5/3/14 Only 1 Watch Away From 1k!
I made this little doodle in advance since I am on the cusp of having 1,000 devwatchers! That's crazy to think that many people enjoy my artwork enough to follow me here. I am really humbled and grateful to you all. It's been a long journey to get this far, 9 whole years on this site. I've gotten so much better over the years and I still have a long way to go, and I am happy to have you all with me to see my work continue to improve! Thank you all so much!Update:
Congrats to jenastar
for un-watching me and then re-watching me so she can be my 1,000th devwatcher XD Now I owe her a kiriban art on top of a birthday pic lol You sly thing you o<o
5/1/14 Making Art for Me Time
Come join me as I make a new fanart of my blood elf rogue, Amalthara
I am trying to push myself through an art slump, fight through depression and feeling like my art is not good enough. I just want to get into the zen groove of doing something I enjoy doing, and making this for me. I got some peaceful music going and I think I will work on refining the lineart, then continue practicing greyscale painting. Feel free to join me :3 http://www.livestream.com/otak…Update:
Lineart done! O3O
4/29/14 Help me reach my lifelong goals!
I just created a Patreon account, it’s basically a site where people can donate money and become patrons of their favorite artists/musicians etc. The goal is to get lots of people contributing $, it can be as little as $1 a month. It all adds up and helps creative people (like myself) continue making artwork. When contribution goals are met, the artist will do something nice for their patrons as a way of showing thanks. Some of my milestone perks include Livestream sketch requests, new fantasy illustrations, and 20x30 posters of my artwork. I urge you all to have a look at my page and consider becoming patrons of my art If you can't contribute, no worries! There is no obligation to do anything, but I will ask for you to at least spread the word and tell everyone you know. Share my link to Patreon, show people my artwork, let them know about me and what I do. That alone is a HUGE help! Thank you all!
Click here to become my Patron! <3
4/11/14 Here, have a bad Selfie O3O
Came home from work and mail man delivered this to me, a gift from my wonderful friend Jessica aka Empy-O
aka Empy O3O I love it!!! *prances about gayly in her rainbows* P.S. The mirror makes me look slenderer than I actually am. Thank you so much pookiewookiesmoogiebear! OWO *glomps*
4/2/14 Tragedy Struck
Hey all, it's been a few weeks since my last journal entry. Some awful things have happened, stunting my progress on commissions big time. I'm still sick and after multiple calls to my doctor he finally had me do a stool sample to see what the heck is wrong, ever since I ate at Applebees 4 weeks ago my digestive system has been destroyed. Maybe I got a serious viral/bacterial bug or a parasite. Either way, they will know once they test the samples. Despite feeling icky, about two weeks ago I decided to go to Petsmart and buy some new fish since my 20 year old pleco passed away a few months ago and my 13 year old blackskirt tetra, Tiny, was all alone after his entire school died of old age. I just thought it would be nice to have some new life in the tank since it was sad I lost my finny friends who I had been with over half of my life. I had purchased a new baby pleco I named Arthas, three new blackskirt tetras, and two beautiful rosy barbs. I thought they all looked very healthy and had inspected their tankmates at the shop, seeing they had no visible signs of parasites or disease. I decided not to put them in a quarantine tank and just acclimated them to the main tank. That was my first huge mistake. Four days later the new blackskirt tetras, who I named Teeny, Eency, and Weency, all had ich; a very contagious parasite that literally sucks the life out of your fish.
My second mistake was using an out of date ich medication, then realizing it was expired and doing too big of a water change and not being careful about the new water being just the right temperature. The sudden change in temp and the old, toxic meds stressed out all the fish and made the ich go wild. The next day all of my babies were completely covered in parasitic cysts. To make matters even worse, I tried raising the temperature to 83 degrees, using aquarium salt, and putting in a new ich medication which is what almost every fish disease site recommends. By then the fish's immune systems were shot, and the higher temps (which speed up the lifecycle of the parasite) caused some very bad bacteria to flourish and infect my fish. Before I even knew what was happening, my babies started dying off rapidly. They came down with a terrible disease called Hemorrhagic Septicemia, it attacks their gills and circulatory system, making them bleed and eventually destroying their hearts and organs. Over the course of three days, all of the fish were dead except the two rosy barbs. I am completely devastated this all happened, and I feel horrible for having made so many mistakes in my panic to treat the fish rather than take my time to really research what to do. I have had those fish for 13 years, they were part of my family and these past few days I've struggled to motivate myself to do anything because I am still in shock.
The only ray of sunshine in this entire fiasco is that the two rosy barbs, who I have decided to name Wanu and Paku (after Liwanu and Pakuna) are still doing fine. They seemed to be completely immune to the ich and nothing has taken hold of them this entire time. Right now I have them both in a hospital tank with Coppersafe and Maracyn 2 to completely destroy any remaining ich or bad bacteria. They're both eating well and I have great faith they will survive all of this. They are both little miracles and a poignant reminder of how even such tiny little creatures can be incredibly resilient and strong, and that even with so much death and tragedy, life will always find a way. All I have left to say if that I pray for my fish who died to rest in peace, they will be returned to the earth as soon as the ground thaws. One of my friends is going to let me bury them all in her garden and I will plant flowers over their grave. I miss them all dearly. R.I.P. Lumpy, Jumpy, Thelma, Louiso, Don, Juan, Teeny, Tiny, Eency, Weency, and Arthas. I'm sorry for causing all of this ;__;
2/13/14 Ready to Roll!
