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now some kinda FAQ:

What brushes do you use?

Brushes are taken from all over with some of my own sprinkled in. I think everyone uses the same brushes by now, there are a lot of duplicates in most sets. Here are the main contributors (afaik) of my current setup:
Jaime Jones
Maciej Kuciara
Jama Jurabaev


What is your style/inspiration/method?

I've lumped all these together because the answer is almost the same. I don't know or nothing/everything.
I study to forget so that everything becomes instinctual. Then you just pick up little pieces of info along the way and add it to the stew.


Do you have any advice about composition, colour theory or anatomy?

I do but it's really pointless answering, there's no uncommon knowledge in these basic fields. You'll find the same material being repackaged in articles/dvds/books/gumroad videos over and over again. Expose yourself to it when you start out, then I think refreshing the knowledge around every 3 years is enough. You'll probably find things that didn't make sense before, suddenly click.
Everything should already be out there for free somewhere.


Do you have any advice (general)?


Use the clipping mask.

Deconstruct everything that matters to you.

Too much proficiency kills your work. This one's down to personal taste but I find that after a few seconds of technical admiration, I'm bored when faced with highly proficient work. It doesn't matter whether that's realism or just very typically stylised. It's too predictable so I don't want to explore the image (unless there's some other aspect to grab my attention). 

you won't be a good artist if all you know is how to paint/draw/render.

Commit thoughtcrime.

Lift with your legs -_-

Do you have any prints for sale anywhere?

www.inprnt.com/gallery/chentho…



As always thanks for the comments and faves.
  • Listening to: funkadelic
  • Watching: walking dead
  • Eating: my thumb
  • Drinking: coffee
I have to deploy the shitty mass thanks journal post >_>

I do read almost every comment but I rarely respond now as I can't answer any single one without feeling guilty about all the others. If you have a serious question regarding anything just pm me for a swifter response.
So cheers for all the love and know that I appreciate it :)
  • Listening to: Arch Enemy
  • Reading: cracked
  • Watching: every horror movie under the sun
  • Playing: payday 2
  • Eating: my stylus
  • Drinking: coffee
I'm not a writer so I'm going to keep this shitty and weirdly formatted.

I get that a lot of people use photos now, as ref or within the paintings themselves. I have no problem with this, I understand that it's an efficient way to put down accurate information quickly.

However it seems that along with the widespread acceptance of photo-bashing, the theft of design has crept in too. I'm not talking about copying the design of something generic or common, I'm talking about stealing unique works. I'm not talking about concept art either, oftentimes the offending images are meant only for eyes of an internal team. This is about illustration.

I see it often with fashion photography, some designer somewhere has put in the thought and effort into realising (and being able to realise) a bold unique vision. Then some digital painter comes along and just uses the photo as 90% of their own "new" piece. To be clear, a great deal of the impact of the painting can be attributed to the photo they've used. The final image can involve a horizontal flip so you know there's been some attempt to cover their tracks.

I would be forgiving if the piece was something personal, a photo study and nothing more. but I've seen people do this as work for high end clients and I've seen people selling prints of these studies too. How is that ok?

When a digital artist copies a key component from another digital artists work and uses it to the same effect in their own work they get chastised by the community to a ridiculous level, especially so if the thief is technically weaker and unestablished. But if the victim of theft is from outside our industry do we still care? Am I right in thinking this is sleazy or is this the new standard we should all accept?

This is not a call out post, I have no interest in naming names, providing evidence, creating drama or burning bridges. I'm just disappointed in some artists that I used to look up to and felt annoyed by this trend.
  • Listening to: Norther
  • Reading: tangential research for an upcoming project
  • Watching: da vinci's demons
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: my stylus
  • Drinking: coffee
did anyone else notice? thought it was just temporarily down but nope they've decided to quit.
and I had only recently gotten attention from some of my heroes there -__-
I guess everyone is going back to conceptart?
  • Listening to: Ozzy
  • Reading: Animal
  • Watching: The Lady Vanishes
  • Playing: Hawken
  • Eating: my stylus
  • Drinking: coffee
the cost of shipping wasn't included for people outside america. so if you put down any money for a physical reward tier, you need to contact the pact guys to sort out how you want to proceed. they put out an update here but i'm not sure if many people would have gone back to check.

