10 DETAILED ARTIST TIPS - From my own view (related to deviantART):
I am too lazy to write a "long" version so I'll throw out tips from time to time. I have been asked for advice many times so here's some advice now! Follow my facebook
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1. Once you have a "very good" customer base, try putting into your commission agreement that you do not accept rushed ordered and can take as long as you'd like.
This is risky because you're not making promises to your commissioners. In order to "keep" my customer base, while still not putting pressure on myself, I "reward" patient commissioners by simply doing detailed coloring. The secret to having this agreement be successful is making your final drawing "worth the wait", however long that may be for you is your decision.
2. Time management & pricing. This is just something I do, I spent around 5-10 minutes roughing sketching a comm. I do not spend more than 10-15 minutes lining (this is if it's headshot). Coloring is the part that brings my drawings to life and I will spend 1-2 hours on a headshot. Price your commissions with your "competition" in mind, but also, do not forget about your time you're investing into your work!
3. Know your own art. Knowing what you're good at doesn't make you cocky. It's how you present yourself. Be confident in your art and sell it if you feel that it is "competitive-enough" on the dA market. If you don't get any buyers within a week, you either have your prices too high or, to be honest, you may not be ready to market your art yet - at least on deviantART.
4. Understand dA's competition and don't take it to heart. Simply because your art doesn't sell, doesn't mean that it's horrible. If you feel that your art is horrible and you say this to the public - guess what? You probably just lost a watcher or two. Take me for example, when I really feel an artist hates their art (via journals), but doesn't ask for help or even "try" to improve, I automatically unwatch them. Don't publicize your distrust in yourself. Instead, why not offer sketches for free in exchange for feedback (at least a paragraph - 5 sentences worth)? If you do this, you're offering work for detailed feedback and who knows, maybe you'll attract future buyers who are interested in your hard effort!
5. Do not draw when you have an "art block". This is a rule I have for myself. Some watchers have noticed, there are periods where months can go by and I don't upload anything. Why? Because I didn't draw. I didn't feel like it. I wasn't motivated, but once that motivation finally kicks in (I don't even know what brings it back, usually awesome music or videos), then I come back -wanting- to draw well and improve so the commissions I pump out turn out better than most previously made ones. Do not force yourself to break an art block because you'll probably make art that you won't like and you may just end up frustrating yourself.
6. Know what you can handle for commission slots. I am a multi tasker so I tend to open tons of slots of different sorts. The reason why I do this is so I have varied commissions I can choose to work on! I am not bored! I have variety, but I know what I can handle. In the past I've opened up 70+ slots (promos) and even more than that. I knew this was more than I could typically handle, but I noted my commissioners and kept in contact with all of them. I knew I could "handle" it, if I communicated so that's why I accepted the slots. Selling your art isn't all about the art work that's produced, it's also about the rapport you build with your customers during the production of the work. Communicate better and you may be able to handle more.
7. Take time to appreciate how far you've come. My friends are awesome. If I'm feeling down about my art, they sometimes throw my old art work in my face and that can make me feel motivated to draw more. Look at your art from two years ago, four years ago +, can you see how you've improved? Now imagine another five years or so. Dreaming of improvements can only get so far, you have to work hard when you're motivated to get better!
8. Do you want to build your "watcher base"? Host kiribans, contests, and do giveaways. Giveaways work best if you ask for reblogs, sharing of your journal or your art, and on your giveaways you can offer to give features. A journal that gets 1k views will surely get you a watcher or many more if you featured your art on it. Sometimes I see plain journals that say, "free sketches" with no links to previous art work or galleries! Ah! No! You should throw your art on there that you're proud of so when the journal is shared by others, they have a chance to look at your gallery and watch you instead of just dropping off a reference of their character and carrying on with their browsing.
9. Understand how paypal works. This is important for all buyers and sellers. I may get some hate for this, but I'd rather play it safe. SELLERS are supposed to pay the paypal fee. They are creating a business (essentially) and paypal needs to make a profit as well. This is why paypal charges a fee for transactions it handles! If a buyer chooses to send a little extra to cover the paypal fee, then awesome! If they don't, you cannot ask them (paypal rules) to cover this fee! Also, if you're requesting that people send you money for a drawing via the "gift" option, you may be flagged later.. meaning, paypal can freeze your account! I mean, doesn't it look kind of fishy that tons of people are just sending you money on separate days? I think Paypal only freezes after a certain amount of income, but it can happen... I know because it happened to me!
10. Do you buy with points or sell via points? Know the "normal" conversion rate. 80 points = $1USD. If you have a strong customer base, you may get by with charging 100 points = $1USD. Sometimes when you charge that though, just know you may lose the interest of some buyers by not charging the normal conversion rate. You could also simply state "This is the normal rate, 80 points for $1USD, but I'm choosing to charge more". If there's a "newbie" on dA, they may think that 100 points = $1 and if they find out later it's not, and you didn't say that, you could be seen as "cheating" them out of extra points. I don't have a problem with this rate, but I try to think about it from other possible perspectives and how you can "lose" watchers.
I hope these help a bit. Feel free to share with others!
*throws out her art:
Oh and the tumblr version of this post
I also have more tips listed here on my personal website. You can subscribe to it for more tips!
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