Alas! My back pain is steadily going away. I bought a $20 posturepedic lumbar cushion and the lady (whose apartment I cleaned) got me a new chair, which both seem to be helping immensely. This is right on time too since I now have 4 art commissions and I need to be able to sit here for hours upon hours to do them without being in agony. *rolls up sleeves* Time to get to work!
2/5/14 What have I gotten myself into?
My back finally feels a lot better (still not 100% though), but I have found myself piled on with more work than I've ever had, and it's not even a kind of work I like to do... For the past week and a half I have been cleaning and organizing a lady's apartment, and so far I've dumped 60 hours of my life into it and I am still not done. I was working at my receptionist job and she came in and asked me: "Are you good at organizing and do you like cats?" to which I answered yes. She is a college professor, a reiki healer, and a grief counselor with a PH D... so of course I thought perhaps she could be the one to finally give me the counseling and therapy I need to overcome my depression from losing my mom and all the other traumatic things I've been through. I agreed to help her and she agreed we'd do a barter; I clean her house and care for her cats while she is away, and she gives me free counseling, an ergonomic computer chair, and buys me a nice dinner. Sounds good right? She even gave me a $100 bill the day we met, along with a key to her apartment. I thought it was odd she'd instantly trust me and be so generous right off the bat when she literally just met me, but lucky for her I am a very honest, hard-working person. I whipped her apartment into amazing shape and turned her cluttered, nonsensical chaos into a highly organized, functional space. The only thing left is sorting out massive amounts of paperwork and documents (most of which, I guarantee, can be tossed).
The drawback to all of this is I have not had any time for myself, art commissions, or any pursuits that lead to making money. I am the brokest I have ever been after paying for my van and my bills, and I've yet to receive anything out of this barter (aside from the $100) since this lady is always traveling/working. I almost just wish I was paid for all this cleaning, at least then I wouldn't have to be so poor xD I really hope this all pays off, I don't like wasting my time and it's been very uncomfortable for me digging through a total stranger's personal belongings hour after hour. I still don't know a thing about this woman aside from her name and her professions and it is really off-putting. Perhaps I am too nice and I say yes too easily, I really hope I'm not being used >.> More than likely everything will work out fine, I'll have a good chair for my back and all the therapy I could have ever asked for to help me with my depression, but until all of that happens I am still skeptical.
Anywho, today it's snowing a lot and I am taking a day off from cleaning this lady's house, so to celebrate this free-time I am working on getting as many Hell and Elysium character sheets done as possible. jenastar and I have been doing a lot of RPing and we've made so many characters, my head can spin lol I do love them all though, they are our babies after all! So you all can look forward to that. I do have two art commissions I need to work on, but today I really need some unwind time before I go nuts. With home depot and this apartment thing I been working 63 hours a week x.x I am not the kinda person that can work that much without burning out >.> There ya have it, life update complete.
1/22/14 My Back is Killing me!
So my latest dilemma is that my computer chair is no longer supporting my back, and everytime I sit in it, it's only a matter of minutes before I am in agony. I have two art commissions I need to do, and I have been unable to do them because I can't sit at my desk without being in a lot of pain. For the past two weeks I'm either in bed, on a huge ball, working out at the gym, or standing... my back seems to feel okay doing anything BUT sitting... it's crazy, but I guess chair posture really does matter, and I am so guilty of hunching forward. I suppose I only have myself to blame since I live at the computer and sit here for many, many hours every single day, year after year. Either way, I'm a bit beside myself about not being able to work on commissions, especially since I am super broke after dumping $1,000 into a van so I have a car to get to work. Blahhh, why spine? Why must you hurt me so? e.e I need to make moneeeeeyyy arghhhhh..... *done ranting*
R.I.P. My Beloved Pleco 20 years old - Born August 27, 1993- Died January 15, 2014
My pleco just passed away suddenly. Yesterday he was fine and today I noticed his belly was round and bloated, and he began thrashing around the tank in discomfort before finally settling into his favorite cave under the driftwood to die. I went to buy epsom salt and set up a hospital tank, but when I took pleco out and put him in it I noticed he was limp in my hand and his gills were no longer moving. This all happened so suddenly I can only figure that his kidneys failed and he died of old age. I’m crying my eyes out because I love this fish, I’ve taken care of him for 16 years and I love him like family. Pleco was always special to me, I never knew a fish in an aquarium could live so long. I am so glad I got to celebrate his 20th birthday and share that event with you guys back in August. He’ll be eating zucchini up in fish heaven now ;.; Goodbye my old friend, I will miss you!
1/14/14 Life Updates and Livestream!
Hey all! I know you haven’t heard much from me, and art submissions have been few and far between and I typically only post commissioned work, nothing original. I’ve been going through a serious bout of soul-crushing depression ever since I got back from Minnesota at the end of October, and it’s killed my creative spirit. Most days I just lay around watching Netflix or I cry and feel immensely sad. I know I’ve had a rough life; I lost my mom to cancer and I lost all my beloved pets, I live alone and I get lonely with no human contact or friends to visit. I struggle with my weight, always teetering on 300 pounds, and after a while all of these factors combined eat away at me since I have no one to really talk to and no outlet for my inner pain.
