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Qinni's avatar

Dear ppl who asks others to draw for 'exposure':

on my tumblr.

Edit: for actually industry pricing for freelancers and graphic artists, this is a good book to refer to:  The Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook i have freelance friends who use this book and say it's really good, so....yeah, it's probably a good investment if you're starting out. i totally forgot about it before i saw that tumblr post, sorry~!)

for anyone still thinking it's okay to underpay or not pay artists because they're "new", please take a look at this.

Some excerpts include (quotes are the excerpts, comments are mine):
"simple illustration - Ext. Budget $5.00" - meaning that even if you spend 1 hour on a simple but finished, professional illustration, you'd only be making $5.00/hour.
"Children's Book Cover Illustration - 2 illustrations that are 18x18x in full colour; Est. Budget $25" - so even if you spend a very short 2.5 hours per cover painting, you're still getting paid $5.00/hour. But realistically we all know full-colour illustrations take longer than that so let's not kid ourselves and price it at $2.00/hour. Slave labor ftw :dummy:
"Cartoon Children's Illustrator - $70.00" - oh, that doesn't look ba- oh wait... "19 pages full colour plus cover." ....20 illustrations for $70, making it an average of $3.50 per illustration. awesome.

here's some more links: 
"A Note to you Should you be thinking of asking me to write for you for free"
"no spec work!"

I know I wrote a little much, but if you have time, please read :).

I feel like this is important because this whole attitude is the same that lets people steal other people's art and print it on phone cases, posters, tshirts and more. They don't view us as hard-working people but more like machines that just churn out art. Not to mention it kind of screws the whole industry value up....(like, why would they pay for you to draw anything if someone else can do it for free?). This means the whole market value of art goes way down. It also let's people feel like they have the right to cuss me out when I refuse.....

This was originally done because I saw ridiculous people comment on tumblr and drawing ridiculous comic response is a way I cope, but then I realized that there are more of these people on dA; in fact, I often get notes about doing projects for free because of possible "exposure" i would get (not to mention those contests that hardly pays the winner anything to design a t-shirt or whatnot), and I'm sure I'm not the only one. 

Some people don’t feel artists deserve compensation seeing as it’s not as “essential” as, say, doctors or plumbers….Of course, then there are those who think that artists don’t even deserve recognition, let alone payment, so they take away artist sources and comments, thinking that artists live off of the euphoria of drawing alone (and of course if we complain about it, we’re being selfish bitches or spoiled brats). 

Yes, recognition is amazing, but we also don’t want to work for free (unless it’s something you just REALLY want to do of course and isn’t looking to buy food with recognition coupons). There are plenty of great companies and people who hire artists, and these hired paid artists get plenty of recognition.

Also, Stephen Silver’s video on this is pretty great so take a look if you haven’t yet.

:bulletred: Please note: I don’t mean to say you shouldn't ever draw for anyone for free evar ever, but you deserve to be paid. Your art has value, and more importantly, your artistic skills have value and people should not expect it for free

This also is pretty good/funny: Should I work for free? a flow cart 

ps. Psst, here's a secret....the payout "recognition" and "exposure" is a lie 99.5% of the time. :)

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menapia's avatar

If you're good at something don't do it for free, unless it's genuine charity or If cousin Mick really needs a hand.

SaitirWolf's avatar
Wait, SHE WAS THE ONE WHO CREATED THIS COMIC??? ohh no, why, why did you left us Qinni ;-; 
Bubblegumdove's avatar
Plasmarift's avatar
Getting paid 70 bucks to draw 20 colored pages for a children's book? That's a straight rip off (an extreme understatement) especially when you consider that children's books are picture focused with a few lines thrown in there for story. 
pimmpy's avatar
The very first work I ever did for commission, we agreed on $100 for 8, print quality drawings. After I finished one, which took me about 4 hours, the commissioner called me and said they cancled the project to run some testing (it was a board game and they wanted to get the rules sorted out), they ended up paying me 50 for the one drawing. Guess I lucked out a bit.
Loner2000's avatar
I agree, art is hard work and time and usually its a skill learned over years. One should definitely be paid for it. :nod:
wondermeow's avatar
rainbowrabbit3636's avatar
how do u make their comment on the top of your picture?
S-D-F-Studios's avatar
Currently read this and i agree with you 100%

When i first started out here on DA, i was doing requests like crazy....but then several years later down the line, i started taking commissions; back then, my prices were dirt cheap (i think it was £5 per drawing)

First one i did was to a deviant on here-part way through the commission; he changed his mind and didn't want me to do the drawing anymore ( i was actually devastated by this).

When my mum showed my commission prices and my artwork to an old work colleague of hers (she was an artist for MTV many years ago) her words were to "increase my commission prices" when she found out how long it takes for me to draw/ink and colour in said pieces.

