Ready for another tip?
When you’re making comics, a lot of the time, you’re going to end up paying someone for their talent. It doesn’t matter what that talent is—if it’s something you can’t do and you want it done well, you’re more than likely going to end up paying someone for it.
There are two things that go into this, and it has to do with the recognition (no matter how large or small) of the person you’re working with, and your own attitude when it comes to paying people.
When a person has made something of a name for themselves, they obviously want to be paid for their effort. When it comes to art, this is usually done by holding on to the high resolution art until corrections are finalized and everyone is happy. Pencils, inks, colors, letters…it can all end up being the same. You’ll get low-rez files until you pony up the money.
If you pay on time and according to the agreement you made with the hired talent, then they’ll be happy to work with you again. Creators who are paid on time with no hassle are happy creators. You can even use them as references down the road if you want to use different talent who doesn’t know you. These creators are usually glad to give you a reference.
If you’re slow to pay, make excuses, or worse, disappear…these creators won’t work with you again. Even more, they’ll talk to other creators, and you’ll find your name making the rounds in a negative light. I’ve seen it happen.
Your remedies are simple: be an adult. Apologize if you’ve hurt someone, pay the money you owe, and try to make amends. If you’re paying a creator, it is quite possible that they’re counting on that money in order to pay bills or put food on the table. You flaking out and not paying them for their hard work could put them in a very tight spot. (While their straights aren’t your responsibility, if you’ve contracted them and don’t pay them, you bear some of the fault for the position they could be in.)
Pay people. Be upfront, be prompt, and be fair. No excuses. You made an agreement—stick to it.