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*Edit 06/29/2017* Hi guys! It's been over 3 years since I originally wrote this guide.  I was just rereading today, and while I still agree with many of the core principals, there are some edits and updates I would like to make.  I am going to try and make an updated version sometime soon! 

I decided to write this journal because in the last month alone, I had about five young artists ask me this question in one form or another: "How should I go about offering commissions?"  
This seemingly easy question can actually be quite difficult to answer.  The first time I was asked this question, I expected to write only a paragraph response.  I was shocked to find that once I had finished writing my response, I had been writing for almost a half hour and had written five paragraphs. Why is this not a simple question? I think the answer lies in the fact that how to offer commissions is not altogether intuitive.  I know that when I began to offer commissions, I was at a complete loss. It took me a few years before I got into the swing of things.  Even now I make mistakes.  So, without further ado I present a beginner's guide, built on my many mistakes, many accomplishments, and 5 years of experience!

:star: One of the first things I recommend to young artists is to get set up professionally on 2 to 3 online platforms.
What does professionally mean?
1. Use your real name, a business name, or a brand name in one variation or another.  People will take you more seriously if you don't have a name like dogzrule9000 (haha that was my AIM username back in 2005 XD)  Sometimes you can get away with breaking this rule slightly.  Lucky978 after all isn't very professional sounding.  The key is to work whatever you choose into your branding strategy. On the rest of my websites I use my real name or Lucky978 as a brand name.  You want to either be known by a brand name or your real name.  If you are all over the map with usernames it is hard to be recognized. 
2. Have a coherent look and feel.  If the look of your page is too cluttered and eclectic you will confuse your visitors. 
3. Have a professional email attached to your page.  Again, use a brand name or your real name with your email.
4. Link all of your social platforms together with links and tabs.  Make sure your visitors can flow easily from one platform to the other.  Not everyone will want to follow you on multiple platforms, but it is a good idea to give them the option! 

The platforms I recommend setting up with (besides deviantART) are: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Society6, Etsy, and Ebay. Each one of these platforms provides a unique service that can help artists market themselves.  You can read more about the features of each platform through Google. The key is to get yourself known. Different people use different platforms. The more platforms you are spread across, the bigger following you will build. Building a following is key before you can start selling anything. If you really commit to building up an audience, selling your work becomes much easier. The key to working any of these platforms is to get involved. Really respond to people and go out of your way to communicate with others. If you comment on other people's stuff, this will lead them back to your work. Sincere comments are always better than a lot of frivolous likes or one line comments. 
And don't be afraid of attention! I see a lot of artists look down upon artists who want popularity.  In my opinion this is ridiculous.  Everyone wants to become known and to receive recognition for their work.  There is nothing wrong with this. It's human nature, and it is the only way to get your work out there! Popularity can become a problem if you become too self absorbed, but otherwise there is nothing wrong with a little attention. 

Sooo...haha that is a lot of information and I haven't even gotten to actually selling stuff. 

I started on deviantART, but there are so many other great places to sell online since I first started selling. It really depends on what direction you want to go in! Do you want to sell original works of art? Do you want to focus on product (prints, merchandise, ect)? You can definitely do both of these things eventually, but getting started with one or the other will help you focus on starting a business. 

Here are a few steps before you actually advertise or sell anything (some of these steps will repeat):
1. Set up professional pages on each of the platforms I listed above.
a. Use your name or a business name. Something that sounds professional
b. Link all of these platforms together with links, tabs, ect
c. Have an 'about me' section on each of the platforms
d. Include a business email on each platform
e. BRANDING. Make sure each platform looks uniform and is immediately recognizable as YOU (whatever "you" might be)
2. Set up a Paypal account. This is crucial. Almost all online businesses use Paypal. Make sure you set up a business account. 
Paypal- Trust me, it is the safest and easiest way to accept payments from online customers. Commissioners are always very wary of payments. 
    They are afraid (and rightfully so) of 3 main things:
        1. You (not you in general, but really anyone who they may buy from online) taking their money without giving them a product.
        2. The safety of their card information
        3. Getting hit with additional charges or fees
    Paypal solves the last 2 problems. It is probably the most trusted online payment service. 
    The 1st issue is something you will have to assure your customer won't be an issue. I usually wait to have a customer pay until I have their work complete. I then allow them to     see the finished product but in a limited way (I can do this with a watermark or something similar). This can be risky because-very rarely- the commissioner will mysteriously     disappear without paying. If you choose to take payment beforehand, you need to be very good with deadlines otherwise you get unhappy clients. Commissioners always feel     more entitled to snappy deadlines when they have paid money beforehand (and rightfully so).  I have made the mistake many times of requiring payments ahead of time and not
    being able to deliver the product in a timely manner.  This is why I no longer go this route.  

