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  Last updated: February 17, 2019
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  VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: You may not be very happy with some things written here. This isn't the most encouraging guide you'll see. I gotta speak the true, bud. Sorry.
  Note: This is an endless work in progress! Feel free to request anything.

  I decided to do it after helping a friend getting started in their adopts account. This will follow the same system as my guide to commissions, meaning it will be updated whenever I get more to add.
  Please note that I'm focusing more in character design here! There are other types of adopts that don't include drawings (such as a personality description) but I have no experience with these so I'm not the right person to tell you about them. There are also weapon/objects in general adopts, but not everything here works for these.

  • First things first: What even is an adoptable?
  To make it simple, adoptables are characters (or objects, or descriptions, or outfits, or any other kind of design you can imagine) made by someone who decided to sell them. They are basically designs usually made for the sole purpose of being sold. There are adopts of species made by people, adopts made to order (called "customs"), surprise adopts and many other kinds. Later on this guide I'll explain the different kinds of adopts available, how they are sold, and many other things.

  • Why do people buy adoptables?
  This is a pretty common question, and I can understand people outside of the adopt community being confused. "Why would you even buy a character when you can make one yourself?", you ask. Well, there are actually many answers. There are people who use characters to write stories, people who can't really draw or design something they like by themselves, and even collectors! Everyone has their own reasons to buy them. Sometimes you see an adopt and simply fall in love with it, you want to give them a backstory, you want to draw them/write about them, you just want to feel like that character is yours - and you can do it! You just have to get them and boom, yours. Your kid now. Go be happy take care of them.

  • How do I get started at adoptables?
  This is actually very simple. You basically just need to know how to design something interesting and to draw. You can use some F2U (free to use) or P2U (pay to use) bases if you're not confident about your anatomy yet. You decide what you're going to do; humans, dogs, aliens... It's up to you! Just don't force yourself to do something you don't want to.
  Unless you are already have some following (I'd say at least 300 watchers) you should start with something cheap. But, as I always say, DON'T UNDERPRICE YOURSELF. I recommend you to start with outfit adopts: they're very popular and easy to draw. Grab some pictures for inspiration, draw the thing and put it up for sale. Simple! Of course don't forget to put it in a lot of groups. Through this journal we'll explore in detail some of these aspects, so just scroll down and try finding what you want to know about!

  • What about the earnings?
  The most popular currency at DA is DA Points. However, it's faster to receive via PayPal - the most common currency in this case is american dollars (USD), but it's also common to see euro (EUR). You can accept other payment ways, such as bitcoins, bank deposits and art - but we'll talk about art payments later.

  • How do I price?
  As for the prices, this is something very personal. You see, it depends in a lot of things. This is what I usually use to decide my prices:
    • Flats (-)
    • Shaded (+)
    • Chibi (-)
    • Half body (+/-)
    • Full body (+)
    • Used a base (-)
    • Baseless (+)
    • Simple design (-)
    • Detailed design (+)
  As you can see, the fancier the more expensive. My full body, baseless, shaded and detailed designs are the more expensive ones I do. I charge about 50 USD for one of these. However, for the chibis that aren't shaded, have a simple design and are made with a base I charge about 5 USD, maybe even less. Please note that this is considering my art style. Someone on a higher skill level than me should charge way more than 50 USD for a design like that.
  But, it's like I always say: DON'T UNDERPRICE YOURSELF. I've already given up on buying adopts because the designs were way too cheap, and that didn't really look ok to me to pay that little. If you want to sell things for cheap, do something that is worth cheap. A sketch, a simple, boring design is worth cheap, but that doesn't mean someone will buy it - they're boring! And cheap! And they aren't even well done! Even my mother can "design" something like this. People don't want simple and boring characters, they want something unique to use in their stories, to be their lovely OC! So maybe the best would be to put some effort in what you're doing.

  • Ok, I've made my first design and it's up to sale! But... Nobody came to claim it yet. What do I do???
  You probably didn't advertise it enough. My favorite thing about DA is that we have groups in which we can advertise everything we do. However, you need to know that 20, 30 groups isn't enough. This is, for me, the wort part: you need to advertise in at least 50 groups, I'd recommend almost 100. Yes, it can be boring, but the money is worth it. Try joining groups that have more than 1k members, and put your adopts not only in adoptables/commissions groups. Your design is an anthro? Nice! Put it in an anthro group. Is it cute? Put it in a cute group! There's a huge variety of groups, put your adopts in all groups it fits. But don't forget to follow the group's rules! As a group admin I can say that we have a lot of problems with people that don't read our rules - even though they're in a very visible place in our page.
  However, I have to be honest with all of you here. The reason your adopt isn't being sold may also be because the art is not worth the price you put in it, maybe your design isn't good enough too. But don't give up! There are a lot of adoptables types (I'll list them in the next topic) and some of them are easier to go than others.

