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Your art is worth more than you think.

Journal Entry: Sat Aug 25, 2012, 8:18 AM


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a person in possession of a good fortune must be in want of art.



If you've ever taken a look at the job-offers part of any forum or site, you'll notice two tendencies that occur online. The first is that a lot of people look for art, some for the cheapest possible price at the best possible quality. The other is that a lot of people are willing to low-ball even more than the initial offer simply to snag the job.
Because if they don't offer cheaper art than the rest, they wouldn't be getting the job, or so the line of thought most likely goes.

You see people selling full-body, detailed renderings for $10, or people who sell pixel art for 50 points. But why?
A reminder should be sent out telling people that their art is worth so much more than they think. And this is why I can highly advise these  journals if you plan to price and sell your art.


Interesting info


Tumblr: "Eskiworks-Why is underpricing a bad idea?"
Flowchart: "Should I work for free?"

ART: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO PRICING YOUR ARTA BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO PRICING ART
    There are several reasons why an artist will make the decision to sell their work. For some artists, it is almost accidental that they are discovered doing what they love by someone who is willing to pay for it. Often these scenarios lead to a decision to go public, but not all artists sell their works so easily. There are artists who study and practice and build up an inventory of works with the full intention of selling those works for income. For these artists who depend upon sales as a means of income, and possibly survival, pricing art is imperative. Then there are the artists who slowly venture into the arena, one piece at a time, testing the proverbial waters and gauging whether or not their works will compete well in the art world. Regardless of the beginnings or the motivations, pricing art is a task which has confounded the best of artists.
Common Sense Guide To Surviving The Art World: http://fav.me/n141460
ART:
:thumb223127135:
Amazing Blog on Commissions and PricingI love this blog from :iconshadow-wolf: It hits everything spot on. This is a must read for people who offer commissions or are thinking about doing it.
Why is undercharging a bad idea?
Now, here are my thoughts on this topic as well:
I might seem like a hypocrite, since I tend to keep my commission pieces low and affordable for all, and I don't see my artwork worth as much as certain artists', but I do know that it takes a long time to create art, and I feel I priced it reasonably enough, according to me and my current talent level. Many of my followers know, I have raised my prices in the past to help compensate for the amount of time I was spending. Compared to what they were and what they are now is VERY significant, but I hated raising prices because every time I did it resulted in a huge cut of fans' opportunities to commission me-- temporarily or permanently. Dreams get crushed each
Finding Freelance work: pricing and self doubt!Why don't I get enough freelance work? Are my prices too high? I see these types of questions on Deviant Art a lot. Whether you are just starting out or you have been freelancing for a while, there is a good chance that you can improve your workload and income by applying a little bit of self confidence and assertiveness.
1) Don't wait for work to find you. Go find work. Read job ads. Find jobs that suit your skills. Also adapt your skills to match the jobs you find... That's very important. If you can provide a style or service that other artists can't match, that gives you an advantage. Make a list of freelancing sites and other sites with job advertisements. You can find some of them here: http://friendlyhand.deviantart.com/journal/#/d52v4i3 Keep track of which sites provide the BEST job leads for you and visit them regularly. Be prompt when applying for jobs. Some clients will take days to pick an artist but other clients will choose from the first few applicants.
2) Alwa




And to end on a humorous note





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:iconspicy-laptop:
Spicy-Laptop Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2016  Student General Artist
Ahh! When i try to do commissions i never get a buyer! I had two i think, and they were over a few months ago.
Im in need of points to commission someone for a surprise for my friends, and i've only gotten 17/400 points!
Do you have any suggestions? Im in need of advice. ;n;
Reply
:iconcakwe:
cakwe Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i'm glad that deviantart now enables users to favourite journals because this one is going straight into my fave.
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2016
Thank you so much! :hug:
Reply
:iconetaniavii:
EtaniaVII Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If I were to start offering commissions, does anyone have any idea how much I should charge? This is some of my work fav.me/d771gvs fav.me/d7bbv5p fav.me/d7e2x7w I'm new to the idea of commissions. Any advice is appreciated.
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015
I'd personally say to charge an hourly rate that is no less than the minimum wage where you live, because it looks like a lot of work goes into the drawings you make.
If you want to calculate a flat-rate price, I'd suggest timing the next drawing you make from start to finish and see how many hours it takes you to finish it. Then, keeping in mind the minimum wage per hour, you can calculate how much you want o be paid for the hours of work that go into the art.

