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Edit: Okay, wow--If I knew this journal would get the attention that it's getting I would have tried to make it sound a bit more professional and a bit less ranty im almost a little embarrassed
I'm also really glad that so many of you could share your input and experiences. It's really important that we understand this--especially on a site with so many young, impressionable artists. It's easy for us to think that our time is only worth the end product. When i first joined this site (i was 13), the first type of commission that I took was a full picture for only 5 points. Granted--it didn't look the best. i was only 13 after all, but at the time I didn't even know the value of points. When i was about 14-15 I started looking to get more serious about my art. I wanted to make actual money off of it, so I started considering prices and i never charged anything more than $20. I was still really torn because a few people were still telling me that I was undercharging myself and yet I didn't see how my art could be more valuable. I was still only looking at end product. I wish I had understood the importance of valuing my time back then because it would have saved me so much trouble in the long run, and I really hope putting this out there will help you guys too. 


I'm just dying to open this can of worms right now
where do I even begin

Okay so this is the problem that I have with deviantart right now and I feel like most of it relies on how the vast majority of users are young and inexperienced with how pricing works (though its not just their fault--A surprising amount of adults don't understand the value of SERVICE vs PRODUCT).

idk maybe a week ago I visited someones page and there was some discourse(tm) about the price of a commission (which was only $5, mind you) and about how it was much too expensive and someone commented about how they could do something like that in 10 minutes and that there was no need for it to be "that much".

I avoided getting involved but that stuff just makes me boil
It's all just a misunderstanding THATS ALL

and I've struggled with under-pricing myself for a long time now.

But if we take a look outside of deviantart--you'll start to notice very similar situations happening in real life.
No one wants to pay for service. People only desire the end product so they're only willing to pay for the end product.
and this might be a result of how many jobs that used to require human hands are now done by machines that don't need
a paycheck.

I've heard many stories of clients who look for professional artists and illustrators who would be able to make an
illustration for $5--Ive seen some ask for an entire story book with illustration for $25--30 sec animations for $10.
This is the one thing I'm nervous about with getting a career in art.

So let's talk about it--in terms relative to deviantart because if these impressions are being rooted in children, of
all people, then they need to be stopped.

Here's something to store in your long-term memory: NOTHING IS EVER FREE
And here's another: TIME = MONEY

So, you're young. You're an artist and you want to start making money off of your work--even if it's fictional.
I mean it's still something, right?
You look to the next person and find them charging 50 points for a picture, and you decide to start your prices at 30
something. Prices can always change, after all.

After looking through your gallery, you decide that this is appropriate. You're still new and you don't have a solid grasp
on anatomy or style yet, but you still know your way around a brush. We've all been here at one point, dont worry.

And yet there's still one thing that you're forgetting to take into consideration: Time.
How valuable do you feel your time is--in hours? half hours?

Let's just say it takes you about 90 minutes to make any given image.
Considering your time, you decide adjust your prices based on hours you spend working--30 points per hour for a total of 1.5 hours
leaves you with 45 points at the end of it.
But bear in mind, with the transfer rate of points to USD--45 points is 45 cents.

With that price, you're essentially saying that any given person can ""buy"" 1.5 hours of your time for a quarter and two dimes.

Would you come to my house and mow my lawn for that much?

Would you wash my car and then some for that much?

no--so why on earth are you willing to draw for that much? And don't say "because its a hobby" because that's not good
enough. By taking commissions, you're showing your interest in getting more serious about your art. The only way to do that is to seriously understand the value of your time--even when spent on something you enjoy doing. 

I mean I like caring for plants but I'm not going to trim someones hedges for 45 cents--even for less than an hour. 

and especially with visual artists, people always determine the value of work by the end product rather than the amount of time spent on it. In terms relative to SELLING a PAINTING OR PRINT this would make the most sense, but NOT in terms for commissioning. 
NO ONE wants to pay for service--the $15 minimum wage dispute is blatant proof of this.

and for an 1.5 hours of work (based on $8 minimum wage) would be $12--aka 1200 points

Someone out there's probably thinking "But my art's not worth that--my art's not good enough!"
and you don't even have to base your prices by minimum wage--it's just an example. 

