Basic Commission Prices ?

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atacht2015
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Basic Commission Prices ?

#1 Post by atacht2015 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:18 am

So, I have no idea where to post this, so forgive me if it's in the wrong place !
I just wanted to know the basic/ acceptable commission prices for artists etc. ?

For example, first time artists looking for their first job, or per set, CGs etc.
THANK YOU !

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Taleweaver
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Re: Basic Commission Prices ?

#2 Post by Taleweaver » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:31 am

Commission prices are negotiated between the person doing the job and the person paying for them. Each artist knows what they're willing to work for. The market determines what an artist is usually able to ask for, but there are really no "basic prices". For example, I've seen artists offer full-body character art for $15, and I've seen artists offering it for $150. Both prices may be fair, depending on the expected quality of the result.

There is a payment guideline for professional writers given out by the Writers' Guild - $0.06 per word - but semi-pros rarely make that much. Again, negotiate what you're willing to pay.
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Re: Basic Commission Prices ?

#3 Post by SundownKid » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:42 am

There's no such thing as "basic prices" as they can vary incredibly widely depending on an artist's current skill level, art style, and level of popularity. A first time artist can still charge a lot if they are really good at drawing already.

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Re: Basic Commission Prices ?

#4 Post by Tyrantauranox » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:17 am

You'll get more (and probably better) answers if you post or link some images indicating the level of quality you're shooting for. I pretty much have to do that when I get bids from animation/illustration studios.

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Re: Basic Commission Prices ?

#5 Post by Nekobako » Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:31 pm

Seconding the suggestion that you post examples. Warning: long post ahead....I got a little carried away.

If you're talking about commission work that has an industry equivalent, jump down to the part in bold caps below. Unlike what some of the previous posters said, there is such a thing as a basic price.

I don't agree with Tale that both $15 and $150 may be fair, though. I personally believe that while it's fair to price as high as you like, there is a point at which you're pricing too low. $15 is too low for just about anything, unless it's something small that takes you an hour, and even then that's way below industry pricing. My personal belief is that if you don't have the skill to justify a fair price, you shouldn't be selling commissions.

But it's nigh impossible to give actual numbers without actually seeing examples ;;

The general advice is to price at least minimum wage for your country. Personally I believe that you should charge at least minimum wage for the country of whoever's currency you're using; this is for the sake of preventing the market from becoming too unbalanced due to outsourcing. It's already a problem in the corporate world, but it has an even more immediate impact in the world of the internet where you don't have to go through any effort to hire somebody from another country. (And this is especially true in the case of charging USD.)

I know, however, that some artists work slower than others, which can "artificially" inflate the price. Charging minimum wage is an ideal situation, but if you have the skill to justify commissions but can't work very fast at the same time, you have to compromise somewhere. In this case, you can adjust how you count your work hours (which has the effect in the end of adjusting your price to below minimum wage, AH WELL) which is different in everybody's case. You know your process best. I don't want to give you a specific number because it really depends on the individual and I'd really rather give personalized advice. Generally, I recommend charging no less than half of minimum wage in your state with your adjusted rate. For example: If you spent 16 hours on a painted fullbody, but you spent 8 of those hours sketching because the design was difficult or you had to try out multiple poses and thus don't want to count your sketch hours, you would adjust your billable hours to 1 billed hour for 2 real hours. If minimum wage in your area is $7.25, your end price will be $58.

Blah blah that was probably a pretty convoluted way of putting it, but basically don't charge less than half of minimum wage even if you're a slow worker. Moreover, I suggest this as a starting rate; as you gain an audience and clientele, you should raise your prices. I'm not the person to ask for advice on how to gradually raise prices as that's an even more complicated question, but there are guides around the net. If you cannot build a base despite consistent work and outreach, then you probably don't have the skill to be selling your artwork in the first place.