So now my commission prices are pretty standard for me (since i live in the UK, i go by UK National Living Wage) and i do by the hour, and not by a set price (after calculating what i was working on via set turns out i was working at slavery prices).

My whole family has faith in me getting into the art industry, the last thing they want me to do is to undersell myself like i did in the past.

Anyway, this was an excellent read :clap:

Colorfulmoongato's avatar
I've been there lol, Love all the links you've given very cool stuff.
Inspirational words too -^^-
Emerald-Wolf13's avatar
It is kinda funny that we live in a world where many people are indignant over the unlivable incomes of fast food workers at $8-9 an hour, but it's perfectly fine for artists to work for $2-3.  Too many budding artists get sucked into the vortex of believing recognition and exposure are required to make a living.  They do not realize there are probably ten times as many artists in some given genre than the number you actually hear about.  Take pinup art for example, outside of Elvgren, Vargas, and Sobyana (sp?) how many more can you name?

Newer artists should just put their stuff out there, and draw a clear line between "free labor of love" and paid work.  Time and word of mouth will get you recognition eventually.
Willdabeast-0305's avatar
The buying power of the Recognition is so low, it's barely worth the paper it's printed on.
yubbi45's avatar
psssst, I got a 404 not found on the "because they are 'new'":link
Qinni's avatar
ah, the original poster seems to have deleted it. here's another reblogged version:…
DeviantDanny2000's avatar
Wow. Thank you for this. This has been on my mind lately. Your explanation is really insightful and well informative. I recently got a email asking me to draw something for the individual and he/she stated that "it will bring me exposure". At first I was flattered, but then I realize it was going to take up a lot of my free time. I am sure the person who sent me the email didn't mean any harm from the request. I think the problem lies with most people not being well inform on this topic. Artist are workers too. We provide a unique kind of entertainment and as such, we deserve to be paid for it. Especially since some Art projects are huge undertakings! I had this one project going for 2 months and finally finish it a week ago. 

That being said, I did promise the person I would work on his/her's request. But, with thanks to your information, I will charge in the future. 
Out of curiosity, how does one charge for their work in Deviant Art? Is there a "Pay Pal" or something like that? 

Thank you again for this. :)
KathyBellie's avatar
Paypal is pretty good, you could do dA points, but be careful on those as people will try to push your prices down. The dollar to point  rate is 80 points = $1.
DeviantDanny2000's avatar
Thank you very much! I will definitely look into it when I am ready to start working on commissions and freelancing more professionally :)
DeadMaul's avatar (Have you seen this?)

That twitter collects series of quotes(or at least the summarize version of quotes)  by people who asked for free work from artists, writers, photographers and etc.
And there was a lot of them. Sad isn't it?
Requiemsvoid's avatar
With the rise of Patreon, it seems that recognition is a bit more valuable these days
and is making artists more money than simply charging per piece.

This means that the bigger your fanbase is, the more people you'll have to donate
1-5$ a week/month.


Granted, this isn't for every artist and this sort of "income bubble" will eventually
cap off (people will get tired of hearing artists pimp their patreon").

but it's a good tool for now that'll help artists that're still trying to improve their
skills and pay the rent.
Qinni's avatar
ack, i missed this comment. For the most part I agree with the fanbase = more money thing, but I have to point out the sad premise of working for exposure - You don't actually get recognition from doing free work for people, unless it's maybe just fanart requests for people on dA; but full on commissions for individual people looking to do a flash game or whatever? you'll be lucky if anyone ever hears you outside of that one person you did it for. Because big companies who are well-known know better than to be cheap, and actually pay their artists well, and the artists they hire are usually veterans of the industry, so any time someone comes up to an artist to ask for free work, chances are they are nobody. Not a big name themselves nor anyone who has enough recognition themselves to give the artist any, and the artist have 1 in a million chances of whatever that project is making it big. 

You know what gets recognition on dA though? being extremely active, have really good draftsmanship, and know how to do pinups and fanart pinups. Then pump them out for max exposure. Riding on the coattails of other, greater artists and franchises do work very well :D. I should do some myself some time, actually....hahaha :lol:
begginerartist12's avatar
My thought about this is, why the hell would someone pay you to make a design for a shirt for about $40, when they will be selling hundreds of the shirt at about $20-$30 a piece? Because they're cheap bastards, they let you do all the real work, and make the thing that people actually want, and then they sell it and take the majority of the profit. What should happen is that the person who made the design charges for a commission and a percentage of the profit. I've seen a lot of comics like yours, which is great by the way, but the situation maddens me to no end, and being a person who wants to go into the art industry, I'm glad I'm learning about this now. Speaking of, my art teach spent two days (he would have loved to teach a whole course but the school wouldn't let him) teaching us about this kind of stuff.
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