Robert P. Traxler. The Principles of Mechanics as Applied to the Solar System, with Illustrations, Showing by Radiating Lines the Manner in which the Forces of the Sun are Applied to the Planets and the Manner in which the Forces of the Sun and Planets Emanate from Themselves. 1889.
Photographer Will Scott celebrates the varied architecture of London Underground stations
Will Scott’s Architecture of the Underground photo series showcases the diverse designs of London’s Tube stations, from the art-deco of Arnos Grove to the high-tech of Canary Wharf.
The photo series also hones in on the design details both inside and outside the stations, such as the typography used for signage and the tiled illustrations applied to platform walls.“I love the level of detail that went into both the individual stations and the overall network, it was an incredible labour of love,” said Scott.
Dan, Elanor and Vinny heading out to investigate a case most mysterious! The other two are bantering but good old Vincent keeps his eyes on the road haha Been working on this one slowly, one part at a time, but finally managed to sit down with it properly. Again, Elanor and Vinny are @kaisukidoodles‘, while Dan is mine ❤︎
Art blog: questionartbox [Commissions] [Ko-Fi]
“Slow Hands” by @niallhoran
💚💛❤ I created this illustration and then applied it to a single cover for Niall. Swipe to see more details of the original illustration. You can really see the full brightness
of the neon colors and gold shimmer in the video. Love this new single
The question comes up all too often, and I hope this article will help guide you with tips on how to achieve fair pricing for your art, fursuits, and more!
Obviously there are a lot of ways for any given person to answer the question of pricing, in this article I am going to address how I arrive at pricing my creative efforts. It is one among many ways to price creative work. Once you read this article, I am happy to hear if this method worked for you, or see suggestions on improving accuracy (as I am still open to personal improvement!), but I do find this to be a professional, very reliable, accurate way to do it, as well as being useful for other aspects of the creative processes well!
For a little backstory, I have been involved in the furry fandom since 1999, and fursuit making has been my hobby since 2001 and now it is my profession. I’m also an artist, a tailor, I do costume refurbishing, create unique props, and make my own merchandise that I sell at events. I am only one person, and don’t outsource my work to other companies, so I don’t have one single thing I do that doesn’t need the effort I put into it figured out. Even personal items, prototyping, and practice – I try to think about how much effort I put in to achieve the item I have created.
How to figure out pricing!
I time myself! I use a dedicated timer (I’ll touch on why I use a dedicated timer below), it is this one to be exact: http://amzn.to/1KOZdXK I ordered it in 2011, and have been timing everything I do ever since. I selected this timer specifically because it has a “count up” setting, so I can start and stop that as I work on my project, and set the other programmable preset buttons to count down to when I should stretch or take a break, (because I can totally work all day and forget to eat lunch), or even for when it is time to end work for the day.
I keep a log. You can organize your log however you wish, but I simply write my times down in a notepad each time I stop and switch tasks. I am careful to pause it when I need to take a break, or move away from my desk to end work for the day, if I didn’t do that then my times would not be accurate. In my log I write notes on what I accomplished within the timed span – this will help you generalize and find areas to improve in the future!
It is important to mention that I have decided to use a dedicated timer, rather than a timer app on my phone or a timing website on the computer, because I do not want the temptation of getting distracted from the task. You may have a different working style, that’s totally ok! Just be sure you are not approximating your times and are truly working towards accurate timing. How else will you know for sure? Part of being accurate about these times is being disciplined about starting and stopping the timer.
What does one of the timed project logs look like?
I recently worked on a fursuit prop skull for a client, a completely unique project that I had not made before. I couldn’t promise a flat price because of the possibility of undercharging, but I do work within a client’s specified budget so there are no surprises.
Here is how my timed work on this project was written down in my log: Planning: 30 min Foamwork: 2 hour 50 min Taping: 55 min Pattern trace: 15 min Cut fabric: 33 min Sew: 1 hour 23 min Glue: 25 min Hand sew: 49 minutes Teeth: 49 min Paint: 37 min
546 minutes / 9.1 hours
I break down my times into minutes and then a decimal of the hours, this is so I can easily convert it into the agreed-upon rate. This timing process can even apply to illustrations or anything else you work on! Additionally I time all my prototypes and practice, even for things that are not as unique as this prop, this allows me to generalize future pricing to give an accurate quote on if I can work within someone’s budget or not.
