Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

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noeinan
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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#16 Post by noeinan » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:04 pm

Rozume wrote:I plan to finish the current project I'm working on before I start commissions so I have more to show people. Hopefully that will attract some recruiters. But then again, just because I worked well doing a personal project doesn't mean I'll work well with someone else.
For me, I feel it's the opposite. I have an extremely good work ethic and if I'm being paid I am all *professional mode* but I have a harder time motivating myself to work on my own projects -on a schedule- because it's something that is for fun so it's hard to push myself on it, haha.
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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#17 Post by trooper6 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:13 pm

I think there is also the issue of stylistic choice competition. For my game I want a non-anime style. Either something realistic, something that looks more like horror western comic book art, or something that looks like illustration/advertising from the 1920s. The vast majority of the artists here do an anime style. This means that I fully expect I'm going to have to pay quite a lot for the artwork I want, even though this will be a free game, because there is no competition undercutting prices in the styles I'm interested in. So I think the situation is better for non-anime-style artists.
A Close Shave:
*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#18 Post by Rozume » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:17 pm

trooper6 wrote:I think there is also the issue of stylistic choice competition. For my game I want a non-anime style. Either something realistic, something that looks more like horror western comic book art, or something that looks like illustration/advertising from the 1920s. The vast majority of the artists here do an anime style. This means that I fully expect I'm going to have to pay quite a lot for the artwork I want, even though this will be a free game, because there is no competition undercutting prices in the styles I'm interested in. So I think the situation is better for non-anime-style artists.
Really? Because I thought non-anime artists would have a harder time finding clientele because EVERYONE* wants an anime style.

*there are exceptions

I'm a non-anime style artist and I usually paint my art (all though I've been looking at faster ways of coloring), so my prices are gonna be quite steep.

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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#19 Post by trooper6 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:41 pm

I think it is true that there are fewer clients for the non-anime artist, but all the non-anime artists I've seen are expensive and there are few options driving down prices.

Additionally, I need an artist who can draw people of color and older people, and who can draw for live composite. I'm going to try myself first...but seriously? I'm going to have to pay serious money for this. I hope I wouldn't have to pay $1000 for the art for my free, 15 minute game...and if I wanted something anime, I am sure I wouldn't. But because what I want isn't the standard anime...I expect to have to spend a lot of money to commission some of the few people around here who can do what I'm looking for...if I can even find that here. I might have to try to figure out how to use deviant art to find my artsist if I can't find her here...which... I'm not super hopeful about.

ETA: Rozume, I decided to see if I could find examples of your work to see what it looked like, since you mentioned you don't work in an anime style. And I find a thread in the recruitment forum where you are offering to do sprites for free.
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 38&t=27845
How do you reconcile your free work thread with your position against cheap labor in this post? Do you an ideological distinction between free labor and cheap labor? Or have you changed your mind from the position you held six months ago? I'd love to hear a more about your thoughts of art production in the LSF environment given the seeming contradiction in these two threads. Because I imagine you explaining it would bring to light some really interesting nuances.
A Close Shave:
*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
Check out My Clock Cookbook Recipe: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 51&t=21978

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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#20 Post by Rozume » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:59 pm

Yeah, if you're planning on having people of color or older people in your VN, you're probably going to have to seek anyone but an anime artist because most anime artists can't or don't want to draw those type of subjects (there are exceptions of course).

Maybe try looking at places like Conceptart.org? All though I hear it's pretty expensive there.

And I hate to toot my own horn, but I have no problems drawing diverse people. I just... don't do it often because I focus more on my technique than my subject matter. My style might not be what you're looking for though.

I think it's time for me to add Biker Grandma to my list of sprites to make

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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#21 Post by trooper6 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:11 pm

Biker Grandmas are awesome!

I will check out concentrate.org (thanks for the rec, I'd never heard of them before) as well as deviantart. My only worry is that those artists won't really know the techniques that are VN specific. This is one of the reasons I'm planning on doing all of the art (badly) myself first. This way, even thought the art isn't good, I can supply the files to the artist I eventually hire so if they have no experience in VNs they can see what it is I need.

I like your art, it is just a bit too cartoony for what I want to go for. I want something less cute, more appropriate for a noir/horror feel.
A Close Shave:
*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
Check out My Clock Cookbook Recipe: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 51&t=21978

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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#22 Post by PyTom » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:06 pm

trooper6 wrote:Do you an ideological distinction between free labor and cheap labor?
There's a huge difference between free and cheap.