  • How does an auction work? What is a set price/OTA/NYP/DTA/WTA adopt??
    • Set price:
      • Set price adopts are the most common ones. As the name says, you set a price (let's say U$15/1500:points:) and this is the value, like the price of a shirt in a store. The buyer may try to lower the price, and as the seller you have the right to accept/decline it. But it's actually quite rare for people to try to lower the price, though.
      • A set price adopt batch sample
    • Auctions:
      • Auctions are, after set prices, the most common kind of adopts. You have 3 things: SB, MI, and AB.
        • SB: Starting bid. The minimum value you'll sell the adopt for.
        • MI: Minimum increase/increment. The minimum amount the bidder needs to add to the previous given bid. For example, someone had bidden 10 USD and the MI is 1 USD. I need to bid at least 11 USD in the bidding chain. A MI isn't always necessary, and it's value is usually 1-2 USD/100-200:points:. I recommend you to put easy to calculate amounts on this one, such as 1, 2, 5 and 10 USD. But keep in mind that higher MIs may scare people. Keep in mind that bidding is something exciting, the more you bid, more you want something! So yeah, a lower MI is a good option. So, don't put the SB as an amount you wouldn't be happy to get.
        • AB: Auto buy. An automatic price to buy the adopt, the AB commonly gets an extra piece of art. The AB value is usually very high - let's say about 3 or 5 times the SB value. It isn't needed too, but highly recommended. You may put more than one AB (AB 1 and AB 2, 3...) to more options of extra art.
      • Auctions should have an end date and some bidding rules. I'll talk later about the usual rules, but for auctions something essential is to keep the bidding chain (one bidder replies to the previous bidder's bid - "reply to the highest bid", if I comment like 10 USD! the next person has to reply to my comment so I get a notification and all of that stuff) and to have the money - as I'll talk about in the rules topic. The auction can last 24h, a week, 5 days... It's up to you. I recommend it to be X amount of time after the first bid is given, but of course you can set it to be X amount of time after you posted the deviation. Remember to put your timezone and that the auction may end earlier with AB. And remember! During daylight saving time your timezone changes name, so like Brasília time is usually BRT, but during daylight saving time it becomes BRST.
      • An auction adopt batch sample
    • OTA:
      • Offer To Adopt. Please don't mismatch it with NYP (the following topic), they're very different things. In an OTA, you decide what to accept: money, points, art, customs, etc. An OTA NEVER should accept only money currencies! Otherwise this is just a masked auction or a NYP. OTAs are pretty popular as people who don't have money can offer art for the character. As well as auctions, you can let it open for a certain amount of time and at the end of it chose the winner, but you can also end it earlier if you receive an offer you really like. Personally, I don't have good experiences with OTAs since most of the offers I got weren't anything I'd like (but my designs at the time weren't that good tho). For these, I recommend you to put in more than 100 groups if you're really expecting to get some good art. OTAs can have AB and "SB" prices too - in this case, the SB is the minimum amount in money you'd accept - don't name it SB, though!
      • An OTA adopt sample
    • NYP:
      • Name Your Price. Not an auction, but also not a set price. You can have a minimum amount you'd accept and a minimum amount to get extra art, but you're going to accept the first offer that comes - even if it's the minimum amount. Otherwise this will turn into a masked auction, which isn't nice.
      • A NYP adopt batch sample
    • DTA:
      • Draw To Adopt. Like a contest, people will draw the adopt and the one who draws it better according to you will get the character - and the right to use all the art of the other contestants. Unlikely the other types, a DTA doesn't involves any kind of currency. Most of times people do it as a celebration for something or as a way to get more popularity. The adopt maker often puts some rules such as only allowing finished/colored art, but there are some people who put no rules at all.
      • I don't have DTA adopts in my gallery and the only one I joined got removed from DA so here's the first one that came up when I searched for DTA adopt
    • WTA:
      • Write To Adopt. Perhaps the rarest adopt type, I don't recall seeing more than five of those. Like in DTA, the owner decides who gets the adopt + all the other works made with them. The adopt maker may put some limitations such as a word/theme limit.
      • I don't have any samples of WTA adopts in my gallery nor know any good ones.

