Author Topic: General discussion about hiring an artist working from home. Your thoughts?  (Read 2083 times)

Offline Dottonedan

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Let me toss this in here (didn't read every post word for word, so I might miss something already said) but this situation sounds a lot like the music industry once was, music artist had to go to a big studio to get there songs recorded and mastered costing a nice hourly fee, been there done that, now with all the new tech the artist now records there own music and master it right in there home studio cutting out those once big recording houses.  So Dan what I'm getting at with this is with all your talent you might can start your own sep house using remote guys/gals and supply that service to tons of shops, I might have a job drop on me that needs your talent even thought we are mom and pop but we can give our customers big time prints like the bigger shops using some of the same talent, leaving me with my inhouse tools for the smaller jobs without costing me a major weekly salary for one person. Know more freelance title if your Dan's Sep House and like already mention your talent pulls you all the work from across the country that you and your team could handle.


That’s a great idea for someone!  But one I’m not real interested in for myself. There’s a lot more of struggle doing that then I want to get into.  I’d rather just go full time freelance and figure out some better options for insurance. Ours is currently dumb. In order to make it affordable to some degree, we took that early tax write off on the insurance and it reduces our insurance to $700 per month but still has a 6k deductable. Without that, we could not do insurance at all....and the wife is needing a lot of hospital visits for continuous health issues.
Artist & Sim Process separator, Co owner of The Shirt Board, Past M&R Digital tech installer for I-Image machines. Over 28 yrs in the apparel industry. Apparel sales, http://www.designsbydottone.com  e-mail art@designsbydottone.com 615-821-7850


Offline Dottonedan

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A few other benefits that I had overlooked.


6. Demand. For example, if you know there is a particular artist or a separator that you would really like to have in your arsenal, but they don't want to move, you have at least an option of still hiring them but having them work for from home. (Danny at Denver Print house and Jeremy Duncan) for example.


7, No need for purchasing another expensive computer.


8, No additional programs licensing


9 No office/cubical space needed.
Artist & Sim Process separator, Co owner of The Shirt Board, Past M&R Digital tech installer for I-Image machines. Over 28 yrs in the apparel industry. Apparel sales, http://www.designsbydottone.com  e-mail art@designsbydottone.com 615-821-7850

Offline GraphicDisorder

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I would agree.  Most shops would be thinking the same things.
And you have given your perspective as I had asked. And that’s all good feedback and appreciated.   I was only replying to the reply. Good discussion.  No harm, no foul.

I gather that there was some confusion as to my reasons for leaving. It’s not about money.
Thanks!

No worries. Over all what you must remember is that in general...average and below shops probably have either no need for you (in their mind) or they are doing it with a auto sep program with luke warm results enough to get by.  We have to remember in general customers in this industry couldn't tell you the differences between great work and average work. That's just the reality of it. So if the customer in general doesn't value it....nor will the shop.

Sad reality.

I wont name names, but a well known shop that dwarfs mine, I just bought a shirt I know they printed from a customer of theirs. Wasn't remotely impressed.
Brandt | Graphic Disorder | www.GraphicDisorder.com
@GraphicDisorder - Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Offline Admiral

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We have found it can be done just fine.  3 of our artists are remote now 98% of the time.  Our separator though is on site most of the time and we do need that as he also manages the dark room (1-2 employees depending on the day). 

I think it's easy to have the artists offsite and do a great job.  Part of the job description is they are still immediately available online and I haven't had issues there, maybe a slightly delayed response but even I get to work from home for part of the day (I come in every day but have different responsibilities of course).

Our pay and benefits are beyond most though, which I hope we can sustain for a long time.  I can definitely understand that this could be difficult to implement for many places.

Offline Dottonedan

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We have found it can be done just fine.  3 of our artists are remote now 98% of the time.  Our separator though is on site most of the time and we do need that as he also manages the dark room (1-2 employees depending on the day). 

I think it's easy to have the artists offsite and do a great job.  Part of the job description is they are still immediately available online and I haven't had issues there, maybe a slightly delayed response but even I get to work from home for part of the day (I come in every day but have different responsibilities of course).

Our pay and benefits are beyond most though, which I hope we can sustain for a long time.  I can definitely understand that this could be difficult to implement for many places.


Good to hear that Thanks for the feedback!


May I ask what programs you are using to connect/stay in touch wit them and transfer files etc.? I hear some are using SLACK, IM,Beekeeper etc. Maybe even google chat. But also continuing to be online in a window to be able to view files and live video and chat openly with other artist with programs like
Teamviewer, Zoom and others.
Artist & Sim Process separator, Co owner of The Shirt Board, Past M&R Digital tech installer for I-Image machines. Over 28 yrs in the apparel industry. Apparel sales, http://www.designsbydottone.com  e-mail art@designsbydottone.com 615-821-7850

Offline Admiral

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Google suite, so gchat for quick communications of issues.  I only message an offsite artist like once every two weeks it seems.  The close work is with the separator who is sending the seps to the CTS we have.

