Are Art Commissions to Pricey to You?

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Psykoma:
Honestly, I'd say it seems like you're being cheap. $20 sounds ridiculously underpriced, and depending on the quality, even $150 sounds undervalued.

No disrespect of course, but I never stated in my OP that I demanded the artists stop charging at high prices.

I love hearing feedback, input on the matter and wished to know what people thought. Also you can assume that I am being cheap, but I know a lot of people who would request more often but don't have the money to do so. Still, I got a lot of insight on the matter about how people think artist's are undervaluing their work and I can possibly agree on that when I think about it (especially needing to in order to live).

Asking whether it's worth spending hundreds of dollars to commission an artwork is really no different to asking whether it's worth getting a suit tailor-made for you, as opposed to just buying one off the rack at M&S during a sale. You're not just paying for the materials, you're paying for the individual to put everything they're doing to one side for a moment and target all their skills into meeting your requirements.

My prices are generally pretty variable, depending on the work. The fee I charge for a private commission (basically something that's going to hang up on your wall and look pretty) is usually cheaper than what I charge for something that's going to be used for commercial work (e.g. art assets for an iPhone game). Then there's the number of characters that are present on the page, the type of image you want drawn up (i.e. a simple portrait or a complicated, cinematic scene), colour or black and white will also obviously factor into the price, as well as the size of the print.

The biggest differential in price for my work, though, usually comes down to whatever style you want me to work in. Since, obviously, something like this;

http://fav.me/d34r8hl or http://fav.me/d23jpjy

Is going to take less time for me to do and cost less than something like this;

http://fav.me/d5tdcq2 or http://fav.me/d5wgnci

The final pricing variable is, of course, the matter of whether I like you or not ;)

Artist Alleys at conventions are a law unto themselves, though. For those events I'm really looking to appeal to the impulse buyer, so I tend to keep my prices below the 20 mark (on average; 3 for a sketch card, 5 for an A5 sketch, 10 for A4, 15 for A3).

Basically, and I'm only speaking for myself here, when it comes to pricing my work it's really just one of those "different horses for different courses" type deals.

My company sells my working hour for roughly 80$ to costumers...
Considering a digital artists needs probably several hours for one piece I think even your high price point at 150$ is a cheap offer.

I tend to chill out for special offers or check out budding new artists who's prices are cheap before commissioning since frankly while often there work is worth the asking price (of the artists I wait for special offers) I'm not made of money lol

aba1:

ThingWhatSqueaks:
The minimum price that art gets sold for should be: cost of materials + (desired hourly wage * # hours spent on project). Add onto that to profit as desired/tolerated. Most artists actually dramatically undervalue their work.

Ya I agree the cost of my materials are near $3000 or more just to be able do the work I do and that is not even to do the work itself. Can you think of many fields that have a $3000+ entry cost not including education.

Any trade (electrician, plumber, carpenter, etc), programming, digital media, game/website dev, geologist, engineering, mechanic, etc

cant really think of many skilled proffessions that dont cost several thousand dollars in tools alone tbh

Eclipse Dragon:

Casual Shinji:
Well, I've never felt the need to pay someone to draw something for me, because I imagine I'd just look at it once and then stash it in a drawer somewhere and never look at it again. Anyway, it's up to the buyer if they want to agree to a set price or not.

I've never been asked to do commisions, and the idea someone would actually pay for my work is a concept I find hard to grasp.

When I get asked to make something, it's an illustration (or several) for a book, a t-shirt design, or a logo for someones company. The commission is usually seen as an investment on the buyers part to make more money. It must be really hard to sell artwork just because someone likes your style, I imagine those particular customers either don't want to pay anything for it, or expect to pay a lot.

How did you get into that line of work? Did others first approach you after seeing your work, or did you apply yourself to... wherever one applies themselves to get paid to draw?

As for prices, it's usually this awkward conversation that me and the customer avoid like the plague until we inevitably have to talk about it. I'll throw out a number and explain why it should be this number, they'll throw out a counter number and eventually we'll come to an agreement.

