Commissioning for Practice

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Or practicing for commissions. ;)

Let me put this right up front:
1) I've never done commissions before, though I've thought of trying it with my writing.
2) I need practice drawing
This leads me to 3) Is anybody interested in commissioning me to draw something for the purpose of practicing? :fingerscrossed: Or commissioning short stories from me?

Basic Policies

None of my policies are set in stone--at least not until I've got a better handle on what I can do, business- and art-wise, but here's how I mean to start:

I'll accept points or PayPal, but PayPal commissions have a $10.00 minimum. Send payments to if you prefer to use this payment method.
If you prefer points, I've a widget on my profie for that purpose, so I can convert those points into money that I can, eventually, apply towards my student loan.
If you want a more specific commission than my widget allows for--a certain length of story, perhaps, or more characters or details within a single drawing--but would still rather pay in points (maybe to get past thtat $10.00 minimum), let me know, we can come to some arrangement, and I can put up a temporary "personalized" commission on that widget for the purpose.
No matter what payment method you use, make sure you add a message for what it's for--both with the payment and probably via a private message--otherwise I'm liable to forget you commissioned me and think some kind soul just gave me a donation. ;)

Also, in spite of the actual cost to buy points (e.g. that $10.00 would buy you 800 points), I charge on an even point-to-penny ratio. That is, if I charge $10.00 for something (1000 cents), I would similarly charge 1000 points.
I'd actually planned doing that--effectively giving PayPal customers a slight discount--even before the widget came in (and by extension before I could convert points to real money, thus the "slight discount" for PayPal customers), so the cut deviantArt takes out of it doesn't affect me or my prices in the slightest.

Prices may change as I improve and become more comfortable with the idea, or improve at the craft. The prices listed below are based on the fact that I am very much in need of practice.

There are certain "rights" that I would also reserve.
One, I might make certain edits after the fact... though not to the copy I did for the customer. If, for instance, you commission a black and white, I would assume the right to work on a separate colored version at my discretion. I'd ask permission to upload it separately, and the black-and-white would still represent the commissioned piece, but I could still do the extra work for practice.
Two, I have this very strong tendency to use my fanfiction to try out certain ideas before using them in my original works. Even if I wrote a story about your character, if I come up with elements that are not strictly owned by you or by whatever fandom the story is part of, I may still adapt those details to my original stuff.

What I Offer

A simple lineart, black-and-white or equivalent sketch of a character of your choosing would cost 100 points per character (that's a bit above $1).
I expect to draw this one on paper and scan it in after the fact; you can have a color background of your choosing (via PhotoShop's paintbucket or similar tool) at no extra cost, and I would make other touch-ups/corrections once it's on the computer.
I prefer commission requests that are accompanied with a reference image, but am willing to try based on description. Character-maker apps are valid as reference images.

A simple lineart, flat colored sketch of such a character would cost 250 points per character.
Same rules apply, except I'll actually color in the darn thing. ;)

White Gryphon by SideQuestPubs
White Gryphon--uploaded in 2010.
Sketched on paper, scanned in, and digitally inked.
Drawn while eyeballing a reference image--the novel "White Gryphon" was sitting right in front of me. Note I made no changes to pose or other details; this one was a very old attempt at sketching.

Aki-Ra by SideQuestPubs
Aki-Ra--uploaded in 2011
Drawn and colored entirely in PhotoShop.
Drawn purely from imagination--likely the equivalent of drawing from a description.

Spectres of the Past draft 1 by SideQuestPubs Spectres of the Past Cover by SideQuestPubs
Spectres of the Past cover art--uploaded in 2011
Images drawn separately on paper, scanned in, digitally inverted colors, and then combined via Photoshop.
Flames added via stock art, smoke added via one of PhotoShop's brushes.
Drawn from a combination of my own imagination and using the comics as reference images. (Spectre's eyes were copied directly from the comics, I'm afraid. ^^;) Drawn in black, on white paper... then I digitally inverted colors before I started in on the outlining.

I'll start putting up newer samples once I actually have them.

I also offer writing commissions.
I have a particular preference for fantasy, and will gladly edge into science fiction, but am open to experimenting with other genres as well. Tell me what you'd like me to try and I'll see if I can manage it.
Give me a general length you want--I charge 500 points for every 500 words. (I'll be using the publisher standard to calculate that--an average word is five letters plus a space.)
I will work towards the required length, but will not attempt to be precise about it. Assuming, then, that you want a 1000 word story, this means that I would try to write at least 1000 words, and if it takes me an extra 100 words to wrap up whatever it was you wanted me to do, then you got an extra 100 words for free.

