OK THIS IS FUCKING IMPORTANT OK
SELLS ARTWORKS FROM VARIOUS ARTISTS ON TSHIRTS WITHOUT PERMISSION.
Those dudes printed my whole eeveelution valentine selection on tshirts without permission. They also sell artwork from…
I designed this little guy/girl (undecided) originally for the halloween auction, but I fell in love! I had just a short time in between helping my bf and dad in making snack sticks to sketch this orz ouo;
Auction prize for Tarucchi @ FA! They got a chibi and full body for reaching a certain level.
Gosh I love this design, it is so fun to draw *o*
Really low prices make me less likely to commission an artist.
Me: I’m not an artist. I do commission artists - I spend around $300-600 a month on digital art commissions.
I sometimes find an artist who has really impressive work, or a unique style, or something else that makes me think “I should commission this person.”. Then I look at their prices and they are crazily low. As in less than 20 dollars for a colour full body character.
And I don’t commission them. Because I can’t pay prices that low and feel good about myself for doing it.
I know it takes hours to draw even one character. Plus the time it takes to study the brief, look at the references, communicate with me, etc etc. No way are they making even minimum wage this way, let alone a living wage.
I commission art because it’s fun. It’s my hobby. If I’m knowingly paying someone slave wages to support my hobby, it isn’t fun.
To artists who undercharge: Please reconsider. I’ve heard many reasons why you decide to do this (see below). But if you price your work like you don’t respect it, you won’t get clients who will respect you or your work either. You charge peanuts, you get monkeys.
To commissioners who push for these prices: Have some respect. Not just for the artists, but for the other commissioners out there. You’re giving us all a bad name. If you can’t afford decent prices, don’t be mean about it. Save up, or find some other hobby. Or hey, learn to draw.
Comments I get whenever I say the above:
- "No-one will buy commissions from me at decent prices." - That’s a pity. But you realise by underpricing like this you are making your problem worse, by contributing to the “art should be dirt cheap” mindset that seems to exist in dA and other places? (okay mostly dA, that place is a cesspit) Besides, there are other things you can do than keep lowering prices. There’s tons of advice in dA:
'Official' Pricing Your Commissions or Artwork Thread
Finding Freelance work: pricing and self doubt!
And other places:
How to get commissions: A guide
Getting the Most Out of Commissions
If none of the above helps you… maybe you need to reconsider if you are at the right stage in your development to be offering commissions. Sorry.
- "I’m only doing this for fun, I don’t care about the money." - Good for you. But there are others that are trying to make a living doing this. Have some consideration for them, yes?
- "It’s the clients pushing my prices down." - Gah. Then your clients are awful people who don’t respect you. It’s a trap though - you charge low prices, you get cheap clients. There’s only one way out of that trap.
- (Commissioner says) “But I want this drawn and I can’t afford higher prices.” - I want to live in an exact replica of Wayne Manor, but I can’t afford that. So, um, I don’t. Simplify your idea, or don’t commission it until you can afford to do so without ripping off the artist.
- (Commissioner says) “By paying less per artist I can support more artists.” - No. Just… no. You are not supporting artists, you are exploiting them. Paying less per artists lets you exploit more artists.
- "Just tip the artist." - I have done that, but it sends the wrong message. Tipping isn’t the norm in this game, so when I tip artists assume it’s because they did an extra-awesome job, when in fact I’m tipping them because they did their normal-awesome job. Plus if an artist is charging one-third or one-quarter what they should be, do I tip them 300%?
(Image by me. Not an artist, remember? The price list is made up, but based on real lists I’ve seen recently.)
submitted by -badgermushroom
This is a really well written, wonderful post that addresses a lot of important points in regards to commissions, pricing and client attitude! Thank you very much for including my ‘Getting the Most Out of Commissions’ guide in your post!
