Should I be charging low when starting out, even if I believe I should be charging more for the quality they are getting? I feel as if high priced art only works because they have a big audience, thus a greater chance to find people who are willing to pay that much.
Yeah, charging very little just undermines everyone else and fucks up the already fucked up industry. Don't undersell yourself. That being said, if your art is at a level that doesn't warrant semi decent pay, then you shouldn't be trying to get work in the first place.
w8 a second I had a picture for this somewhere...
Oh! Here it is!
I've made the mistake of charging prices like >>1836161
Don't do it, start at least at what minimum wage is in your area + the number of hours it usually takes to make something like that.
Post your art and we can also help judge how much it might be worth and if you even have a chance of getting commissions. Also it does depend a lot on your popularity (if you're doing commissions on a website like dA or tumblr).
You charge what people are willing to pay you, but you also need to check what people around your skill level are charging. A lot of people are very hush hush about their prices for some reason, so good luck with your research.
I also consider not only what other charge, since they might undersell themselves as fuck, but more like every time I get an offer I think to myself "ok, for how much I'm even willing to do this?" If the offer goes under a certain price then I reject it. It's not worth it. you might get the job, but once you're actually working on it you'll feel extremely demotivated because you won't feel you're getting paid what your time is worth and it could even hurt the work you're doing.
People are less hush hush if you are actually friends with them, and not just messaging them or asking them publicly. All my friends who work pro tell me stuff very openly when I ask them, and I do the same to them. I've also shared information on /ic/ before about stuff, as have others (the anonymity helps with a more public forum like this).
I think it's more or less something you find out after your first commission. I initially charged 50 on mine, which was way cheap for the thing I drew. Then I kind felt it out and came to realize the hours and work worth of what I was drawing.
Example of my charging rates
1 character = $50-55
2 characters = $70-75
3 characters = $80-85
and there are quite a few better people than me on here. I can barely paint and can't really do scenery or backgrounds, but just putting yourself out there and being willing should land you a few commissions when you want them.
Depends on why you're doing it. If you need the money, you want to pander to a fringe group and charge high. If you want to draw interesting stuff, you can charge low and can choose which of the 10000 requests you actually do. If you're somewhere in the middle, you want to join a circle and let the smart guys figure out which of their commissions you do at which prices.
While we're on the topic, Id like to urge everyone to stay clear of the union-esque "you can't charge low prices!!11" propaganda. They don't want you to charge high because it's good for you, they want everyone to charge high because it's marginally good for everyone who charges high. Be concerned about yourself first and foremost, don't let them badger you.
Commission work should be worth your time.
In Vancouver in the film industry in the cheapest union on the cheapest shows the lowest paying position in the art department pays $21.50 per hour up to eight hours, $32.25 per hour from eight hours up to twelve hours, $43 per hour from twelve hours to sixteen and $64.50 per hour from sixteen hours on.
If you aren't earning that much on commissions then what the fuck are you doing commissions for?
>I should be paid AT LEAST 20 bucks an hour to practice my hobby. look at me go
Don't get me wrong, you should totally charge whatever prices get you the most money. I'm just saying that you point of comparison is stupid. The lowest paid artist of a vancouver film company is three times as good and 8 times more professional as your average deviantart-commission-person. The idea that they're somehow the same thus should be paid the same seems ludacris to me.
I've never asked anyone anything. People just clearly don't make the information publicly available. I can only guess it's to have better haggling room for when people actually do contact them for work.
>The lowest paid artist of a vancouver film company is three times as good and 8 times more professional as your average deviantart-commission-person
My point is the Deviant Art people need to step up. Charging low prices for commissions = Fucking both yourself and the industry as a whole. And the lowest paid artist on a film crew is an Assistant, who spends half his time making coffee and picking up lunch for his seniors. More professional? Nah, just more ambitious.
>Charging low prices for commissions = Fucking both yourself and the industry as a whole
The problem with the "artist community" is that they'd rather see their beginner peers starve than having to reduce the prices of their own work by a 8%. If I'm a beginner who wants to spend 60 hours a week doing commissions, the only reasonably thing to do is pick the highest price that still gets me 60 hours worth of request. Telling people they should increase their prices and reduce their revenue so that you can charge more for the same time is just plain reprehensible.
Please show that the price/demand curve for art commissions is fundamentally different from what the freelancers union publishes in their annual reports and any other individual-driven marketplace ever studied in economics.
