public domain so it could not be copyrighted if published, although we could provide an attribution (in addition to paying you).  Would prefer someone with experience in scientific illustration, preferably with plants or molecular biology, but others also could be suitable.  We are talking about probably a handful of illustrations during the next few months, but if we find someone we can work with it could be a long-term relationship with from zero to many illustrations per year depending on need.  If you would be interested or know someone you can recommend please PM me and we can go from there.  Thanks.

(Hope I'm allowed to post this kind of thing on MSG).


k_t_g

  • What's the buzzzzzz!
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2020, 17:05 »
0
You should really try https://www.upwork.com/ and http://www.guru.com/. Much safer method of hiring a graphic designer/illustrator. 🙂👍

« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2020, 07:44 »
+1
I second the opinion to use upwork.com or guru.com. Here are some tips to using those sites...

1. Freelancers from developing countries are almost always much cheaper than people from developed countries.
2. You can either set a range for the job and let them bid for it, or you can set the price you want. Usually I set the price I want, which is lower than the default range you can choose from on the sites.
3. Freelancers on the internet are a mix bag in terms of reliability. Some people will turn around work the next day. Some will drag it out for weeks, then either finish it or not. Unless you have a lot of time, it is a very difficult problem to solve without testing a bunch of people, because no one will upfront tell you they are slow. Looking at past reviews of theirs isn't necessarily a good indicator. I've had very slow people work for me, but I don't mention their speed in the review because I don't want to burn bridges, since I know I might need them again.
4. I'd recommend setting some percentage of the pay based upon speed. So if they don't finish the work in a reasonable agreed time, they earn less. Or if they finish on time, they get a bonus.
5. Since you are looking for an illustrator, you need to test people out. You will get someone that claims they have 20 years experience, but you look at their portfolio and it is just ugly drawings. Number of years of experience does not equal to quality.

georgep7

« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2020, 08:03 »
+5
People, there are some illustrators among us, let them have an opportunity.

 :(

« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2020, 08:15 »
+2
People, there are some illustrators among us, let them have an opportunity.

 :(


Exactly.


 I worked thru upwork when it was elance and it was great. Upwork ruined it. A lot of the jobs I got were redos because the client hired overseas people because they were dirt cheap, but they would disappear in the middle of a job, or just not do a good job. And then Upwork started rigging the system as far as who got the good jobs. I dont recommend using them. I did a few jobs thru guru, so they might still be ok.


I hope someone here can help you!

« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2020, 08:29 »
+1
Thanks for the suggestions.  I have not tried either of those sites before - that is probably what my colleagues are using.

I would prefer to use someone in the US - those taxpayers are providing the funds and I would rather keep the work in the country - but will go outside if necessary.  I have a fiduciary responsibility to keep costs reasonable, but accuracy and dependability are the most important.  Thanks for letting me know about your experiences.

Shelma1

« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2020, 16:37 »
+5
There are many great science illustrators on Shutterstock, etc. Maybe reach out to a few whose work you like? And yeah, when someone comes here offering to hire illustrators, why on earth would some of you jump in and recommend he take a chance on upwork, where illustrators, Im sure, have to give a cut to their corporate overlords? Jeez, for once let people get some fair money for their efforts.

k_t_g

  • What's the buzzzzzz!
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2020, 17:50 »
0
I don't know, I had some great experiences as an illustrator in those places I already mentioned so far. You just have to use common sense in choosing what jobs you will do, what and how much pay is acceptable and announce your terms up front. Most important be professional.  How many times I've seen people have a conversations in the meeting forums talk like they were at home with their friends. Its like putting your feet on to the furniture such a a desk.
 All I'm saying is when using online freelance services do your research and be wise about decision making both providers and those getting the jobs.  :)

k_t_g

  • What's the buzzzzzz!
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2020, 17:54 »
0
There are many great science illustrators on Shutterstock, etc. Maybe reach out to a few whose work you like? And yeah, when someone comes here offering to hire illustrators, why on earth would some of you jump in and recommend he take a chance on upwork, where illustrators, Im sure, have to give a cut to their corporate overlords? Jeez, for once let people get some fair money for their efforts.

