Edit: for actually industry pricing for freelancers and graphic artists, this is a good book to refer to: The Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook. i have freelance friends who use this book and say it's really good, so....yeah, it's probably a good investment if you're starting out. i totally forgot about it before i saw that tumblr post, sorry~!)
for anyone still thinking it's okay to underpay or not pay artists because they're "new", please take a look at this.
Some excerpts include (quotes are the excerpts, comments are mine):
"simple illustration - Ext. Budget $5.00" - meaning that even if you spend 1 hour on a simple but finished, professional illustration, you'd only be making $5.00/hour.
"Children's Book Cover Illustration - 2 illustrations that are 18x18x in full colour; Est. Budget $25" - so even if you spend a very short 2.5 hours per cover painting, you're still getting paid $5.00/hour. But realistically we all know full-colour illustrations take longer than that so let's not kid ourselves and price it at $2.00/hour. Slave labor ftw .
"Cartoon Children's Illustrator - $70.00" - oh, that doesn't look ba- oh wait... "19 pages full colour plus cover." ....20 illustrations for $70, making it an average of $3.50 per illustration. awesome.
here's some more links:
"A Note to you Should you be thinking of asking me to write for you for free"
"no spec work!"
I know I wrote a little much, but if you have time, please read .
I feel like this is important because this whole attitude is the same that lets people steal other people's art and print it on phone cases, posters, tshirts and more. They don't view us as hard-working people but more like machines that just churn out art. Not to mention it kind of screws the whole industry value up....(like, why would they pay for you to draw anything if someone else can do it for free?). This means the whole market value of art goes way down. It also let's people feel like they have the right to cuss me out when I refuse.....
This was originally done because I saw ridiculous people comment on tumblr and drawing ridiculous comic response is a way I cope, but then I realized that there are more of these people on dA; in fact, I often get notes about doing projects for free because of possible "exposure" i would get (not to mention those contests that hardly pays the winner anything to design a t-shirt or whatnot), and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Some people don’t feel artists deserve compensation seeing as it’s not as “essential” as, say, doctors or plumbers….Of course, then there are those who think that artists don’t even deserve recognition, let alone payment, so they take away artist sources and comments, thinking that artists live off of the euphoria of drawing alone (and of course if we complain about it, we’re being selfish bitches or spoiled brats).
Yes, recognition is amazing, but we also don’t want to work for free (unless it’s something you just REALLY want to do of course and isn’t looking to buy food with recognition coupons). There are plenty of great companies and people who hire artists, and these hired paid artists get plenty of recognition.
Please note: I don’t mean to say you shouldn't ever draw for anyone for free evar ever, but you deserve to be paid. Your art has value, and more importantly, your artistic skills have value and people should not expect it for free
This also is pretty good/funny: Should I work for free? a flow cart
ps. Psst, here's a secret....the payout "recognition" and "exposure" is a lie 99.5% of the time.
Inspirational words too -^^-
Newer artists should just put their stuff out there, and draw a clear line between "free labor of love" and paid work. Time and word of mouth will get you recognition eventually.
That being said, I did promise the person I would work on his/her's request. But, with thanks to your information, I will charge in the future.
Out of curiosity, how does one charge for their work in Deviant Art? Is there a "Pay Pal" or something like that?
Thank you again for this.
and is making artists more money than simply charging per piece.
This means that the bigger your fanbase is, the more people you'll have to donate
1-5$ a week/month.
Granted, this isn't for every artist and this sort of "income bubble" will eventually
cap off (people will get tired of hearing artists pimp their patreon").
but it's a good tool for now that'll help artists that're still trying to improve their
skills and pay the rent.
You know what gets recognition on dA though? being extremely active, have really good draftsmanship, and know how to do pinups and fanart pinups. Then pump them out for max exposure. Riding on the coattails of other, greater artists and franchises do work very well . I should do some myself some time, actually....hahaha
Commission = Request + Recognition = Work experience + Income
I have more wall space... and if I arrange things carefully I can get them all up. The flow chart is hilarious!
I totally struggle with prices but then someone from Vietnam (no offense, my best friend was Vietnamese) offers realistic portraits for 4 dollars and I wanna cry.
I don't get requests often but most of them wanted anything drawn for free and were offended when I told them I need the money for my life, which is why I was willing to do the work for them...
Getting comments like "It's not that hard for u is it? so do it plz" is really rude <.<
When I receive offers of exposure, I am reminded that , here in New England, people die of exposure every year.
Keep up the good fight!
That'll be my answer the next time a request like this finds it's way into my in-box.
Especially when I'm already stressed out trying to live a double life, and drawing is almost becoming a coping mechanism.
But the point is, there are so many artists, of all different kinds, that it's easy for a person to refuse a high priced piece of art, in exchange for a similar quality low priced one. Non-artists don't see such a big difference between different artists.
If all artists all over raised their prices, the problem obviously would disappear, because people would be forced to pay more to get what they wanted. After all, it's only natural that you'd choose to pay less IF you had the chance.
Actually, art IS something you can learn in school - you don't have to go to school necessarily to learn it, it can very much be "self-taught", but let's be honest, a large percentage of "self-taught" artists still learn from following advice given by other artists or read tutorials online or read anatomy books, etc. So it really can be taught, and even self-taught artists are being taught using those tools; I learned a LOT of stuff from art school as well as tutorials online and advice given by my peers and betters
It's easy for people to refuse high price, but it's just as easy for artists to refuse to sell for lower. And it's not even that people only go to people who lower their prices - there are plenty of people who go to well-known artists and writers to ask for free stuff. Look at this guy! He's a well-known, well-published writer who still gets letters from people asking for free writing~ So it's a mindset, not a natural course of "because there are so many artists and writers therefore.", cause if it's natural, then naturally people shouldn't be asking this guy's stuff for free - obviously he doesn't need the exposure or have the feeling of wanting to do stuff because someone complimented him.
