Sprite Art Pricing

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100puro
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Sprite Art Pricing

#1 Post by 100puro » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:59 pm

Though I've searched through old threads about art pricing, I'm curious to hear feedback about what others would be willing to pay for my sprite commissions. I've only recently tried my hand at making visual novel sprites and hopefully they're of good quality and could be placed in a commercial game in the future ^^

I've always had a problem asking a high price from people because I'm slow and also because I had no good examples of my work. I previously charged $20~$25 but I have a feeling I'm underpricing myself...
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Victoria Jennings
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Re: Sprite Art Pricing

#2 Post by Victoria Jennings » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:06 pm

Woah, attractive.

I have no advice for you, I just wanted to say that.

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Re: Sprite Art Pricing

#3 Post by Relimount » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:30 pm

This is really shiny and good. But the almost naked woman, this is particular.

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Re: Sprite Art Pricing

#4 Post by 100puro » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:39 pm

Relimount wrote:This is really shiny and good. But the almost naked woman, this is particular.
Well this was commissioned work and both the style of art, clothing choice, and size of bust (yes.. its true >>;;;) was dictated by the commissioner.

I've attached recent pictures I've done with my normal style (The character profile picture of Salix has a few of another artist's drawings mixed in)
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Re: Sprite Art Pricing

#5 Post by Relimount » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:48 pm

Your own style is really better. The last girl reminds me a little Ashley from Another Code.

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Re: Sprite Art Pricing

#6 Post by Tempus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:34 pm

100puro wrote:I've always had a problem asking a high price from people because I'm slow and also because I had no good examples of my work. I previously charged $20~$25 but I have a feeling I'm underpricing myself...
How long does it take you to create a sprite? What people are willing to pay varies; depending on budget, understanding of how much they're really paying you*, and stinginess.
  • *If it takes you 6 hours to make a finished sprite and you charge $20, that's roughly $3 an hour. $20 per sprite sounds reasonable, $3 an hour less so.
Personally, I think your art is worth more than you're charging, but given the amount of character artists who work quickly and cheaply, it may be difficult if your prices are higher since people with lower budgets won't be able to afford it, and people with bigger budgets would give first preference to similar level artists who are cheaper unless they specifically wanted your artwork.

I know this might seem a little unrelated, but I'd recommend this video in relation to my point about other artists. Specifically the part at 5:12 about the craft of making good art being different from the craft of making a profit from that art. Good quality art isn't all the commissioner is looking for, whether consciously or unconsciously, in my opinion. I think a competent artist could easily beat a better artist simply by having nicer presentation. So maybe things like organising your recruitment thread (if you make / have one) neatly with plenty of whitespace, spell / grammar check, relevant info and so on would help push you ahead. Also, if past commissioners were happy with your work list them as references -- knowing others paid for your work and received it and were happy with it is a big bonus.

Sorry, I don't know why I gave such an in-depth response, you probably weren't even wanting this XD Anyway, I hope that helps.

Edit: I just checked out your thread in recruitment -- I think it's well formatted ^.^ I like how you bolded the headings; it's so much easier to scan your post that way and a lot of people don't bother with such simple formatting despite how much it adds. It's also neat that the first row of images is horizontal, rather than stacked vertically; that's another bad thing some people do that unnecessarily makes their post taller.

My suggestions after looking at the thread: use dA and make the profile easy to find. If you keep it updated somewhat regular I think you'd get just as much if not more traffic than from lemmasoft after a while. Also, would I be right in saying some of the art isn't fully finished (not coloured, for example)? I think giving both those things consideration might help too. Lastly, since I didn't even say how much I'd pay: I don't think it'd be unreasonable of you to ask $40 per sprite (before expressions).
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Re: Sprite Art Pricing

#7 Post by 100puro » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:57 pm

Tempus wrote: How long does it take you to create a sprite? What people are willing to pay varies; depending on budget, understanding of how much they're really paying you*, and stinginess.
  • *If it takes you 6 hours to make a finished sprite and you charge $20, that's roughly $3 an hour. $20 per sprite sounds reasonable, $3 an hour less so.
Personally, I think your art is worth more than you're charging, but given the amount of character artists who work quickly and cheaply, it may be difficult if your prices are higher since people with lower budgets won't be able to afford it, and people with bigger budgets would give first preference to similar level artists who are cheaper unless they specifically wanted your artwork.
I appreciate your response and I do agree with you on pretty much all the points you made. Though I'm a bit confused with what you were trying to get at when you say that "Good quality art isn't all the commissioner is looking for". I'm guessing you mean other things besides the actual artwork like production speed, communication, and presentation?

I'm planning on reopening or starting a new recruitment thread when I get some more good examples of the work I can produce. Before it was kind of incomplete because I only have rough examples of my art style and ability so I wasn't able to have very good presentation and also had no reputation.

I often struggle with the things you've mentioned like cost per piece versus cost per hour. Unfortunately, I have a semi-perfectionist attitude which contributes to my slow speed. I'm aiming to cut the time down after I get used to making sprites and I'll aim for roughly ~3 hours per sprite. For now it's probably closer to 5-6 hours... So if I go by cost per hour I'd want to go for like $30+ per sprite, but would people really go for that?