    Back to Paypal- there are two types of accounts. You will want a business account. Technically you need to be 18 to set up a Paypal business account, but as long your parent or
    guardian agrees to monitor your account and can help you set one up, this shouldn't be an issue.  I set up a Paypal business account at 15. 

    Do you have a bank account? If not, you will want to set one up. Your parents should be able to open something up for you with their current bank. 
    Once you have the Paypal account and the bank account, you will need to link the two together. Then voila! You have Paypal funneling money to a bank account!
    If you already have a bank account, that saves you some trouble. You'll need your account number and routing number for setting all of that up.
There are really no great solutions besides paypal. If you want to use etsy, ebay, deviantART print, or any number of other platforms you will need paypal. 
        Money orders and checks through the mail are slow, inefficient, and risky. If you need help convincing your parents- you can tell them all of these reasons why Paypal is                 great! 
        Someone just informed me that Paypal has a pretty good contender. Here is an alternative site to Paypal:…  

3. Make a business email (If you don't already have one)
    Like I said before, make your email sound professional.  Nobody wants to order a product from 

4. Make a commission offering page. 
    a. Decide what sizes you will offer, what media, ect. 
        -Be sure when deciding prices that you are at least making the wage you want to per hour. Many artists forget this. They will list a 9x12 commission at $20 but it will take them 4 hours to complete. That is only $5/ hour for the actual commission. That isn't including time in email correspondences (which add up), materials, or time spent on initial sketches. I like to make sure that I am at least making $15-$30/hour including time spent on email correspondences and initial sketches. That is a price to work up to. When you are first starting out, I would shoot for at least minimum wage to $10/hour.  It isn't necessarily imperative to price work at a per hour rate; however, it is a good way to figure out a base price
    b. Decide how to price your work 
The most important question you can ask yourself when trying to price your work is: How much is your talent worth? This seems relatively intuitive, but trust me- it can be a challenging question. 
        How many years of training do you have under your belt? How long do you spend on a single piece of artwork? How much demand do you have? What is your skill level? How unique is your product? These are all important questions to ask.

        Obviously, I can't answer many of those questions for you, but I can help guide you.

       First you can figure out the relatively easy question: how long do you spend on a single piece of artwork? If you can figure out a rough time estimate than that is a good start.        I always tell people that if you aren't making at least a minimum wage figure, you might want to reconsider your pricing.  I also tend to discourage offering point commissions unless you understand deviantART's point system.

       Because you are just starting out with commissions, and your demand isn't too high yet, it can help to keep the price of your work on the lower side. This can attract more commissioners in the future (should you wish to continue along this path). If you are taking this commission as an anomaly and don't plan to advertise future commissions, then maybe you want to charge a bit more. 
      In other words, weigh your time with the reward. Lowering your cost might bring in more commissioners, but if you aren't planning to advertise more commissions, then that wouldn't be a good route to go.

      The next important question: How unique is your product? What did the commissioner ask you to create for them? Is it something that only you can do? Or do you have to compete with a few other sellers? Or perhaps many other sellers? You may need to consider competitive prices; however, this doesn't mean that you should drive down the market as a whole by offering below market prices.  For example, it is probably a bad idea to charge $50 for a pet portrait if other sellers with similar quality are selling for $100.

       I know a lot of these suggestions are very fuzzy, and that is because pricing one's artwork is a very fuzzy process. Only experience and trial and error can really help answer these questions definitively. 

5. Decide on your terms and conditions. 
    a. How will payment be handled? 
    b. how long will it take for the commission to finished
    c. What do you expect from the commissioner? 
        -What kind of attitude is not acceptable 
    d. How will you handle commissioners who want to use your work commercially 
        -My biggest piece of advice is to be very careful about commercial commissions. These are an entirely different animal.  I messed up with the first few commercial projects that I was involved in. 