Or what about "If no one wants to pay for service why should I charge more?" 
once you have an entire community of artists that actually value time vs end product when it comes to commission prices it'll start to take effect. If someone's not willing to pay even $5 for a commission then they just won't get the work they desire. IF THEY CANT AFFORD IT THEN THEY AREN'T GETTING IT. NO AMOUNT OF COMPLAINING WILL CHANGE THAT. DON'T EXPECT ARTISTS--REAL, LIVING, BREATHING PEOPLE--TO MATCH SOMEONES PRICES. THIS ISN'T WALMART.
also these things take time--mainly for recognition, but deviantart is terrible with under-pricing art and if you have the chance to use another form of advertisement, you should really consider going for it. 

its also not helping that some people on this site treat 100 points like all the money in the world.

So in short: the less time you spend on something the less valuable the product will be (when it comes to pricing for commissions). If you can spend only 10 minutes on an image then maybe your image is only worth 50 cents or however much you charge for it. That's fact--not proof that somebody else, an entirely different person who spends more than an hour making the same thing should charge the same amount that you do. ALSO: don't base your prices off of another persons prices--they don't spend the same amount of time on shit that you do.

and really I should practice what I preach--I think I'm charging at most $25 right now for commissions--granted they're
simple but I can easily just blow 5 hours on something like that and not even notice. That's something that I really need to work on too, honestly. 

Lastly, we get to the "who would pay X for a picture--it's just a picture"

and really all I can say at this point is
if it was a picture you wanted--you can go up to like
and buy one for like $15.
Get yourself a nice frame, buddy. 
Add a Comment:
Sirius-R Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2018
I'm not sure if this point has been brought up, but I completely, absolutely possibly disagree with the point of charging money based solely on time measurements. Skill has to be taken in account as well.
Let's say there's person A, who can draw a really nice picture for 3 hours. Then there's person B, who can also draw a nice picture for 3 hours, but it's far from being as good as the picture by person A. Ad you're basically saying that person B should charge as much as person A just because person B spends as much time as person A does? Maybe that sounds perfectly fine from the artist's point of view, and I do know that taste in art is something very subjective, but from the customer's point of view, when choosing between commissioning person A and person B for prices based solely on time they spend, it would be a no-brainer to commission person A. In the end, person B would starve on artworks because person A does better job for the same amount of time unless person B does their best to up their game and get on artist A's level.

Also, what if someone doesn't want to get on a "professional" level of doing artwork but wouldn't mind a little income for their work, even if its mere pennies? Would donations work better in this case?
BeautySnake Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2018
this journal is really old and I dont remember if i said time should be the only factor but if i implied that im sorry--that was never my intention 
I was more so aiming at a lot of young artists who determine commission prices by the end result and not by any other factor including time (and skill). Like when I was 14/15 i charged $20 for a full image because I could not for the life of me wrap my head around how an image like that, made by me, would be worth more. Now Im 20 and i charge $60 minimum for full picture which of course takes me a lot longer to produce but since then my art has improved significantly and I'm able to apply more detail to the environment 
and of course i feel the underpricing thing isnt helped by deviantarts point system but thats a different thing all together

as for the second thing i feel like its more personal to the artist
I know kofi and patreon are good ways of earning some extra money--gumroad and redbubble too
a lot of them are used by professional artists but its not an exclusive thing. And redbubble is really nice because you can maybe only upload a few things a month and as long as people still buy those prints you'll still get paid. Downside is fanart gets more attention than original stuff. 

imo if i wanted a quick way to make money but didnt want to worry about a pricing chart for "official commissions" i would probably do stream commissions bc its something expected to be cheaper/discounted from the original price and something expected to be produced quickly. but idk its really up to the artist :0
Sirius-R Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2018
I was more so aiming at a lot of young artists who determine commission prices by the end result and not by any other factor including time (and skill).
Hold on a minute. Isn't the end result determined by skill, therefore they are directly proportionate? I mean, the quality of the end result does directly depend to the skill, isn't it?
You can't shun away the quality of end result for a very good reason, which was brought up in my example with person A and person B: if prices on artwork would be determined just by the time artists spend on drawing, customers would still prefer artists who can flesh out the better looking picture in a given time frame than slower/less skilled artists, because whether we like it or not, the end result's quality is one of the things (if not the thing) that matters to customers the most. So no matter how long your walls of text on how the end result should not matter, if you are less skilled and/or draw slower than other artists, people will obviously prefer other artists exactly because their end results, while having the same price as yours, are better, and that'd be perfectly justified, as these artists are more skilled/spend less time on drawing than you.
Your journal entry doesn't take this into account (I've re-read your article, you've only been talking about the time artist spends on the work), so this "eye-opening" article just replaces one delusion with another. These young artists you've been aiming at will go and change their prices judging solely by the time they spend on artwork, becoming living incarnations of my "person A and person B" example, which would be disastrous for artists who fit the role of person B.