I've also have gone and made a lengthy response >>;;

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Re: Sprite Art Pricing

#8 Post by Tempus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:28 pm

100puro wrote: I appreciate your response and I do agree with you on pretty much all the points you made. Though I'm a bit confused with what you were trying to get at when you say that "Good quality art isn't all the commissioner is looking for". I'm guessing you mean other things besides the actual artwork like production speed, communication, and presentation?
I'm glad ^.^ Ah, production speed & communication are also important things, but I was specifically meaning presentation -- I don't think most commissioners consciously go around thinking "I need someone with good presentation!", but I think the presentation of someone's work (the context it's in, how organised, etc.) affects people's choices even if they're not necessarily aware of it. It's that subtle difference that could break a tie between two artists with similar quality work and prices. I also think the people who are willing to pay higher prices wouldn't even bother with a messy, out of date thread, but maybe I'm wrong about that.
100puro wrote:I often struggle with the things you've mentioned like cost per piece versus cost per hour. Unfortunately, I have a semi-perfectionist attitude which contributes to my slow speed.
I know the feeling :( I think $30 per sprite is pretty good, especially if you cut down your time without sacrificing quality. Not only is it quicker for you, but its also something commissioners like and helps justify the price. Still, I'd reiterate my point about self-promotion -- the more people who see you, the more potential commissioners see you. Even if your art is good and made quickly, people still need to know it exists. Networking could help too, which'd allow you to find potential commissioners through friends / contacts; don't limit yourself to lemmasoft.
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Re: Sprite Art Pricing

#9 Post by KomiTsuku » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:46 pm

You all are making me feel like I need to finally write that blog entry on what I am looking for and how I decide the artists I commission...

Pros:
Coloring for everything but the hair is good (I like more definition in the hair)
No major anatomy problems
Diversity in the examples

Cons:
Relatively new sprite artist
Not a lot of sprite samples
How slow are we talking about? From commission to delivery, not drawing time.

Based upon the current sampling and what little information I could glean, I'd say $30 - $35 before I'd start looking elsewhere. The biggest things going against you are resume, experience/examples, and your presentation. When I post sprite jobs on the various sites, I have anywhere between 50-100 applicants. While your style is good and I see potential in your art, you aren't the only person I see that in. I need to see a clean, professional display that highlights your talents. When I look at your thread, I see random sketches and then a bunch of words that lack the impact. When you post your sprite prices, post some images alongside it to draw me in. If you don't have experience somewhere, take a bit of time to build it up. Work on some images that you can present to the world. That way when I am looking at your page, I am immediately drawn to the important parts.

"Good quality art isn't all the commissioner is looking for." Incredibly true statement here. Production speed and experience is very important. A lot of artists don't know what they are getting into when they take that commission. A deadline is a deadline, and a vast majority of artists tend to miss them. If I notice that an artist has that reputation, I will automatically disregard them. If I hear they are difficult to work with or have failed to deliver, I will ignore them. It doesn't matter how beautiful your art is if I think I will never see it or my money again.

You've got a solid amount of talent. What I recommend is polishing up the categories you want to sell (sprites, BG, ect) to show that you are a quality, professional (behaving) artist. Once you have that base, you can bring up the price without the risk of turning people away. I have met a lot of talented artists; you have to set yourself apart.

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Re: Sprite Art Pricing

#10 Post by 100puro » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:31 pm

Wow! Lots of good info and advice. I agree with many things brought up and it was very nice to see what was said in regards to me and my own art. For now, I'm trying to improve on what I lack by working with two current projects right now where I'm doing both CG work and sprite work to build up reputation and my portfolio alongside earning some more pocket money.


@KomiTsuku
Probably one of the most informative and honest posts I've ever gotten! Unfortunately when I said I was slow I meant slow with getting work out. It heavily depends on my schedule because I'm not a full time artist but a full time university student (and pre-med to boot). So for me a lot of my time goes to studying and I didn't realize it at first but unlike personal art commissions, time is a large factor in producing art for visual novels. This will probably make me unable to ask for high prices unless they really like my art or I become a renown art god (haha... no). And OH GOD, that thread is old... and thankfully I've learned better after lurking around here and seeing people do it right.

And sorry about the hair, I'll admit that I'm not really adept with coloring digitally and I'm still learning and getting used to things. This isn't completely relevant and probably unnecessary but I've hard a hard time transitioning into the digital medium and I'm still a lot more used to traditional ones. Hair was actually the part where I spent the most coloring and coloring used to be my strong suit but now its all backwards... I have no idea how to color hair now (at least digitally) and coloring is where I think I'm weakest at. For an example this is how I used to color..
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Re: Sprite Art Pricing

#11 Post by 15385bic » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:35 am

i think you are underpricing.
the sprites look good and you probably spend HOURS on one
i think that a lot of ppl would love to have beautiful art without having to pay much or anything for it, what they dont realise is the amount of time ppl can spend.

think about this - at that price i can get 4-5 sprites for $100
for me, thats 2 hours of tutoring
for you its hours/weeks of hard work

so depending on where you come from, pricing can change dependently as well

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