  • What is a CYOP/Gacha/Egg/Palette adopt?
    • These are all adopt types unrelated to payment method. So, you can have a OTA and CYOP adopt, for example.
    • CYOP:
      • CYOP stands for Choose Your Own Palette, which is basically a lineart which the owner decides the colors. You can have the coloring set in the price (the buyer says you the colors/gives you a color palette and you color it) or you can charge a bit to do it, but the owner still dictates the colors - unless they want it to be a surprise. If you're charging more to color it and the buyer opts to color by themselves, it'd be nicer from you to give them a .psd or transparent .png file for them to color.
      • An extra personal opinion would to make more detailed designs for those. Since you can't put any patterns/textures or use any color combination on the adopt, you'll have to appeal on the details to make the design interesting.
      • Some (pretty bad) CYOP adopt in the top of this batch
    • Gacha:
      • Gacha, gachapon, gasha or gashapon adopts are, as the name says, inspired by gacha machines - that ones you put a coin in and get a surprise toy in a capsule. They're really variate, and for some reason some people do 100% custom adopts through these - which doesn't makes sense for clear reasons. You can offer different options - 100% surprise, owner chooses gender and species, etc. These are really fun to do and are awesome for people who can't decide themselves (Like me! I like getting gachas sometimes, I only have two currently; in both I only knew the species I wanted, nothing else). Gacha adopts are commonly cheap and made with chibi bases, but can be baseless and more expensive too.
      • A cheap gacha sample
    • Egg:
      • Egg adopts, as gachas, have many variations. Some people allow the owner to chose gender, species and such and then will do a design based on the egg, but I'd say that the true egg adopts already have something "under" them. Personally, I draw the characters first and design/post the eggs after, this way the egg "hatches" automatically after being bought. They're also called "Mystery Eggs" and can be made in other shape than Eggs. I recall someone doing mystery potion adopts once, they followed the same principles as an egg adopt.
      • Mystery egg adopts sample
    • Palette:
      • I remember hearing that lately some people have been selling only the palettes, but this isn't how it's done. Basically, you put some palettes for sale and then design a character with it with what the buyer asks for. To be honest I have never made or bought any of these, they aren't very popular. You can do it a 100% custom or offer different options like in a gacha.
      • I don't have any samples of palette adopts in my gallery nor know any good ones.
  • What is a YCH? What is the difference between F2U/P2U bases and YCHs?
  YCH stands for Your Character Here. It is like a base that someone makes and then sells as an adopt: the winner(s) have their character(s) drawn by the artist in that base. YCHs are commonly made in auctions, with the lower bids getting flat colored art while higher bids get shaded versions or even other versions with different clothing. Sometimes YCHs will be unlimited or have more than one slot available - so more than one person can win.
  The difference between a YCH and a F2U/P2U base is that the artist that made the base is going to draw something for the buyer, when with a base you buy/download it an do as you please.

  • What sells the most?
  Again, I'm going to be very honest with you here. I've noticed some time ago that there is some kind of "recipe" for the most common adopt types. I don't recommend following these because they're extremely boring, but here is the list of things that I see being sold the most:
    • For humanoids:
      • Kemonomimi
      • Fantasy
      • Cute
      • Female
      • White skin
      • Thin
      • Pastels
      • Chibi
    • For animals:
      • Long tail
      • Fantasy
      • Dogs/Cats/Wolves/Foxes
      • Cute
      • Pastels
    • For outfits:
      • Pastel goth
      • Fantasy
      • Loooong dresses
      • Female clothing
      • Cute
      • Lolita-ish/Harajuku fashion in general
  Some other common features are insanity (??), food themes (principally for animals) and sexy females (big boobs. And butts. And shitty armor/almost no clothes at all). I'll say here that even I do some of these sometimes - I draw mostly female designs - but of course that doing something with some (if not all) of these traits won't guarantee you that the adopt will be sold.
  Actually, I'd say to avoid some of those things or, if you're drawing only these, to try something different once in a while. I've been searching for a victorian-themed male adopt for years and every time I see one of these it's sold - it's something uncommon after all!

  • What are the extra options you put into your adopts?
  Extras are something very versatile and good to the new owner of the character. I usually offer two options: the first one is a full or half body drawing of the character and the second is the same, but with a custom outfit. This is nice because if the owner wants to change something in the character they can have it from the same artist that designed them, making it a better reference. This is also nice if the owner wants to save some money, since the extra prices are usually cheaper than the commission prices.

  • What should be my adopts rules?
  This again something very personal. The base rules should be something that protect you, such as "no refunds". There should also be some information about holds and resells/trades/gifts. Here are mine (feel free to copy and use it!) :
    • ♡ By buying something from me, you're accepting my commission guidelines!
      ♡ Holds only for up to a week;
      ♡ Payment must be sent 24 hours after claiming the adopt, otherwise it'll be open again.
      ♡ After buying, the owner:
        ♡ Can change the design as they want.
        ♡ Must credit me for the character at least once!
        ♡ Can give/trade.
        ♡ Can resell for the same or lower price than brought (incudes the price of other commissions you might have bought using this character)
  The "you're accepting my commission guidelines" is a good trick because it shortens the amount of things you need to put in this list.
  Due to some past problems, I really recommend you to put something about underage customers having parental concern to buy things from you. I've heard of a "scammer" that's going on which was underage and used they father's credit card to buy art without his concern.
  When sending a PayPal invoice, remember to put some of these in your "terms and conditions" - specially the underage buyers one.