www.indiegogo.com/projects/pac…
  • Listening to: jeff loomis
  • Reading: gardens of the moon
  • Watching: the imposter
  • Playing: arkham city
also attack on titan was shittier than anticipated, first few episodes were interesting. but then it was almost all cliche. If you've watched/read berserk, fma and evangelion i doubt you'll find anything of worth here, oh well.

and thanks to everyone who comments,faves or looks :)
(I may or may not respond it's almost entirely random)
  • Listening to: dopethrone
  • Reading: gardens of the moon
reposted from Steve Argyle

"Aspiring and working artists, if this isn't something you know about already, you should. And if you can, throw your money at funding it.  I've worked with just about all these guys, and they know what they're doing.  Now they're trying to make the industry better for artists.  The handful of bucks you can spare now, if it gets funded, could be the difference between striving and starving in the years to come."

www.indiegogo.com/projects/pac…

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pif3Zv…

and also this link from Anna Christenson
www.illuxcon.com/pact-the-rant…
  • Listening to: new tomahawk
  • Reading: gardens of the moon
  • Eating: oranges
  • Drinking: tea
and have a good day all :)
  • Listening to: journey
  • Reading: fables
  • Watching: something on wayne white
It's finally here and as fun as I thought it'd be when I first heard about it

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef2wnL…
  • Listening to: murder by death
  • Reading: hellblazer
  • Watching: thunder soul
you could be crap and noone would know
lack of clear intent acts a safety blanket for your ego
commercial success isn't validation, just cushioning
  • Listening to: jackie wilson/soulfly
  • Reading: hellblazer
  • Watching: iron monkey
First up more than a few people have asked me if I'm going to do any more primarchs and my answer is maybe but not for a long while if I do. They're massive time sinks and I can't really make any profit off them since they're fanart. If you want to see another primarch or a whole series of them then you'll have to commission me. It's almost as if i'm keeping their existence hostage but that's the way it's gotta be.

Right now I'm working on putting together some fantasy images, dragons and dnd style characters. I'm also experimenting with trying to find a sustainable consistent look/method for my pics.

figured out what was causing photoshop to crash when using complex brushes, still don't know why but painting in cmyk mode is a lot less stable than rgb mode.

and now irrelevance:

Con Air really does have everything

I used to believe in anarchy but it was an idealised version

I used to think all songs got translated in other countries

Thor was mostly a waste of time, I was impressed with the way they portrayed the rainbow bridge. lots of diagonal shots and too much comedy for me. I found thor himself really annoying, I prefer the one from the incredible hulk returns. Anthony hopkins as odin was amazing. He added a lot of much needed weight to his scenes. Shield agents recieve no combat training. I liked Heimdalls eyes but the plastic looking metal armours sucked. same as Magneto's helmet in First Class. Thors little team was too corny for me as well: a samurai, a musketeer, an Obelix and a generic woman defying tradition. The movie was weak on story and pacing.

A Scanner Darkly while interesting fell into the trap of most intelligent scifi where it's more fun to think about than actually watch.

The first episode of the new season of community was... don't think I laughed once.