After all of that is taken care of. START ADVERTISING! Offer special deals and low prices at first- anything to get a few clients under your belt. I really had to push hard to get my first few clients. I was working for very little. Luckily this was when I was still in high school, so it didn't matter too much, though now I realize that working for so little may have been bad for the market as whole. If you have a steady job or are financially secure enough to sell for lower prices at first, feel free to do so. I know that contradicts what I said earlier, but if you can get a few clients fast and make them very happy, they will spread the word about how awesome you are. After the first 10 clients or so, you can start raising prices until you are at a place that makes you happy. 


Another really important piece advice, that I really need to give (and don't let this discourage you at all), is to practice every day. Don't let getting swept up in a business sidetrack you from the most important part of being an artist- improving. 
This sort of happened to me when I first started selling stuff. I was 14 and completely gung-ho to make some money. I got so carried away with the business end of things, that I found myself regressing artistically, and I was having a lot of trouble finding clients. This is fatal. Ultimately what allowed me to raise my prices was improvement. It wasn't until I really sat down and started drawing every day that I found myself improving and getting to a level that allowed me to market myself at an acceptable price. It took me two years to get to a point where people wanted to pay almost-decent prices for my work. And it has really only been in the last 18 months that business has hit a point that I am really happy with. 

Most of my success, I attribute to PRACTICE AND IMPROVEMENT. This can be one of the hardest things to accept, especially when you are first starting. Business really doesn't happen in a few weeks XD This was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn. I wanted things to happen quick! The problem of course, is that improvement doesn't happen too quick. Once the hours and days and weeks and years are put in, you can start to see some amazing results!

Here is a something that might encourage you:

This was done back in 2008 (when I was 14):
Zack by Lucky978

I think I charged about $5 or $7 for something like this

This was done back in 2009 (when I was 15):
Dark Wolves by Lucky978
I think I was charging about $15 for something like this at the time

This was done in 2011 (when I was 17):
Lily and Rowen Commission by Lucky978
I think that one was closer to $30. Massive improvements were made in 2 years XD I actually started to make some real money.

This is early 2013 (closer to the style I do now):
Rainbow Dragon Commission by Lucky978

And now my prices are increasing exponentially. 

I wanted to show you that so you could see where I started. It can be a slow process depending on where you start artistically. 
One of the hardest lessons for any young artists to accept is that their work may not yet be at a level that is technically sound enough to sell for market prices
I had to learn this lesson. And I am still learning this lesson haha

:star: Common Misconceptions 
1. Commissioners will come to you organically.
    This will usually not happen until you market and establish yourself. If you write a commission offering journal and don't get any bites, don't fret. This is to be expected.      Share your journal in groups, get friends to advertise, and link to your journal on other websites.
2. You should expect market prices for your work. 
    This won't happen until you establish yourself, have many years of expertise under your belt, and get your artwork to a professional quality. 
3. You should take commissions for a few dollars or deviantART points.
    This is also not a solution.  Remember that 10 points is equivalent to $0.12 USD and a few dollars isn't even minimum wage.  If you want to offer really great promotions at first to help get yourself noticed, this might be a solution. But don't undervalue your artwork! If you are finding that people are not paying acceptable prices for your work, it may be worthwhile to consider if your artwork is at a quality that is sellable.  Maybe you need a few more weeks, months, or years of practice! If you are really young, deviantART points may be a good way to practice for taking commissions in the future. 

I'll probably add to this guide later today, but hopefully this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions.  I'll add any other questions as well. 

Add a Comment:
Delta-8 Featured By Owner 21 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This info is useful but what if it rakes me tens of hours to complete a drawing?
Delta-8 Featured By Owner 21 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As you can see in my gallery my art would be worth 70$, I wouldn't even say 50$
GalaxieRiaa Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2019  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't you have to add company information if you're making a business account? Or is that not mandatory?
mikeyquig Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2019  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi I just wanted to say i really like your guide. I’m thinking of heading into the world of art commissions and you have some really solid tips in there that I’d not even thought of. 

Also would you recommend an overhaul of my gallery on DA like get rid of older weaker stuff and just focus on showcasing my best works?
little-corvidae Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2019  Professional Traditional Artist
Hi! I need some help here!
I just got a commission request asking me to make a photoshop tutorial. I've never done a detailed tutorial before and have no idea when I should give my client the price! Is it before I make it, or after?
Silerna Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2019  Hobbyist General Artist
Even if I offer free art nobody is interested :shrug:
NamiTheNani Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2019  Student Filmographer
I get that too! but honestly you just need to find your people! trust me ;) ik you got some good art, every artist is skilled in their own way.