Writing Sample--Ball GameThe brightly colored decorations couldn't pierce Voalt's sadness. He liked Fahd, and couldn't understand why the desert man refused to come along. But every time he asked, Denizen would only shake his head and say, "It's not my story to tell."
Voalt was startled out of his mood by the arrival of several people his own size. They were kicking a ball around, and it rolled away and bounced into him.
He blinked.
The children grabbed the ball, and one of them looked Voalt up and down.
"Dust spit, look at those legs," one of the boys said.
"I bet he could even beat you at ball," one of the girls said.
"Could not!" the first boy replied.
"Could too!"
"Prove it!"
"Okay," the girl replied. "Mister, can he play with us?"
Denizen lifted an eyebrow. "It's all right by me," he said, "but you'll have to ask him."
The girl nodded. "Do you want to play?" she asked Voalt. "If you don't mind playing on the girl's team, we could beat the other boys for sure."
"Um..." Voalt looked around at the chi

This one was originally part of my 2012 NaNoWriMo.
The novel it's in is still in various stages of editing, but I thought this might serve as a sample of my writing style.... such that it may be.
Any of my fanfictions would also suffice as writing samples.

Refused Commissions

Now that I've laid out what I will do, here is what I will not do:
I will not do fetish art.
I will not do gore art.
I will not do heavily sexual art (to be defined on a case by case basis at my discretion).
I will not do art of characters that you do not have permission to use (I have mixed feelings about making money on fanart in general, but what this really means is that I will not draw, say, Rebecca Blackwell's characters for you unless you and I both have her permission to do so--I will do fanart if you're looking for something like My Little Ponies or Sonic the Hedgehog).
And since much of this is for practice, I also will not offer (or promise) drawing in a particular style. At least, not yet. In fact, if I do any fanart, I would sooner attempt to mimic the official style while I work to develop my own.
I will not promise a timeframe... yet.
I will not create something for you to enter into contests and the like... if I'm to do that, I'd as soon enter them myself. ;)
I will not do writing commissions over 2500 words in length. This is simply because I need time to work on my own stuff, and if I'm to write longer stories, I mean to write something I can publish under my own name.
And... I will not do writing commissions during the month of November (NaNoWriMo participant).

Fandoms/Source material

Just realized I forgot to list these. ^^;
Anyway, I'll do:
Original work
My Little Pony (with emphasis on Friendship is Magic)
Sonic the Hedgehog (with emphasis on some of the earlier Archie comics)
Doctor Who/Torchwood (new Who, that is; I haven't seen the classic series)
I'm open to experimenting with other fandoms, but there's so many out there it's impossible to be familiar with all of them. So I'll stick with these for  now.


:iconoreana: :iconqueenmoreta: :iconkurodemangaka:
These people get discounts.
I'm thinking a colored sketch for the price of a black-and-white, extra character for free, or longer story for the price of a cheaper, kind of thing.
Or, if it reaches that point, art trades.
Or even waiving the minimum for PayPal commissions.
As well as the odd gift/request as thanks for putting up with me. ;p

And speaking of discounts, the first person to commission me via the widget on my profile gets a refund after the fact.
I just want to see how that widget really works. ;p

I'll start by opening myself up to a single commission--not much, I know--but I mean to increase that a little at a time as I get a better idea of what I can handle.

Meanwhile, back to the job search. :roll:

Journal skin created by sergbel

Faizuria the fox adopted from Mytokyokitty

© 2013 - 2021 SideQuestPubs
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queenmoreta's avatar
Ooh glad to see you got your commission journal up then, it all sounds like a good starting point to me :).
I don't really do points so if I was to commission you I think I'd want to pay vial Paypal. (I already have an idea in mind for a picture >:3) That would be interesting to request a written commission but I wouldn't really know how much info I'd need to pass on to the person writing it. XD;;.

still i hope you get some comission requests :D.
SideQuestPubs's avatar
Depends on what you're after, really.
If you just want a quick scene/story about insert-character-here and have a general idea of the setting or circumstances, then you tell me the general length (e.g. at least 500 words), who the character is, and if need be, what kind of plot or setting you want. It could be as simple as all of those writing prompts you can find online, or as elaborate as... however elaborate you need it to be. The only thing is, the more elaborate it is, the less likely it is to be a short story, and thus the more it's likely to cost.
I'm debating on adding character bios with a per-bio price, though. Hmm...

