I seem to be saying that a lot lately. I seem to be learning heaps lately.
You go through experiences and you learn. You probably learn the hard way, and get stung. I have been stung. Many many times it seems. But. It's a learning curve and hopefully I don't make the same mistakes twice. Designers, illustrators, artists, and anyone else in the world, can be abused. People think they can use you, walk all over you. We need to stand up for ourselves, believe in ourselves, believe in our talents and believe that we aren't just a bunch of monkeys. You gotta fight for your right....etc... So. That's my big thing at the mo really. Just, covering all the bases, making sure that just because people want my work, it doesn't mean they get "mates rates", it doesn't mean I can be taken advantage of, and it doesn't mean I am going to let myself be abused in that manner. It is unprofessional, on both parts.
So. "Buck up" as I tell myself. Get solid contracts that support my rights as an artist. Otherwise, there are some dodgies out there that will take you for everything you're worth. (and maybe more for some people.)