Because sometimes a contract is not enough. Some will brake them regardless.
Its good to have a secure payment plan such as an Escrow or likewise account.  :)
But as i said before research is key and not just jumping in to a job offer. 

k_t_g

  • What's the buzzzzzz!
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2020, 18:01 »
0
I second the opinion to use upwork.com or guru.com. Here are some tips to using those sites...

1. Freelancers from developing countries are almost always much cheaper than people from developed countries.
2. You can either set a range for the job and let them bid for it, or you can set the price you want. Usually I set the price I want, which is lower than the default range you can choose from on the sites.
3. Freelancers on the internet are a mix bag in terms of reliability. Some people will turn around work the next day. Some will drag it out for weeks, then either finish it or not. Unless you have a lot of time, it is a very difficult problem to solve without testing a bunch of people, because no one will upfront tell you they are slow. Looking at past reviews of theirs isn't necessarily a good indicator. I've had very slow people work for me, but I don't mention their speed in the review because I don't want to burn bridges, since I know I might need them again.
4. I'd recommend setting some percentage of the pay based upon speed. So if they don't finish the work in a reasonable agreed time, they earn less. Or if they finish on time, they get a bonus.
5. Since you are looking for an illustrator, you need to test people out. You will get someone that claims they have 20 years experience, but you look at their portfolio and it is just ugly drawings. Number of years of experience does not equal to quality.

Sometimes haste makes waste.
But then it depends on what is needed.
A quality portrait or children's book illustration or custom clip art for a business card.

Also some people have other things such as a day job. So saying someone is slow in turnaround is not totally realistic because they may have other things that occupy time as well.

« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2020, 19:05 »
0
I second the opinion to use upwork.com or guru.com. Here are some tips to using those sites...

1. Freelancers from developing countries are almost always much cheaper than people from developed countries.
2. You can either set a range for the job and let them bid for it, or you can set the price you want. Usually I set the price I want, which is lower than the default range you can choose from on the sites.
3. Freelancers on the internet are a mix bag in terms of reliability. Some people will turn around work the next day. Some will drag it out for weeks, then either finish it or not. Unless you have a lot of time, it is a very difficult problem to solve without testing a bunch of people, because no one will upfront tell you they are slow. Looking at past reviews of theirs isn't necessarily a good indicator. I've had very slow people work for me, but I don't mention their speed in the review because I don't want to burn bridges, since I know I might need them again.
4. I'd recommend setting some percentage of the pay based upon speed. So if they don't finish the work in a reasonable agreed time, they earn less. Or if they finish on time, they get a bonus.
5. Since you are looking for an illustrator, you need to test people out. You will get someone that claims they have 20 years experience, but you look at their portfolio and it is just ugly drawings. Number of years of experience does not equal to quality.

Sometimes haste makes waste.
But then it depends on what is needed.
A quality portrait or children's book illustration or custom clip art for a business card.

Also some people have other things such as a day job. So saying someone is slow in turnaround is not totally realistic because they may have other things that occupy time as well.

Let me give you more context. I hired a programmer to do something for me. I asked is 2 weeks enough, he said it would only take a few days. 4 weeks later, still nothing. So this guy is clearly pretty unreliable. I've worked with other programmers who will usually respond within 24 hours. Some others will get me the changes needed within a week. A week or less is quite reasonable to me, because the expectation was set by me and accepted by the other person. I've hired dozens of people over the years on freelance websites. I'm quite experienced.

« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2020, 08:36 »
0
I am looking for someone who can make illustrations for publications in scientific journals.  The subject area is plant pathology/genetics/molecular biology.  Would need illustrations of effects of microorganisms on leaves, interactions between plants and pathogens, molecular processes involving proteins affecting cell function, that sort of thing.  I can do photo manipulations, labeling and simple things in Illustrator myself but for anything else we need someone with much better skills.

In real life I work for the Government, and now that we are on maximum telework for the foreseeable future and can't do much in the lab we are focusing on writing up previous experiments and also writing review articles.  Reviews often get cited a lot and that can be helped with some nice illustrations.  Ordinarily we would do those ourselves, but most scientists are not great artists and I would rather pay someone who knows what they are doing to make a good illustration rather than having my people spend time making lame drawings that will not be as useful (like one I just reviewed yesterday).  We have ideas for several possible figures and can outline what we want and provide a (probably handwritten) example.  Several years ago we did an article where the society publishing the journal had an artist on staff who made us a really nice drawing for free (which I thought was nuts - would have happily paid them).  I've seen that illustration used in many presentations since so it definitely is worth the time to make good art.

