How to decide your prices?

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How to decide your prices?

#1 Post by Winnetou-AD » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:47 am

I sometimes confused about art pricing, every artist have different price list.
Sometimes, I see a really good artist with low prices.
So, may I know what criteria do client have before decided to pay for arts?
And how artists decide their price list?
Also, if possible I want to know opinion about my arts. Can you please tell me how much do you think it's worth? :D

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Re: How to decide your prices?

#2 Post by morinoir » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:00 am

I think your works are beautiful! Even though the coloring style is simple, you rendered the clothes nice and clean and you also quite nailed it on anatomy. I can't really tell you how much you should charge for your work because it's very personal and depends on a lot of factors, like where you live or whether you're hobbyist or full timer, etc. How long does it take you to draw a full body character sprite? How much do you want to price your work?

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Re: How to decide your prices?

#3 Post by LexBit » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:24 pm

Hello, I'll try to go point-by-point to answer all your questions. :D Please keep in mind that these are my personal opinions and should not be taken as facts.

What criteria do clients have before they decide to pay for art?
When I commission an artist, I look for: quality, style, price, skillset. These are my personal preferences, and this will vary with different clients.
  • Quality is how good their art is, which I can see from the examples they provide. A newer artist might not have a lot of quality to their work just yet. This factors mostly with experience.
  • Style is how the artist draws differently from others. A cartoonist will draw characters differently than an anime-focused artist. I try to find which style I'm looking for.
  • Price is how much the artist is charging for their work. This has many factors, such as the quality and style might increase the price, which is totally fair and reasonable. My budget for commissions helps determine how much I'm willing to spend.
  • Skillset is how many things can this artist do, such as character design and background art. This isn't a key factor and more of a nice-to-have. If an artist is good at characters but not backgrounds, I probably will only commission them for characters. However, if an artist does more I will likely commission them again for different types of work.
How do artists decide their price list?
This really depends on other factors that morinoir mentioned. The way I tend to estimate price is based on hours of work. (Note some artists charge a base price instead of per-hour rates.)

For example, where I live in the USA the minimum wage is about $8 an hour. This is the MINIMUM though, and art is considered part of entertainment which is priced and valued much higher than this. So let's say you would charge about $20 an hour, which is just an example. If a piece of work takes about 10 hours, then the base price would be $200. There are many other factors that can go into this, such as the client requesting changes to the design, complex character design or background, etc.

What helps determine price is your skill level and how much time you put into a piece of work.
  • Your skill level could be determined by how long you've been drawing, if you went to school for art, and generally the quality of your work. It's not reliant on these factors, however, since some people are naturally talented or self-taught and this does not devalue the price of their work. It's hard to determine since this is more of a personal evaluation.
  • The time mentioned includes concepting, sketching, linework, coloring, backgrounds, etc. Remember that your time is valuable and a client should respect that (and pay you accordingly for it).
Opinion about my art; how much do you think it's worth?
I'm very impressed by the wonderful art you have here! I really admire the clean lines and detail in your characters, and the attention you've put into the backgrounds really makes each piece stand out. You have very good art!

For what your art is worth, this is hard to say. Personally I would pay $20 per hour easily for work of this quality, which may actually be underpriced. However, I do not know how long it takes to make each artwork, so I could not tell you what the total price would be.
A really helpful thing you could do is to look for other artists that share your style and quality of work and see what they are pricing for their artwork. This could help you determine what to price your work at.

Please keep in mind that this is my personal opinion, and I would suggest getting more opinions before deciding how to price your work.

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Re: How to decide your prices?

#4 Post by Mutive » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:45 am

LexBit wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:24 pm
For example, where I live in the USA the minimum wage is about $8 an hour.
Something else to keep in mind is that if you were making, say, $8/hr at a coffee shop (in the US, although I suspect this example holds true to some extent for a number of other countries), your employer would also be paying pay roll taxes that support things such as Medicare, social security, unemployment, etc. If you're working for yourself, legally you have to pay those taxes to the government, which nets you significantly less than you'd have made working at a coffee shop.