For me, getting noticed in Deviantart is hard, that's why you should switch to other sites to get noticed. If someone finds out your an artist, the first thing they'll probably ask is if you can draw them. Once you get the attention of the people around you, they'll offer to pay you if they want to be drawn.

DO NOT do free comissions unless you're willing to be taken advantage of. If you don't treat yourself or your skills as valuable, no one will. This was something a friend in the family taught me. You need to set a price, and at the least, 15 dollars.

everyone has their own likes and dislikes. Some people may dislike your art, while some full on love it. In a previous discord (Mainly a roblox gaming community) I was in, when people found out that I was an artist, I was asked to do drawings, and I willingly accepted. You will find a few people you come across that will insist on paying you no matter what you do, and that's because they know you deserve it.

wow, didn't mean to rant Waaaah! anyways! you're a good person by trying to give people free art, I know i used to do it too, and I ended up getting burnt out a lot. even if you don't think you need the money, it's still better to set a price, so people are less likely to pile on you! Groot Dancing Love you, and good luck my fellow artist!
Silerna Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2019  Hobbyist General Artist
The problem is also that there is to much offers on DA. And the demand for NFSW art. The art I don't make and don't want to make :). But sadly I suck at the marketing part :shrug:. I followed everyone advices so far and some are even surprised why it does not work xD.

I used to have a big followersbase. But for 1 specific type of art only and because I was part of a community here on DA. Most of them left DA or stopped making Pixelart. Can't blame them for doing so ^^;. I learned that I shouldn't underprize myself but I already did :shrug: not that it matters because free art isn't taken either :P. I often do free art but only on the forum. Batches like headshots and linearts to try to promote myself. But I already noticed the same request hunters come back and again and again. They have a nose for free art. All my art is below 10 dollar/euro (wherever you are :D ) and it takes days for me to finish...

Silernas commission info by Silerna  

This is my sheet. It looks fancy and inviting to me? Maybe my rules scare people of? But I've seen far worse rules and faqs :B. And I simply don't want to draw things I really do not like , like Porn or weird fetishes that we see so much on Da lately :shrug:. I must learn everything I guess. I see my friends commissioning their friends except me. I think I must also stop making their commissions free. Perhaps I'm to nice too? :B It's like my Christmas card methoc now. I send (birthday,any reason) gift and get none in return? OFF THE LIST! Grump 

I like having long conversations! So it's not rambling at all :giggle: I think I'm more talking nonsense and being sooo negative :B. But it's my sad experience only about commissions,requests and gifting xD. You are such a sweety, I wanna hug you! :hug:. Thank you for such kinds words! Have a kitty also!

3cfa4fa4-af02-41d8-a880-b20bcca82846 by Silerna  

I love giving kitties away instead of llama's :P.
NamiTheNani Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2019  Student Filmographer
aw TY! I'd luv to huggie you in irl too :> I hope you do well in business, hopefully someday in the future, there'll be a easy way for us digital artists to find an easier way to get paid! it must happen!! >XO
Silerna Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2019  Hobbyist General Artist
Aaw so kind :aww: . I have been here for 12 years and never sold a commission here. It’s frustrating but I learned to let it go :shrug: there are worse things in the world :)
SKAJLA Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2019  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That is really usefull. Thank you.
fur-creations Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2019  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much! I'm on a lot of social media and stuff and have done work before with requests on my old account before I made this one, and I've made a brand with the name [fur.creations], but I've not been able to get myself out there. Maybe with some luck, I can get up and going soon! And I'm even younger than when you started, I'm 13 haha. Well, wish me luck I guess!
w01fg4ng Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for this!
Lucky978 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2019  Professional Traditional Artist
photoedfade Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
what if, i am not really wanting to make a professional business and brand name, and I am just wanting to figure out how to actually just, casually sell people art for whoever comes my way? like I don't know how to persuade people into buying an adopt, or do a commision with me. I am not wanting to do a lot, just wanting to see what it is like commissioning for once.
Lucky978 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2019  Professional Traditional Artist
Getting your feet wet by without establishing a brand is totally valid if you have people interested in what you have to offer. I don't think it is necessarily a great long term solution, but there is nothing wrong with testing the market without jumping through all the hoops outlined in this guide. That being said, without an established brand or presence it can be incredibly challenging to get people to buy commissions, adopts, or whatever service you might be interested in providing.