I'd say the whole pricing deal in art is quite confusing, because: 1) the price depends on at least two factors (time artist spends on drawing and artist's skill level, which practically means that prices here depend on both product and service); 2) there are no solid standards on prices. Then there are also art styles (different art styles have different appeal to different people; pretty much the most subjective factor in art) and maybe other factors I cannot remember at the moment.
I think pricing in art on a professional level should be decided on more-or-less official level and should have a widely available price list which would be free and easy for everyone to look at. Otherwise the mess with pricing will continue.
BeautySnake Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2018
calling this journal """eye opening""" or even an "article" is far from accurate because its literally just a rant people shared around a bunch lmao
that being said, I feel maybe from the overall tone of this rant (again not an article or anything meant to be taken even mildly professionally) I feel like you're misunderstanding me saying "time should be a factor" as "time should be the only factor" 
And I also never said the end result should not matter--just that it should not be the only factor, because if it was, instead of charging $60 for a full image id still probably only charge maybe $20 but at the same time i feel like thats asking a lot 

even then, you gotta understand time and quality go hand in hand because you get out of art what you put in--and I get some people learn faster than others, but that doesnt change the fact it can take years of work for an artist to get to where they want to be at. 
thats years of time and work that should also be considered when determining a price--you shouldn't just pull a number out of the air like 15 points (18.75 cents) if you want to take serious commissions 
and this is the problem I'm trying to point towards--Ive seen people on this site with decent art that are struggling to make money because they charge maybe between $1-$5 and people on this site will STILL complain thats too much
Sirius-R Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2018
calling this journal """eye opening""" or even an "article" is far from accurate
I may be exaggerating, but from what I see, the most of people who commented on this rant genuinely treat it as an eye-opening artice.

that being said, I feel maybe from the overall tone of this rant I feel like you're misunderstanding me saying "time should be a factor" as "time should be the only factor"
Yeah, I guess that's the case here. This is why being more specific helps a lot. I've made plenty of wrong assumptions about this rant because it doesn't say everything it's supposed to.

And I also never said the end result should not matter--just that it should not be the only factor, because if it was, instead of charging $60 for a full image id still probably only charge maybe $20 but at the same time i feel like thats asking a lot 
There are plenty of cases where the end result looks cheaper than the effort people have put into it, such as plenty of professional programs (such as Photoshop, 3DS Max or Cubase) with cheaper/free alternatives or doing something that looks easy and/or where the end result is taken for granted (like mowing the lawn or cleaning streets from the snow). Art is just one of them.

even then, you gotta understand time and quality go hand in hand because you get out of art what you put in--and I get some people learn faster than others, but that doesnt change the fact it can take years of work for an artist to get to where they want to be at. 
thats years of time and work that should also be considered when determining a price--you shouldn't just pull a number out of the air like 15 points (18.75 cents) if you want to take serious commissions
I do agree with that.
LordEmeric Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I know you've probably gotten this kind of comment 10x over, but this is everything I've ever wanted in a post. Just earlier, a friend showed me their friend's pricing list, and god did they have their shit LOW. I was cringing at how horribly underpriced their stuff was. Their 'fullcolor head' was listed at $7.5... for something that could EASILY be $60+ for more famous artists. I was completely baffled. I went on a freaking tangent about how it doesn't matter how low THEY think their talent is-- I gave MY opinion of their prices compared to all over commission prices I've seen out there, and stressed that people WILL take advantage of them, and might throw a fit if they dare try to adjust the prices to fit the time spent moreso to what they deserve later on. Also not to mention if they happen to get an influx of commissions, and realize they're not getting paid what they deserve and burn themselves out.