I hope this helps! c:
Reply
:iconetaniavii:
EtaniaVII Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ok thanks! It can take me awhile to finish one though, 1 to 2 weeks, so I hope people don't balk! Eek.
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2015
Unfortunately there will always be some people who balk, so the best advice I can give you is to price your work at a price which you feel it s worth.
And on top of that: to not be discouraged by people who tell you it's overpriced. :hug:
Reply
:iconetaniavii:
EtaniaVII Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmm, ok, thank you! Hug 
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015
You're welcome! :hug:
Reply
:iconxmedullaoblongatax:
XMedullaOblongataX Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012   Traditional Artist
I agree with your journal entry completely, but there are a loooot of low-baller buyers out there. I enjoy paying well for good artwork, and I pay tips too (if the artist allows it). I recently paid for a commission, and was astounded by how low her pricing was. I tried talking her prices up, but we both settled on a tip for her good work.
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012
There are, but the trouble is that often when you have prices that are semi-fair, people will make backhanded comments like "Your art is good, but artist B is better and charges less". And thus people will start to doubt and lower their prices if they are told this enough.

It's a shame, really. :hmm:
Reply
:icontwoohten:
Twoohten Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012
Nothing will make me change my mind about the worth of my art. :iconsnobplz: Ever I say!
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012
Fine. :saddummy:
Reply
:iconnamenotrequired:
namenotrequired Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Thanks a lot for the info :happybounce:
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
No problem! :la:
Reply
:iconblack-feather:
Black-Feather Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
I even ran into this with certain handcrafts I sell. I do all of my own beadwork--even down to seed bead necklaces that have kids names in letter beads. Those I sell for $3.00. I do multiple threads and make sure everything is done well.

One store I had my jewelry in had a weird range of customers. Sadly, most of them were cheap. I had one lady complain "I can get these cheaper through so-and-so..." to which I responded that those are made in china and are not strong with extra time and care. She insisted that I should be selling my necklaces for $1.00 anyway. I'm sorry, but handmade goods are just that. They are done by hand. They are not mass produced.

Artists are not garage sales. We should be charging what we are worth. Unfortunately most of us don't.
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
With handmade items especially I can't understand that cheapskate-attitude.
On top of hours of work, there's the material cost, shipping and handling.
To think it costs the same as some mass produced item is ignorant from a customer at best. :faint:
Reply
:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm... it's a losing battle there, I feel. Like there will always be some people gunning for low prices, and.. yeah, everything else then follows? =/
Reply
:iconreidakk:
Reidakk Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013
People might always look for stuff at lower prices but sooner or later that little plan will backfire cause one way or another whatever it is they buy will come with one major flaw or too many that make a big one. Like they say "You get what you pay for."
Reply
:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a fair point. :nod:

But if there is a whole market full of cheap stuff, then I doubt you'd make such a loss?
Reply
:iconreidakk:
Reidakk Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013
That'll be in the rare instance when there's something like for instance a black Friday but sooner or later shit is going to hit the fan.
Reply
:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Possibly. :nod:
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
The luxury I have is that I'm not dependent on my art as my sole income. It's something extra I can set aside as savings, but not something I depend on to pay, say, the rent and bills and such. This means I can afford to turn away ridiculously low offers as well as advertise other artists' commissions instead of my own.

I do understand that this is a privileged position to have, though. ^^;
Reply
:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a pretty good luxury, I suppose. :nod:

Yes, indeed. It is a tough world where art is concerned, I guess. :shrug:
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
It is pretty thought indeed.
By then that's what promoting artists who need the commissions is for, I suppose. C:
Reply
:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a fair point. =/

There are ways to combat it, I suppose. :hmm:
Reply
:iconhell-is-a-56:
Hell-is-a-56 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
Will be going through these soon.

Thanks for pulling them all together, pricing was always something I struggled with!
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
No problem, I hope it's helpful! :hug:
Reply
:iconmiontre:
miontre Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Those look awesome, I'll read them when I have a bit of time! :D
Thanks for sharing :)
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
No problem! :hug:
Reply
:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
unfortunately, as you point out, the low prices are often a necessity in order to get even one customer.
I've found way too many people who are looking for artists, but don't want to pay $10 for a sketch, let alone $25 or more for a full-detail piece.