  • What is an original species? How do I create one?
  I feel like I should make a whole journal just for this one, but since my experience with those is most from a viewer than from a maker/buyer that doesn't feel right.
  An original species is a species created by someone. They can be humanoids, animals or even something entirely new. They can be a "open species" or "closed species", being, in the first case, free to anyone to create a character of that species or, in the second (and most common) case, closed to a few people. My focus here will be the closed species, since they're the ones that generate most money - of course, you can sell adopts of an open species you made, but closed species are somehow more likely to be sold due to their "exclusivity".
  On a closed species, only the person who created this species can create/sell designs, unless they give other specific people a permission or a MYO slot. Usually, closed species have traits - common, uncommon, rare, very rare, legendary, mutation and such - that, most of the times, will define how expensive the character will end up as. Most of the "cooler" traits are in the higher rarity ranks, as less people will be able to obtain them.
  Creating an original species is easy, but creating a good and unique species is hard. The most important thing in an original species is the design (backstory is important too but most people don't seem to care) so you should put some thought in it. The best thing is to have something in the design that immediately makes you recognize that the character is from that species, like a Xynthii's eye, that can have many different traits but the same base. Some other species have this same eye (and there's a lot of drama around it) but it's a trait most definitely "claimed" by Xynthii, therefore this is what they're reminded/recognized for.
  Some things to avoid during the creation of a closed species:
    • Highly basing you species in someone else's. Besides being extremely unoriginal, your species will be forever marked as a generic of X species, without mentioning all the drama you'll be evolved in. Of course, some people like the idea of a "rip-off" of a popular closed original species because they allow people with less money to own a character similar to those of the popular species, but still, I personally don't think its worth all the drama.
    • Having the most important traits on the species being hidden, such as tattoos that get under the characters' clothes or psychological trais. Even though these are nice, people won't ever be able to recognize the character is from your species unless there's a more visual trait that is always shown. If you don't care about recognition go ahead though.
    • Making so many traits you can't even know all of them. As the creator of a species, you should know what you're doing. Making a lot of traits not only will make you confuse but will also make other people confuse. Keep thing simple, and remember that to have a unique species all characters must have something in common. Good examples of that are Mantibab's and Cinnadogs' anatomy, which are unique and shared by all characters of the species, even though some traits differ.
  Now the things I personally think you shouldn't do:
    • KEMONOMIMI SPECIES. These are SO HARD to be original. We see kemonomimis everywhere, and they're all the same. Changing the inside of their ears won't make them more original, neither adding a backstory: people care more for the design than for everything else.
    • Food themes. After the Sushi Dogs gained this much popularity, many people have followed Chital's "secret formula", which seems to be animal + food themes + eyes always closed. Many species follow these rules, some changing to food theme for something else. You can still clearly see they were based on Sushi Dogs, though. It's just a theme we're bored to see.

  • What is a MYO?
  MYO means Make Your Own. It's something an owner from a closed species does to let people create their own character of this species. MYO slots can be for free (usually in a contest, in which the winners get to keep their character) or paid (with a base price for only common traits, sometimes few free rare traits and/or a charge for rare traits). MYOs are nice if you don't have money to buy the adopts or to order a custom (they're usually cheaper than both, depending on the artist's popularity). Some species owners allow the trading/selling of MYO slots, so even if there isn't any MYO event going on you might still be able to get one.

  • Wait.. but like... can't I just create by myself a character from a closed species without the owner knowing it??
  Just because you can doesn't mean you should. It's disrespectful. And also the owner may actually have actual real legal trademark over it. Sushi dogs are trademarked, did you know? Do you want to spend money with a lawyer for creating a food-themed dog character?? Also. The drama.
  Just don't. Someone may do this to you? Yes. Good luck, I don't know how to deal with this kind of stuff - what do you think I am, some kind of adopt expert? lol

  • And can't people steal designs?? Someone could just reupload my adopt and use as their OC! Or even sell it!
  It happens all the time. Just sign it. The more popular you are the more likely it is to happen. This thing we do is based on trust: trust that people will pay you, trust that they won't chargeback, trust that they won't just use the character without paying for it. People also resell characters multiple times to scam others. It's a risk, but hey it's worth it in my opinion.
  • How should I do a custom adopt?  
  Firstly, make sure you know what the owner wants before accepting the payment - which I always recommend to be fully taken before you even start sketching. This way, if they ask you to do something you'd charge more for you don't have to send them another invoice/ask them to pay more. Have a journal just like a commissions journal, with a form with details of the character. Some things you could put on this form:
    • Species
    • Gender
    • Ethnicity
    • Physical age (Remember that a character can be a 472 years old vampire that looks like its 35!)
    • Body shape
    • Skin color
    • Scars/tattoos/birthmarks
    • Hair style/color
    • Facial characteristics
    • Theme
    • Color palette
    • Clothing
    • Accessories
    • Details
  ...And many many others. You should alter those to fit your style (in example, some people can't really do many body shapes) and add more things if you think its necessary. Also, let things clear for the buyer somewhere in the journal: state what you would do and what you wouldn't do, what would be charged for, etc. For example, I wouldn't draw an animal character design and I'd charge for close-ups and extreme details.
  As for the pricing, it should be more expensive than your regular adopts due to the work of having to design something. You can also offer different styles as you'd do with a fullbody commission, such as flat colored, cell shaded and such.