Sometimes my headphones pick up radio from passing cars

and be wary of trying to demystify any words that sound vaguely medical via google. the new image search preview feature can be annoying
  • Listening to: Drammatica
  • Watching: TNG
Eddie: Sarah, do you think I'm a loser?
Sarah: A loser?
Eddie: Yeah. I met this guy, Gordon, Bert Gordon. He said I was a born loser.
Sarah: Would he know?
Eddie: He knows a lot.
Sarah: Why did he tell you?
Eddie: I don't know, I'm not sure. He said there are people who, uh, who want to lose, who are always lookin' for an excuse to lose.
Sarah: What does he do, this Bert Gordon?
Eddie: He's a gambler.
Sarah: Is he a winner?
Eddie: He owns things.
Sarah: Is that what makes a winner?
Eddie: What else does?
Sarah: Does it bother you what he said?
Eddie: Yeah. Yeah, it bothers me a lot. Cause you see twice, Sarah, once at Ames with Minnesota Fats, and then again at Arthurs, you know, in that cheap, crummy pool room. Now why did I do it Sarah, why did I do it? I could've beat that guy, I could've beat him cold. He never would have known. But I just had to show him. Just had to show those creeps and those punks what the game is like when it's great, when it's really great. You know, like anything can be great, anything can be great. I don't care - brick-laying can be great if a guy knows. If he knows what he's doin' and why and if he can make it come off.
When I'm goin', when I'm really goin', I feel like a, like a jockey must feel when he's sittin' on his horse, he's got all that speed and that power underneath him, he's coming into the stretch, the pressure's on him - and he knows. He just feels, when to let it go and how much. 'Cause he's got everything workin' for him - timing, touch. It's a great feeling, boy - it's a real great feeling - when you're right and you know you're right. Like all of a sudden, I got oil in my arm. Pool cue's part of me. You know, it's a - pool cue, it's got nerves in it. It's a piece of wood; it's got nerves in it. You can feel the roll of those balls. You don't have to look. You just know. You make shots that nobody's ever made before. And you play that game the way nobody's ever played it before.
Sarah: You're not a loser, Eddie. You're a winner. Some men never get to feel that way about anything.
  • Listening to: trivium and dean martin
67.90.44.118/canvas_art/wall_a…

Have to be honest I'm a tiny bit proud that someone thought to include me in this whole kerfuffle. What I'm really wondering about is how they managed to pilfer my certificate of authenticity >_<
Now what exactly does one need to do? I imagine it's being handled by the countless other artists who've been hit since the contact page is down and it's making the rounds here on DA

and he's a little article on the owner and his amazing creativity:
sflchronicle.com/news/entertai…
  • Listening to: cheap trick/bill hicks
  • Reading: Gardens of the Moon
  • Watching: penn &amp; teller
  • Playing: eve
  • Eating: choco puffs
  • Drinking: tea
new thundercats was cool, I'm too old to like new cartoons but I'll probably watch it again if it crosses my path.

finally checked out 13 assassins. some very shocking moments I had to cringe at one scene in particular quite early on. I have a suspicion the numbers didn't add up in the big battle but I'll let it slide, very entertaining revenge movie.

what comes to mind when i think of dominance war:
big horns
tentacles and or an excess of limbage
beautiful women encased in oversized demon husks
oversized weapons
nonfunctional generic techness

tough alternate reality versions of people always have either slicked back or tied back hair, dark eye makeup and a scar

finding your voice artistically is as complicated as you want to make it

I don't want to waste a good idea on bad form

don't watch the news anymore

my train of thought is like the crumbling bridge in a platformer, I can seldom backtrack my conclusions
  • Listening to: cheap trick/bill hicks
  • Reading: Gardens of the Moon
  • Watching: penn &amp; teller
  • Playing: eve
  • Eating: choco puffs
  • Drinking: tea
Edit: Stripped down to the bare info and my own thoughts

Original can be found here: whatafool.deviantart.com/art/P…


**All numerical figures and paraphrased content are culled from the GRAPHIC ARTISTS GUILD'S PRICING & ETHICAL GUIDELINES HANDBOOK 12th ed. 2007 (hint: it's 2011 now)**




GRAPHIC DESIGN

*Salary Averages*
entry-level (1 to 2 years out of school)..........$29,000-36,000
designer....................................................$32,000-45,000
senior designer...........................................$42,000-61,000

Median Freelance Rates (per hour)
designer.......................................................$40
senior designer..............................................$60
creative director/designer...............................$75


Project prices -
I have decided to only post the most pertinent projects for the dA community, as I'm sure not many full-blown jobs are going to come through here. If I have left one out, or you have a requested price I might have knowledge of, please request it.