Something I haven’t mentioned yet, but is an absolutely important part of pricing (especially if you are making physical things!) – Materials cost! Materials are also part of pricing, as is Overhead. If you are working for yourself, you should be keeping receipts of the things you buy for tax purposes. Looking back at the receipts for items you buy and use on your projects, you can more accurately estimate what you’ve used up for this project. If you bought extra material in the process, you can measure what you’ve used for your projects and figure out a fair materials price from there.
Here is another breakdown of my timed logs, this was for a Black Lab fursuit head I made. Is the time taken how long you expected? (Keep in mind I have been doing this for a lot of years, but I am also not a high producer. I make one or two fursuits a year, among other things. If you are new at this, or are a professional with a different working style, you will have a different experience from mine!) For this project, I also wrote a comprehensive materials list, shown below.
Materials list: Black fur (provided) - On forehead, upper brows, cheeks & back of head. Beaver fur - on muzzle, lower brows & ears 2" (older lot) luxury shag - cheeks 2.5" (current lot) luxury shag - neck Lycra, black - nose Minky, pink - ears and tongue Vinyl, black - eyelids Anti-pill Fleece, black - Inner mouth & eyes Whiskers (clear nylon) - face Sculpy Ultralight - Nose, teeth Upholstery foam - head structure Quilted Broadcloth - liner for head & neck Hot glue - various E6000 glue - various Paint, black/yellow/white - eyes Plastic mesh - vision Waterproofing sealant - eyes Sandpaper - nose & eyes Masking tape - patterning process
You can see that the amount of materials used adds up, even in small quantities! Think about the time it has taken to collect these items, running to the store to get them, ordering them online, going to the post office to deliver your finished project to your client, and so on. That should be included as part of your overhead. Overhead is your operating costs, and it is fair to think about to figure in to your pricing as well, especially if you are a digital artist who may have few materials costs yet have high equipment costs – or a fursuit maker, who also has high equipment costs, such as a sewing machine. I don’t have an exact figure on how I work in overhead in my pricing, but I absolutely think about it as part of pricing for something, especially if I need to buy a new piece of equipment to accomplish it!
What does this information do for you?
Okay, so I understand that the above may look like a lot to consider, but it truly is important to know. As a fellow businessperson I just can’t stress enough how important it is accurately knowing how long it takes you to make something! It is quite useful, not only for pricing but other aspects of crafting, such as deciding where you need to improve! I admit, it took a while to train myself to remember to start and stop the timer. I placed a few post-it notes around, stuck to my sewing machine that says “Start Timer” and another on my computer that says “Stop Timer,” little reminders definitely helped. Now it is second nature to use the timer and helps me get focused on working!
Using a timer also allows me to take into account if I need to shave off time to bring a price into an affordable range for my clients. I can think about it in the sense of “How can I pattern this more efficiently?” “Where can I design this to be simpler?” but still be stylistically good, and so on. It also allows me to see if something is not worth offering for commissions, because the price a client would likely pay does not match up with the amount of effort it takes me to create it.
Another important aspect that comes out of accurately timing your work is seeing how much effort you put into your pieces. It serves as a good marker to see if you are spending too much time on less-important parts of the task versus a very important part of the task. It allows you to quantitatively see where you can streamline or simplify your patterning process, or maybe just where to hone your practice more. When I started timing myself I found it incredibly easy to get distracted from the big picture while working on projects, in the past I have hyper-focused on details that just did not effect the end outcome, and timing has helped me recognize that. I’ve since thought of better ways to accomplish what needs to be done and use my time more efficiently. Some of these include rearranging the order I complete tasks, and even compiling a more efficient list to get started on future big projects. Setting yourself up to succeed is an important part of this!
With your timing information and materials costs figured out, you now have a baseline for how you can price! This may not be the exact cost for the object or art that you charge in the end. However, it is absolutely a good start for beginning auctions, a low-end price for taking offers, or setting base commission prices by! Deciding your own rates are entirely up to you, I cannot tell you how much to charge, but I do need to stress DO NOT PRICE BELOW MINIMUM WAGE. You are worth more than that!!! You’re not doing yourself, your clients, or your colleagues any favors. Fandom work is very niche work, and it takes an immeasurable amount of practice and honed skill that should not be dismissed. You are a crafts-person who is skilled at your craft, and skilled labor has a value!
