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In the last two weeks I've been hit with quite a few more questions than usual and it's forced me to try and figure out an option for dealing with it.  Since most of my time is spent working to stay afloat, I don't really have the time or the energy to sit and answer them all, and a majority get ignored.  While I think this is as fair as it is not fair, to both me and the asker, I've come up with a few ideas:

1.  Ignore everyone the same.  Instead of picking and choosing, throwing lightening bolt answers like Zeus, I just go silent.  Since I can't answer all of them I should answer none of them.

2.  Make a series of written/picture tutorials (not videos) that can be purchased.  Though this would probably require a kickstarter to make because I don't have the time to stop working to create them and I don't want to give up what little free time I have doing more work.  That said I don't think there is enough interest to fund this in any meaningful way.  

3.  Patreon, though, I don't think you should have to subscribe monthly to ask a one off question.  This also seems like more work than it's worth and like the kickstarter I don't think there is enough interest to make it work or worth the effort it would take to keep it up and running.  I'd also prefer to just make artwork instead of devoting so much time to tutorial making and question answering.

4.  Paid questions.  This is the one I've decided on.  Via my paypal.me link questions would cost 5-15$ (caveat emptor, you get what you pay for) and the replies would flow forth once more!  It's sort of a win win scenario - answering questions and helping is incentivized so I will have the time and will to do it, value is placed on the asking of the question, so if you really need or want an answer you can get it, the artist is supported, and it's a one off thing with no subscribing or extra work on my side to run a campaign.  

The structure is simple.  Hit the link, choose how much to pay with a minimum of 5$, type your specific question with a link to an image if it's needed along with where you want to be contacted (devart, email, etc) then you wait.  But not too long as I'm usually online and have my email open while I work.  I don't know the turnaround time, as I've not done this before but it shouldn't be long.

This isn't for handouts or tips, but serious questions that need to be answered.  Help with choosing materials for a project, armature plans, stumped on how to fix something, or general in depth critiques that would help the artist get better at their craft.  

But as usual, the FAQ. wips, and my insta is free to browse and deduce if that's your preferred method of learning.  That's not going to change.

So before making the main post with all the concise info I'll just open it up to comments and suggestions.  I've put alot of thought into this in the last two weeks and if there's room for improvement or ideas I can incorporate into it, let me know!  ^^
  • Listening to: ϟƘƦƖןןΣX
  • Reading: The Book of Deacon
  • Watching: Pem's Let's RolePlay Skyrim
  • Playing: Oblivion
  • Eating: Something from a can
  • Drinking: Water
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:iconkinokokoneko:
KinokoKoneko Featured By Owner May 22, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It sounds like a great idea to get payed for your time answering questions, would you make a compilation of the answers you have given, like copy pasted into a FAQ over time so that you didn't keep answering the same ones over again, or do you think that would lessen the value if one person has to pay for the answer and then others get it for free at a later date?
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner Edited May 22, 2016
Short answer: No, I wouldn't do that.
I know that would lessen the value of the question being asked.  It would also basically be me giving away free tutorial information AND I'd be expected to maintain that database, which would really spawn more questions and just end up as me answering questions for free and not being paid for the time.  Kinda defeats the purpose.  
Edit:  If I were to do that it would be under a subscription at some place like Patreon.

One of the points of paying is that I'm also incentivized to answer - repeating is no longer an issue.  It's not about not answering the same question twice, but finding out who is serious about being helped and taking care of each artist's individual needs.

I've spent 7 years in art school to the tune of 135,000$ (not counting interest on my loans) to live at a hair over the poverty line - I don't think paying a few dollars to get a specific answer from a professional is too much to ask ^u^
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:iconkinokokoneko:
KinokoKoneko Featured By Owner May 23, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah that was pretty much my thought process for it, that it would defeat the purpose of the thing.

I totally agree, it's great for those that are serious about getting help, I'd certainly use it! And as you say, you've spent a lot of time and money to get where you are now, so it would feel nice to be able to support you in some way, if that makes sense? It feels like it would be a mutually beneficial situation <3

I also very much like that it isn't for handouts or tips, but rather for serious questions, and that you're willing to offer that kind of help on an individual basis. +100000 admiration for that :D
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 25, 2016
Right - I can see it benefiting both sides ^^  And those with real questions won't be drowned out buy those with a passing curiosity.