If more people understand that there's a problem and try to change the problem rather than saying "oh, well, it's normal for us to be screwed over hahah", then change will more likely happen, that's all .
Yes, art is a skill that needs to be refined, that's what you "learn" in an art school. I didn't say you don't learn art techniques. I said you can't learn to be an artist. You must be born with the will and skill to create, and love to create art. Try taking a child who doesn't like creating art to an art school and see how he will fail to learn. Other jobs are far more open. There are artists who actually change their minds and become doctors and anything else basically, but you'll never see a young doctor in the making, become an artist.
As for the writer; Yes there are foolish people who try their luck in prying art for free like that too. Many of them are young people, who have used this technique before and it worked. And yes, it's still natural no matter how you look at it. ~It worked before, if you persevere, it'll work again~ It's the exact mindset artists use too, but used differently.
I didn't say though that it wasn't a problem, because artists end up starving like that, but it's the artist's fault at this point.
As i said, if all artists were to change and stop believing their art isn't worth anything, you'd get progress, but it won't change anytime soon.
Oh and sure.. there are simply stupid, simple minded people who will just do it all over again and will never understand how long it takes to create art, or it's importance and who will go insulting artists and such.
Actually, you are wrong about doctors not becoming an artist. There are doctors who become artists, and I can name two famous ones off the top of my head - Jim Lee (a young doctor in the making) and Osamu Tezuka (a doctor who wasn't just in the making, but made it). I also personally know someone who was in the middle of studying bio-chem at a really good school, passing with flying colours and everything, who decided that she loved music and left everything to pursue music. I've also seen decently skilled art students who hated art. I've personally been a good violinist who hated violin; I've been playing the violin since I was 3 y/o, and was very, very good at it so I wasn't allowed to quit, enough that I almost went for Juliard, but I changed my mind and wanted to be an artist and managed to wrangle a yes from my parents. As someone who has been literally forced to practice the violin since she was 6 (that's when I wanted to quit), I'd say art is something you can do even without willingness. at least, music is, and I'd consider that an art. So basically don't generalize without understanding that the art industries are full of different people, some who does it because they don't really have anything else to do (i know someone like that too....she didn't like art per se but only did it because it was the only thing she was decent at), some who were doctors or bio-chemists, so please don't look down upon the intelligence of artists or even the value of this industry, which is actually huge. I'm just addressing to the bottom part, the people starting out, and the people who are outside of the industry thinking that art should be free.
I didn't say it wasn't the artists' fault, some of them need to see that the "exposure" excuse is bullshit, but i feel like it's also the fault of people who think they deserve free art. It's a problem that exists on both sides, since there are people who manipulate young ignorant artists into thinking that they would somehow benefit in terms of exposure, like even with tshirt design contests that gives nothing but a few tshirts as prizes while they make money off the young artist, and also artists who are slow to the uptake and fall for draw for free over and over again. I've actually gotten a few comments from people complaining about how they can't find good artists to "collaborate" with and that everyone wanted money, or that they didn't have enough money that's why they offer up piteous amounts; more than artists who are commenting that say they draw for free, so why is it fault of one side and not the other? Why is it okay for someone to take advantage of ignorance and fault of those who gets taken advantage of because of their ignorance? This isn't the animal kingdom where if an animal steals another's food, they would die because they aren't strong enough and the other would survive to carry on. We're human beings, who understand that there's design literally everywhere and it's as valid as any other job and skillset,
All in all, I feel like aiming for change is better than sitting idly and do nothing but scoff at people when they fall down because of their ignorance . Did I do this for naught? Maybe. But I'd like to say i tried, and I'd like to hope for the best. Even one person changing their mind or understanding this is worth it to me.
As for the prices:
One of the problem is - just like Pyalicious said - that there are many children who take commissions and it doesn't matter to them how much they get for it, they are kids, and have parents who pay their bills. They often underprice their art (80 points, 1$ etc.)
It is not about that they think "it is normal to be screwed over", they don't even realise that, what they are doing turnes the market over.
The other problem is, that there are some good, maybe even wellknown artists, who underprice their artworks too much. But why do they do that? (It is not just because of the market, they have personal fears too or these prices might be normal in their country.) They should price higher. Their prices makes other artists to lower their prices as well. Who will buy an artwork for 100$ or for 50$ from you if very good artists prices their full A4 sized artwork for 20$? I think that wellknown artists should show an example of how to price well, so everyone else could raise their prices too.
And about the people who ask things for free:
This whole draw for recognition thing is actually everywhere, they do this with non artists too. It is not an artist related problem. It is not that they think an artist don't need compensation, please don't believe this. They want everything cheap and fast and asap. They ask to make websites for free (that means, you work as a designer and as a programmer free), they ask for merchandises for free! (I am making pin buttons and it happened many times with me before, that there were some people who asked buttons for charity and it turned out that it was for their own project.)
So people like that are everywhere, and what you can do is, is to hold on to your prices as much as you can, and never go lower than your countries hourly rate. If they go somewhere else, where they will get it for free, then let them go. I think that they will get a lower quality work at the end though.