I’ve (and many other artists) have definitely spoken about the issues with commission pricing, and I’m just really glad to see that there are so many people that are so supportive of artists getting paid a fair amount for their work. I laughed so hard at this 'I want to live in an exact replica of Wayne Manor, but I can’t afford that. So, um, I don’t.’ what a perfectly delightful turn of phrase that mirrors some client attitudes perfectly (and I didn’t laugh, I pretty much witch cackled).
I do want to say, though, that as skeevy as you will likely feel when you commission an artist for what you feel is unfair wages (and I mean ‘you’ in a general sense, not specifically addressing the OP!!) that cutting those artists off entirely by not commissioning them is perhaps not the best course of action. It is absolutely amazing that you have such a great client attitude and a lovely sentiment in regards to the value of artwork, but the reality of the situation is that an artist will probably value your paid patronage over your lack of paid patronage, whether you feel your decision to not commission them is a righteous motive or not.
Furthemore, it’s the fact that the artists who are unknowingly underpricing themselves that probably need the most help! I think it’s fantastic that we all make these posts where we’re saying ‘you don’t have to live like this!’ but for so many artists, the alternative appears to be such a hopeless fantasy. I think, if, as an informed client, you want to proactively help out struggling artists, then, commission them, whether you feel they are underpricing or not. Give them the BEST client experience that artist could possibly have.
And because it is just a fact of life that most clients that pay a measly $20 or below usually turn out to be the difficult ones - when artists swap war stories with each other I’m always just thinking, geez, it’s not like clients either underpay you OR are terrible, it’s ALWAYS that they’re both, omfg can you just pick ONE?! - well, you can be the client that pays $20 and above (because yes, tip them!!) AND is a dreamboat to work with. Make artists recognise that there are people out there that are both willing to pay a decent amount AND are willing to provide them with a really lovely working experience, neither of which, I feel, most amateur artists ever really experience.
I am delighted when an artist tells me I am their very first client. With all artists, I strive to be the best client I could possibly be (which, by the by, is actually not very hard to do which is why I am always consistently disappointed by artists who tell me about terrible clients they have had because it’s really not hard to be a decent person) so that they will expect successive clients to treat them the same.
On a note about tipping (and I guess about pricing as a whole) - it’s really not so much about the amount but the intent and the meaning. A 20% tip on a $20 commission means about the same as a 20% tip on a $200 commission - to both artists, it says ‘I really appreciate your work, I think you deserved a little more for what you produced, thank you for working with me’. At least, this is the reason why I tip (alongside practicing rogue commission practices like assuming +1 char will be +100% of the original price, because most artists charge less than the base price of a commission for a +1 character and I think that’s crap).
I think it’s most important to know that while pricing is a big issue, client attitude is a bigger one (if not just THE biggest). You’re not a horrible client for purchasing cheap artwork, or for not tipping - to be fair, there is no expectation for you to have to school artists in fair wage, and of course a tip is a just generous gesture on top of what is already expected.
Just be a good client. Honestly, in the end, the artist won’t remember the monetary amount you paid them, but the way you treated them. 'But 'be a good client' is really vague! Can you tell me exactly how?” I'm sorry because this isn't the kind of thing I feel I can teach you, because the way you truly feel about the value of art and the value of an artist's time and effort should inform your actions anyway. What I'm saying is that if you have a positive, considerate, appreciative attitude towards art & artists, you don't need me to tell you what to do in x or y situation - you already know how to conduct yourself appropriately!
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Jeez, people with jobs, why you keep demanding money and stuff?!
If artists and writers came together as a whole and decided ‘fuck it, no more work for anyone without proper pay’ the world would be pretty screwed. The world likes to try and convince us that they dont need us though and that we only write/draw because we want to.
Without writers and artists there would be..
-NO TEXT BOOKS EITHER for those doctors and lawyers to learn from
-millions ..billions of products that people use every day just..gone b/c their main or sole purpose was visual aesthetic (no artists, no designers means they’re not created)
so many other things gone. MOST of what you look at in a day was probably written, drawn, or designed by *someone*