I wish your message could be more widespread shared, because this NEEDS to be known. :/
BadlyDrawnDragons Featured By Owner May 22, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
I made my Commissions (just ask) about a week ago, do you think my prices are alright?
Toraleii Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Those are way underpriced, your headshots could be $20 easy.
Bootsign Featured By Owner May 12, 2017
gby-a Featured By Owner May 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
but actually, is there anyone who would pay a beginner artist 5$ for a commission?
BeautySnake Featured By Owner May 12, 2017
$5 isnt that much--i mean yeah you can go to subway and buy a sandwich but are you saying your art is worth less than some greasy sub
that commissioning you for your service to produce a one of a kind image is worth less than a mass produced sandwich from a commercial restaurant chain?

honestly a lot of people would pay $5 (or less if they can) because a lot of people would love to exploit cheep service 
its actually part of the reason why under pricing is such a problem 
gby-a Featured By Owner May 14, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
but in reality, in order to have customers, beginner artists don't really have an option other than to be under-priced right?
BeautySnake Featured By Owner May 17, 2017
its more than just beginner artists--most artists underprice because how devalued the art market has become
im just saying $5 is way less than you think it is
I don't know any professional artists who would charge anything close to $5--I'm not even sure they'd stoop as low as $50
and i can understand new artists wanting to test the waters a bit with lower prices, but honestly theres a difference between lowering prices to get sales and selling yourself short all together 
your price should still remain realistic for what its worth
Dachiia Featured By Owner May 2, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I have a humble question? :3
I made this as a YCH about two months ago:  Spring napping [comm] by Dachiia
The price was 10$ and i used around 7-8 hours on it. 
My question is, do you think I'm under-pricing myself? because I do in genuinely think I am by now.
btw, i do not at all mind you giving constructive criticism on my art :happy: 
BeautySnake Featured By Owner May 2, 2017
what $10 the starting bid or the final bid?
either way dude idk i wouldnt charge less than $100 for something with that much detail and work put into it--time isnt the only thing you should consider but also remember to consider how much work it took you to build up to this point
I was recently part of a workshop at my college that taught us about voids in sculpture, and our final show was over the weekend and my teacher told us yesterday that there were several people interested in buying our void sculptures--they're all sorta brick like with abstract geometric shapes cut out of them. He told us not to charge less than $200 if we did sell them, because it would cover the $85 cement fee, the money we spent on supplies to make the cast before pouring, and the 5 weeks of work it took to develop the skills necessary for creating the sculptures. 
Unfortunately many people severely undersell themselves and
theres also the issue of deviantart is a terrible place to sell your art unless you happen to be super popular (like 15k+) and even then i feel like a lot of those artists still have to underprice themselves to sell their work
Honestly if you are able to i would recommend a patreon as a good way to make money, but also be sure to network yourself on other sites as well to expand your audience so when you do take commissions you wont have to charge $10 for a piece worth at least $100

and since this is a YCH id recommend having goals in mind for bidders to work towards (if the bid exceeds X amount, it will be lined, Y and it will be colored, Z and it will have a simple background or shading, etc) just so its more fair for you if you do only end up getting a few bids--so you wont have to end up doing this full elaborate piece for only $10
Dachiia Featured By Owner May 2, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
it was not an auction, it was a set price, though the idea of making the auction price affect the final result is really a good tip :3
I'm flattered that you think it is at least 100$ worth, but you do also make good arguments as to why i might be worth that much too :) I have 5 years experience on deviantart, but I'm also trying to move out on other websites, so you got that tip right xD 

