Never be afraid to ask someone to sign a contract: you are providing quality work and deserve to get paid for it. Many individuals would be happy to provide you a signature. In fact, it may make them rest a little easier as well; in my case, brides were handing over their wedding envelopes for their invitations, and having a contract made them reassured that I would not make off with their invitations. All the contract represents is that you will do the work, and that they will pay you for it. Everybody wins.
Also, this will avoid headaches about pricing and pieces completed in the long run. If any changes are made during your meeting, NOTE THEM and be sure to charge accordingly.
If the thought of contracts still makes you cry out in the night, here's a sample for you. I'm in love with the simplicity of the format, and I provided myself with a revisions section. Also, all contact information for both parties is present. Just break it down to understand it better, and to create your own contract.
Ashley Osgood – Calligraphy Services SERVICE TERMS CONTRACT
000 Sumner Street
Phone #: 781-555-6861
Client Name: Andrea Tewburrn
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Calligraphy job for outer envelopes for wedding, and an estimated 130 invitations must be completed. The total job cost is estimated to be $130. Anticipating to send out invites at the end of August. One week is given to complete the job – the $15 rush fee is waived due to referral.
Meeting and Contract Date: August 13th, 2009
Upon viewing and discussion of sample work, the undersigned is clearly informed of creative nature of artist and knowingly accepts the style in which the work will be completed. Payment method requires a deposit of half of the total job amount upon receipt of materials (invitations). Amount outstanding is due upon completion of job.
Any additional names/addresses not originally supplied and factored under original cost will be charged the standard price of $1.00 accordingly – this includes misspellings and wrong addresses that must be redone. Conversely, if the artist makes a mistake on any piece, it will be redone free of charge. The undersigned must provide additional envelopes upon initial meeting to address either situation.
Tipping is not necessary but appreciated.
130 Outer Envelopes @ $1.00 each (130 Pieces) $130.00
Deposit Due $65.00
Total Pieces $
Deposit Due $
Ideal Date of Completion:
I, the undersigned, accept these terms and promise to pay for services rendered.
Client Name & Date
I, the undersigned, accept these terms and promise complete services expected of me within the time agreed upon.
Artist Name & Date
(Good luck! Hope this helps :) go get 'em!)