While you're at it, add up the number of times those studies use empty idiologisms like "decent wage" and report the result.
thats some rad shit there op
i absolutely dont have a clue as i will never commission artists, but if i was drawing these id like to have 150$ at the very least for one piece
as others have said already - take a desired pay/hour, multiply with the time spent and add a bit more
a slave worker is paid a fixed amount per hour, you as an artist have to translate the request into a final painting, you had to spend years training, stay in contact with the client, have the risk of him demanding you to redraw something (lowers your pay per hour) etc...
I'd say if you still want to start off at a low price don't go below $60 for something like the bottom right. If it took 3-4 hours that's a good starting price (in my opinion) if you get a lot of commissions then just gradually keep hiking it up. Definitely don't leave it at 60 once you get started and get a regular flow of people wanting to commission you though. If you're popular you could easily do 100+ for a finished piece.
I'm not who you were asking, but you should see the quality that so many tumblr artists have, and how much they charge. Hint: many charge very little for pretty poor quality. Not all, though, not all. But a large amount of them. I don't know if they actually get very many commissions, though.
I'm personally going to start doing commissions soon, and I hope for at least 25$ apiece for painterly interpretations of OCs or something, that's thinking that they'll take barely 2 to 2 1/2 hours each. I think it's a fair place to start. Eventually I will increase it. I'm planning on using this to pay for school and eating out, but luckily I'm barely 18 and still livin with my parents for now.
If I WAS to live off of commissions, I'd have to charge so much that I doubt any sane, considerate patron would ever dare to buy my art at such a price. Probably 60$ apiece. Certainly I'd need to do even MORE studies than I do now at this level.
If you want to know more about what people charge for commissions, scour the internet for commission artists, they're all over the place. Some charge like 200$ apiece for a bust, but they're very detailed, and they probably spend 6 hours minimum on each.
tl;dr: google can help you, and I want money
I would post work and be as active as possible for a solid month or two, then opening commissions at that price might make more sense. That is if you're literally starting at 0 followers and don't have much serious work posted.
I think 60 is a good opening price for a fairly decent but mostly unknown artist.
Especially if you don't have any sort of reputation built already where people know what sort of work they will be getting and when.
If you have a following already you can start a bit higher but it really depends on the fanbase. If people are regularly asking about requests/art trades/commissions then go for it, price higher if you want but no guarantee that many people will bite right away.
I feel 60 is a good safe zone to start with.
Are you speaking from experience? I don't mean to sound like dick but I'm wondering if you have experience in doing commissions and such. Also I'm not really picky about pricing, I'm where I'm getting paid for doing my hobby is my thing but I don't want to undershoot it especially after reading >>1836161
>mfw earning 10$ a day would be enough to quit my job (one decent commission a week)
>mfw I still didn't git gud enough to get into commissions
That's it, I'm turning off wifi and rereading Loomis.
keep up the discussion
reading about fellow artists starting to get paid for their hobby is extremely inspiring
i want to start commissions as fast as possible aswell
starting college next month, thanks to financial aid for students in my country i have all costs covered but i want to experience the feeling of buying some tablet or artbook off of my commissions for the first time
captcha: paintte grace
I have a question to commissioners. Did you have to pander to fandoms when you were first starting out? Did your works consists mostly of fanart or were you able to get work for concept art from the lesser known and the like?
Sure, as I said, I don't feel I'm terribly incredible, but I tend to get commissions pretty regularly without even opening them up publicly. My goal is to be sunibee/nezumi tier(so that pretty much implies my content).
Also, any critique at all is welcome, the more bitter and precise the better.
If youre a begginer in arts and putting high commissions, whos gonna buy them? People usually dont buy as much art except for some ikea b/w photo prints. I dont know why anyone would buy some avrage tier drawing, while they could find someone better for the same expensive price. Might aswell get gud and get busy building a reputation on the inernetz.
But im really confused how gud someone has to be to get paid decent commission prices. I myself have been taking drawing seriously for almost 2 years (first year i mostly draw some mlp art, but i'm been really practising and reading books on human anotomy for the second year now). I am starting to save some money for a pro intuos tablet, and some commission money would help tremendously...
Non-artists can barely differentiate between beginner artist and anyone that's not really really good.
For instance, my friends can't see the difference between random fanart and an average CGHUB gold award.
Sometimes people are not just telling "hey that's awesome" because they want to make you feel better, they honestly can't see that it's bad.
Literally a single PS filter may trick them into finding a horrible piece "amazing".