There are websites such as People Per Hour or Create My Tattoo that offer people the chance to try to "win" contracts or contests. On Create My Tattoo for instance, a person will post a description of a tattoo design and the price they are offering for the design. Artists will then submit entries to try to be picked by the client to win the cash. This is a good way for hobbyists to get their feet wet in the freelance world, because it ticks many of the boxes of  learning how to navigate being a freelance artist: 
-First and foremost you have to please a client with your artwork
-If the client requests changes, you may be required to make those changes to win the contract
-You are surrounded by competition in the same field
-There are many different people offering a wide range of cash prizes. This helps you get a feel for what people are willing to pay and what may or may not be worth your time. 

I actually knew a tattoo apprentice who was required to win 10 contests on Create My Tattoo as a part of their apprenticeship. I am not saying that this is the best solution for you, but it is a great option to see what is like to create a commission for someone else, even if you don't necessarily win the money. And there are many other websites with a format similar to Create My Tattoo. 
AngelicSympho Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2018  Student Artist
I'm honestly scared of selling art online.. I figured to start with having art requests instead of commissions right away. It was a downer at my side because the people who asked me to draw their characters doesn't even watched me. It's quite of disappointing at my point of view... This is also sad since I just discovered this journal..

Now I am stuck with my never ending art requests because it made me unmotivated to create and improve my art. This journal is so helpful though I just wish I have discovered this right away.. 
Introverted-Shinso Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
'The quality of art may not be good enough to market'

honestly this is what scares me. I can never tell when it's good enough, but thanks for this!
Lucky978 Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2018  Professional Traditional Artist
I think the takeaway from that statement is that if you put yourself out there and don't get any bites: don't fret! Focus on practice, improvement, and rethink your marketing strategy. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself out there or attempting to market your work, because you won't know the outcome unless you try; however, if you are faced with rejection, don't let that crush you. Keep pushing! 
TheGreatKitCat Featured By Owner Edited Jul 16, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Sadly, this summer I think I will make more money selling coffees and sandwiches than doing actual artwork! :XD:
But I will definitely give it a try! Do you have any group suggestions to get good advertising? 
jebbiepinka Featured By Owner May 22, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! This is very helpful for me. 
Lucky978 Featured By Owner May 24, 2018  Professional Traditional Artist
I am so glad <3 
denialsaint Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2018  Student General Artist
does this still work the same way with a personal paypal? i don't have a store address or a credit/debit card so i'm just using my balance for money.
Amorette-Sinopa Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Paypal says you have to be 18 and I don't want to lie or get my parents help. What do I do? 
stellicdagreat Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This is an extremely helpful article though I have a paypal and in the process of making it a business account, it asks for a phone number and store address. How can i get around this without giving away any private information?
fuccbou Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This really helped me work up the courage to try commissions out. I was wondering for drawing digital pictures what type of file do you set it as? And how do you send it to the client? Do you just post it here on deviantart? Or do you send them the file privately?
mizuxon Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Get them to pay you first. Then send them the commish in a note, and release it on DA. You might wanna watermark the one available on DA to everyone.
Burst-the-Hedgeh0g Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2018  Student General Artist
Interesting, thanks.
MarinaArts Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
this was such a good read!
mymoosehat Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok so, if I finish a piece, how would I send it to the commissioner?
KimikoGlaciem Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Just had my first bit of interest in my work being commissioned, thankfully the person wants to buy a traditional drawing I have already made, I just dont feel comfortable with even charging £5 for my work even though the materials I use do cost a lot and I generally spend at least 2 hours on each drawing, and then theres postage to consider. I just dont think my "talent" (laughable) is actually worth that much. I feel like I'm conning people if I charge them :/ Really don't know what to do.
Bean-Art Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2017   Digital Artist
ay thank you for this, it was a good read 

I was wondering from a commissions perspective, what is the difference between business and personal account? 
I clicked upgrade to business account, and then thought maybe I should read about it more first so tried to back out, and it wouldn't let me back out lmao jerry mouse scream intensifies icon 
every time I tried to go back to my account it would just send me to the set up page. :'( 

ah well. after reading this, I'm panicking less about choosing business at-least
SolaceRose Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2017   General Artist
This is very, very helpful. Thank you for sharing.
2Mesh2 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Naturally I overthink everything, I worry about what direction it will take and all that, every guide I find makes it seem kind of simple. You get a little publicity, start up, and do the general payment, art examples set up and it's all smooth sales? Should I worry less about starting up commission?? should I let it be and not over think? 
Lucky978 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Hey! Yeah, so I wouldn't be too anxious about setting commissions up.  After all, the worst thing that can happen is not making any sales, and in that case you regroup, rethink your prices, and plan a new marketing strategy.  