  • How do trades for adopts work? 
  Adopt "trades" can mean many things actually; you can be trading designs (like you give a character to a person and they give you another character) you can trade a design for art, a custom for a custom and so it goes. My thing about those is: be careful about who you trade with, and, if required, do your part.
  Many people will offer art as payment for adopts they can't afford. Accepting it depends on you, but only pass them the rights of the character or the bigger file once they finish what they promised to do. If they don't, send them reminders (don't do it too often, though!) and, if too many time has passed (maybe 1 month? Depends on your patience) tell them kindly that if they don't finish it you're going to sell it to someone else/put the adopt open again.
  Before accepting art payment for anyone, search their name on google like "zeryuo scammer". If they happen to don't finish their part on trades, its very likely someone already made a journal warning people about it. Also, check their profile page carefully. Do you see a lot of hate comments? A blocked list? A "people you shouldn't trust" or a "people who own me art" list? If you do, be careful! Those are huge warning signs that yell "don't trade with this person!"
  I think I got a bit out of the topic on this one but hey, take care!

  • What are some DON'Ts of adopts?
  Ok, this is a topic I made to put a personal point of view.
    • "No collectors!"/"You MUST use the design otherwise I'll take it back from you without a refund!!1"
      • I've seen many people only selling adopts if the new owner promises to use them (collectors most of time don't) and this is something very, very silly. You see, you're like the owner of a store. You can't sell someone a dress only if they promise to use it! Also, taking back isn't nice. Even if the person who bought it is now inactive, it's none of your business! If they paid, it's theirs. Same thing if they just paid for the adopt and one day later they deleted their account - if they ordered extra art, do it anyways. It'd be rude to don't do something you were paid to.
      • I'd say this can be reasonable only if it's a free adopt. But, still, I don't like the idea of taking back just because the person didn't use them - people have more to do with their lives other than just draw/write.
    • "You can't change the design!"
      • Again, it's none of your business what the new owner does to the adopt. You have no idea how many times I've given up on an adopt just because of this! Giving a personal touch to a character is something many people like to do, and being unable to do this just makes us give up. The character has blue hair and I'd like it to be orange? Who cares! I want to change everything at the design? This is rare, but hey, who cares! If I change the design too much I'm actually just paying you for nothing - I could've drawn it myself and instead I'm choosing to pay you just for the base design.
      • I'd open an exception of these for closed species, in this case I recommend putting "if you want to change the design please do it with my approval" or something like this, to avoid people getting rare traits or free.
      • No, this isn't an OTA. This is a masked auction. I hate this. It bothers me so much that I made a topic just about these, scroll down a little to find it.
    • "Auction ends whenever I feel like it"
      • Um, no??? That sounds like you're expecting someone - maybe a friend - to bid and win. Even if you aren't, please don't do it; it's rude.
    • "You MUST watch me to adopt this character!"
      • Ruuuude. Very rude. I'd say this is only acceptable for free/raffle adopts. Otherwise this is just a silly way to get more watchers/attention. People are there for the design, not for the person who made it. If they like your art they are going to watch you anyways.
    • Using ridiculous watermarks. Seriously, don't. Some people fill their adopts with their username (like writing it several times in black or white and then just putting it all over the character) and that's VERY annoying. Ok, I know, you don't want to have your adopts stolen, but I want to see the adopt! I want to know what that is, and I can't do it if your username is all over it! Just use a simple watermark or sign it. Seriously, people who steal adopts want to make money easy, they won't give themselves the work of redoing all the lining and coloring just to erase your watermark/signature!
  • What are those "masked auctions" you've spoken of?
  I've never really seen anyone talking about those, but this is something that bothers me a lot. You see, as I explained before, OTAs shouldn't accept only money currencies, otherwise they go against what OTAs are meant to be. "But why do you get so pissed off with this??" Because OTAs attract more attention than any other kind of adopt. Why? Because they give people the opportunity to pay with other things than money, which isn't something everyone has. So, as I said before, you're actually doing just an auction under the name of OTA when accepting only money. And this isn't nice! You're lying to people when you do this. This is the same thing as announcing requests and actually doing only commissions.
  I never saw this happen to NYP, but, basically, as I also said before, in a NYP you take the first offer that comes, otherwise this won't be a NYP, but an auction.
  In summary, it's fucking rude. Don't do it.
Add a Comment:
CrazyDragonLady09811 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I totally agree with the whole "Once the adopt is payed for it belongs to them, Taking back the character with no refund is rude" even though I used to be this way when I first started making adopts.... still not sure why I thought it was a good idea XD Oof Though, I still have a "character revoke" in place but it's only if closed or semi-open species rules are broken which, in my personal opinion, is fair to a degree. Not everyone may agree but it's my opinion Shrugs 
Overall I'm glad I changed my adopt T.O.S up a ton (with lots of adopt research of course) though I still have some work to do on it lol, I'll get there eventually.
ToshirotheKnightWolf Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
KharmaScribbles Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for this, I'm new to the whole art adoptables community, and I am also a terrible artist who does drawings like a 5 year old (I'm trying to improve, I swear!)