Id suggest Michael hampton over Loomis as a beginner. As good as loomis is, I found it far more difficult to get into when I was starting. Hampton has a much more understandable approach in my opinion (If you still are having trouble understanding, try some Proko videos). I went back to loomis later when I understood more. Also don't forget Vipplu (420 FEEL IT)
I've worked freelance on and off for the last couple years. I only open accept the once in a while as I've been busy, so I'm not making enough to live off of but it has paid for gas etc. on occasion.
Right now I have 2 I'm working on and 1 pending as I wait to hear back from the client. 50~60 is about what I would charge for a piece that would take around 3/4 hours. I also lost any following I had a few months ago because I changed accounts for various reasons, so starting from scratch essentially.
I've tried pricing things differently, and had my share of experiences with shitty clients and getting ripped off.
Beginners mistake - Never give them the full image before you get payment, never agree to make changes or put extra work in until you get paid either. I hope most people know that, but I didn't starting out and was scared of asking for payment up front.
I've been doing big bulk orders for RPGs and card games (indie shit) the last few years, I usually get a quarter to half up front. Once I'm comfortable with them, I accept payment upon delivery. Depends on the client though.
Sorry, I don't have one. Not a huge fan of Facebook, though I hear it has some alright art communities.
I'm doing some animation studies at the moment, but I might make one a little later, if I do I'll hit you up on tumblr.
So my imagined payment routine would go like this:
>They make specifications
>They pay half
>I contact them that I agree
>I receive their half payment
>I make work for 1 and half hours
>I show them
>Wait for feedback
>Show work, get feedback, adjust until happy
>Request full payment at this point
>They cough up
>Do work for another 1 and a half hours and send it when it's finished
>Everybody is happy
Ideally it should go like this but I'm worried about the
>Show work, get feedback, adjust until happy
portion. It seems highly exploitable. Also on the off chance that I keep failing meeting their envisioned standards, what would a good policy to follow? Full payment return or just a portion. Also keep in mind that I'm a beginner with no followers. Would a partial return come off as dickish? It could potentially hurt my name. Thanks in advance.
the client is the one who takes the risk, so they shouldn't be a dick about you still getting partial payment. have a decent portfolio up, with a good bio on your methodology, and there should be no excuses from them about not having their vision met. i would try to get full payment in advance once i have a big enough portfolio though, due to potential scammers who would be fine with one half payment and the draft-work. it can happen alot when you're expecting a full commission. always be careful.
I agree with >>1837267
Also make sure that you have you rules stated or are very clear about your commission process, that way when you ask for payment they're not like "wtf no im not paying you until its done and I know I like it (this happened to me, 10+ hour tattoo design, it was finished but they refused to pay me until I redrew and colored a different version just so they could see it... it was already DIRT cheap as I was still underselling my work and I had graduated with the person. They ended up not paying me at all, asshole).
Also make it clear that if they ask for extensive changes (like over 30 minutes extra work or whatever) it will cost extra. That way they can't exploit you.
guy you replied to, yeah this is spot on. for me i'd go $50.00 sketch+$30.00 for lineart, then $100.00 for values, and $200.00 for full color work. all in advance, so that means if they wanted color AFTER you gave them a sketch+lineart, you should have $80.00 already and now $280.00 before you even start. just values? then $180.00. all established you should be fine. i don't think it's stupidly pricey if you know your shit. charge for you what you think you're worth, so don't be cheap, cause you are good and deserve to paid as such.
Damn, what an asshat.
Those are some really enticing numbers. But I'll go with the assumption that you're way way WAY above my skill level. Can we see a sample pic? I am in no way being a dick right now but I want to see what a $280 up front full illustration looks like. I hope it's no problem, you are a professional after all. It'll probably kick me back into reality for briefly thinking I could charge something like that.
Read the Graphic Artist's Guild Hand Book (either of the last couple editions are fine). I wish more people would read this damn book.
there was another decent book on freelancing pricing also but I can't remember the name
I have a pretty significant fanbase in the local convention community, but pretty much no online presence out of state.
I don't really "open" for commissions though, because my main source of income is prints and I never really cared much for commissions (if I can make thousands off one piece by just reprinting, why would I want to do a one time piece for reasons other than practice?) I generally just have people approach me and we talk it out. But I think most of the fear comes from years ago when I would ask for a measly price- way beneath minimum wage- and be rejected by it. Even if it was a different time, at a lower skill, and towards a cheaper audience, it still makes me doubt myself when I'm trying to place a price.
Steering slightly back though, any advice on getting that active/wallet-owning fanbase online? I really lack in that area.
>Graphic Artist's Guild Hand Book
Download link please?