Unfortunately, this happens to me every year and it’s unpredictable when it will strike, but I try my best to fight it. My old 1994 Buick finally bit the dust and now I am carless, so getting to work is very pricey since the taxis are charging me $8-10 a trip. The entire bottom frame was rusted so bad the engine was literally about to fall through the bottom of the car. If I was in it when that happened, that would have been the end of me. Luckily my mechanic has a 1999 Plymouth Voyager van he’s selling me for $1,300. I paid off half already and I hope to have it this week, so I pray to God my car nightmare will finally be over. If anything was making me depressed, it was having a P.O.S. car that broke down all the time and kept wiping me out financially over and over again. Maybe now this newer used car will last me a few years and not empty my wallet in costly repair bills. I would love to finally be able to save up some $ and not have to constantly worry about driving a death machine to work every week. Fingers crossed.
Things are getting better for me and I have two very fun commissions by two of my best clients who come back to me over and over, Robyn and NarutoLestat. I think working on these projects will help me get my creative spark back, and I would like to Livestream my progress on both projects. You are all more than welcome (and encouraged) to come join me and watch. It always makes working that much more enjoyable ^3^ I will start streaming at 11:00 AM EST USA time, so less than a half hour from now. The stream will be on going, on and off all day until I get these commissions done or my back is killing me to the point where I have to call it quits until tomorrow. We’ll see what happens!
12/25/13 Warm Holiday Wishes
I just want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you celebrate, and may you all have a great New Year as well! Have a picture of my cute little tree to put you in the spirit <3 OtakuEC
12/3/13 Holy cow! New watchers!
Wow, I am amazed by how many new devwatchers I got today from posting Lara's art XD So as usual, whenever I commission Lara and get permission to post her artwork on my DA (because she no longer uses DA), I get a lot of watchers and I worry that you folks watched me because you think my art is as phenomenal as Lara Yokoshima's. Well, I think my work is pretty good in its own right, but I do hope all you new watchers did take a look at my gallery and have seen my work too~ ^^ I'm so happy to have you all here following what I do. I know I haven't posted much art lately, but I am planning to open up an OC bust portrait commission, maybe 5 slots. Keep your eyes peeled! <3 OtakuEC
11/2/13 - Home, sweet home...?
Hello all, I am back from my little two week vacation in MN. It was a truly delightful break from work, commissions, and my stressful everyday struggle to make money. I just watched movies, played games, ate tons of good food, and spent every moment with my best friends jenastar
and her awesome sister Empy-O
. The only con of all this was I gained a boat load of weight and totally wrecked my body by eating like a pig, but I will get that all under control soon enough. It was a really nice experience overall to see new places and do things with people who I have known online for five years. Being with the two of them felt so incredibly natural, as if we'd known each other our entire lives and had been talking face-to-face all these years rather than through our computers. We went to the Mall of America a few times, and my favorite part of that was going to the Sea Life aquarium. I have a lot of pics and video clips from it chock full of gorgeous sharks and a plethora of other salt and freshwater fish.
A large part of me wouldn't mind moving out to MN so I can be closer to my friends and maybe even work at Sea Life. I might like being a tour guide or just work in the gift shop. There has to be something I could do; I would just love to be there all the time. It was also nice to be around Jenastar and Empy because it felt like I had a family again. I wasn't all alone in my tiny apartment; I was actually there with them, sharing meals, laughing, and having the joy of their company. Coming back home was a bit depressing since this place has never truly felt like home to me, not 100%. This little box I live in was because my mom died and Housing saw fit to move me, causing me to lose my pets, my gardens, and all of the little things that gave me happiness. Now all I have is my computer to connect me to the world, and it gets tiresome living this way. I grow weary of being isolated and alone all the time with only a glowing screen.
I know I need a change, so I am going to try harder to sell off most of my stuff. If I am ever going to move anywhere better, I need to lighten my load a lot. So once again, you all can help me out by taking some of this load off my hands. I will be selling most of my things on eBay. Thus far I have sold most of my yaoi manga and that entire lot of Naruto cards. I will be listing up a lot more stuff, but little by little. Here's a link to my eBay
if you all wanna bookmark it and check it from time-to-time to see what I am selling. ATM I have nothing listed aside from prints and some Halloween things I couldn't sell off before I left on my trip. I just got home and I need to get to work on posting more things for sale, so do check back. I will also post what I have for sale on my otakustuff4sale tumblr
. Anywho, now that I am back I have a lot of work to do, art to finish, things to accomplish. I guess I'll hop to it! <3 OtakuEC
10/16/13 Bon Voyage!
Going to MN, see you guys in 2 weeks! <3 OtakuEC
10/10/13 Look what I found on Google images!Artwork by a Skidmore classmate Katrina Zulakis.
