Hey marcia:) sorry to bother but I needed to ask...How do you establish commission prices?Lately I've been thinking of opening them myself but I don't really know how much it is okay to charge? I know it's supposed to be according to the amount of time taken per drawing,among other things. I'm not sure anyone would be interested, so I'm afraid it won't work, but at the same time I feel like I should just go for it(?)Like, I dont have the courage to start.. Thanks for reading this♡have a nice day
Hi! I’ll be happy to help :)
Honestly, this topic is one of the hardest and the most subjective things in the semi-private sector of art industry. Basically, you’re forced to ask yourself “how much is my work actually worth in the terms of money?” and this can be tricky. Obviously, no one wants to underprice their art and bring themselves down but overpricing will discourage the potential clients - achieving equilibrium is necessary. And difficult.
Here are some things to consider:
- How long have you been drawing?
If you’re rather an inexperienced artist/commisionee, you shouldn’t go for relatively high prices. One of the functions of price is informing the client of the quality of the service they can expect from you and the brand value. A new shop selling shoes cannot charge as much as Nike, you get the idea.
- What is the service you can provide?
In other words, what can you really draw? People will come to you demanding different things: their OCs, favourite ships, fursonas etc. and you gotta know what you are able to draw. If someone wanted a dragon in a forest, you can’t just not announce that “you don’t know how to draw trees in perspective” by the end of the commission process! This goes back to experience - the less confident you are about your skills the less you should charge.
- How long does it take you to make one piece?
Usually, the longer you draw the more you can charge for a picture, but! Remember that time taking accidents such as “I cant get this hand right, I drew it 5 times and it still does not look ok” don’t count! That would be the effect of your lack of experience rather than you making the piece more detailed. We’re talking about a theoretically smooth process here.
- How much time are you willing to spend on a particular commission?
This is a little bit different from the previous point. The questions asks: how much time are you willing to spend to satisfy your client fully? Are you willing to make several value sketches? Colour compositions? How many times will you go back and redraw something because the client informed you they didn’t like it?
The more you’re ready to do for your client the more you can charge. However, remember!! Each sketch/idea has to be of the same quality!! You can’t suddenly stop caring halfway through or decide that “this composition sucks, the client won’t choose it anyway, so I can half-ass it”
You don’t get to decide that, the client does.
- How much would you spend on your own art?
Be honest and do not be greedy. You’re only starting and since art is surely your hobby, low prices will not hurt at the time being. First, you have to dip your toe in the water and decide if it’s okay, then make changes and eventually rise prices.
- Check prices of other artists!
You gotta know what your competition is serving :) This should be your starting point, but!! Take as a reference several people with relatively similar art styles/experience to yours, and again, be honest with yourself. Adjust these prices to the criteria I mentioned above.
Additional commission related tips:
- be as informative and neutral as you can be during the commission process; you can throw in suggestions but never any uncomfortable opinions
- remember that it is you who has to put effort into pleasing the client,
- it is not the client’s obligation to jump around you,
- you can refuse to draw something, moreover, you can refuse the whole service if the client is eg. acting shady,
- in your commission info state your contact, price info, way of paying and when it happens (before/middle/after work), how the commissioning process looks, how much time it takes, your preferences/info about your abilities (not necessary) and what you expect from the client,
- the more information you provide the more confident the client will feel, it rises the chances of them commissioning you
- be professional, be serious; surprise surprise - it is your job! :)
I think that’s all, hope I covered the topic fully and it helped! Now go rock the art industry <3