What does it say one should charge? I got a potential client for my shitty drawings and the client is willing to pay money, now I just gotta figure out what is an appropriate price to ask
No more followers than I normally got. As I said, I didn't really "open up" for commissions, these were people in state that found me at cons and approached me with them.
I can't say I ever really got any crappy customers. I guess a lot of it was "well, it's only $30, I can't ask for too much", but everyone seemed really satisfied, suggested me to their friends, never asked for too many alterations, etc. Frequency is variable, usually I get a lot right after a con and none for long dead periods inbetween.
I think he makes a good point about not using the GAG's price guidelines. Ultimately I think the easiest way to go about it is to to think about how much your supplies cost, how much other people are charging, and, ultimately, what price are you NOT willing to go below. Also, if you want to work on it is another big factor. If you don't want to do it charge more, way more.
>Be in Asian third world country
>Min wage of 250$ a month
>tfw commission work pays more than my own job
I work as a Quality assurance in a clothing factory in Bali. 10 hours a day for 6 days a week, and 12+ on busy season.
But the my the owner is nice as fuck though. Paid leave on religious holiday or sick, covers our hospital bills and even does company outings after a busy season.
>doing commissions for change
>not gitting gud and getting an actual job
>work in korea as an artist in NC
>20k monthly salary
>not even top tier
I'm being cocky yes, but jesus christ life is easy.
Don't believe the wage? Look it up.
>implying I can get that thing in my country
>implying I won't just forget about trying to buy it from the internet anyways
Give link and people might read it. Pic related, I'll leave this beautiful tab open with my hopes up.
>moving to another countries with already over-saturated job market
>thinking anyone can just up and go to Korea and make money
Glad you won the foreign job lottery but it's not that simple.
Since this seems to be a business thread or something like that, and I know little to nothing about this, I have a question: can you get a job at some company from the US if you're from another country, but without having to go there? like, from your home? also, can you be a freelancer, do commisions and/or work for someone at the same time?
If any of you is from a 3rd world country, I'd like to hear how good the business is for you.
I need to do this shit though. I'm not even half gud yet and the commission I made are mostly from locals or friendos, and some days I don't even get any commissions.
I just need to git gud and then I might go full NEET commission artist mode. Unlike from what I heard from my american friends, rent in here is pretty cheap (200 bucks a month gives you access to a fully furnished, air-conditioned and all kinds of goodies for an apartment.)
I just had to do my job first until I get gud.
I had this book forever (an older edition), probably the most helpful book when it comes to business and is directly art related. Got it because a bunch of artist and art directors in illuxcon recommended it. Besides pricing yourself it actually helps with dealing and writing contracts which no one ever talks about despite being pretty much necessary with companies to not get fucked over.
it's like somewhere between a dollar to 10 USD for the older edition and I think about 20 USD for the newest one in amazon. shit ain't even that expensive and it's thick, pretty much a university text book. never actually read the newer editions but the older one is fine for me.
questions like these are useless because it depends on your audience/client.
i know someone who did some marketing art for a big gaming publisher in canada (guess which, there aren't that many) who got about ~800 canadian dollars per illustration and was worse than this (though his contract pretty much forbids him to use it in his portfolio for some fucked up reason). there are some furfags who get about 250-400 per illustration commission that are worse than this. some of the art in the latest expansion of MTG has worse art than that and got whatever WOTC gives nowadays (they changed their flat rates very recently.) and there are DAfags in high school that are better than that that charge some shit like 30 usd.
I swear their standards must've gone down or something. Or they just don't care about this current set, but at least it's not as bad as Kamigawa.
Several hundred at least. I've sold commissioned, worse quality drawings for $600 easy.
Don't undersell yourself like most artists do. It's all about what you ask for. High prices will turn away a lot of personal commissions, but it's much easier to make $600 doing catching one single commission than it is to make $600 doing 6 $100 commissions.
Yes, fan art definitely helps you get into commissions. I wouldn't necessarily chase things I'm not interested in (I think fans can sniff out if you're just cashing in on the fandom also) but I tend to luck out and like some fairly popular things so I never ran into that.
Let's say that you "start out" with a skillset that's worth several hundred dollars because you've spent years telling yourself you're not good enough on /ic/.
Unless you're really already pro, that is you can do very good stuff in a few hours, let's hypothesize that you spend 20 hours to get something as beautiful as you possibly can and you want to sell it at 1000$. Obviously that's not an easy target.
Now, unless you're a master at polishing turds, you should be able to get something decent out in a few hours. So instead, just sell something you do in 2 hours for 100$.