This would most likely be a big issue for me. I'm already not very good at haggling, let alone haggling over the price of my own stuff.

Casual Shinji:

Eclipse Dragon:

Casual Shinji:
Well, I've never felt the need to pay someone to draw something for me, because I imagine I'd just look at it once and then stash it in a drawer somewhere and never look at it again. Anyway, it's up to the buyer if they want to agree to a set price or not.

I've never been asked to do commisions, and the idea someone would actually pay for my work is a concept I find hard to grasp.

When I get asked to make something, it's an illustration (or several) for a book, a t-shirt design, or a logo for someones company. The commission is usually seen as an investment on the buyers part to make more money. It must be really hard to sell artwork just because someone likes your style, I imagine those particular customers either don't want to pay anything for it, or expect to pay a lot.

How did you get into that line of work? Did others first approach you after seeing your work, or did you apply yourself to... wherever one applies themselves to get paid to draw?

Luck... luck and shameless self advertising. I've been approached by a few people wanting illustrations for children's books (because I like to draw colorful, whimsical things), and once for a fantasy book cover, but mostly it's me looking for people looking for artists.

Casual Shinji:

As for prices, it's usually this awkward conversation that me and the customer avoid like the plague until we inevitably have to talk about it. I'll throw out a number and explain why it should be this number, they'll throw out a counter number and eventually we'll come to an agreement.

This would most likely be a big issue for me. I'm already not very good at haggling, let alone haggling over the price of my own stuff.

I've never met anyone who's completely comfortable with it.

Eclipse Dragon:

bringer of illumination:

The only thing that annoys me a bit are the people who are CLEARLY not very talented at all, and yet charge the same for commissions as some of the best artists on the same websites.

Something that looks horrible to you, may not look horrible to the customer. People buy styles. If all an artist can draw well is cartoony wolves, then it's within their rights to sell those cartoony wolves for a price of their choice, as long as the customer is willing to pay that price. If the artist is selling they're stuff as "ultra realistic looking people" and the artwork looks like Ash from Pokemon, they're probably not getting many commissions regardless of what they charge.

Dude no.

I know what you mean, but I'm not talking about people who just do art in simplistic styles or stuff like that

I'm talking about people who quite clearly rush out their drawings in 10 minutes and yet still take 40 bucks for the them, when other artists are charging the same for stuff they spent 2 hours on.

I've talked to some of these people, and several of the downright admitted that they completely phone it in, have little to no actual training/aren't actually working to improve and that they even kinda feel like they're scamming people.

Most of them get away with it because they draw nasty fetish porn though.

bringer of illumination:

Dude no.

I know what you mean, but I'm not talking about people who just do art in simplistic styles or stuff like that

I'm talking about people who quite clearly rush out their drawings in 10 minutes and yet still take 40 bucks for the them, when other artists are charging the same for stuff they spent 2 hours on.

I've talked to some of these people, and several of the downright admitted that they completely phone it in, have little to no actual training/aren't actually working to improve and that they even kinda feel like they're scamming people.

Most of them get away with it because they draw nasty fetish porn though.

Well I guess I can't really argue with that... pardon my misunderstanding.

bringer of illumination:

I'm talking about people who quite clearly rush out their drawings in 10 minutes and yet still take 40 bucks for the them, when other artists are charging the same for stuff they spent 2 hours on.

I've talked to some of these people, and several of the downright admitted that they completely phone it in, have little to no actual training/aren't actually working to improve and that they even kinda feel like they're scamming people.

Most of them get away with it because they draw nasty fetish porn though.

That's the answer then: They're still fulfilling a market demand - if better artists were doing the nasty stuff then presumably they'd either go out of business or need to lower their asking prices. If they have a public portfolio that shows the quality (or lack thereof) of their work and their buyers know what to expect then what's the problem?

If people are willing to pay for crap, it's hardly the fault of the person charging for it.

Caramel Frappe:
imagehttp://i1227.photobucket.com/albums/ee432/IntoTheCaramelFrappe/emma_fan_art_by_jiuge-d4glz99_zps9d34cfab.jpg[/IMG

Rob Liefield strikes again! How many more spines will you claim with your poor anatomy, Liefeld! *shakes fist*

Where was I?