I found this on Google search when I randomly decided to see what pops up when I type in my name. I totally forgot this girl drew my portrait! She drew a bunch of us for a class project, though none of us got to keep our portraits nor did she send us pics. I don't even remember what year this was or what this girl even looked like @.@ How awesome though, she did a great job! XD
Also just so you guys know, I am leaving for my trip to Minnesota on the 16th and I won't be back until the 28th. I will be chillin' with jenastar
and Empy-O 3
@ So there won't be anything being posted up and I am not taking on any art commissions until I get back. <3 OtakuEC
9/27/13 So... Whatcha been doin'? O>O
It has been what feels like AGES since I posted any art, or more specifically, since I posted any art that is not commissioned, but purely for my own enjoyment. Ever since mid-June until now I have been literally swamped in art commissions (which is NOT a bad thing, I need the money!), but I just wanted to let you all know why I haven't been as active and why most of what I have submitted is just commission stuff. I have a few new ones to post up, one of which took me 50 hours to do and consumed my life for nearly the entire month of September. I just have to do a few minor things to it and then I will post it up sometime this week.
Unfortunately, almost all of the money I made from that commission is GONE already because my car decided, right on time, it needed to have a major $750 break down. My car has been my biggest necessary evil since I wound up on my own after my mom passed away. Every year it has literally eaten almost all the money I toiled so hard for and in the 5 years I have owned it, it has cost me over $5,000 in repairs and maintenance, not even counting the price of gas and insurance I pay monthly. Bear in mind, I make less than $7,000 a year (though it may be a bit more with art commissions) and I only bring in a little over $400 a month from my Home Depot job. I am in no financial position to be fixing up and rebuilding a classic car. I have finally decided that I am going to draw the line and stop fixing it. The next time it breaks down, that is the end of me having a car. It will be the beginning of me walking around with a wheeled cart to carry my groceries, taking buses that dump me inconveniently far away from my Home Depot job, walking over a mile in all kinds of weather with my work gear, having to wait 2 hours to get home after work, and doling out $8 a trip for over-priced taxis.
In the end, despite the massive inconvenience, I'd probably be saving more money in the long-run, and maybe losing more weight since I'll be doing a lot more walking. Despite how hard I tried to raise money for a newer used car with my 'Art for Car' campaign on Indiegogo, my YouTube plea for help, my free charity cars account with over 1,300 votes... all was for naught. My 20 year old Buick ate all of the money I made just so I could keep it running and have a way to get to work, appointments, etc. My constant struggle to make enough money to survive while also having such an old vehicle has been miserable and I am ready for a major change. It will be nice to actually get to keep the money I earn from commissions and save up for my long-term goals rather than always lose it all at the drop of a hat when the car starts spewing gasoline or stalling mid-drive. I am done with this chapter of my life.
To end all of this on a positive note: Once I finally finish my last 3 commissions I am going to finish coloring my sailor moon fanart, finish rooting my custom Monster High doll's hair and post pictures, post up a new chapter of Hell (and maybe Elysium as well if I have enough pages), start doing some YouTube videos of my struggles learning how to digitally paint and maybe some art tutorials, and in general get back to making art I want to make. I am also going to work on creating a commission catalog with images and fixed prices so people stop shying away when they see my $20/hour rate. I want to try doing the monthly slot thing a lot of other artists do and call out for commissions of things that would actually interest me to draw, because in all honestly, most of the commissions I have gotten bore me to tears ;.; Doing business cards, brochures, logos, and bland illustrations are not terribly fun for me, but I do it to survive. I won't turn down any commission, but I do want to get some that I will at least feel motivated to do. I really hope some of you guys and gals on here will support me on that since I will try to price some of my stuff low enough to cater to you all, but not so low that I go homeless xP Anyway, all of these things are going to take quite a bit of time to do so expect each of these goals to be accomplished in dribs and drabs over the next three months. As always, thanks for reading and hope you all have a super great day! - <3 OtakuEC
9/18/13 Tumblr Debate and My 2 Cents
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
wow this is actually one of the best things to ever come out of artist's confessions.
As a freelance artist that depends on my art income to keep a roof over my head and actually survive, the amount of artists competing to get commissions is a difficult sea to wade through, especially when the multitudes of talented artists are charging far less than minimum wage. The overwhelming majority of artists getting commissions through the internet (DA, Tumblr, FA, Y! Gal, etc.) really do need to raise their prices in my humble opinion. If you are one of these artists, whatever your reasons might be for charging so low, make sure you're at least getting minimum wage or more for the area you live in. It is not a crime for a really talented artist to charge between $7.25/hour-$10/hour - $35+/hour (depending on skill level, college education, and demand for your work).
Artists need to break away from single digit prices. You're only hurting yourselves by undervaluing your own time. Would you work at McDonald's and put in an 8 hour shift for only $5? No. Every hour you put into art for commissions is worth more than a few cents or a dollar. Even if you're only making art as a hobby, to make some extra cash, etc. and you don't rely on the money to survive, it doesn't matter. There is an art economy online and a lot of artists who do need that money to live, so you really should care about how all of you are effecting that art economy, whether you are new to commissioning or not. If no one is commissioning you, it's because it is extremely hard to stand out from the crowd in a sea of world-wide competition. You're not the only one vying for clients, and I am not the best at marketing and advertising, but I do know word-of-mouth works and if someone out there really likes your work, they will hire you even if you charge a fair wage. Just keep making art and improving your skill!
So my dear artists, don't sell yourselves short! Don't make outrageously low prices the "norm" on the internet! Too many people in online art communities think these prices are what art should cost and whether you care or not, you're hurting the online art economy for people who really need to make a fair wage, and you're hurting yourselves. Charging anything less than a bare minimum wage is awful. You are ALL worth more than 3rd world sweat-shop wages!