I have not hired a graphic artist before so don't have a good idea about amounts but that can be negotiated.  It does need to be someone who is doing it as a business and can take payment by credit card (Paypal won't work - sorry).  We would buy the illustration and use it with our manuscripts.  Since I work for the Government everything is in the public domain so it could not be copyrighted if published, although we could provide an attribution (in addition to paying you).  Would prefer someone with experience in scientific illustration, preferably with plants or molecular biology, but others also could be suitable.  We are talking about probably a handful of illustrations during the next few months, but if we find someone we can work with it could be a long-term relationship with from zero to many illustrations per year depending on need.  If you would be interested or know someone you can recommend please PM me and we can go from there.  Thanks.

(Hope I'm allowed to post this kind of thing on MSG).

Hi!

I have contacted you through PM (See My Messages tab at the top of the forum)

Hope I can help you with your project :)

Thanks!

« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2020, 09:53 »
+1
Thanks, I have responded.  Couldn't get an example image inserted into the PM for some reason so will send it to you from my work e-mail to the address you provided.  Hopefully we can work together.

« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2020, 04:25 »
+3
You should really try https://www.upwork.com/ and http://www.guru.com/. Much safer method of hiring a graphic designer/illustrator. 🙂👍


I don't know upwork, but Internet is full of bad reviews of guru, don't give them clients for nothing. I was freelance illustrator working over Internet  more than 10 years, I was never using such services. I started from zero, but after few jobs I had clients testimonials (and contacts) on my website and some projects(many) behind. And that is how it should work.
If you don't know your client and he don't knows you, then change small part of money for small part of work.  There is nothing better you can do. People are cheating other people or act strange, thats just happens. Over years I had only few jobs partialy unpaid and also I hired some artists (I know them personally) to help me and they left work unfinished, even I paid them good money. Guru will not help you with that anyway, just will take you part of your money. And as artist you will compete directly with guys from India, who are able to work for almost nothing (but are not good enough to compete with others elsewhere on Internet). Unexperienced clients prefer the cost, not quality and working history. Not mention that it ruins the business as clients expects very low prices in future (sounds familiar?).


« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 04:27 by cosus »

« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2020, 03:08 »
0
I am looking for someone who can make illustrations for publications in scientific journals.  The subject area is plant pathology/genetics/molecular biology.  Would need illustrations of effects of microorganisms on leaves, interactions between plants and pathogens, molecular processes involving proteins affecting cell function, that sort of thing.  I can do photo manipulations, labeling and simple things in Illustrator myself but for anything else we need someone with much better skills.

In real life I work for the Government, and now that we are on maximum telework for the foreseeable future and can't do much in the lab we are focusing on writing up previous experiments and also writing review articles.  Reviews often get cited a lot and that can be helped with some nice illustrations.  Ordinarily we would do those ourselves, but most scientists are not great artists and I would rather pay someone who knows what they are doing to make a good illustration rather than having my people spend time making lame drawings that will not be as useful (like one I just reviewed yesterday).  We have ideas for several possible figures and can outline what we want and provide a (probably handwritten) example.  Several years ago we did an article where the society publishing the journal had an artist on staff who made us a really nice drawing for free (which I thought was nuts - would have happily paid them).  I've seen that illustration used in many presentations since so it definitely is worth the time to make good art.

I have not hired a graphic artist before so don't have a good idea about amounts but that can be negotiated.  It does need to be someone who is doing it as a business and can take payment by credit card (Paypal won't work - sorry).  We would buy the illustration and use it with our manuscripts.  Since I work for the Government everything is in the public domain so it could not be copyrighted if published, although we could provide an attribution (in addition to paying you).  Would prefer someone with experience in scientific illustration, preferably with plants or molecular biology, but others also could be suitable.  We are talking about probably a handful of illustrations during the next few months, but if we find someone we can work with it could be a long-term relationship with from zero to many illustrations per year depending on need.  If you would be interested or know someone you can recommend please PM me and we can go from there.  Thanks.

(Hope I'm allowed to post this kind of thing on MSG).


For Pathology, surgery etc you should visit The Science Photo Agency they will also have releases on their files which from Hospitals and Labs can be very hard to get!


 

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