I just always had my mind set on "building an audience" before i start setting the bar higher, but I now more convinced i have to move up the scale a little :3
thank you for answering with such a long useful response! :D <3
ZhangChu Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
yeh... i've actually paid an artist more than what the price i commissioned it for. because their art was beautiful and they were so severely under pricing themselves. 
instead of ignoring artists that under price themselves-- just pay them the minimum +whatever you think the art is worth. hopefully it will open their eyes and start pricing their work better. 
Everyone wants everything for free these days. Treat artists and their work like you would want your art/your friend's art to be treated. With respect and awe. 
techtsar Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017
Well there is always two sides to story, I believe the difference in price is easier to explain if you think about the virtual nature of the product. With the rise of the internet the availability of pictures has grown. So follow basic economics with the increase in supply but not an increase in demand the location they intersect (the price) will shift down. Also I believe people have different ways of valuing a digital product over a physical one, for example I was on vacation in the states and walked by a small art gallery that sold paintings on commission from local artists. I found a painting I liked and drop 90 dollars on it but I find myself hesitant to consider anything over 20 dollars when ordering a commission. This may have something to do with people being willing to use pictures without the consent of the authour for things such as avatars. I did not want to do this and found a devient who had made a forum avatar public to use (specifically stated in description).

TLDR: with the internet its easy to get a digital picture so people are less willing to give up money for them so they will try to pay as little as possible.
UmbraSheWolf Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"This isn't Walmart." X'D
But wow. You said this really well.
I don't do commissions yet (I am still a newbie here, even though it's been a few months, but that isn't much time after all) and I didn't buy a commission yet, but I understand these things, and I know how people don't really consider that the artist is kind of a part of the art. Which means not only art should be charged.
I have nothing else to say because you already said everything, and I agree with every single part ^^
KoraDoggo Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Preach it! I don't do commissions but one dude was like asking if I could draw his pony character so I said okay. I was drawing it and 5 minutes later he goes "DID YOU GET MY MESSAGE?" And I said yep. And since he rushed me the drawing I made was awful (lil bit on purpose..a bit) Drawing takes time and people need to realise it. I wasn't even doing free art.
banchobi Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No one comissions me so I don't have a high price : )
The only person who did was my friend lmao and I didn't rlly spend that much time on it ; P
But $5 is too little for a full work, especially by someone in school!! 
ThatAwkwardOnion Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2016  Student Digital Artist
I feel like this needs to be said for anyone in a creative field. Especially if you are still a beginner. In the end only you get to decide what your art is worth and guess what if it's too much for your skill level you'll figure it out quickly, whereas if it's too low for your skill level you WILL get exploited. There was another post more recently regarding the point system and how it leads to artists being paid less than the price of a candy bar for incredibly time consuming work. That should not cut it! If you are an amateur artist who is trying to make commissions, I feel like even doing request/ trades  first ends up being more gratifying as you get experience through a much more relaxed and beneficial environment where you learn the actual value of your work and hey if the person is being demanding it's a free work so you can tell them to suck an egg for 5 minutes while you do you.
fainfox Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2016
literally i have about 20 commissions this year, i have earned only $8.
i have to underprice myself so much, i have spent about an hour on a drawing before for 50 cents.
jet-laq Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2016
I agree with everything youve said! And as we know people usually arent willing to pay that much for a young, unpopular artist. The problem here is that the more comms an artist would get the more it would make them improve and eventually theyd need less time to do a piece of the same quality.. And that doesnt happen bc people dont commission them. Although you can draw for youself i think its just.. Niot the same.
Does anyone know how to solve this kind of stuff maybe?
CartoonLoverGrl2000 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG your SO RIGHT (LOL "your")!!
Some artists I've known irl have been so passionate about their art (and even if they don't or do have skill), people want to buy 'em. So it inspired them to start doing commissions. 
But the issue is that some people don't realize that the amount they charged for a 3 hour work was REALLY cheap. 
Some peeps just charge 10 points for a full sketch-- which honestly upsets me-- it should be worth waaay more. 
According to DA, 80Points =$1.
I've been wanting to commission some buds for a while now (and get Core lol), but apparently, I couldn't get my parents' permission to use their Paypal.
The thing is, I don't want to commission people who underprice their art to the extreme. They've worked hard on it. They put effort in it and love to draw.
I've been on DA for 2 years and I ain't got much comms.
 Most of my full works (inks, colors, shading, rendering/effects, background, etc) take typically around 2-4 hours to completion. 
I know you mentioned 100Points =$1, but DA is just making me confused...
Anywho, you, speak the TRUTH. So cheers to you! ^^
shoucchin Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2016  Student General Artist
THANK YOU for making this... I'm new to DA but I've been running my own cake decorating business for years, and people don't seem to understand that $60 for a themed, well-decorated, possibly even sculpted homemade cake is cheap! I've always been frustrated with underselling and such and most of the time the only way to get around it is to just make merchandise of your pieces... people are fine with buying what's already there, but for a custom piece...
NyxRei Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2016
Wait.. 60$ for this cake? Are you serious? This is sooo cheap!

