It IS important for artist and illustrators, like myself, and graphic designers, photographers and so on to at least learn about, and why not join, networks that work for the copyrights issues and "billing the clients knowledge". In Sweden we have The Association of Swedish Illustrators & graphic designers: www.svenskatecknare.se , (its also in english, press english button). Its especially important if you are just starting out, but still as important for those of us that are already in the buissness. English speaking organisations and networks I recommend to take contact with is: www.icograda.org. Icograda has a great linkpage to affiliated organisations and networks around the "free world". Other I suggest taking contact with is the "Illustrators partnership of America", "The illustration conference", The Society of illustrators , "The drawing board", "The ispot/arttalk/", and to read magazines and websites like: "Communication arts", "Computer arts" and "Cg Channel."
The illustration by Stefan Lindblad copyright 2005
Read and learn continuesly about the buissness. Try to be a little up to date about whats happening. But DO NOT ;-) feel stressed if you dont read all the time, just try to be a little up to date. Becouse it doesnt matter if we like it or not, we are "companys" in our small way as well as the "big" companies, in the sence that we have to make money, and know about our rights and fight for them to survive, to basically be able to pay the rent.
Remember that a big company that try to press you on the prices, they do it becouse they have to make a profit, to make big money. And- so do you! Also remember that to make money you have to be ready to loose a client.
So if they dont pay you right, dont work for them, go to another company. And remember that you will allways do "bad deals" but that is the learning curve, its natural.
Give yourself a clap on the shoulder now and then and have fun.