Oh yeah, price. I don't know, A commission is just that. You're paying someone to do professional work. When I do tech support work, I get paid by the hour. When I write as a journalist, I (effectively) get paid by the word. Both reflect, on some level, the amount of time and effort put into something. Given the amount of time a lot of these project takes, the artist is probably getting the short end as it is.

Artists frequently get the shaft.

Honestly, if someone wants to cut people a break it's fine, but should they? I don't think they should feel the need to, that's for sure.

As for games, keep in mind the price of games is subsidised. If video games (or a lot of other media) were made on commission, they would either cost a LOT more or be done WAY differently.

But hey, art, entertainment and even luxury are generally incomparable. What's worth more? A good meal for forty dollars or a good CD (or digital equivalent) for fifteen? I would say the latter, but I have friends who say the former. I'm not a fan of tchotchkes, but a lot of people are. I like my crap to be functional. If guitars make me happy more than a painting does, then I think the expense is justified. If a painting makes someone happier than a guitar does, then fair play to them, too. I know this sort of wanders off the topic, but art, entertainment and luxury tend to be hard to quantify in terms of cost in the first place. As such, I find it valid.

Caramel Frappe:
I'm an artist myself, so I have visited websites like DeviantArt, Artspan, Fur Affinity, Artbabble, ect.

Regardless of me submitting art and being good at what I do, they're never given a lot of attention which is fine since millions of art pieces are posted onto the website by the hour.. however, I find talented artists to take my breath away. Their work is so good, they could be working for movies, or video games, or even submit art for museums!

This is super off-topic, but I feel like getting it off my chest, so I'm gonna pop it in a spoiler.

Anyway, OT: I wanted to start a thread similar to this because I've recently decided to try and start selling my own work, but I didn't want to get modded for advertising. Is there anyway I'm allowed to show my work and ask what (if any) would be a reasonable price to charge for similar commissions without getting modded?

rob_simple:

Anyway, OT: I wanted to start a thread similar to this because I've recently decided to try and start selling my own work, but I didn't want to get modded for advertising. Is there anyway I'm allowed to show my work and ask what (if any) would be a reasonable price to charge for similar commissions without getting modded?

If you're concerned I'd say pm a mod and ask. It seems like that would be within the rules (you're not asking people to buy your stuff, you're asking for advice on how to run your business) but it can't hurt to check.

What I've heard from the artists I know (mostly jewelers, and mostly not working on commission) is to experiment. Try setting things at different prices, and keep track of what sells and what doesn't. Many of those people also find that it's useful to have a few incredibly elaborate expensive pieces (which they don't ever expect to sell) as an attention-grabber, to get people looking at the cheaper pieces. But that may not work for the kind of art you do.

Zachary Amaranth:

Caramel Frappe:
image

Rob Liefield strikes again! How many more spines will you claim with your poor anatomy, Liefeld! *shakes fist*

Actually its a technique that has been around for 1000s of years. The technique was first used in Athens about 450BC, mainly on male statues. The statues were designed to emphasise the heroic nature, so they were posed with hyperflexible spines in actions like throwing javelins. The technique went into abeyance with the ending of the classical world but reemerged in the Italian renascence with artists like Donatello and Michelangelo and has been in the artists box of tricks ever since. In this case the artist is emphasising the subjects sexual characteristics (T&A in more blunt terms).

I'm fuming at the moment over someone I know commissioning what I hesitate to call an artwork of what essentially amounts to hate speech. Even more so if it was one of the pricier ones, because it was pretty poorly done. The idea that he spent money on something hateful for his own sick gratification disturbs me to no end...

But that case aside, I'm all for art commissions. I'm a sculptor, so the minute 3D printing becomes viable and of a good enough quality, I may start doing commissions...

A lot of artists who charge higher prices live on their income off it. Plus Artists charge higher prices depending on how much effort their art would take, or the demand for their art. If people paying for the high price weren't willing, they wouldn't set higher prices

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