For those of you who commission art, realize art takes a lot of time and time = money. Pay your artists a proper wage or save up until you can afford to. If you do commission someone who is charging extremely low, please tell them their work is worth more, give them a generous tip or pay them what you think their work is worth, and for God's sake PLEASE don't haggle your artist to lower their prices for your convenience or complain they are charging too much!
Lastly, I don't agree with the original poster's notion that boycotting commissions from low-balling artists will solve the problem. Not at all, but there does need to be some very loud horn-blowing to get all of these people to up their prices to- at the VERY least- $7.25/hour or whatever minimum hourly wage is for the area they live in. For those artists that have spent years and years of their lives honing their art skills, and ones with degrees to back it up, starting rates for illustration should be around $15-$20+ per hour. Otaku hath spoken o.q
8/29/13 Otaku's Stuff 4 Sale! Anime, manga, games, toys, and more~
Hello my dear, sweet Watchers. Please check out my stuff 4 sale blog, I will be posting a LOT more stuff. To start, I am selling 10 steamy and gorgeous yaoi graphic novels and a huge collection of Naruto trading and game cards + other goodies. Have a look!
===========»»>Otaku's Stuff 4 Sale Blog! ««<===========
You are invited to a birthday party!
Where: My Livestream channel
When: TODAY August 27th, 6:00 pm onward
Why?: My pleco will be turning 20 years old, so let us celebrate his remarkable longevity with a fishy birthday party and live fishcam! There will be cake (for me) and a yummy zucchini for him
This is no joke folks, I am really going to have a birthday party for my fish lol It will be funnnn!
UPDATE: For those of you who missed the amazing fish birthday party, here is the livestream footage! Unfortunately pleco was too shy to come out of his cave in the actual ceremony vid, but you can see him in the second fishcam video
Ceremony vid: www.livestream.com/otaku1811/v…
Fishcam vid: www.livestream.com/otaku1811/v…
7/9/13 Art Commission Debacle: The Hourly Rate vs Fixed Prices and Is Your Work Too Expensive?
I am sure those of you who know me well know that when it comes to art commissions I am really anal about people who A.) don't respect an artist's time and value their work, wanting to pay them in peanuts, B.) artists who don't understand the value of their work and charge in peanuts, and C.) people who complain I charge too much or outright stiff me after I've done the work. This is a little back and forth between a random person on DA who seemed curious about commissioning me, only to quickly turn me down as soon as they discovered I charge an hourly rate.
Observe this person's reaction after I answer her question on my art commission info:
Anonymous- When do you think this will be up?
OtakuEC Oh it's actually 99% done, I just need to post in picture samples with price ranges… but all of the info is current. I charge $20/hour and I come up with an estimate based on how many hours individual projects take me to do. I currently have 7 art commissions that are either in progress or soon to start, but if you have any questions at all let me know!
Anonymous- Yeah… I NEVER commission artists that charge by the hour! …EVER!
OtakuEC Well I can understand how you may have anxiety that an artist would be dishonest and charge you an outrageous amount and claim he or she worked 50 hours when they only spent 2. I don't do that, in fact, I Livestream most of my commissions and let people watch me work, so they can see my actual work time. Every artist does it differently, but even the ones who charge flat rates typically go by an hourly wage, making sure they are at least making minimum wage for the time they spend. Time is valuable.
Anonymous- Yeah… even if you didn't go by hour I still couldn't afford prices like that… very poor and usually only commission if it's cheap or kiriban/requests… it's sad but at least I can get SOME art :/
OtakuEC Well, that's why you should save up if there's an artist whose work you value and really love. I recently commissioned adrhaze and LaraYokoshima, and I spent a pretty penny between the two of them, yet I feel their prices were fair and the work they did was well worth it. I had to work very hard to make the money to pay them, but it's an even exchange. If you really want good artwork, you gotta work for it too, just like the artists have to work hard to make their money.
Anonymous- I find it almost insulting that you just said that, it may interest you to know that it is 10 times more hard work to do what I do than it is to simply save up some cash! I wouldn't pay much more than $40 for any piece of art by ANY artist (that means even people like Victoria Francis) unless I had a very specific concept, which I've done once and it didn't work out anything like I wanted : ( I'm currently watching 672 deviants… about half of which are people I want to commission! Forgive me if I don't want to spend a ton more than I could.
Most of the time when people show they are clearly not interested or not willing to commit to a commission, I let them go on their merry way to find their freebies and cheapies elsewhere, but I felt the need to impart something to this girl who seems to believe my work is too expensive. I believe any artwork worth having is valuable. Art is unique to every person and a bit of the artist's soul goes into every piece they make. Not to mention there are various physical and mental challenges that go along with hours at a desk fretting over a piece of art. There's eye strain, hand-cramps, back aches, headaches, long hours of zooming in and out, erasing, redrawing, problem solving, analyzing, perfecting, critiquing… Many people take all that we do for granted and somehow think it's easy or magical. Art doesn't simply pop into existence, it's a labor of love and sometimes a labor of necessity. Art commissions help me pay my rent and bills or save up for various things that I need or want.