Now I want to eat a cake... >.<
shoucchin Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2016  Student General Artist
Lmao ikr?! But people come around expecting it to cost the same as a supermarket cake... So ridiculous...
NyxRei Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2016
Srsly? Gosh some people have nerves. 
One time a coworker approached me, saying he likes my art and asked if I could draw something for him, of course he would pay. He expected me to do an A2 - A3 full pencil drawing for 5$. I thought he was joking.
shoucchin Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2016  Student General Artist
Blech. See, I get all frustrated cause of this stuff, especially since I get people noting me all the time saying my commission prices are too high... but when my family sees me working on them they're like "You're only getting $15 for a fullbody colored drawing, two pixel dolls, and an icon???" And I end up practically dying because most people pay in points and I always end up forgetting to tell them to do it through the commission widget, so I can't the points back into cash... So now, I'm screaming internally trying to save up for a CCCat because I love them and since I don't have much else I want to do with the points... it just seems like a better idea than nothing. I still feel like I'm pricing my commissions too low yet here I am only making an average of 3 dollars a day because people think my stuff is too expensive. It just kills me.
NyxRei Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2016
Wow... really? Are your customers saying this or random people? 15$ for so much is really cheap! o.o I thought I was underpricing myself but you're on a different level... Well it still depends on how much time you invest. That with the points is really dumb... How about you only accept paypal? 
shoucchin Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2016  Student General Artist
lmao I would but I'm afraid it would take more customers elswhere... most of the customers I've had so far are really accommodating so it's okay, but the people that are all like "I was going to commission you but your prices are way to high" and stuff is just so discouraging omg... plus I mean I guess the upside of points is I can pay for core that way (though I don't see much of a benefit right now, tbh)... I just wish even if it was a donation or someone straight up giving points or whatever you could still convert to USD... I'd love to raise my prices I just feel like I don't have enough of a following yet to even continue making as little as I am if I do... idk it's one of those double-edged sword things. Just kinda ridiculous //lies down spread eagle on the ground
NyxRei Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2016
Ye.. I understand that. The people who say that only want cheap shit, you shouldn't lower your prices because of them. 
It really would be nice if you could convert the points, but you still can use them to commission people etc. 
I also have 15$ for a full coloured headshot, which I would like to rise too.. since I also earn only around 3$ per hour. But since I'm not that well-known I'm kinda afraid to rise them... 
(1 Reply)
Blue-Spaghetti Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
your commisons should be $10,000 they're too good for this world.
Also i agree my commsions are 600 points so..
Scarlet-Spectrum Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You make a good point. Although I want to say that ( atleast in my opinion ) time shoudnt be the *only* thing you base your prices on. Someone could spend hours upon hours on a drawing that turns out looking like crap, yet another person works faster on a much better quality image. I'm not saying 10 minutes fast, but the quality of the end product should be taken into consideration as well.
Airyuna Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I'm not an artist myself, but I do appreciate the time and effort that goes into creating art. I've commissioned a couple of artists on this site, and while I consider myself a fair customer (paying upfront, not rushing them, etc.), I will admit I've enjoyed "cheap" rates. (Let me make this perfectly clear: Artists deserve proper payment. They're worth the money paid to them for their art, and I'm in no way arguing against that.)

That being said, I believe there's more to people being reluctant to pay a lot of money for commissions than them just bring stingy.
One is that some people simply can't accept that they can't afford the prices. That obviously doesn't apply in the cases where people won't even pay $5 (which in itself is pretty ridiculous).
Another is that being scammed can't just happen to artists; it can happen to customers, too. Even if you're not being scammed, some artist may simply forget about your commission and leave the site/go on a hiatus (happened to me twice lately, but I still don't regret paying upfront).
And then there's of course the issue that the artwork might not turn out the way you expect it. Obviously, art is a creative process, so you can't control the outcome perfectly. Also, you've got to describe what you're looking for precisely - if you say you want "a picture that blows me away with awesomeness" or "a drawing that's the equivalent of eating ice cream by the beach" may turn out nice, but you might as well tell the artist straight away that they can do whatever they want. It may turn out great or not, but it's unlikely the artist's vision is the same as yours. However, sometimes artists just don't do what you asked them to do, even if they agreed to do it (I've once commissioned someone to draw me a picture in a style he used in one picture in his gallery; it was a very frustrating experience to get him to actually draw it the way he agreed to draw it, and I still wasn't happy with the end result). My point here isn't that artists generally don't listen or that they half-ass things on purpose, my point is that some of us go into the process of getting the picture they envision calculating the very likely possibility that they will have to pay for several pictures to get it actually done and get it done right. Therefore, we may be reluctant to pay the price a picture deserves, even if it's within our budget.