Thank you. :D
queenmoreta's avatar
ah right, yeah I just wondered about them really :). I think I'll stick with picture commissions for now lol XD. though a written one would be interesting to see the results of.
oreana's avatar
Back to the job search? o.o I thought you already had one, or did it fall through? D:

I wish you luck with the commissions~! Let me know how it goes! Also, what is NaNoWriMo? :O_o:
SideQuestPubs's avatar
I have a job, but a 10-hour per week average (when I'm actually on the calendar) won't even give me enough to cover a minimum payment on my student loan.
I'm looking for something to alongside of the one job--I don't want to simply quit when I've barely given them a chance ;p--though I wouldn't be too quick to turn down a full time position somewhere else if one was offered.

Thank you. :D
The journal still needs editing--I'm sure there's something I'll come up with after the fact (in fact, I was just making some edits when I got your comment)--but what do you think so far?
It's a writing competition of sorts.
National Novel Writing Month, in which the entire goal is to write a novel (defined by them as a story of at least 50,000 words)... in the space of a month. The "competition" comes in where you're basically competing against time and your own willpower.
oreana's avatar
Aaah, that's right--you said you were working at a bookstore-ish job, right? I know working at my bookstore, you're forced to be part-time unless you're manager/ team lead/ or it's the dreadful seasonal thing coming up. Since I am able to work in every department (minus receiving), they put me beyond the 25 hrs at times. This week I was just under 30 hrs at 29, but I know that's because my paid vacation is next week and they want me to show the new girl the ropes of shelving, so my job still gets done. They used to have me at 35 a week, doing 7 AM - 3 PM almost every day, but our district manager complained to my store manager about that, since I am not supposed to be full-time. ^^;

:la: Discounts~! So honored! I really need to get more money--and points in general. XD I don't think I have any points, but I think folks will only toss 'em over if I open commission point types, and I am still leery about the idea.. I know at least with DA, you cannot take back your points...I don't think, and with paypal, I keep hearing people scamming artists by asking for their money back/opening a dispute with paypal after they get their art. :roll:

Ooooooh, that's right! I didn't recognize the acronym for it. :XD: I've had two buds in my past link it to me, and were like 'wanna try'? :D I never did have the courage in attempting such a thing--even if I already have 2 novels beyond the 50,000 word limit as is.
SideQuestPubs's avatar
I still find it hard to see 35 hours a week as "full-time"--from my (sadly limited) experience, full time meant 40 or higher. The only exceptions were places like where I did my work study, where the school itself wasn't allowed to work the students any longer than 20 hours.
How things change, right?

Discounts! :D And art trades if it reaches that point.
You can also get points via llama bribes (my bookmark to my account links directly to the badges page, so the first thing I see when I log in is whether anybody's got llama bribes up), or entering contests. I just came out of one contest with only 15 points for third place, but if I'd won the darn thing I would've gotten 500... and all it took was faving a few things and learning how to leave useful comments. :roll:
You don't get many points for the llamas, though--typically 1 point per llama, though it depends on what people are offering--and you can't give the same person more than one. So that's my other theory about why so many people seem to put so much more value on points; if you're not outright buying them, they take so much more work and time to earn.

I think the risk of a scam would be one of the benefits of using dA's commission widget.
I think I remember reading that there's a system in place to mark that the work has been "delivered," but until I actually get a commission.... :roll:
However, my minimum purchase for PayPal has less to do with the risk of scams and more to do with them eventually taking a percentage of what I make (though I certainly don't make enough for that to be an issue), plus not really wanting to keep track of requests on multiple sites.

Yeah, it's not just about how long of a novel you can write (and technically speaking, 50,000 words is quite short), it's also whether you can manage that in a month.
You have to have the willpower to not just write that much, but also to avoid editing until the month is up. ^^; Major editing, anyway, like if that one scene you wrote really bugs you and you want to take it out....
oreana's avatar
Aaah, see, the places I've worked at--they viewed 5-29 hrs part-time, and 30-40 full-time, and 40 over is over-time. At CFA, my name was constantly flagged in red, because they'd schedule me nearly every darn day but Sunday (as we were closed), so I'd be going up to 44 hrs a week which...I was hardly getting paid enough to do...even for over-time pay.

Well, your thoughts are as good as mine, really. XD I honestly don't think I've ever been bold enough to do commissions, but I hope to do so soon. I guess I get worried what I'll do won't be good enough for the person asking, but--all I can do is show them my stuff, I guess. (It's probably my negative voice speaking).

like if that one scene you wrote really bugs you and you want to take it out....

Yeaaah, I've got a few of those in my novels I have on the back burner right now. In my ice warlock series, I am tempted to just redo the darn thing and not make part of it in present day, if I can help it, but I dunno. I felt like I sped through how main girl falls into main guy's world. Also, a lot of the battle scenes felt rushed and in dire need of a redo. :shrug: We'll see. I haven't touched my novels in awhile now, of course.
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