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MichelleChermaine.com Policies & Terms

50% Payment Deposit

A 50% payment deposit is due before I start working on your project to cover initial costs for materials and supplies so I can purchase everything I need to start your project. There are 2 main reasons for the 50% deposit:
  • This way you are guaranteed a secure spot in my work schedule. Once the deposit goes through, your project schedule will be confirmed.
  • It’s only fair that I am paid for my investment of time and effort.

A lot of time and work actually goes into creating a piece of art before the actual drawing or painting starts. This can include but is not limited to the following activities:

  • Brainstorming back and forth for concept development if the client has no specific idea in mind of what they want me to illustrate.
  • Phone time (sometimes long distance) and/or email time spent in communication, reading detailed briefs, gathering and sorting through many reference pictures to chose the right ones for the project (as in the case for portraits)
  • Initial concept sketches
  • Research time finding all the information I need either online, through in person consultations or personally visiting libraries and museums = time + gas expenses
  • Gathering all the reference pictures I need by personally going out to shoot images with my own camera to get the right reference pictures your project requires.

Work on the project commences after the bank confirms that your check or Paypal payment has gone through and after I have received any materials I require from you to start the job (e.g. portrait reference pictures, final proofread draft of your book if I’m designing the interior layout, etc).

Once I reach the midway point of the project where it is half complete, work will commence on the last half stage towards the finish line after the bank confirms that your check or Paypal payment has gone through.

Kill Fees

  • A 50% Kill Fee is a non-refundable charge paid to cover all the work completed should the project be abandoned for any reason from the time the project starts to the midpoint stage where the project is half complete.
  • This is to protect my investment in time, work and the incurred cost of materials. Should the project be cancelled for any reason after all the work is almost finished or completely finished, the full payment for the whole project will be non-refundable.

File and/or Original Artwork Ownership

  • If you would like to own the original artwork (examples: original acrylic paintings, pencil sketches, etc) please let me know well beforehand so I can give you an accurate quote.
  • In some cases, as in the case of book cover designs and illustrations, the original artwork is not on physical canvas or paper and is actually a composite digital image made from a photo taken of an original painting with several layers added in Photoshop to be laid out in InDesign.

    The Economic Advantage - The advantage of owning only the digital images you need for your project without purchasing the original tangible artwork is I can offer you a more affordable price. It will eliminate costs in packaging, shipping, travel time and gas expenses since you’ll be receiving the digital images instantly via email as soon as they are done. This saves both of us time and money since we will also be able to communicate faster online. Of course if you really want to buy the original we can also definitely discuss that.

- I maintain ownership of all original artwork and designs and their copyrights unless we agree otherwise and you choose to purchase the original & its rights.

- An example of an exception to this term is if lets say you wanted me to design a book cover using a photo you or somebody else took. In that case, the copyright of the photo belongs to the photographer of course.


Clients will get the following files:

Before Project Completion:

  • Low resolution watermarked jpg files of concept sketches before the final version
  • Transfer of usage rights is pending upon receipt of full payment

After Project Completion:

  • Adobe PDF file of the final version at print quality resolution for your printer or publisher.
- I maintain ownership of all working files. This includes all files that are editable (Examples: Layered Photoshop and Illustrator files, Dreamweaver files, InDesign layout files, etc.)

- Editable files do not leave my computer. Handing over editable files might result in my potential loss of revenue in case of further revisions in the future. Or worse, should they be edited by someone else and they mess up the job, my name might still be associated with the revision someone else messed up.


Refusal of Offensive or Illegal Subject Matters

I reserve the right to refuse projects involving subject matters that are deemed illegal and/or offensive, such as hate literature or anything glorifying drug use, etc. If I am not comfortable with the nature of the project I will say so upfront which is why I need very clear information about what the project is about beforehand.