TL;DR: Artists deserve to get paid the proper amount of money for their work (which is often higher than what people are willing to spend), but not everyone who doesn't want to pay that much is as douchey as the ones that sparked your journal entry.
(I'm not saying you implied that, I'm just putting that here to get some more aspects of this complex story mentioned.)
frostise Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
100% agree with you. 
TsundereWaifu Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2016
Even with a good sum of watchers
I never get commissioned really. No one is interested
in my work now days unless it's free or super cheap.
Ardate Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2016  Student Filmographer
Better never get commissionned than selling your labor for too cheap, that way you can use your time to draw for yourself, not only for your own satisfaction, but also as a good way to advertise your talent! - unless it really is a matter of survival, but in that case I would recommand to find a small job in your town, it would probably give you more money per hour than selling your artwork for cheap to attract customers.
Good luck c:
stingray66 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
honestly i really do agree with you
but either way raising or lowering my prices never gets me commissioned at all :U
Tigerpeltt Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have all the free time in the world so it doesnt really matter to me >.<
WDWParksGal Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2016
I am laughing at the last sentence... "Get yourself a nice frame, buddy!" :giggle:

Well written and so true. There are people who just do not understand the concept of "paying for what you get" as far as value goes. Some clueless wonders simply cannot grasp the difference from a cheaply printed copy on thin paper versus an actual painted piece of art on quality canvas.

Stick to your commission rate. You probably are undercharging :cuddle:

Invited into DevNews :aww:
Plompeii Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2016
i agree with this but it doesn't encourage me to raise my prices at all
SilverStarApple Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016  Professional Writer
And the points bullshit! People are selling crap for 50 points, not seeming to notice how little that actually is!
Wolfishgod Featured By Owner May 26, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Please post this all over DeviantArt. So many more people need to see this.
DaynaQueen Featured By Owner Edited May 21, 2016  Student Artist
End product matters. Someone else can pay for how much effort you put into it even if they don't like it - but for me if the end is less than what I expected from seeing your samples - I will refuse to pay. 
Would you buy a £700 phone just to find out the edges are wobbly and the display is messed up? You can say that it took effort to make it. You can say that in the end it's a phone and it does what it's supposed to. But if the quality is shit - then I'm sorry but no. I'll return it and ask for a refund or a replacement.
If you're exchanging money for a product, it means you're technically a business and should know that time = money, but also money = quality. The end result should be worth the time you personally put in. 
BeautySnake Featured By Owner May 23, 2016
with your example, that depends more on the individual artists terms of service, they're there for a reason--luckily most artists will do edits for free but not all
also most artists requests that you pay before at least partially, again stated in terms of service
AriaGrill Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
what about 15 bucks for 5-20 min sketch?
magicofthepiper Featured By Owner May 16, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If you are going to talk about value, can you please be honest about points actually being 1.25 cents each (that's $0.01.25 with the dollar placement). The 100 points equal $1 comes from the DA's commission widget fee which takes away one-fifth of the value of each point when used.  Those who pay with points are expected to pay the fee when it comes to adopts and commissions. This why you pay $10 for 800 points. So yes, if you price your commission at 500 points, and sell through DA's widget you make $5 dollars in your earnings, which can be furthered reduced by more fees, but the commissioner paid $6.25.

I like using DA's commission widget, but I feel like a lot of users don't know about DA's role in skewing the perception of value on this site.
BeautySnake Featured By Owner May 16, 2016
thats true, the 20% fee is kinda ridiculous 
not even paypal has a fee that high
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