I don't begrudge the generosity of others, but, though I'm by far not wealthy, I can support myself with just my artwork and don't need tips.  This isn't always so with other artists and if they need tips and support money, that's what they need.  I'm no one to judge them.  Artists provide free content, even if it's just looking at pictures of things like sculpture and plushies, that make the internet a little brighter - so a little coin here and there lets them know they're appreciated.   ^^
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:iconsummerisledog:
SummerisleDog Featured By Owner May 22, 2016
I think a combination of 2 and 4 would be awesome, but I understand that'll take a lot more time for you.  The tutorials would help answer a decent chunk of questions and the paid questions can be for the more specific ones.  It's up to you on how you want to do it in the end.
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 22, 2016
Well, I'm hoping that if #4 gets around and does well enough, I'll take a swing at #2.  I'm thinking of the paid questions as a precursor to trying to do more - get a handle on what people are doing and what they need to know how to do...but I need to see if that product, tutorials, etc is worth the time to make.  It's sort of a business decision :3
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:iconsummerisledog:
SummerisleDog Featured By Owner May 23, 2016
Ah I see.  That makes sense.  Which ever route you take, I hope that it'll be successful.  I can only imagine how many notes and questions you get.
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 25, 2016
Thanks :3  I hope so too!  I think it'll help with the guilt of not having the time to answer the people who need it!
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:iconjrlallo:
jrlallo Featured By Owner May 22, 2016
This is roughly how my reading of this journal went. "Hmm... Yeah, that can be a problem. That's a clever solut-- THAT'S MY BOOK IN THE READING SECTION!"
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 22, 2016
HAH! You get props for your priorities! XD
I am slow, but steady :3 
Reply
:iconsamsculpt:
samsculpt Featured By Owner May 22, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Capitalism for the win! This a great idea. If something has high demand and low supply, putting a price on it stops everything from going to hell in a hurry :D

I will most certainly make use of this service, and I'll be glad to be able to not feel guilty about the time you take answering a question of mine ^_^ the price range idea is also very good.

The linked page just before the questioner is able to pay/ask should probably contain:
1) Repeated links to your FAQs, as a last chance for the ignorant to find their answers for free.
2) Examples of the kinds of answers to expect for $5, $10 and $15.

Would you ever consider doing similar tutoring services via paypal, such as a very short video showing exactly how you do X part of the modelling process, with the price paid by the requester being a good bit higher than it is for questions? I imagine they'd be some demand for that, and if it's a request about something you do anyway when you work, the turn-around could be related to whenever you get around to doing that step in the natural course of your work again.
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 22, 2016
You have that in a nutshell ^u^  Putting a fee on something, even a small one, lets people know that they're getting something valuable, and suddenly it's much better to take a second look at the FAQ!

You won't feel guilty, and I won't feel guilty, so it sounds like a win win!

You make some good suggestions, I'll make sure the FAQ is linked on the post and come up with a sample question and what each amount means.  I figure ~5$ is basic answer ~10$ is elaborated and more in depth and probably for critiques, and ~15$ is if pictures are required (like to get an armature plan made or shape analysis).

The tutoring service is also interesting and would probably have to be done via skype or some other private video chat.  I'd think about doing it, but my little camera is sort of crap and might not get you what you need - that upfront cost is prohibitive atm, I'm sorry to say.  As for price, I've been a private tutor before and made 30ish/hour for illustration and 45/hour for sculpture.  I might pare it down a little, but I'd have to see how demand went.  
It's not impossible and could certainly could be done.
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:iconfireflytwinkletoes:
fireflytwinkletoes Featured By Owner May 21, 2016  Professional Artisan Crafter
This is a SUPER cool idea! I really hope it works for you!
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 22, 2016
I hope so, in so much as it'll give me some peace of mind XD;;;
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:iconlooking4work:
Looking4Work Featured By Owner May 21, 2016
You inspire so many questions (and people who wish they could do what you do) because you're so very good.
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 22, 2016
My work is adequate for the cost, though not so much that I have enough time for questions ^^
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:iconlooking4work:
Looking4Work Featured By Owner May 22, 2016
Uh, understood. I was trying to give you a compliment: Your work is great. We all wish we could do things that well.
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 22, 2016
No worries - I was trying to agree with you in an un-egotistical manner ^^
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:iconsilveryokai:
SilverYokai Featured By Owner May 21, 2016
Oh no, I completely forgot about the whole question policy! D: I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking ._.
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 21, 2016
No, hun, no worries, this is a new thing.  ^^

I've just had an avalanche of questions and I need a structure to pare is down to something manageable.  It also helps me to plan out a structure so that I don't feel like a guilty asshole for not answering everyone ~n~  I'd like to but right now time is precious and I just can't spend the time that I used to.
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:iconsilveryokai:
SilverYokai Featured By Owner May 21, 2016
I understand, though I really shouldn't have been the one to add to said avalanche without thinking first, I can imagine majority of your time is insanely busy ._.

Anyway, this question system sounds very helpful! I'm always digging for more help with sculpting, since I haven't been able to find many books on the subject.
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 22, 2016
It's ok :3  Since I've not said anything until now there was no way for anyone to have known.  And I was reluctant to bring it up without a viable solution.  

I hope my question fee is useful and if you do need help that I'm able to provide it ^^
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:iconlunarstarstudio:
LunarStarStudio Featured By Owner May 21, 2016  Professional General Artist
It's a good idea but I know I won't be able to afford it personally ;-; (I'm sure others can though ^^;)
(I hate to be like that, I know how much your time is worth as a freelancer X'0)
Agh I just sent a note to you too about primer that makes me really nervous XT 

Would you consider like a 'new opening' deal where if we wrote something before this journal you would accept less paypal? Sorry, I know that's unlikely I just really can't monetarily afford to ask a material question ;-;
(I might try to save up for tutorials in the future though, hopefully...)
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 21, 2016
No worries - I know what I'm offering isn't for everyone ^^  I just get swamped with more questions than anything else and I need a structure to handle it.