From a practical perspective, this isn't a big deal if you're doing a couple of commissions at night because you enjoy them. (The government is unlikely to come after you because you owe, say, $20 in back taxes.) But I know at least one professional artist who owes tens of thousands of dollars in back payroll taxes. If you are intending to fully support yourself with your art, you'll need to charge enough both to live on and to cover the tax burden of running your own business.
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Re: How to decide your prices?

#5 Post by Desertopa » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:48 am

A huge part of the variation between artists' prices comes from circumstances rather than skills. One of the most skilled, and fastest artists I've known was also one of the cheapest I've encountered, because art was his full time job, but also his hobby, and he lived in a country with low costs of living. He already made enough to get by from his day job, and didn't need additional commission work to support himself, but he did it anyway because he enjoyed it, and priced his skills in order to attract the work he found interesting, not to make the most money he could in his off-time. Obviously, the entire provider side of the art market can't be composed of people like this, but it's not composed entirely of people trying to make a living from art commissions either, so practically speaking it can be very difficult for people trying to do so in countries with higher costs of living to compete.

A huge part of an artist's ability to charge more for their services comes down to marketing. Not in the narrow sense of using ads or social media, but in the sense where there are a lot of people seeing your work and thinking "That, that's what I want." A few months back, I was interested in commissioning the work of the lead artist on a game I'd played recently, who I thought did a great job depicting the characters' expressiveness. I sent that artist a message, but I never heard back. I happened to also be in touch with the developer of that game, and he said that ever since the game came out, she's been too swamped with offers to respond to them all. It wasn't an especially high-profile game, but it functioned as a very effective advertisement for her work. When you have that sort of exposure where enough people want your work specifically, you can set your prices however high that the people seeking your work will keep meeting them. When you're in a weaker marketing position though, where the people who're considering your commissions are just looking for an artist, then you'll generally have to compete harder on price.

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Re: How to decide your prices?

#6 Post by myukuni » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:56 am

It really depends on your circumstances. If you have a reliable source of income (like day job, saving, etc) or have a lot of job offer coming to you, you wouldn't be as pressured to lower your price as someone who don't have any (scarcity mindset). As a baseline, you might want to compare yourself with other artist with similar or a bit better circumstances as you. You might want to see other quality that might influence their price, like their fan base, marketing, portfolio amount, and specialty.

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Re: How to decide your prices?

#7 Post by Renmiou » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:46 pm

There are a lot of good contributions to your thread, lots to agree with.

Your artwork is really nice: you chose very pleasant colour schemes and the composition is good. I can definitely see how anyone would be happy to have you on board for their project.

My two cents, with what I actually did specifically to decide my prices:

- I had to keep in account my personal situation: the country I live in has a stronger currency, so I can't necessarily compete on cheapness, but I do this full time (and I now have a child to think of, too!), so I can't afford to charge a small amount for the stuff I do. I found out what minimum wage was here and I also decided how much I wanted to be charged per hour. Keep in mind that you'll need to pay taxes on what you earn, so finding out how much you'll be left with once that is done is important. If you also have to contribute to a pension scheme for the future, you can't just charge the bare minimum.

Keep in mind that a lot of the people who charge a very small amount, though not all, are often students who don't have all of those considerations and just do commissions as a way to do what they love and earn some money on the side. From what my clients tell me, though, they do value that I am fast, reliable and I finish projects. Some of those cheap artists end up disappearing half-way through a project and some devs can't afford to delay their projects so they'll be happy to pay a reasonable amount for an artist with a professional attitude.

- I worked on assets for a personal project and I kept track of how much it took me to do single assets with an app called Procrastitracker: this app is actually meant to be used to track what you do so you can check that you don't procrastinate too much (which is also useful) but I used it so I didn't have to operate a timer (also an option, if you remember to start it and stop it) for each single base, expression, outfit, background, etc. Once you have an average of how much each thing takes you you can decide how much you want to be paid per hour and just use that estimate to give people a quote when they contact you for work. It's also good to keep a separate estimate in days, as that allows you to give accurate time estimates to your clients. I usually add a buffer into that so that, if I get ill, they don't wait more than expected for their asset. Better safe than sorry!

- Once that was done I had a document with a detailed list of each single aspect of a project that I could refer back to, so I didn't have to keep guessing how much to quote.

As everybody else said: it's hard to give you a price because your personal circumstances, region and where you are in life all make a difference. Just know you do a great job and I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours!

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