My hourly rate is based on the 2013 Graphic Artist's Guild: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines book, which gives all kinds of price ranges for professional artists. The starting wage for illustrators is $15/hour-$20/hour. The super pros charge $75/hour+. I started out at $10/hour in 2010 and I worked my way up as I built my business and honed my skills to where they are now. I feel confident in my abilities. I do work for $10-12/hour for close friends and regulars, but for the most part people hire me at my current rate and they are not disappointed in the work I provide for them.
So to wrap this up, it is not wrong for freelance artists to charge an hourly rate or fixed prices, it all boils down to a simple equation. Time= money. No artist should charge less than minimum wage, and I believe no artist should charge less than $10/hour bare minimum. The problem is, most artists I see online charge waaaay too little for their work or practically give it away for free, so many people seem to have a built-in expectation that all those super gorgeous pictures that took 5-20+ hours to make shouldn't cost more than $5-40… It's really sad and frustrating. If you're an artist looking to make money, don't undercharge and devalue your work and destroy the economy for all other freelancers in your niche. If you're a person commissioning art, please respect and value your artist's time and effort. We work very hard at our craft and we deserve to be paid properly!
Feel free to share your two cents if you are a freelancer or someone who likes to commission art. *sips tea* Ah feels good to rant… w@
Response from ~Liz-66-
I'm not an artist, but I do occasionally buy art, when I can afford it, and I totally agree with everything here. I don't understand this expectation that artists should sell their work cheap. And I certainly don't understand why anyone would devalue the work of an artist they love enough to want to commission!
You wouldn't go to a budget clothing store and expect to buy designer quality clothing. Yet people expect high quality art for a budget price? As with anything, you get what you pay for. If you want an artist to spend time creating a beautiful piece of art for you, then you pay them for that time. I don't care if you 'can't afford those prices'. Sorry, if you really want the commission, then you save up. You don't expect the artist to sell cheap because you are poor!
I've been saving for my commission of my OC Kanzi for ages! The writer of this post is a friend of mine and I wouldn't dream of asking her to do it 'cheap'. I've watched her art livestreams and trust me, until you have watched any artist work, you have no idea how long it takes to produce high quality art.
Part of the love and pride of your finished art work is knowing that you paid the artist fairly for it.
7/4/13 Life is fulla headaches…
For the past three (going on four) weeks I have had on and off headaches, always in the front of my head and behind my eyes. My doctor has told me I have acute sinusitis and it seems to be triggered during the pollen-filled spring and summer months, so it's likely caused by some undiagnosed allergy. The sinus headaches can range from mild to 'just shoot me now.' My sinuses swell up and my eyeballs are seemingly bulging out of my head, and it certainly feels that way. The pressure on my eyes sucks so bad, when I close them I see weird colors and lights.
If any of you have been wondering why my arting has slowed and I'm not doing as much art lately, it's because my eyes and my head are killing me. Luckily I am on drugs that at least take the pain away for a few hours at a time, but it royally sucks to be a bum and do nothing all day long when there is so much I want to do.
I want to open up pencil bust commission slots to draw people's OCs because I am in dire financial straights this month and I can't find a third job to work in my crappy town, my hours at home depot were cut down to 8 this week and I can't live on that. My bosses have been harassing me and I bet they want me to quit, but I CAN'T even if I wanted to. I was hit with bills for everything under the sun this month and I desperately need to make $500 (round trip tickets for the train) to be able to go to Minnesota in October and I would like to have at least $200 spending money so I am not totally broke when I am out there Therefore I need about $700… that's a damn pricey trip for me, but I want to finally meet my two best friends (my RP partner Jenastar and her sister Empy). Both of them are really looking forward to meeting me as well, but they can't help me foot the bill on the travel costs. They will be letting me stay in their home for a week and provide me with food, so that is fair enough.