I'm not good at math so I kept the numbers easy, but you should obviously factor in time spent communicating with the client etc. but I think you get the gist. It's how much you make relative to the time you spend that matters. Or that's my opinion at least.
This really should be a required reading for anyone doing any art-related freelancing.
Not this guy but lower priced commissions also attract more retarded clients in my experience... But I guess that also depends on what you're pandering to. Price yourself low enough then art directors won't even take you seriously
Doesn't matter how long you make them wait as long as you make it explicitly clear how long it's going to take you, beforehand. A slow artist with a lot on his plate? Got some stuff backed up? Just MAKE IT CLEAR and it doesn't matter. If they decide against it because it goes against their time frame, then you didn't deserve the commission in the first place.
So what did it say about the pricing? Still waiting for an answer or a download link
A month is totally okay unless they need it sooner. Ask for a due date, and state whether or not you can meet it. I've worked with many companies who often apologize for having work due in 3 weeks, as if that's some sort of rush. If they need anything in like three days, you should charge them up the ass, even if you can get it done in a few days.
Just remember that emailing & talking with the client usually takes a good chunk of time, especially when you've got multiple things going at once.
If you have the skills and the confidence, then yes. The #1 trick to making more money in any sort of freelance career is to simply ask for more money.
Things that help justify your costs would be your main selling points. Particularly, I'm talking about style. If you have a unique style, EVERYthing gets so much easier.
The size of your online following can also influence how much people will pay you.
>but I don't have a large following
Then get one. Start today. It's really not that hard to build up, and the benefits are amazing. No one can hire you if you don't promote yourself. Get to it. I recommend Tumblr.
A good following and a good style are a major factor into how much money you can squeeze out of a commission.
Also this. Your own pricing should reflect how valuable you want your work to be. You don't want to attract moron clients and get paid terribly at the same time. It's a lose-lose. Build up your personal brand and you'll lure in clients that respect your time, your work and your wallet.
Cast a large enough net, and you don't need to find anyone - not even major commissions. You can get all of that to come to you if you put in the time and promote yourself smartly. How? You answered your own question -
>i dont think youd find people paying that unless youve got some following and are really pretty good.
Build a following and get really, pretty good. These aren't things that are impossible, unattainable goals. In my experience, having a large following is actually more important than being good.
I've only ever had to make slight adjustments (less than 20 minutes) on an illustration. The key is understanding exactly what the client wants BEFORE investing much time in it.
For the board/card game I'm working on:
>Client sends vague character description and reference
>"Big tough guy with bandana and broadsword dressed like the pic"
>I send a 20 minute sketch for the pose
>Do a B&W version
>"Make the sword fancier"
>Fancy up sword "Like this?"
>Finish in color (keeping major color areas on different layers in case they don't like em)
Total scam. The suggested prices to charge are ridiculous if you ever want to actually get work.
Plus, they charge YOU to plant the idea of what YOU should be making? Fuck that. I typically charge $20 an hour (it takes me 3-4 hours to do a full character with background). Or, in real world terms, I charge $80 per.
I've got you covered.
Anon, don't do this please. If you know you don't have the time to do it either don't take commissions in the first place or apologize to the customer and refund them. Don't make them wait several months for awful art.
What the fokk
Pose looks so dumb
pose basically says
'fighting with Ridley'.
Ridley is in background.
Samus isn't even aiming the gun at Ridley.
Giving benefit of doubt.
She is aiming her gun at the top of one of Ridley's fingers.
If the finished piece is as rendered as the face, and as that anon said it even has a background, that's probably not a 2h piece of work. If you can do that in 2h, you have no business asking advice in this thread, just put some more hours into making proper portfolio pieces and get hired by serious companies.
You have got to be kidding. I'm furfag trash and I make more than 100USD on stuff that is 100x worse than that (picture related).
I guess it probably depends on your audience but imo charging only 100USD for a drawing like that fully rendered is a fucking crime.
how much would you pay for something at this level
Anyone here who earns 300 plus bucks a day with commissions only?
I'm not him, but it probably is in the range he said, give or take a bit. You know these things just from experience I guess. Take a look at Legend of the 5 Rings for example--they pay 150 to 175 for their art, and it's mostly pretty bad, though there are a few good artists working on it. A lot of the numbers attached to art is kinda dumb though, in my experience it depends mostly on the budget of the company, and then an artist works for a wide range of pay depending what it is. There still are general guidelines though, like you know that mtg and applibot pay around 1k, so if your art well below that level you shouldn't expect that pay. Although I've literally worked on things from 175 to 1500. Depends a lot on the company and how desperate I am at any given time.