Can you turn your hobby into a paying job?
It wasn’t that long ago that a wargames magazine posted a job for a full-time miniature painting. That was 35 hours a week painting minis, being paid, although they didn’t say how much.
Wouldn’t it be good if you could name your price and then let people who want to hire you at that rate come to you? Or have a price in mind and look for someone who’d paint up your new army for it?
And why stop at mini painting? Why not do this for rules editing, illustration, social media, voice acting and other creative tasks that publishers big and small often need to find people for.
Well, that’s what DoodleMeeple offers. It’s a site where you can set your price and have business come to you or look for creatives.
Geek Native spoke to Jamie Noble-Frier, who’s the co-founder and CEO at the site. Jamie was kind enough to answer some 101s to help sort this out. Is it all really free?
What is DoodleMeeple?
DoodleMeeple is a tabletop game industry platform that helps professionals find projects to work on, and find the right people to work on projects. Essentially we host profiles of artists, game designers, marketers, testers, voice actors, miniature painters… anything that’s relevant to producing and promoting a tabletop game. We give Creatives like these a central hub to be seen and do business with publishers large and small, easily and for free. Private hobby collectors can even use us to find a miniature painter. You don’t have to be a veteran publisher to create a project on DoodleMeeple.
So, if I’m really good at painting minis, I could register and then watch out for briefs that might interest me?
Yes! Exactly that. You can make a gorgeous looking profile like this one, that has links for your social media, and how to contact you. Everything’s open we believe in full visibility for our Creatives. What’s great is that publishers, or any other project creator can make a brief and hand pick a selection of Creatives, let’s say miniature painters to hear from. It saves the unnecessary blanket applications you get on normal job board sites, and the project owner won’t hear from a thousand irrelevant or under qualified applicants.
If I need to find an illustrator for my RPG, is DoodleMeeple a site I can put a commission request on?
Totally! Like above, although you’d take the role of the project creator. Once you register with us for free, you can make a brief and browse our Creatives, filtering them by role, then add up to five that you’d like to hear from. The brief is only sent out to those five illustrators so you don’t end up with unwanted applicants confusing things, you can then compare your quotes, chat and negotiate and then form a contract with your chosen Creative. All on the platform.
How do you make money?
Right now we’re focused on building up a great community for everyone to enjoy, find work and improve the industry we love. So essentially we don’t make money right now. We know what’s important right now is to foster good business relationships between our users, and we’ll support the business with our own time and money. We accept small donations via Patreon, and some of the tier have small perks you get as a user. These are completely optional and you can use the service without them. We’ve even kept them around the price of a cup of coffee should you opt into a paid tier, so it’s always affordable whatever you choose to do.
Do you have enough data to know what the going rate for certain jobs is? How much would I expect to pay someone to edit a rulebook?
It’s a tricky question to answer… “It’s a bit of a how long is a piece of string” answer I’m afraid to say. Some rulebooks are 4 pages, and some are 40. Some are image heavy and some are mainly text. We give all the tools to negotiate and explain the needs of a project with our on platform instant messaging service. This means everything is recorded on the platform too, for you to refer back to or in the case of contractual disputes if ever they arose. We’re really committed to protecting all parties in a project, we know how important that peace of mind is when you undertake something new.
Having worked in the industry for the past decade as an artist, I have an idea of fair rates of pay across most disciplines, but it’s really up to the project Creator and Creative to find a happy middle ground. My suggestion would be, if someone is charging an absolute bargain, less than even minimum wage, I’d be a little concerned about the quality of work. We host professionals with long careers, and often that will come with a varying price tag, and most often you get what you pay for.
What tips do you have for a freelancer looking for work so that they get the most out of DoodleMeeple?
Make your profile look great. Only use your best work… The one dud in your portfolio can kill the excitement that the other five images create. Take advantage of all of the elements given to you. A great header image, gallery, testimonials. Anything that gives you the edge. Once you’re set up you’re good to go, Creators can see you and invite you to jobs. You get a notification when you have a job, so it’s really simple. It’s low effort for high reward, don’t miss out on an easy avenue of extra work!
Might we see you at gaming conventions and other industry events when it’s safe to go?
We’d love to increase our presence more at live events. Although we’re UK based, we have hundreds of international account holders, so we’d love to get to conventions globally. We’re as excited as anyone for this pandemic to give us a break.
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