Also I got bad news that the mural gig I was supposed to be doing this summer was pushed back 6 months or more. That's $500 a month I won't be getting and that seriously destroyed my plans. (That gig coulda got me $4k-6k!) So no newer used car anytime soon and no $ for my trip… Being sick doesn't help, yesterday I was in bed all day, completely incapacitated. How can I make money if I can't even draw without my eyes killing me? >.<
Anyway, that's my rant for the day. If any of you wanna take pity on me and help me out, there is a donate button on my Tumblr's front page ( Go check out my Tumblr!). Even $1 donations are appreciated at this point. Any help at all is much appreciated, now I am going to slink back off to bed cause I feel like crap rolled over twice…
7/4/13 Just having fun dancing to kawaii anime music in SL on two hot bishies. Come join us! www.livestream.com/otaku1811?t… 4/22/13
Hey all! I am currently Livestreaming, trying to draw a pic I have in my head of Kalim and the spirit of Caine. I want to really challenge myself... backgrounds and digital painting, yikes... lol Come watch me struggle through it! www.livestream.com/otaku1811?t…4/21/13
Hey guys, so once again I have been slipping up and not making as much art as I should, I even fell behind on the adoptables because I needed a little change of pace. I spend so much of my life doing things on the computer and neglecting other hobbies I have, like making jewelry, console gaming or reading manga, rather than just focusing all my energy on what is online >> So despite the fact I am tired from a very mundane day at the Home Depot, I feel the need to put forth some effort and do something art-wise, even if it's not groundbreaking work. I dug up a really old picture (that I actually like) and all I have to do is shade it then it's done. After that I have a rough pencil sketch of April's special adoptable already made (did it at work har har) so I will get crackin' on that. As long as I get it done before April ends, I keep my word to make a special adoptable for each month, right? >.>; Oh and I should probably take a pic of the necklace I made and post it, it came out really pretty 3
Not much going on. Ho hum, ho hum. When I think of something interesting to write about I shall. Other than that, I swam 40 laps today which is one mile and 4 laps... so yay o4/4/13
I had a blast in Livestream tonight, check out my scraps
to see the amazing doodles I made :3
OMG guys I am seriously at 100k O____O This is a huge event for me XD For 8 long years I have struggled to become known or at least somewhat popular on DA for my own original art rather than just pop out fanart. Granted, I do have a bunch of fanart, but most of it I made when I was still a young Otaku. Along my journey these past 8 years on DA, I have busted my butt not only to improve my art and be up to snuff with the artists I admire, but to get as many people to see my work as possible. I have posted in so many thumbshare forums, joined hundreds of clubs to spam my art, used the GetWatchers system for hours on end, thanked thousands and thousands of people for favs, and hundreds for devwatches. I had created the club #UnseenArtists
in 2005 as a hope that not only could I help other people struggling to get their work seen, but also help myself and build a community to create friendships that would last. To this day I am still friends with some of the original UnA Helpers. I have made so many wonderful friends here on DA and those of you who do always favorite my work or write nice comments, I can't express just how much I appreciate you too. Now I know I should probably make a 100k Kiriban or something, but I think my thank you is just as good lol So sincerely from me to all of you... THANK YOU!
Re-doing Art Commissions Pages3/26/13
Hi all, just been trying to spruce up my journal a bit. I'm working on re-doing my art commissions info by dividing the pages up based on personal or commercial projects, this way those of you who want art for personal use don't have to wade through tons of legal jargon or worry about a humongous contract. I'm going to try and come up with ballpark rates for various types of commissions and post image samples too-- however I am still going by my $20/hour rate. Anywho, I've wanted to do this for a long time, so I hope it works out and maybe lands me some commissions. I still desperately need money to save for a better car, so any work I can get would be immensely helpful 3
Changing My DA Name Again!3/21/13
So you all have likely noticed I changed my DA name again. I wanted to change it back to Otaku1811, but apparently DA won't let me do that. Otaku-no-Bijutsu was too long and people are too lazy to type it or simply can't remember it, so I knew something short and sweet would be better. OtakuEC is just the word Otaku with my initials EC for Emily Cammisa. This will be my new, permanent name on DA. Just wanted to let you guys know :3
I need a therapeutic writing session, so here we go...2/24/13
So, not gonna lie, but I have been going through another one of my "no motivation to make art" periods and it's been lasting for months, though I've managed to push through it just enough to get my commissions done. I just have one more to do and I've been procrastinating like crazy, so I really need help staying focused so I can just get it done and then not have to worry about it anymore. I have these terrible art blocks and lack of creativity bouts fairly often, and sometimes it gets so bad I literally don't want to draw or make art at all. Desire= o. Nothing seems to motivate or inspire me, and during these art slumps I wind up playing grotesque amounts of WoW or watching marathons of different shows or movies on Netflix. Strangely enough, this year since things have been going so well for me (having a job to pay the bills, money to fix the car, etc.) I am not depressed and not very stressed out. I feel fairly even, yet I'm not really happy either. I tend to be more creative when I feel happy or excited about what I am doing... I also keep thinking about the art I should be working on and that makes me unhappy. Pretty much that is the only thing making me unhappy... that I WANT to make art, but I DON'T. It's crazy lol
So what have I been doing? I spend hours and hours just sitting at the computer and the days, weeks, and then months slip away and I find I've done nothing productive at all to hone my skill as an artist or try to keep my promises to make that Hell and Elysium webcomic and artbook. I have a crazy amount of linearts piling up that need to be colored, yet no desire or motivation to color them. I've gotten great advice on how to break through this creative block, yet I can't seem to be arsed enough to even try doing crappy doodles each day. Part of the problem is I have an addictive personality and whatever I am currently obsessed with is all I want to do. Right now I just want to play WoW, level up, grind out dailies and work for mounts and achieves. I've also been trying to roleplay in WoW and on rare occasion ~jenastar comes on and we do some posts in Hell (which makes me deliriously happy). But make art? That feels a lot like work...
