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Author Topic: What I've learned in 2 months of commissions, type of work, what to charge etc:  (Read 863 times)

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Offline OviumNoir

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Identity: Make sure you establish yourself in that your style and your content is known and specific to a niche. Unless you're skilled at a wide range of niches you'll find yourself slaving over work when you should be enjoying it.

Target audience: This links with identity, everything must correlate; ensure the people that see your work are interested in your work and are pleased to see you on their wall when you post. You'll get more work this way, work you like doing.

Money: I personally charge based on the tools I use, and the type of work. Naturally, traditional pieces are cheaper than digitial. However you must remember with this method if your client is fussy you may find yourself working 'harder' than you anticipated. If you've already given a quote you won't be able to charge more due to difficulty completing the task.

EXAMPLE
Traditional: Pencil sketch, £5 Pen, £7.50-£10 etc.
Digital: Time. The more time spent the more expensive, however digital by default starts £10-15.

Skill and experience affects pay too: the better you are and the better your portfolio in terms of working with people, good recommendations and length of time worked you can charge more and more.
When you TALK, you are only repeating what you already know - but if you LISTEN, you may learn something new.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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I've always thought to time myself for commissions and pay by the hour with a minimum of $5 or $7 as a starting place. I've seen some people charge differently between hard shading and soft shading, as well as amount of detail. Like, a sketched headshot could be $7, but a full color and fully shaded one could be like, $15 or even $20. Full body shots typically start at like $20-ish, although I mostly see them go for at least $30 or $35.

All of this is in USD, of course, and simply based on my observations.

Offline OviumNoir

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I've always thought to time myself for commissions and pay by the hour with a minimum of $5 or $7 as a starting place. I've seen some people charge differently between hard shading and soft shading, as well as amount of detail. Like, a sketched headshot could be $7, but a full color and fully shaded one could be like, $15 or even $20. Full body shots typically start at like $20-ish, although I mostly see them go for at least $30 or $35.

All of this is in USD, of course, and simply based on my observations.


Hourly pay is good too; just gotta work a way of honestly logging down your hours.
The last writer I worked with I'd log my hours down via excel spreadsheet and send via google drive as all our documents were there already. We had arranged hourly pay of £5, worked out well.

I like your prices, I just think as you establish yourself as an artist in the world it's good to get some free work going - (I intend to be doing this with some cover pieces), get some recognition, then do work for cheap and as you improve you increase the prices, it won't take long as the difference between 3 dollars for a piece and 10 dollars is only 7 dollars - how many pieces it will take you to get help you improve depends on the person.

I feel everyone has a diff way of evaluating worth/effort, interesting seeing how people do.

Good to speak again Mahlua
When you TALK, you are only repeating what you already know - but if you LISTEN, you may learn something new.

Offline Walter B

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How do you get comissions? Do you actively search them, if so, were? Or do you start getting request organically as your audience grows?

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Offline MahluaandMilk

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Hilariously, I've already been asked about commissions and stuff through FurryAmino--from headshots to a full fursuit. That's the nice thing about being part of a niche market.

I do plan on doing a couple of headshots for free for some friends of mine on FurryAmino just to get some artwork out there, yeah. I think after a couple of months, though, I'm going to have to start charging. Typically I degrade myself with the "I'm not good enough to commission yet" talk, and yet I've seen some people with garbo art doing commissions with waaaaay too saturated and bright of colors and really low quality lineart. If they can get paid, by the gods when I'm comfortable I'm gonna at least make what they make.

Offline suupertramp

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Hilariously, I've already been asked about commissions and stuff through FurryAmino--Typically I degrade myself with the "I'm not good enough to commission yet" talk, and yet I've seen some people with garbo art doing commissions with waaaaay too saturated and bright of colors and really low quality lineart. If they can get paid, by the gods when I'm comfortable I'm gonna at least make what they make.
100% me. just had to agree with you :P
I hate it when people worse than me are getting commissions and stuff, but it shows whats achievable, and kudos for them for actually doing it. Trouble is we sit around telling ourselves are aren't good, when there are tons of people who are willing to pay, who are we to tell them that they can't pay to have what they want hmmmm? Gotta actually sell my art now....

Offline KeanFox

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Any tough customers in the two months?

Offline nyosan89

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in commission i always give the price based on what drawing they want me to
is it sketch, outline or color, and also depending on complexity of the drawing it self does it full body character or full body character with background each will be charge differently. its good that you make this tread so that people can share what they know for this matter ;) ;)

Offline OviumNoir

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How do you get comissions? Do you actively search them, if so, were? Or do you start getting request organically as your audience grows?

