QUESTION....Commissions.

2 min read

Deviation Actions

Snigom's avatar
By Snigom
OK, so I may have gotten two or three requests in my note bin regarding commissions. I have been hesitant to pursue them because they were not very cut and dry. Meaning, people wanted me to illustrate for the long term, or join them in their project (without pay); things like that. I apologize if anyone has sent me a request and I have appeared to ignore it. Maybe read my description of what I am prepared to offer and see if it matches your request.  If it does, I apologize, maybe I misunderstood and you should re-send it.

The only thing I have time for, or feel the audience could really afford, are character pinups. Things like, "Draw this character! Draw that character!" I can do that, with relative ease.  Anything too complicated and we're going to have to draw up a contract and things are going to get pricey.

At conventions it has been pretty simple:

$15.00 quick pencil sketch (can be full body character or characters) on 9 x 12 drawing paper (85lb)
$35.00 Full Pencil Render. That means a clean pencil work with shading and details. 9 x 12 Bristol Board Vellum.
$45.00 Ink Render. Comic style inking, full detail. 9 x 12 Bristol Board.
$60.00 Ink Render + Copic Marker coloring. Same as ink but with color! Typically, there will be no background, if there is, it's out of my good graces and will likely be colored pencil.
$80.00+ Ink + Copic Marker + Airbrush. This is a full on illustration. 9 x12 maximum size on illustration board. Ink and copic colored characters with an airbrushed background.
$150.00 Full acrylic painted and airbrushed work. This is a very realistic illustration. It requires a full pencil render, plus several layers of acrylic paint and finally airbrush and any other media I think is appropriate to get the realistic effect desired.

Now, if things need to get bigger, then we will need to discuss things as time and material begin to increase.

So, thoughts on this or should I give up asking for commissions on DA?
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© 2014 - 2021 Snigom
Comments1
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KrisCynical's avatar
I don't see a reason to stop altogether. I don't consider it "asking for commissions", either, if you're the artist... it's more "I'm open for commissions at my own discretion, contact me if you're interested and let's talk ".

Personally I don't post prices like that because the way I price varies so much. Yes, I have my own set prices for different options, but that price may increase if things like elaborate armor, wings, or other such things are in the mix and cause the piece to take longer (which I learned the hard way). I just tell people to give me a rough description of what they want and then I send them coloring options with links to examples, prices, and my ToS to review and decide if they want to proceed from there with a deposit. The meat of my ToS is about 80% unfortunate experience, too. -_-

I sooooo understand being hesitant about some inquiries and just not answering some of them. I'm always super cautious when it comes to projects from individuals that would be long term and/or in need of a contract or at least a basic letter of agreement (not using one with a design company in Ft. Worth after I'd previously had two well-paid jobs with them that went wonderfully ended up getting me stiffed for $200 after the art director started ignoring me out of the blue... NEVER making that mistake again!). Also, spec work? Auto-ignore.

If their message sets off my bullshit detector, I just don't answer it. It's at least a 50/50 ratio for me as far as inquires that I know are legit and/or will actually GO somewhere past the quoting stage. I've had some people who think a fully rendered illustration with a background and five characters should be $40 actually call me a greedy bitch in response to a price quote that other people haven't blinked an eye at, so you never know. It's an amazing phenomenon, though, how the "greedy bitch" peoples' opinion of your skill does a 180° after the price quotes, i.e. "God you're arrogant! Your stuff isn't THAT good anyway!!" (I always want to ask, "Then why did you want to commission me?") It's like the commission version of Eric Cartman's "Screw you guys; I'm going home!"

Recently I had a guy contact me wanting a Legend of Zelda illustration similar to my "Six Sages Compilation" piece as far as detail and size. If I were to be commissioned for a piece that size it would be over a grand (I hate that there's no really delicate way to say "You can't afford me." when I get notes with inquires of that size :x), but I usually respond to things like that because you never know what some people are willing to pay. I replied to him, but it wasn't with quotes. Why?

He had ridiculously specific guidelines for how big he wanted it, and it was in pixels rather than inches. You know as well as I do that individuals wanting stuff don't give sizes in pixels. Besides the size requirements, he had some terminology that was used incorrectly in a way that I knew he didn't know what he was talking about. When he said 150dpi, I knew he was quoting me printing requirements for places like Café Press.

I asked him what he was wanting to use it for given the measurements. He replied that he was going to make it into a jigsaw puzzle for sale and mentally I immediately went NUH-UH. Nope. Sure, pay me what you probably think is a generous amount of like $150 and then go resell it as a product to profit on? Yeah right!

Surprise, surprise, he accompanied this information with "I assume you're going to say no now just like the others have". Well, gee, I wonder WHY? I wrote back to him to explain WHY he'd been turned down so many times as well as why he was going to have to go after amateurs who either don't know their rights or are REALLY in need of some money. I told him he wouldn't get ANY artist over a certain skill level to agree to it because those of us at professional skill levels (like you and me, Brandon) not only know what our work is worth, but what rights go along with that work, and he'd need to pay for usage rights and discuss royalties (if it WASN'T already licensed material like LoZ!) or a complete buyout of copyright from the artist that was expensive to the point that I knew he wouldn't want to pay it. I haven't heard from him since. Shocker. :roll:

I also had a guy contact me years ago wanting me to design a HUGE Harry Potter leg piece tattoo with a bunch of characters in it, and he'd pay me a whole 50 bucks for it. I told him what he wanted would be at least a couple hundred dollars, and he replied with "Well I need some money to pay the tattoo guy." I replied with "No, you need to save up more money and try again." Never heard back from him, either. Another shocker.


I always leave you super long rambling comments on your journal posts... Sorry! :x You're one of the few friends I have IRL and certainly on dA who is a professional and commiserates with stuff like this. I bet you have some great "can you believe this person?" stories for commission requests, too, though.