I always think maybe I am just a lazy person and I wonder why I don't have the drive to work my ass off, makes lots of money and become a super awesome illustration artist. I just don't feel motivated, I make just enough money to survive and I scrape by, so why strive for better? I also feel like most people don't care. I know I shouldn't make art based on what other people think, but let's face it... not many artists pop out amazing work and then lock it in a closet. I want people to view my stuff, follow me and appreciate what I do. I want people to talk to me and get to know me... Yet if I post a pic and don't spam it in 100 clubs on DA I only have a tiny handful of my dearest watchers who ever notice what I submit, and even fewer who ever ask me how I am doing (you guys know who are, love you <3). I know I have a bit of an attention whore inside myself and an artists' ego to boot. That part of me wants to be uber popular and have people commission me for fun character design stuff all the time, or ask me to draw Hell and Elysium stuff. I really want people to love what I do as much as I do, especially the Hell and Elysium stuff because I am super passionate about those stories and the characters. If people cared enough to say "Hey I love so-and-so, draw them more! I will so come watch if you Livestream it!" that would help put my ass in gear (maybe). I tend to work best if it's somehow collaborative or I have people to share the experience with, otherwise I am just by my lonesome grinding away hours and hours making work that not many people will bother to look at. I guess what I am trying to say is that I want people to interact with me more to try and pull me from my shell of solitude. You guys and gals could possibly help light a fire under my butt. If there was actually a demand for me to draw, perhaps it would help me draw more often even when I get into these slumps. My friend Aioue
suggested I do Livestreams at least once a week and just do quick sketch requests for people. I think that's a good idea and it could be fun as well. You can't get much more interactive than that, right?
Anywho, thanks for reading my little rant. Reply from SacredCandybar
I know I have a bit of an attention whore inside myself and an artists' ego to boot.
I think it's fair to say that nearly everyone, artist and non-artist alike, have a bit of an "attention whore" in them. Dale Carnegie said we all want positive recognition and a feeling of importance. It's not a bad thing. And appreciation for something that you've put a lot of love and work into certainly isn't unwarranted.
The thing is (and this is either the "bad" part, or the "eh" part, depending on how you want to look at it), getting more exposure is work. Sadly, not many people are going to find your work on their own. You've got to put it somewhere their going to see it (i.e. those clubs you mentioned). There were a couple of pretty popular artists I followed for a while, and I found out that they got their start on The Lion King Fan Art Archive and Neopets, respectively. So right there, they already had a platform from which to launch their art, in an arena where lots of people would see it. Also, in the case of the artist who started on The Lion King site, they were their when the site was fairly new, and there were few people on there. So the chances that their art would be seen was a lot greater, simply because of the smaller group. Once that group grew, most of the established people already knew them, so it kind of spread from there. So there are a lot of factors in being seen in the art world.
I've had (and am having) the same problem as you: staying motivated. I try and draw a little every day, whether I feel like it or not. Usually once I get into it, it becomes easier, and I don't really want to stop. It's kind of like exercise. It's actually getting started that's the hardest part.
Sooooo....sorry for the novel here. I just hope that it'll encourage you a bit. If you like doing art, do it! Don't discount the more public aspect of it, but try to ignore that for a while, and draw what you want, and then the exposure part of it should get a little easier.My reply:
Thanks so much for the encouragement! It is true, for me starting is the hardest part and usually once I finally get going on it I fall into the groove and it starts to be more doable. I finally finished all of my commissions too, yaaay ^^ Tis a good feeling lol I've been sick for the past 4 days with a bad nose cold and I gotta go to work tomorrow and sunday, bleh. Maybe when I recover and feel more up to speed I will get back to work on my hell and elysium pics and color some linearts. I'm slowly getting burnt out from wow which is a good thing lmao When I get bored with one thing I move on to the next, so I should make that art xD And you are absolutely right about artists becoming popular from finding smaller niche communities. I've only ever had DA and DA is just too huge. I could probably get attention on Y gallery is I actually drew hardcore yaoi, which I will eventually lol I just dunno where I fit in so I post here and on tumblr and that's about all I can do. Empy also said for now I shouldn't worry about other people, I should just focus on making art for me, and you're both right on that. Anywho, gotta get ready for bed... if I can manage to sleep considering I can barely breathe. >.> nini!
ART FOR CAR CAMPAIGN- Commission me so I can get a better car!9/1/13-3/15/131. Brenda Martin- $75 -
Asian dragon crucifix tattoo design lineart DONE!2. Aioue- $20 -
Color character portrait of a game character Peacock DONE!3. Soulfulinsanity- $50 -
Simple Lineart of her character Gabriel DONE!4. Art and Pat Klein- $50 -
B+W Portrait of Jesus DONE!5. Mike Arale- $200 -
New tattoo design, yet to be discussed6. Rebecca Smith and Ant Meyrick- 80€ ($225.77) -
Wedding invitation and order of service cards DONE!7. Cynthia Rug- $5 -
Thank you card with cat related artwork DONE!8. Howie Cohen- $425 -
Painting of his cat Georgio DONE!9. Pastor Peter Berrios- $100 -
Simple lineart of a crucifix and payment for video editing job. DONE!10. Jim Oplinger- $50 -
50 business cards printed on thick card stock DONE!11. Joan and Dick Weisheit- $300 -
My cousins in CT. Mailed them some gifts :3 DONE!12. Veronica Jenkins- $100 -
Designed a shoulder armor bio-hazard tattoo- awaiting feedback DONE!13. Kathy and Carl Groves- $480 ($117.18 for materials) -
Wall mural for their sunroom DONE!
14. Ed Mitzen of Fingerpaint Marketing, Inc.- $1,000 - Digital concept sketches for murals. DONE!
Amount raised so far towards $6,000 goal- $3,080.77
Amount I paid to completely fix my car- $1,400.00
Amount remaining for newer used car- $1,680.77
Thank you all for your contributions! You've all helped me fix my car to keep it running until I can save up enough for a better one, and I am truly grateful to you all! Please check out the Art for Car Gallery!
Please pass this message around!