Transfer files - a couple of the artists use TeamViewer and actually use the computers on site that way.  The other couple have FTP access to the server.

Our meetings are done with Google Meet.  We have a big TV setup with webcam and fancy microphone for big meetings with mixed onsite / offsite people.  Usually it's just everyone's own device though (company provided laptops).

Offline Nation03

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I interviewed at Rush Order Tees earlier this year. I believe their entire art staff is fully remote now. Customer service is still in the office which I found a little odd that they wouldn't just go full remote for all office positions. Maybe they will eventually. Quite the operation though. To call it a print shop seems wrong. It's like a fully blown tech startup in Silicon Valley lol. 

Online Maxie

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My 2 cents as my friend Greg Kitson would say.
We have a graphic designer who works 5 hours a day and in the summer when we are very busy 2 designers working 5 hours a day.
I find that they spend a lot of time opening work orders and understanding what is required, sending mock up and getting approval.
Most of our work is for companies that have ready graphics so we have very little design work, the designers spend most of their time getting files ready to sprint.
Getting approval on the right Pantone colors, sending mock ups and getting customer approval and preparing files for CTS.
We have a lot less work in the graphics department since we got a CTS (Douthitt), we dont have to prepare files for film, file and find files for re orders.     Everything is filed on our server under customer name and number and specific job and number.     We have everything on Monday so its easy to find the original mock up and send it with the new order.     Even on re orders we get customer approv
Maxie Garb.
T Max Designs.
Silk Screen Printers
www.tmax.co.il

Offline Dottonedan

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Maxie,

Is that to say that your art staff is working from home? And if so, apparently it works out well for you.
Artist & Sim Process separator, Co owner of The Shirt Board, Past M&R Digital tech installer for I-Image machines. Over 28 yrs in the apparel industry. Apparel sales, http://www.designsbydottone.com  e-mail art@designsbydottone.com 615-821-7850

Online zanegun08

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We are nearing the stage were we will either hire another artist to help with seps or hire someone to only do seps.

If I was in this situation, and with the limited knowledge of the work you do, I personally may hire a lower level person for doing art / mockups / and other various tasks, and tap into something like GraphX Source, or Netseps where they have flat rate sim process separations as long as you get good results from outsourcing, then you can have a lower wage in-house person that is more keen on doing lower level tasks, and pre and post processing the separations.

If majority of your work needs process separations, you could potentially send out all your jobs, and have them back ready the next day if it's someone who has staff in different time zones, make some last minute tweaks in house, or if it's not up to par have them make changes (not on your hourly dime) and you could do more with less resources and less overhead.

I worked at a place that had some people that got to work from home, and majority of staff in the production facility.  It caused low morale and people working from home took advantage of that situation so if I were a business owner and had someone working remotely I would pay on a per job basis, not hourly or salary.  That way if it took the person 5 minutes or 5 hours I pay a rate that I think is fair for the job and it'd be built into the cost anyhow.

This industry isn't tech, just because work from home is popular in tech, it just doesn't translate fairly to manufacturing, especially when majority of employees don't have the luxury of working remotely, and are sweating it out doing physical labor.

Work from home is a double edge sword, as if you are able to do have someone work remotely, that also means you can find someone in a cheaper labor market that can do the same job for less, and without any liability to the business owner.

It all depends on the business though as each business model differs even though we are all making a similar end product.

Offline Dottonedan

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Quote
It all depends on the business though as each business model differs even though we are all making a similar end product.



That last statement is the biggest part to all questions and answers.


I know it works well for some shops and would not for others. There are three of my art and separation peers that are doing this very same thing and it’s working out really well for both parties.
Scott (CommandZ) being one of them who’m most of us already knew very well. He had been freelancing for years and finally went full time with one of his customers working from home over a year now.
Some other shops I’ve talked with over the last few years have 90% of the art staff working from home. It’s apparent that Covid helped make it more clear that it can be done in this industry as well (for some job functions). Not all.


I’m currently talking with a shop to be art manager overseeing an art staff that is already remote.  For me, I would find it very challenging to work as an art manager that is (not in house). But apparently this has already been done this way and I would be picking up where another art director left off (who retired).  Still discussing this one.
Artist & Sim Process separator, Co owner of The Shirt Board, Past M&R Digital tech installer for I-Image machines. Over 28 yrs in the apparel industry. Apparel sales, http://www.designsbydottone.com  e-mail art@designsbydottone.com 615-821-7850