With free work, you're doing something without obligation. You can control what you work on, when you work on it. If you don't like what you're working on it, you can just drop it. You can also expect some creative control, if it's a creative project.

With paid work, things change. You're expected to uphold professional behavior, and often to give up some creative control to the producer. And that's fine - but the question is, how much do you value those things?

I give away a lot of "work" for free, because I enjoy it, at least at the macro level. But I don't give work away cheap.
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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#23 Post by Rozume » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:46 pm

trooper6 wrote: ETA: Rozume, I decided to see if I could find examples of your work to see what it looked like, since you mentioned you don't work in an anime style. And I find a thread in the recruitment forum where you are offering to do sprites for free.
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 38&t=27845
How do you reconcile your free work thread with your position against cheap labor in this post? Do you an ideological distinction between free labor and cheap labor? Or have you changed your mind from the position you held six months ago? I'd love to hear a more about your thoughts of art production in the LSF environment given the seeming contradiction in these two threads. Because I imagine you explaining it would bring to light some really interesting nuances.
I consider that thread abandoned. My mind definitely changed from the position I held six months ago, mainly because I found out what I was getting into. The people that approached me had rather small projects, but the amount of work involved still a lot to do. Sprites take a lot of time to make. CGs and BGs even more. At roughly the same time, I was also trying to sell portrait commissions on Fiverr; spending hours on a portrait and only receiving roughly $3-4 on it made me realize something... that my art deserves better than this. Granted, my art wasn't very good at the time and I was semi-serious (reason why I offered to do things for free/dirt cheap) but I didn't feel very good about myself when doing the work.

When I become more serious about my work, I sought out all the art advice from working professionals that I could find. Many of them got to the topic of free/cheap labor, and most, if not all those professionals advocated against it.

Art takes a lot of work. A LOT of work. When I did the sprites for Munster Academy, my turn around time was 9-10 hours for a thighs-height sprite. It's a bit shorter now, roughly 6-7 hours total. Some people might do it faster, some people might do it slower but the fact remains that producing art is very involved and takes a lot of work.

Art is not a magical skill that only a handful have. It is learned and it is practiced. Like I said before, it is also very involved; you have to learn anatomy, composition, perspective, values, color theory, etc, etc. You have to ask yourself questions such as: "is the anatomy convincing?" "does my composition make a statement?" "is my perspective accurate?" and the like. You have to make sure the individual parts are working together with the whole.

Some people are more skilled than others, because they are more trained than others or have more experience. You're not just paying for the service itself, you're also paying for the experience behind it.

That being said, I have nothing against people who do free work or price themselves very low... but I wouldn't recommend it. Unless they can handle the work involved, they're better off doing their own thing.

Anyway, I think I rambled on for too long. I hope that answers your question!

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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#24 Post by Godline » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:56 pm

Rozume wrote: Art takes a lot of work. A LOT of work.
It takes varying degrees for different people. Some people can whip up a sprite in an hour and have it look totally professional. I know people like this. Should art be payed by the hour when there are so many variables?

And writing takes a lot of work too. Some people like me can only write 1000 words per day or slightly less on something that I'd consider quality. Some write 5000 odd. I've always been in awe with those people, but we all do what we can do. Just because I, and you, work slower it does not mean that we should get more right?
Art is not a magical skill that only a handful have.
For some people maybe. ;) Like all skills. Some people are lucky enough to be born with it and can do it with very little effort.

Besides, commissioning people online there's always the risk they're going to screw you. I've been screwed before - TWICE - with commissions. And if you're commissioning a LOT and get screwed it's always a lot worse.

Now I've learned my lesson and won't commission without recommendations. :)

When it comes to VNs it's all about the passion behind it. If you WANT to do it, to be involved in a project, to see your work out there you're going to have to work for free/little pay.
I don't charge for writing because there's very little writing jobs out there and ultimately I want to work on what I want to work on. It's the same with most artists.

And it's kinda a cop out to say those artists are underselling themselves. I mean you did Munster Academy because you wanted to do it right?