I know my art is worth more than what I charge, but the problem is, where are all the buyers?
Most of the buyers only go to "popular" deviants, even if their artwork is of much worse quality. Hell, I've seen some people doing commissions for $20 a pop which, in critiquing honesty, are no better than a 5-year-old who's just discovered MS Paint. And yet, because these artists are adept at roleplaying or something else behind the scenes, their commission slots are chock-full with many others waiting in queue for the next chance! While artists like myself charge maybe $10 for something of far better visual quality and are struggling to find even one taker.
Before all my health/job problems hit, I was advertising myself wherever I could through groups, journals, other websites, etc, and not one taker for months, while other artists I watch get paid like, $25 for a cartoonish piece they can easily slap together.

The issue I see is that people aren't very willing to branch out, nor are most buyers really aware of the true value of art. As you pointed out, most of them want the highest quality for the lowest price, but most of them cloister themselves into a popularity mindset and only look at "popular" artists.

I'd love to charge more for my art but if I do so, I won't get any customers.
Right now, since I can't hold a job due to my joint problems, I need the money to pay off my loans :c
I get all this pricing stuff but my biggest issue is, where are all the buyers? Is there a problem with my promotion; do I need to rely on my more popular friends to advertise for me?
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
Ah, I'm luckily in the position where I can charge what I feel is right and not have to worry about it being my sole income.
So if someone is not willing to pay the prices I've set, I can turn them away without running into trouble.

I can see where it becomes a problem if you have to rely on commissions as your income, though. ^^;
Reply
:iconvilest:
Vilest Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012   General Artist
Same story. What I see that irks and amuses me is to see how much people pay for porn over on furaffinity.
Reply
:iconiceflame1019:
IceFlame1019 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
yeah...it's sickening, TBH.

I have an account on FA, but I don't do porn, the closest I do is "clean" nudity (IE no suggestive posing). Was hoping people would commish for reference sheets but no go I guess.
Reply
:iconvilest:
Vilest Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012   General Artist
Yeah, it feels bad knowing there's a dude somewhere getting 65 dollars a pop for low detail fapbait.
Reply
:iconjupiterlily:
JupiterLily Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
I never charged much for my commissions. I don't know why. I just liked to make art for others but didn't want to do it for free completely. ^.^;
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
It depends on what you're comfortable with charging as well.
However, what I think is the main problem is that when someone charges, say $20 for a drawing, they get told they're ripping people off, because the commissioner is used to paying $5 at most. O n O
Reply
:iconsumgie1:
sumgie1 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
I like this. :)
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
Thanks. c:
Reply
:iconsumgie1:
sumgie1 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
You're welcome. :)
Reply
:icondamaged927:
Damaged927 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well said :D It's always kinda irked me when I've seen people doing commissions for 25 points or something. That's not even a dollar. Even the most basic of pieces is worth more than that :XD:
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
Agreed. I also see a lot of people undercharging under the guise of "I'm still new to art and learning."
Honestly, if that is the case it's better to learn how to draw properly first before offering commissions and bogging yourself down with loads of work. ^^;
Reply
:icondamaged927:
Damaged927 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I completely agree. :highfive:
Reply
:icontiavon:
TiaVon Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:icontruestoryplz:
Reply
:iconthomasvandijk:
thomasVanDijk Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I totally agree, a lot of people are underselling their art. Remember people, if you undersell your art, you're devalueing the art of other people as well. These people might not be able to sell their art because you're so damn cheap and no one wants to pay more for someone else.
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
I had it happen that someone asked me to do two pieces of character art on another site.
When I asked for details on payment and such, I was told that if I didn't take $20 for two detailed inked and coloured pieces, they would take the work to someone who would work for so little.
Needless to say I passed up on that "generous" offer. :hmm:
Reply
:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Wonderful journal :hug:
Reply
:iconhardrockangel:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
Thanks! :hug:
Reply
:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
:glomp:
Reply
:iconthelasthuzzah:
TheLastHuzzah Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
That's what I tell people when they tell me they do 'cheap commissions'. I ask why :XD: someone was offering fullly coloured headshot drawings for 50 points, I told them I refused to pay that little and they should give me a sensible price. I don't care if I end up paying more than the masses, because at least my conscience is clean :dummy:
Reply
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August 25, 2012
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