Old school fandom advice on pricing is incredibly varied, and sometimes involves the soul-crushing advice of looking at others’ work that you think matches your skill level and copying their price strategies. This doesn’t help you. I always thought it was really hard and demoralizing to try to research other makers I thought were in my skill range and ballpark pricing that way. I came up to a wall when I couldn’t find people making things like I was making, I was at a loss. I had to break away from that thought process and since I felt it was really unhealthy, and I really hate creative competition, timing myself has saved me the stress. Comparing yourself to others is a fast path to feeling discouraged – I’ve been there, grasping for pricing advice and feeling lost on how I should price a con badge or a sketch. Timing myself has thoroughly solved this! I can feel very good about pricing and the direction my work is going because I can quantitatively see the improvement as I practice a pattern and my times get better. I never feel like I am undercharging, additionally I never feel like I am overcharging either because I can see how much work it took! It is the one thing that has helped me get by confidently, without looking at what anyone else is doing, and still get a satisfying price for my work. A price that I am happy with and that clients are happy with.
Pause the timer for breaks and distractions, to keep your times accurate
Log your times with a few details on what you accomplished in that period
Keep track of expenses and overhead to figure in to pricing
Identify areas where you can practice more to improve
Use past timed work to generalize pricing for future work and have more accurate quotes!
Decide a fair rate, never go below minimum wage!
You don’t have to compare yourself to others!
I do commissions possibly a bit different than some of the other fandom content creators, but I do hope timing work becomes more a standard practice among the creative folks in the fandom. This style of pricing has really been what works for me, especially with all of the unique and varied things I do.
Keep up the good work and keep moving forward. I hope these tips help, happy crafting!
Hey! This is a super technical post sorry, but i’ve gotten several questions about how I do texturing so I thought I’d share! Here’s the topology and texture map for the kid I just posted. Most of the models I make use maps of gradient blocks made with Illustrator, that I then apply to each model. I use cinema4D for the whole modeling and mapping process.
Since gradients can be stretched horizontally without losing quality, it lets me keep the texture maps super tiny. Most 3D software will also smooth them out vertically, filling in gradient values that aren’t stored as pixels in the texture map. Most models I make use 32x32 or 64x64 textures and most characters (like this one) are 256x256. In a modern game engine, using such low cost methods per object lets you populate the world with more stuff!
I’ll try to get something a bit more complicated out soon, but please settle for a quick sketch!
I was talking with my brother about Star Wars and it got me to thinking about fashion and aesthetics in the sci-fi genre as a whole. Clothes designed in this genre typically have a streamlined silhouette and a very minimal color palette, at least from what I’ve seen. I think the idea was to make to outfit as functional as possible without any unnecessary decoration. I’m not too big of a fan of sci-fi as it’s not really my genre, so maybe my observations are way off, but I at least wanted to try this kind of design as an experiment.
What's the rule with applying out of state for med school? I've heard "apply broadly" and "schools don't generally accept out of state students so don't bother" which seem contradictory and confusing. How do you know whether to apply to an OOS school or not? Do you just take a chance and hope it goes okay?
Hi there anon!
There are no rules to applying out of state. The “apply broadly” versus “no out of state students” are not describing the same situation. Let me illustrate:
1. “Apply broadly” and the various connotations/advice it stands for:
-You don’t feel or want to stay in one region of the US; so you will apply broadly across the country (a location-based interpretation of the phrase)
-You may live in a region where med schools are very competitive and your application may not be competitive enough to guarantee med school acceptance if you were to only apply in that region (ex. Massachusetts, California, New York, etc.) so you apply “broadly” across the country (again, location-based interpretation)
-Your application has several areas that are maybe not super robust and in order to maximize the chance for getting into med school you need to apply to many schools to improve your odds (location/application-based interpretation)
-Your application has several areas that may not be very robust and to maximize your chances of getting in, you apply to med schools that could have just started, may not be considered very “desirable”, or perhaps have lower average GPA and MCATs listed on the MSAR (application-based interpretation)
-You are torn between MD or DO and have not decided which one suits you, and so you apply to both types of schools to see which one you get (degree-based interpretation)
I know, right?
Therefore, “state schools don’t accept out of state students” clearly isn’t an equal and opposite statement to “Apply broadly”. The state school saying doesn’t apply to private schools, new med schools (they are just trying to get a class started, they don’t care where you’re coming from) and honestly many state school still take out of state students.
The goal of many state schools that don’t take out-of-state students are to retain students in physician-deplete areas in the US. So for example, schools in large cities and states with large populations and physicians are not that obsessed with keeping in-state students. Med schools that are trying their best to retain future physicians in rural/physician-deplete cities/resource-poor locations fear that out-of-state students don’t know what they are getting into when they come and will leave ASAP after getting their MD, which does not serve the interest of the state and as such, they will be very stringent about the number of out-of-state students they take.