Before you start I would advise having some clear business strategies in mind: 

How will you handle the commission process?  When should you accept payment? Is it a half up front and half upon completion arrangement, or do you want the full payment upfront? 
How will you deliver the final product? Is the client just getting a digital file or a physical drawing or print? 
How will take payment?  

If you make a list of of things that you can see as being issues during the commission process, and formulate a clear and concise answer to each of those questions, you will be set! 
hugeweeaboo Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2017  Student General Artist
im actually really confused

does dA send you real money, or they dont have to?
Lucky978 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm sorry for the confusion! This guide has nothing to do with deviantART's commission system.  I believe dA offers profiles the option to take point commissions, but that isn't practical for real world application.  
hugeweeaboo Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2017  Student General Artist
oo ic /:
Nekomi89 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
This is so helpful! Thank you! Pikachu waves 
Lucky978 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Of course <3 I am glad it is helpful!
ViralNekoVic Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2017
I'm so glad that you wrote this up. But I have questions like all these other people. 
I do traditional art. I have sold a few pieces in real life, but I wanted sell some online too. How do I go about that? Do I draw the picture and take a scan like I do now? Or do I give them the actual piece? The paying part doesn't bother me or using the watermark. I just don't know how a traditional artist would "give" the art
Lucky978 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
No problem at all! 

For most traditional art commissions, you would send the client the physical drawing through the mail.  This would be done by packaging the image up safely using a rigid photo mailer, backing board, and some kind of clear cellophane bag for protection.  This would be done for something like a pet portrait or a portrait of someone else's character. 

If you are working for a company, and they only want the rights to use the image (not the physical image itself), you would scan in the artwork and give them the digital file.  

I hope that helps!
ViralNekoVic Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017
oooohhhh okey thanks so much!!! 
outsiderase Featured By Owner May 26, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Good day! I have a few questions regarding commissions.

Since I've been looking into commissions for a while, I've done a lot of research and compiled a lot of the consistent information I've gotten as well as a few things I haven't considered. Your guide in particular gave me a lot more insight about things like branding and continuing to grow as an artist!

What bothers me in my findings is that I don't have much on copyright and distribution. How is that worked out?

Wings-0f-Dawn Featured By Owner May 21, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know this was posted ages ago but I have a few questions.

With digital art how do you go about giving the person the actual picture, is it via email or some other platform? Also do you sign the work?

I know a lot of artists on Instagram post their commissions. So how is that different to giving the person the actual picture? If you were to post a commission on Instagram would you suggest using a watermark?

What's stopping someone from just ripping your artwork of Instagram or deviantart and using it themselves?

Sorry I have so many questions :3 Thank you!!!!!!
Lucky978 Featured By Owner May 21, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Digital art is generally presented to the client in a high resolution format (usually signed but not always).  If you are creating the piece to be used commercially, usually the client will provide the resolution and dimensions that are required.  I know some digital artists also offer signed prints of their digital work. 

Posting the work on Instagram is often just a way to share the commission with the broader community.  These images are posted at a much lower quality and would most likely not be viable to use for the client's purpose, whatever that may be.  I definitely recommend using a watermark though!  The high resolution file should be transferred securely through email or a file sharing service.  I always recommend having a contract in place as well, so that the work is only used for the agreed upon purpose. 

Having people rip your artwork off deviantART and Instagram does happen, but as the creator of the artwork, you own the copyrights to the work.  If you file your work with the copyright office, you can have even more control over your work if it is stolen (ie. higher compensation, legal fees paid for, etc.).  Without a registration, you are still the copyright owner, but that copyright is taken less seriously.  You will be able to file DMCA notices to have the work taken down if it is stolen or reposted without permission; however, financial compensation is unlikely. 

I hope this helps!
Wings-0f-Dawn Featured By Owner May 28, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome!! thank you so much!!
peannile Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Hi! Thank you so much for your tutorial, it really helped me! I have a few questions though: 1. do you need to declare your activity or something? 2. I've never bought any piece of art online and I was wondering if commissions have to be sent by mail (I mean on paper) or online? 3. How do you "protect" your commissions? (I mean, do you sign it like a normal drawing you post on dA?) Thank you if you take the time to answer my questions! ^_^
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