Corporate Logos
Major Corp........................................................$4,000-25,000
Minor Corp........................................................$1,500-12,000

Logotype
National/large company...............................$7,500-15,000
Regional/small company..............................$2,000-6,500
Individual..................................................$1,000-3,000




ILLUSTRATION

*Salary Averages*
1 to 3 years experience..................................$32,750-44,500
3+ years experience......................................$42,750-60,000
specialized illustrator......................................$53,500-76,750
^(technical, medical, scientific, cartoon)

The Handbook is vague about illustration hourly rates, as most freelance projects are those with an agreed upon fee specific to the job. But hourly pricing should be comparable to that of graphic design. These prices are from my experiences and what I have seen:

Illustration Freelance Rates (per hour)
amateur to entry-level.......................................$15-30
illustrator.........................................................$25-70
senior illustrator................................................$70+


Project Prices -
I have decided to only post the most pertinent projects for the dA community, as I'm sure not many full-blown advertising jobs are going to come through here. The large markets of Advertising and Editorial have been left out, but may be implemented if necessary. If I have left one out, or you have a requested price I might have knowledge of, please request it.

Book Covers - hardcover
major title..................................$3,000-3,500
small print run............................$2,000-3,000
small press................................$1,200-2,500
textbook....................................$1,200-2,000
young adult/chapter....................$2,000-3,000

Book Covers - paperback
major distribution.........................$2,500-5,000
trade paperback...........................$2,500-4,000
textbook......................................$1,500-2,000
young adult/chapter......................$2,500-4,000

^additional fees (% of original fee)
rush fee.................................................25-100%
sale of original artwork............................100%
unlimited use for any media for 1 year.......50-100%
foreign publication rights.........................50-100%
total copyright transfer............................150-200%


Children's Books (32 page, hardcover, illustration ONLY)
advance.................................................$7,000-40,000
royalty (percent of list price).....................3-5%
royalty escalation....................................4.5-6%
paperback edition....................................3%

^subsidiary rights
foreign publisher......................................25%
motion picture, TV....................................25%
publisher direct sales................................25%
Merchandising.........................................25%


Music Packaging (popular & rock)
major studio/distribution..........................$1,500-6,500
small studio/distribution...........................$1,200-3,000

DVD&Video
major studio/distribution..........................$1,200-3,500
small studio/distribution...........................$750-1,500

Retail products - (T-shirt designs are requested a lot on dA. PAY ATTENTION!)
apparel..............................................$1,800-4,200
electronics..........................................$1,200-3,500
gifts/novelties.....................................$1,200-3,000
sporting goods (ex. skate decks)...........$750-2,000
toys/games........................................$2,500-6,000

^additional fees (% of original fee)
sale of original art.....................................100-250%
rush fee....................................................20-150%
total copyright transfer...............................100-200%
transfer of legal authorship and all rights......125-300%




COMICS

Comics Rates (per page)
writing...............................................$75-120
painted art.........................................$300-400
pencil art...........................................$100-250
ink art...............................................$75-200
lettering............................................$40-50
coloring.............................................$100-150




ANIMATION

Fees (per second) 2D 3D
Advertising.................................$300-2,000.......................-
Broadcast...................................$175-500..........................-
Corporate...................................$150-2,500..............$275-3,000
Web, large client.........................$200-1,000..............$300-2,000
Web, small client.........................$120-800.................$325-1,500

Median weekly salaries of animation artists
2D animator......................................................$1,425
3D animator......................................................$1,809

Animatics (per frame)
5x7"....................................................................$150-450
8x10"..................................................................$175-500

Storyboards (per frame)
thumbs............................................................$40-150
8x10" keyframe................................................$200-500
9x12" keyframe................................................$250-500




WEB DESIGN

*Salary Averages*
web animator (1 to 5 years experience)..........$38,250-53,500
web animator (5+ years experience)..............$51,000-73,250
web site designer (1 to 5 years).....................$40,750-59,000
web site designer (5+ years).........................$59,250-85,000
digital artist for web content (1 to 3 years)......$31,250-40,750
digital artist for web content (3+ years)..........$40,750-54,000

Median Freelance Rates (per hour)
web designer................................................$50
web programmer/developer............................$75
content developer......................................... $60


Project Prices -
I have decided to only post the most pertinent projects for the dA community, as I'm sure not many full-blown corporate jobs are going to come through here. If I have left one out, or you have a requested price I might have knowledge of, please request it.

