How I calculate my Commission Rates

Hopefully this will help with my fellow young artists who are trying to make ends meet, but I’m going to show you all how I calculate the rates for my commissions. I’ve seen a lot of my peers making posts because of financial hardships, and i want to help without being too pushy, so here’s a handy post.

I’m not exactly an authority, but I’ve made my share of mistakes as a freelancer and grown better because of my personal experiences.

Before anything else, I want everyone reading this to realize that if you’re debating offering commissions, no matter what: it means you realize your skills valuable and marketable. Even if you’re an amateur, your skill matters!

A lot of this post is going to be me using myself as an example so that I don’t get too confusing explaining how I do stuff. But here it goes:

If you don’t want to read this entire, long post, here’s a summary of some of the important stuff, resources, and other things you need to know or might want to have a look at:

Calculating Commission Rates (mostly targeted at visual artists)
Round your calculations as needed.

  1. Total your yearly living expenses (including savings and disposable income), and/or calculate the cost of living in your region/city. Keep track of this number, especially if your expenses increase.
  2. Research your projected job salary for your region/city. Select the yearly salary that is above your cost of living and appropriate for your skill level. Even if you’re an amateur, you need to select a salary that will cover more than the bare minimum of your expenses.
  3. Decide and calculate how many hours a week you work, if you’re a freelancer and/or commission artist.
    Bear in mind, you are probably also in charge of more than just making your art, and everything else you do in relation to selling your art is part of your job as well.
    In the United States, working 40 hours a week is a full time job.
    (9AM to 5PM on weekdays)
  4. -Divide the desired yearly salary by 52. This is the weekly salary.
    -Divide the weekly salary by the hours you work a week. This is your desired hourly rate.
  5. Using a stopwatch, time how long it takes you to complete what you plan on offering for commission.
  6. Calculate your commission prices/options using these formulas:
    60 minutes x Art Time (in hours) = Art time (in minutes)
    60 Mins / Art Time (in mins) = Artworks per Hour
    Hourly Rate / Artworks per Hour = Price Per Artwork
  7. As your skills improve, you can (and SHOULD) give yourself a pay raise. Be sure to notify your clients in advance of potential price changes.

Freelancing/Commission Resources, Tutorials, and Templates:
If any of the links break, let me know and I will update them

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not required, always appreciated

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