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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#25 Post by Rozume » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:06 pm

It takes varying degrees for different people. Some people can whip up a sprite in an hour and have it look totally professional. I know people like this. Should art be payed by the hour when there are so many variables?
You have to also understand, it probably took YEARS for that person to whip up that sprite in an hour. You're not just paying for the cost of labor, but also the experience and skill behind it.
And it's kinda a cop out to say those artists are underselling themselves. I mean you did Munster Academy because you wanted to do it right?
I don't think it's a cop out at all. I know from EXPERIENCE and advice from PROFESSIONAL artists that artists shouldn't undersell themselves. Like I said before, I don't have anything against people who do things for free or even undersell themselves, I just don't think it's a good idea because the payoff might not be that great. Why do you think so many people drop out of projects? Also, I did Munster Academy at a time where I thought I needed to make a VN and gain experience as quickly as possible. It was fun and I loved working with Ran, but I don't think I would've done it now.

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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#26 Post by Godline » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:19 pm

Most people on here that create free projects do it on a collaboration basis. They do it because they love the art, even though they're not going to get any money from it - whether be artist or writer.
It's always nicer when one can be paid but it's not always the case.

If you wish to only work on commercial projects, then that's your pejorative really. Each to their own.

But I don't think it's fair for you to claim that everyone is to be like you and everyone should get paid for their services - because for some people it's about the collaboration. Not about the pay.

I'm really sad to hear that given the chance again you wouldn't do Munster Academy. :(

I guess if you're not passionate enough, no amount of money can make it worth it in the end.

But for most people I've come across on the forum it's about sharing passions together and creating together.
After all, that's what the spirit of NanoReno is all about. ;)

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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#27 Post by Anne » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:25 pm

How do you know what a "fair" price is? To me art is no different than anything else - if several stores are selling the same thing for different prices you go to the cheaper one, that's not being disrespectful, that's common sense. Getting money is "not a magical skill" all commissioners have, they also had to learn and work for that.
I'd change "underselling" to "agreeing to something you're not comfortable with" (including "working for a price that you consider too low") and that's something everyone (not only artists) would be better off learning to say no to.
Why do you think so many people drop out of projects?
Not because of money

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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#28 Post by Aqacia » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:27 pm

I've been watching this thread for a while now and decided to voice my thoughts on everything. When people come looking for people to work on projects it's not the same from person to person and every artist will have a different style, way of doing things and price however i want to bring attention to the fact that not every artist gets any people interested no matter if it's paid or free.

Now the cold truth is that there are many types of styles and ways people work but when someone's style or work isn't bad but still isn't good their not always going to get people to pay attention to what their making if it's going to cost and sometimes even when it's free.

While there are artists that aren't the best and get a lot of attention and there are great artists who also get a lot of attention and can afford to put their work up with a price to it not every single artist can. While the artists worked hard to get to where they are now, on the current work it doesn't necessary mean that their work is to pay for in other peoples eyes.

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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#29 Post by Rozume » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:46 pm

I said this time and time again and I'll say it again: I don't care if you want to do your work for free or not. It just pisses me off when I see very good artists undersell themselves because I feel it cheapens the craft as a whole. People have a hard time respecting artists already - I've seen examples where people demanded $10 for three minutes of 3D Animation. :|

Passion is great, but passion also takes a lot to maintain. And frankly, a lot of people have their passions burn out when once get to the nitty gritty. So people have to find a way to make sure they don't burn out and stay passionate.

I'm very passionate about my art and about making VNs. So passionate that I want to make a career out of it, but passion alone isn't going to cut it.

Also,
How do you know what a "fair" price is? To me art is no different than anything else - if several stores are selling the same thing for different prices you go to the cheaper one, that's not being disrespectful, that's common sense
But artists aren't machines, and they don't put up manufactured work. But yes, I agree that people are better off learning to say no to what they're no comfortable with.

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Re: Cheap Labor: When People Undersell Themselves

#30 Post by Sleipnir56 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:03 pm

I really don't think a person who is looking for an artist should ever ask them to haggle prices. For me personally though I've come to learn that people at times do things for money and forget what they're passionate about. I think more of this site as place for people to communicate, work together, and help bring games alive. Also writing is hard as well when it comes to games. You have to first write a rough draft, know punctuation, make the story and characters, and then rewrite everything. Sadly writers don't often get paid unless they are part of a group or company. With art you guys are in more need though and many people will come to you. Also, and this is a truth that I've read on here, it's hard to make a living off of visual novels when you're starting out. I'm not saying to keep prices low so you can't survive, but sky rocketing them can put many newbies or people with little pocket money in a disadvantage. So maybe meet each other halfway or something like that.

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