Web Site Design (Client revenue of $1mil to $10mil)
static Site...................................................$7,750-15,000
e-commerce................................................$7,500-18,000
price of 6-10 Elements (animation/audio)........$400-1200
monthly maintenance fee..............................$150-750
Banners, Buttons, Flash Animation.................$575-5,000

additional fees
rush fee.........................................................50-200% of original fee
monthly maintenance fee.................................$150-750




"Kill Fees" - Cancellation & Rejection Fees

How many times have you heard "I decided I don't need you" or "I found another designer" from a client whilst working rigorously for them? Well, contrary to the claims from clients who believe they don't need to pay you if they aren't going to use your work or don't need you to finish, they most certainly do. And there are specifics on the matter to boot.

Cancellation-
A cancellation fee occurs when a client halts progress on a project due to unforeseen circumstances or any other reasons beyond the artists control. All rights transfered to the client, agreed upon in the contract, are still valid for what work is completed by the artist.

Averages (% of original fee) Illustrators Graphic Designers
prior to completion of sketching stage................25%.........................40%
after sketching stage, prior to finished work........50%.........................80%
after completion of finished work.......................100%......................100%

Rejection-
a rejection fee occurs when a client halts progress on a project due to dissatisfaction/no desire to finish project. All rights transfers written in the contract are not to be obtained by the client, and any completed work may not be reproduced by the client.

Averages (% of original fee) Illustrators/Graphic Designers
prior to completion of sketching stage..............................................21%
after sketching stage, prior to finished work......................................42%
after completion of finished work....................................................100%




A Brief Overview of Contracts

As freelance artists, you want to have a working, or boilerplate contract for use with every client. A boilerplate contract is a basic ready-made contract that can be augmented and fine-tuned on a client to client basis. Clients do not need to follow and absolutely specific formula. As long as everything is explained, either simply or in a complex manner, and signed by both parties, it is a working, legal contract. Contracts themselves incorporate all the little nuances listed and discussed so far in this news article. Here's a bullet point list of what's needed for a good contract:

- Date
- Both parties named
- Explanation of the project (name of project, type, media, where will it be used? Be as specific as possible.)
- Use (advertising, editorial, corporate, book, personal)
- Geographic area of use (N. America, Europe, Planet Earth, etc.)
- Length of use (one time, one year, etc.)
- Ownership of original art (who keeps the original work?) <--****This is the important part for all you commissioners out there. You need to know if your sale is of the actual work or of certain rights****
- Exclusivity (are the rights secured by the client in the contract exclusive to the client?)
- Fee/estimate (original fee for project, as well as additional kinds discussed above)
- Other expenses/'Overhead' (cost of supplies, travel expenses, etc. Are they to be paid for by the client or must the artists cover these expenses themselves?)
- Kill fees (cancellation or rejection fees)
- Mapped out payment/project schedule (avoid client suggestions of payment AFTER completion of work. Any respectable client will know that segmented payment for assurance is the correct method)
- Late payment fees (agree upon a date when payment from client is considered late. What are the penalties? Usually, clients are charged 1.5% of the total price per month late.)
- Client alterations (any changes to the artwork requested by the client not discussed or agreed upon prior are considered billable. Fees for such occurrences are up to the artist. Most tally any additional time toward alteration an bill by their hourly rate. For example, an artist whose hourly rate is $40/hr must be paid $80 for 2 hours of alterations to a project.)
- Final artwork (How will it be delivered? Physically by mail, digitally by email? Does the artist receive finished samples if the artwork is for reproduction? Insurance/compensation if original artwork is damaged and cannot be returned to artist?