Creative Writing is my forte, if only there was such a demand for writing like there is for art.. I could actually make money from the ideas in my head!

I'm such a creative person and so envious of all the amazing digital artists.  I love to colour line-art digitally and on paper, but I don't think there is such a demand for a "colouring" service, is there?  I'm talking more advanced colouring than just using the fill tool btw ;)

But to my point! (see, as a writer I got the curse of over-writing and writing someones eyes out with text!) I love to RP and my brain has so many ideas for OC's, and I have quite a few character sheets of my characters written already (I just got my code a few days ago - I had nowhere to organise my write ups before this) but I've struggled to improve my visual art for 15 (FIFTEEN!) years and it still sucks, I still don't have any custom art or OCs of my own.  It has been hard for me to travel through the art communities with all this lingo that was foreign to me.  I love how you took the time to break everything down into "Adopts for Dummies" style.. I also appreciate the humor and that you spiced it up with your own no-holds-bared opinions as well.

I now understand more from this one post than I did reading posts all day about it. 

I've also been searching all day for a bone.. my idea for my persona and idea for a very special OC I want "created" is BURSTING out of my head.. I can't afford to pay in RL currencies and I can't offer art trade either because no one would want my crap.. Am I hopeless? Is it possible to "get lucky" and find an artist that I would bond with enough that they could do a good job creating based on my ideas -- with hardly anything but writing to offer?

I guess I did get lucky to find a free unused code after trying to find one over many many months.. but, really people get them for free so the fact they are so hard to come by boggles me in the first place.

Anyways wow.. Do you have ideas for me that might help me find the right artist to work with me? Like, I know in the art world you get what you pay for, but isn't inspiration and idea worth something anymore?  My persona is very important to me, and the OC I have in mind is based on my RL rescue dog who is like a son to me. These are important characters that I just can't go to anyone with..

 What services or offers have you seen people make that are A) Poor and B) not good at visual art? I feel my writing skills, communication skills and creativity are worth something but how can I convince others of that?
Sami-Fire Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2018
Hey there! I'm the one with the writing commissions Zery mentioned.

It's possible to get lucky, but as you said, it requires luck. Lots of artists are EXTREMELY picky about having others write their characters unless they absolutely can't do it themselves; I've even seen some folks get insulted over such an offer. (Though that's their problem, not really yours.) I mean, I've attempted writing-for-art trades in the past, but they've been resoundingly unsuccessful because this market is so visual in nature. For some reason, writing has a rock-bottom value to most artists, and even the people who whine forever about not being able to write will try it themselves before daring to outsource the project.

"But isn't inspiration and idea worth something anymore?" I am sorry to break this to you, but in this market, I'm afraid not. People want to be compensated for their effort. If you can't give money, and you don't have anything that the artist really finds appealing (if they're even willing to accept a trade), you might be... kind of out of luck. If you try to offer something an artist doesn't have a demand for, that's on par with making a straight-up free request. Requests often end in people being ridiculous, shut down, or ignored. They are viewed as an annoyance. Failing all else, you can make an interest thread and hope someone bites or is willing to help (praise be to that generous soul), but most people will see it as a request and might ignore it.

If you want to break into the writing commissions market, there's a few groups you can submit your commission information to (one is Writing-Commissions, I think?), though I find they're not really active and you don't get much unless you're willing to write smut, fandoms, something really wild, or all of the above. I recommend a base rate of $10 for each 1k words, because that's what you'll see for most folks with a reasonable quality-cost balance. Failing that, I recommend the freelancer sites like Upwork and Guru. ( is 80% rubbish and scams. I generally avoid it.) If you land a ghostwriting job there, you can score some pretty nice money.

By the way, I noticed the mention of a coloring service... it's a bit niche, but yes, I'd say there is a demand for that! Look around and you might find something. Also of note are bases people have that lend themselves well to coloring and designs. You might be able to sell some adopts with those.

I hope this makes sense and I didn't get too bitter, haha. I've had more success with music commissions than writing commissions, which... says something, alright.
KharmaScribbles Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you SOOO much!  This was a great help, I've bit the bullet and just been opening my art program more to practise, so maybe one day I can do an art-for-art trade.. or possibly be good enough to sell adopts. I'm trying to think of a way to incorporate my poetry into visual art, but so far I've not had much luck coming up with a good idea.  

The holidays are fast approaching and I am crossing my fingers that I stumble on someone giving away a free commision for the holidays..  Never quite know what will be found on dA that's for sure.