Of course, even with all of this said, in the current market it's hard for most people to price fairly and still sell (especially regularly) except for those who are already popular. Above is my recommendation, but sometimes things are bad and you have to go lower just to feed yourself. I just ask that you push your prices below my recommendation only if you are truly in a emergency.

NOTE THAT THIS IS IN THE CASE OF PERSONAL COMMISSIONS! If you're working on something that has an industry equivalent (for example: providing assets for visual novels :P), there is a guide for industry pricing. You may or may not have heard of it before, but there is a handbook called The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines. Freelancers cite this book pretty commonly; I've seen people refer to it for all sorts of art-related jobs. I linked you to their new digital format, but the print version is also available at the same site (that is the official website). You might have to do a little guesswork to match whatever you're doing to what's in the book since it is focused on the US industry, but I highly recommend it even for artists who don't depend completely upon freelance.

....I hope this long post was of some use to you, haha.

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Re: Basic Commission Prices ?

#6 Post by Taleweaver » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:06 am

Nekobako wrote:I don't agree with Tale that both $15 and $150 may be fair, though. I personally believe that while it's fair to price as high as you like, there is a point at which you're pricing too low. $15 is too low for just about anything, unless it's something small that takes you an hour, and even then that's way below industry pricing... The general advice is to price at least minimum wage for your country.
This is why as little as $15 may be a fair price if the artist lives in a country where minimum wage is very low (and $15 would, for example, be the equivalent of one full workday's pay), and he or she wishes to make up for a slightly inferior quality of art with a much more attractive price. That's how the free market works - if both the person working and the person paying are satisfied with the conditions of their business relationship, it's a fair deal.

Yeah, it's unfair to other artists needing to ask for more money because their living expenses are higher, but not unfair in the sense of "someone's getting ripped off".
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Re: Basic Commission Prices ?

#7 Post by Nekobako » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:26 pm

Taleweaver wrote:That's how the free market works - if both the person working and the person paying are satisfied with the conditions of their business relationship, it's a fair deal.

Yeah, it's unfair to other artists needing to ask for more money because their living expenses are higher, but not unfair in the sense of "someone's getting ripped off".
This thread is about "what is a basic price", not "what's fair according to free market", which is not real world economy anyway. Commissions aren't done in a bubble, and pricing like they are doesn't make sense.

The "free market" is also terrible in a variety of ways and never exists at the same time as a properly functioning sustainable economy, but that's an unrelated topic. As an artist who is concerned about artists as a whole, I believe it is the responsibility of artists to price fairly so that art as a whole does not get devalued. People do that enough without our help.

I still recommend that you price according to the minimum wage of the country whose currency you are using. If a price that's fair for your country is extremely low in USD, just charge in your country's currency. People can convert.

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Re: Basic Commission Prices ?

#8 Post by truefaiterman » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:07 am

This is the Internets: Not only is a VERY free market, but you're pretty much competing against the whole world.

So... there's no such a thing as "basic prices". My best advice is to simply go through lots and lots of comission threads, compare your art and prices with everybody else's, and choose what you consider fair.
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Re: Basic Commission Prices ?

#9 Post by CarrotyCat » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:59 pm

atacht2015 wrote:So, I have no idea where to post this, so forgive me if it's in the wrong place !
I just wanted to know the basic/ acceptable commission prices for artists etc. ?

For example, first time artists looking for their first job, or per set, CGs etc.
THANK YOU !
It's great that you're asking! If you're an artist, this is a very proactive step you're taking, and I'm proud of you!

And if you're a buyer, than thank you so much for trying to understand the creative market, and taking steps to budget in a fair price to artists!

If you share some of the art samples, I can help with some pricing advice.

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Re: Basic Commission Prices ?

#10 Post by TsukiShima » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:59 am

I have found this video a few days ago and thought of sharing with the people here, especially for those who are still confused about putting up prices for your commission.


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Re: Basic Commission Prices ?

#11 Post by LeetMusic » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:46 pm

A student or hobbyist will work for cheap. A professional dependent on commissions as income will ask for a living wage.

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