Negotiation
A contract rarely is accepted by a client or artist on the first writing. But do not be afraid to make alterations to parts of a contract you are not in agreement with. These are some guidelines for both clients AND artists for reviewing contracts:

- Read and reread very carefully.
- Make separate note of problem areas.
- Strike-through any sentences or clauses you do not agree with and plan a rewrite of them on a separate document (notepad, what-have-you).
- Alter the original contract neatly with your rewritten clauses. Initial next to every change.
- Send to other party. A cover letter along with an alert to changes you have made is encouraged. It is important to come across as positive, since you are effectively denying something you were wanted to agree with.
- The other party will do as you have done with the contract and send it back to you. The process goes on until both parties are satisfied and are ready to finalize their agreement.

Finally, both parties sign and date the contract!


**my bit**

First off understand that these figures are old and a lot's happened economically since. Secondly I've never charged as much as stated here myself nor do I plan to do so for a loong time (except on a few occassions but that was according to the situation). These are for well established pros working with well established companies.
These are posted here not as a guide for any fledgling artist to adopt vanilla but so you can see what's possible further along in your career. That said  the ultimate point of the post was to say "don't get screwed" I hope that seeing these figures will stop people from accepting/offering $5 or $10 jobs that take hours to complete.
  • Listening to: Devildriver
  • Reading: Gardens of the Moon
  • Watching: still Voyager, almost done with the series
  • Playing: eve
got a few major pieces on the way

First is my long awaited (by me anyway) 40k fanart, gonna paint me some space wolf lord, maybe it'll be the primarch but it depends on how much I imagineer the costume. I finally feel like I've reached a skill level where I can actually make something and not die when comparing it to the likes of Adrian Smith or Paul Dainton. Pic is massive and causes lag if I go over 5 layers. I'm working on 1-2 and flattening before I save.

Second I'm gonna try my hand at actual illustration with actual composition for Jon Schindehette's Story Extraction Challenge theartorder.com/2011/07/13/sto…
Chose Firaxe cos I got sick of steampunk when it became so commonplace, working on comps right now.

I've realised that unwarranted pride in my wips actually stops me from completing images. Publicly posting the sketches or incomplete paintings is a way for me to get rewarded prematurely and usually the reward feels good enough to not see it through to the end. So I'm gonna delay reward and hopefully create better art for it. Patience is paramount.


fengzhudesign.blogspot.com/
amazing updates on Feng Zhu's design school blog, Check it out if you enjoy concept art
  • Listening to: Bullet
  • Reading: Gardens of the Moon
  • Watching: Voyager &gt;_&gt;
  • Playing: Shogun 2 again (still awesome)
just happened to notice some weirdness when looking through the gallery of Néstor Ossandón n-ossandon-nezt.deviantart.com…
then checked mine and yep all the stats have been zeroed
  • Listening to: meatloaf
  • Reading: return of the crimson guard
  • Watching: parks and recreation
  • Playing: mass effect 2
  • Eating: soft mints
  • Drinking: tea
chenthooran.com/

I like it but additional eyes could be useful, let me know what you think.

I'm also on Twitter:
twitter.com/mythril_golem

and Facebook if you wanna be a really creepy stalker dude/chick:
www.facebook.com/profile.php?i…
  • Listening to: Fu Manchu
  • Playing: shogun 2 (kinda, it's been weeks since i played))
  • Drinking: water
fav.me/d30x8xy

is that a Daryl Mandryk piece? I'm about 60% sure of it but I can't find the original anywhere


UPDATE:

I don't work for free so don't ask. If you want some cool stuff designed and you have something to offer in return drop me a note.
If you want to use something I've already drawn (whether to model, manipulate or post elsewhere) just ask me first.
  • Listening to: Belphegor
  • Playing: dragon age origins again
  • Drinking: tea
check out this ted talk

www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_a…

I'm sure we all have our own experiences with this.


Also commissions are open again, let me know if you want anything painted.
  • Listening to: Eagles of Death metal
  • Playing: sc2