As example, I tried for months to find a working code in various places online that was free of charge, and I didn't have any luck at all, they were either all claimed, part of a contest I didn't win, or people were charging currency or art for the invite codes. Then someone suggested that I should look for them on dA journals.. I headed over here right away and it took me less than an hour to finally accomplish my goal and I found a working code for free!! (ha, sometimes it's really small things that excite me) So we never know, right?

I'm quite motivated about brushing up on my colouring and hopefully at the same time learn how to draw decently, especially digitally. I so wish that short-story writers and poets had such an easy time marketing their work for profit.. I wish drawing was one of the things that I learn quickly, usually I excel at things I put my mind to but this art journey has definitely been a challenge!

Thanks for taking the time to give me your thoughts and thanks again Zeryuo for opening up the topic!!
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Edited Nov 10, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
After spending the whole day translating this to Portuguese it makes me so happy to know that you found it so useful, thank you! To make it easier to answer to your question(s?), let me break it into parts:

- As for coloring, there actually is some sort of demand. I remember a while back seeing here in DA a drawing someone only colored, and it was for a Marvel contest - they were looking for colorists for theirs comics. Fucking MARVEL!! If you're really good at it you can work for companies/people like that. At a lower/easier level, you could probably offer to work for people making webcomics, as coloring takes a huuge amount of time.

- As for the character, I can see many options:
         - The first would be to make it yourself and improve it as you improve your skills, kind of like making them your muse. At first it'll suck because they won't look like you thought they'd look. But as your skills grow it'll only get better and better, closer and closer to what you first intended. But it takes some time, so I can understand why you wouldn't want this (just remember that we all start at the bottom! Don't run away from practicing!).
         - Second option would be to try to make a trade with someone. There are people that can draw, people that can write and some very few lucky fuckers who can do both. Since they're few, there's a chance someone out there is looking for someone to write their story. If you prove yourself as a good writer and as someone that is able to understand their characters, it's likely that they would trade whit you. You could also make a journal titled something like "Trading writing commissions for a custom adopt!" and put it into a TON of groups to advertise it. Tip: some groups allow you to post journals in the group page, not just in the gallery. You could take advantage of that!
         - Third option is to take writing commissions. I know someone who does these, I could ask her about it or ask her if she's up to talking to you about it. I have no idea how they work, how to price them or how much they sell, but there probably is someone else out there for a guide for those. I think.
         - Fourth option is to use point-winning accounts such as dAhub that give you points for things like giving llamas/watching/commenting/faving. Would take a long time, especially if you want to get the character designed by someone that has high prices.
         - Fifth option would be to join raffles or contests. Some contests do allow writing, it usually says in the description. Some are even 100% literature. Raffles aren't rare to find either, you just need to join one where the prizes match what you want.
         - Sixth option would be to look out for someone taking requests. I like the idea of taking some requests before jumping into customs because it gives you an idea of what it is - the amount of versatility you need to have, how to deal with customers and all of that.
         -  The last option I can think of would be to go to other sites. Maybe you try all of these and they don't work. You could go to Tumblr, to Hentai Foundry (I mean, porn sells. lol) and even Fiverr. Try the things you tried here there and maybe you can go lucky! In the last case there are those very scam-looking "answer polls and get paid!" things. Who knows, maybe they actually work.

But yeah, if you want something special it can take a lot of time to either gather the money or to find someone offering for free. Good luck though! :D
KharmaScribbles Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for taking the time to answer my post, you gave me more than I could have expected you to answer!! Just simply knowing that people have seen some of these things done before gives one courage to try it themselves, you know?

I wouldn't mind connecting with your friend who has done writing commissions, I'd like to get an idea of the kind of things people look for when hiring a writer, I've only written for myself thus far, so I'm curious to learn the kinds of things others look for.  Whenever I have to price something it trips me up as I always feel it's such a tricky question.  Quote too high and I scare the customer away, quote too low and I sell myself short and maybe leave the impression that my work's not good. See, always a dilemma lol

Again, this was an amazing answer! I think I will try a little bit of everything to be honest! Thank you for your time :)
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really appreciate it! Before I give you my full approval, could you tell me what's the site you're going to upload it to? Is it something a lot of Korean people use, more than deviantart?
ZnFe Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2018
It is "Band", a website allows people to make lots of small communities like forum system. Well, not that much. As it is not for only artists(there is a lot of community for artists) people are devided in many communities.
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah feel free to translate it then. It would be nice if you could put it here on DeviantArt as well or send me it so I can put it in my journal (with credits for the translation, of course). If you're 100% on to do it, could you tell me how to say "Korean translation in progress!" so I can put it on the top of the page?
ZnFe Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2018
Thanks you! As I almost done translating, maybe you can see the translated version in this week! you can say "한국어 번역 진행 중!" in Korean to say that!
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Alright, tell me when it's finished :D
ZnFe Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2018
Sorry for late reply!! I can't believe I forgot to notice you even I finished translating... Here is the link of translated version!…
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah thank you very much! You can post it on your dA journal if you want. I don't think it'd be appropriate for me to post it since I know nothing about Korean haha
How do you say "Translation to Korean here!" so I can update the link on the top of the journal?
(1 Reply)
SobyLL Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The Cinnadogs Website doesn't exist anymore o:
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Edited Nov 9, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fixed the link, thanks for letting me know!
By the way, are you still working on the German version? If you are, could you tell me how to say "German version in progress!" so I can put it on the top of the page?
SobyLL Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm still working on it but I'm almost done >-<''