The reason I didn't answer your question is that it's answered under the FAQ link on my profile page under #1 Materials List (viistar.tumblr.com/tagged/FAQ) - Painting and Finishing.  

It's not always necessary to use the EXACT brand I use, just experiment and find out which one that works for you that you have access too. I'm not familiar with every brand of primer out there so I can't really speak on it.  
Sometimes it's not WHAT the thing is but HOW you use it.

Also, as for primer eating away at sculpey, just run a quick test.  Bake up a lump of clay, treat it as you would a sculpture and spray it.  Wait for it to dry, then paint it, or do with it what you'd do with a sculpture and see if you like it.  

But true story, spray sealants are crap.  I switched to polyurethane, which is also in the FAQ Materials list.  I did clear up the language a bit so you can tell that it's the paint on kind, but other than that, it's all there and all for free!
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:iconlunarstarstudio:
LunarStarStudio Featured By Owner May 22, 2016  Professional General Artist
Oh, I completely understand!

Also I completely apologize! Argh, I really hate to be one of those people who had a question from the FAQ, I really tried to avoid that, actually! I was under the impression that I was asking a question not entirely "strippable" from the FAQ, because I was trying to ask mainly if the krylon primer I had would be the same, or far from it, even as the same brand XP 

I'll absolutely do a test piece though, thank you!

Thank you for the info about spray sealants! I have been looking into water-based canned polyurethane, just having some trouble finding it in my area ^^;

Thank you again! Sorry if I came off as rude in any way, I'd love to possibly try and purchase tutorials from you in the future! :D
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 22, 2016
No you weren't rude at all ^^  I know people have questions, I just need a way to handle it all!

And you did help me clarify some language in the FAQ.  I tried to keep it simple so that it was generic, but I may have gone too far.  
Hardware stores should have the water based poly, or maybe a specialty paint store.  

Yeah that's a freebie that everyone gets.  "Spray sealants = hell no!"  XD
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:iconlunarstarstudio:
LunarStarStudio Featured By Owner May 23, 2016  Professional General Artist
Thank you ^^; And I completely understand <3

I think it works to be generic, it helps people to get a rough idea of materials :)
I'll look around some more! I might try Lowe's next time ^^ I think many people use Varathane so I'll try to find that :3

Yeah I've heard bad things about spray sealants X'D Though some people said the only one that works is 'Testors', but at only 3oz a spray, I'll probably go for the canned poly haha
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 25, 2016
This is true - though 'the brand of the thing' seems to be like 75% of the questions I get.  

Varathane is good as is Modern Masters :3  OH but don't use exterior - only get interior!!!  Apparently though they have UV protection they also have fungicides and other things that shouldn't leech out from stuff indoors.  Some people can be allergic. ^^  I'll add that safety tip to the FAQ
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:iconlunarstarstudio:
LunarStarStudio Featured By Owner May 28, 2016  Professional General Artist
Oh I see XP Sorry again about that ^^;

Oh dang, never knew that o.0 Got Varathane from amazon and I like it because it's odorless X3
Ok, gonna stop now so I don't bother you any more XD (Feel free to skip/stop replying to this X3)

Again, love your work!! Would love to buy a tutorial in the future or something like that ^w^
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:iconcyle:
Cyle Featured By Owner May 21, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Most of the artists on here are hobbyists. It's not easy for many to see that for an artist making a living from their work the term "time is money" is very literal. I like the idea, and will probably be making use of it over the summer.
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 21, 2016
I did figure as much ^^  But I feel like putting a monetary price on it will reveal the true value of the time spent typing up answers and making sure things are clear.
Time is money is the truest adage you could put on that.... It's the little moments that eat away the day.  15 minuets here and there and it's just gone.  Being an artist is far from easy, not just the work that needs to be done, but having an online presence to sell work, and bumping up against people that don't think art is a 'real job'.  ~_~

But awesome if you'd find it useful ^^  I hope that if or when you do ask a question you will find the information very valuable!
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:icontessary:
tessary Featured By Owner May 21, 2016  Student Digital Artist
I would say do #2 as well as the paid questions because it would save you time. plus I think the only people who would pay for answers would have specific or complex q's. those with simpler q's would likely go elsewhere unless you linked hem one of your paid tutorials first
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 21, 2016
I'd like to do #2 but taking the time off of work isn't possible.  Tutorials aren't super easy to make, especially when there are many ways to do one thing and some things have different skill levels involved.  

And I think your second sentence is sort of the direction I'm heading.  For simple questions, like 'what clay do you use', there is the FAQ, but when someone has a serious question and really needs help or wants to improve their work, paying a small fee for it thins the herd so I can actually give them a meaningful answer.
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:icontessary:
tessary Featured By Owner May 21, 2016  Student Digital Artist
I see! good luck with it :)
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:iconviistar:
VIIStar Featured By Owner May 21, 2016
Thank you ^^
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