Usually the "grow your garden and the butterflies will come" saying is true, one thing I noticed (apologies if I've mentioned it in the original post already) is people go to art forums to sell their work or offer work - while some people may be smart enough to know art forums is a haven for finding those willing to work for money, this is a small minority - your potential customers are NOT in art forums as they aren't artists.

So you need to put yourself out there, get into fan pages, request people to advertise your work and attack niches, as your general portfolio grows (and you work for companies) so does your familiarity as you do commissions for people.
et voila, your fanbase is created
When you TALK, you are only repeating what you already know - but if you LISTEN, you may learn something new.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Can confirm. I've branched out on some social media. It helps to get on the big sites like DeviantArt and, in my case, FurAffinity to get on the ball. Browse around. Comment on other art. Set up a type of upload schedule. Participate in the community.

I hit 250 followers on a social media app called Amino that's super fanbase specific and held a little "free icon raffle" that bumped me to over 270 followers in 24 hours. It's been a little over a week and due to my upload frequency and sharing my link around I have over 100 pageviews on DA.  I don't think it'll be too long now before someone wants something for cheap.

Offline theblacksands

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I've always thought to time myself for commissions and pay by the hour with a minimum of $5 or $7 as a starting place. I've seen some people charge differently between hard shading and soft shading, as well as amount of detail. Like, a sketched headshot could be $7, but a full color and fully shaded one could be like, $15 or even $20. Full body shots typically start at like $20-ish, although I mostly see them go for at least $30 or $35.

All of this is in USD, of course, and simply based on my observations.


Hourly pay is good too; just gotta work a way of honestly logging down your hours.
The last writer I worked with I'd log my hours down via excel spreadsheet and send via google drive as all our documents were there already. We had arranged hourly pay of £5, worked out well.

I like your prices, I just think as you establish yourself as an artist in the world it's good to get some free work going - (I intend to be doing this with some cover pieces), get some recognition, then do work for cheap and as you improve you increase the prices, it won't take long as the difference between 3 dollars for a piece and 10 dollars is only 7 dollars - how many pieces it will take you to get help you improve depends on the person.

I feel everyone has a diff way of evaluating worth/effort, interesting seeing how people do.

Good to speak again Mahlua

No way in hell would I ever pay an hourly wage. <----------someone who has paid over 30,000 this year alone on art commissions.

Art is a final product oriented job. Hourly rates give no incentive to finish the job in a timely manner.  Just like in construction, one must pay for the whole job.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Hourly rates give no incentive to finish the job in a timely manner.  Just like in construction, one must pay for the whole job.

Hmm, I'd never thought of it in that way, probably because when I do art, I just sit down and try to get the whole piece done quickly--even for my personal enjoyment type art. Guess it's a good thing that when I set up a price list, I didn't include anything about "hourly" anywhere and went for flat prices, although I'd be lying if I said that time didn't play a factor into how I gauged where to put those prices. I can see how someone else could use that system to rip someone off now, though. Thanks for the input.

Offline theblacksands

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Hourly rates give no incentive to finish the job in a timely manner.  Just like in construction, one must pay for the whole job.

Hmm, I'd never thought of it in that way, probably because when I do art, I just sit down and try to get the whole piece done quickly--even for my personal enjoyment type art. Guess it's a good thing that when I set up a price list, I didn't include anything about "hourly" anywhere and went for flat prices, although I'd be lying if I said that time didn't play a factor into how I gauged where to put those prices. I can see how someone else could use that system to rip someone off now, though. Thanks for the input.

If you want great examples on pricing and how to display it, go to the lemmasoft forums > recruitment > I am an artist tab. Check the ones with atleast 10 replies. You will see professional portfolios and pricing schemes.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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I mostly based my current prices on what I saw around FurAffinity, since the furry community is one of my target audiences. There are a lot of artists with full galleries and commission details all on their user page. Of course, my prices are much lower than the good artists because, well, I suck. :-\

Uhh, if you check out FA to see what I mean, just as a forewarning, do not turn NSFW mode on. It's not worth it.

Offline suupertramp

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I would say yes and no to hourly rates, depending on how you look at it.
This is my plan
My prices would be based on the average time it takes to finish a piece of XYZ level, so in a sense, I would be working to an hourly rate, but if I messed up the drawing and had to take longer, that would not be reflected in my price as its my fault. So to the customer its not per-time-pay, but as long as I work hard and consistent, its hourly pay for me.

Quote
Hourly rates give no incentive
Those who only charge per-hour do run the risk of not working as hard as they could, and not turning out the same volume per money. like $100 might get you 2 pages one day, but 1 the next because "oh i worked really hard on this one". its understandable as art is quite effort based, as well as every piece having a different difficulty value, so in the truest sense, hourly rate is correct, but noone is totally honest, and would add time onto a project to get more money, or work slower because no reason to work quickly. an agreed price for an agreed output is totally the way to go.