"Deutsche Version in Arbeit!"
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't worry, take your time. You're helping a lot :D
SobyLL Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hello! I find this guide very helpful and it explain like EVERYTHING you Need to know about afoptables! Since I'm from Germany but still "good" in English, I had no difficulty to read this guide. Now I wanted to ask you if I can translate this guide in German? Just to help others who are bad in English and to explain everything in a reasonable grammar (not like Google translate). I know that you put a lot of work into this guide that's why I ask if I'm allowed. Of course I'd link you  and this Journal!
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sure thing, feel free to translate it! Just remember to link back to the original. After it's done I'll put a link it here o/
If someone asks a question there it would be really appreciated if you (or someone else) could put it in English here so I could answer them, but I can understand if it's too much work~
SobyLL Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Of course I'll link you back! You put so much effort into this guide! After I'm done with that, I'll comment again with the link to german guide. And thank you :3
If someone have questions I'll point it out that you can answer them.
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Alright :D
cupcakelover821 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Okay thanks! Also now worries- I don't do NSFW. (^__^)3
AlphaAlpacaArt Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for this, very helpful! :D
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
MCsketches320 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2018  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for your help! Finally I'll be able to adopt one! Thank you!
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Have fun with it! :D
RiEile Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2018
Wow, you’ve opened a whole new world for me (well, I suspected it did exist, but until this journal I didn’t know a thing about it). It still seems strange to buy characters to create stories with them. (Most of characters in my stories are normal humans with generic names and no distinguishing characteristics and most of them don’t even have a well-thought appearance. So yes, buying an image of a character seems foreign to me). But thanks a lot for such a detailed journal!
yumi-skull Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks i needed this!
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Doshoi Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2016
This is very helpful omg thanks!!
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad if helped you! Feel free to suggest the addition of anything (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧
Doshoi Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2016
Oh i just want your personal opinion about spirt creatures or humanoid spirts 
Would you consider them as original CS? I hope i'm being clear xD

I'm just asking because i have this idea in mind but want to hear some opinions about it
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's pretty uncommon, depending on the way you present them it'd be pretty original! "Spirit" is a very wide theme, you can get lots of things from it! They can have diferent alignments, special powers/abilities, and you have a lot of cultures and myths to base them from, specially when it comes to aestethics :D
Doshoi Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2016
Ikr!? I thought exactly the same way but felt the need to hear others opinions before starting 
So thank you so much for the feedback! I really appreciate it ;v;
Have a nice day~!♡
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good luck with the species! ´ ▽ ` )ノ
Doshoi Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2016
Thanks! ;v;
TheReddestMage Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2016
Very thorough and informative. Well done.
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :D
TheReddestMage Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2016
You're welcome as always.
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CONTEST OPENI almost reached 18K watchers and next month it's my birthday - so what better way to celebrate this with a contest ! What you have to do is simple : Draw one of my characters ! You can find them all here : but if you find another character that belongs to me in my gallary, you can draw them too.CHARACTERSdate.relative.yesterday

Kingdom is named Gelea. Originally a kingdom✦ Upload your drawing here on deviantart (not somwhere else, other wise I can't add it to the collection of all entries) and mention me in the description or/and send me a link. I will add it to the collection and leave a comment, that way you can be sure you entered the contest.✦ You can enter as many times as you like✦ You can draw them in any way you want : digital or traditional, all is fine✦ You can also draw more characters, with another one of mine or your own characters for example✦ You're allowed to draw the characters in different clothes, as different ages and as the opposite sex✦ You can make a comic, write a story with your drawing or add dialogue✦ Just be creative you can literately do anything with them everything is fine✦ If you have any questions feel free to ask. However things like "Who's your favourite character" or something similar will not be answered.FIRST PLACE can choose three prizes from the list belowSECOND PLACE can choose two prizes from the list belowTHIRD PLACE can choose one prize from the list below✦ two headshots drawing✦ two headshot drawing✦ half body drawing✦ full body drawing✦ full body custom design✦ half body custom design✦ redesign of a characterEach winner can only choose a prize once from the list. So for example a choice for a first place winner could be "Two headshots, a full body and a redesign" or a "two headshots, two headshots and a full body". A second place winner can choose for example "Half body, full body and a redesign". (It doesn't matter what the other winners choose)22/06/201922nd of June 201923:59 timezone +1 - I will not accept any entries after the deadline. Not knowing what timezones are is not an excuse if you have acces to the internet.


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