Hello! I would love to open some art commissions, but I was wondering if you had any recommendations on how payment should be done(?) Would it be good to show them a sketch before they pay so they can get a flavor of what I will draw, or should I have them pay before I have anything done to protect myself from (literally) sketchy customers?
here is what i usually do:
- ask them for colored picture references, if they dont have any ask them to find you pallets and stock photos that outlines what colors they want and what the character looks like.
- ask them for their email not only do you need this for paypal but people change their tumblr url a lot so its nice to be able to find them.
- yes, absolutely provide a sketch before you ask for payment, this will help you more than them. people often try and “add” things in later that cost extra if you skip this step (one thing i get a lot after they pay is “hey can you put my cat in there to???” or “also can you put like 90 plants in it too”). also it will give you a better idea of the cost
- after they approved the sketch and the price send them the invoice and tell them you’ll start once its paid (i ask for half payment when its over $50)
- -have them pay with paypal (SEND THEM AN INVOICE dont let anyone pay through paypal.me), have a full contract in the invoice as well, mine pretty much says “it could take up to 2 moths i can still portfolio it, feel free to sell it blah bla)
some other tips:
- if you do half payment, then show then a suuuper low quality jpeg with a huge watermark when you give them updates
- set the number of revisions you allow and be sure to outline if its okay to ask for revisions of the lineart or not (i know this will mess some people up) i only allow 3 unless the com was under $10 then i offer one
- sometimes it helps to ask them their budget before sketching or talking about a price, that way you can make them something that will take as much time as their willing to pay for, rather than everyone being confused on hourly cost.
- have a day rate!!!, rather than hourly rate. why? its easier to divide up “how many of these can i make in a day” rather than “how many half hours will this take”, if someone asks me for something that will probably take me a full day of focused work, its $100, if they want something that will only take a quarter day then its $25. easy. (my rate is mega low because i work very slowly, if you work fast you should start at $300 to $500 imo)
- dont take every commission, if you dont wanna do it, jsut dont do it, even if its not outlined in your commission guidelines !!! if you take comms you dont like you’ll get burnt out FAST.
- google drive is my best friend, its great to share finished pngs in and photoshop/aseprite files through. and its really easy to stay organized!!! i like to put a lil thank you note in the folders so i look like a cool professional B)
- please at least charge a living wage for your work. if youre doing them “just for fun” then do pay what you wants, that way youre not normalizing paying people under living standards. you will be respected for charging a living salary and get more professional commissioners that value you and your art.
im really passionate about this kinda thing because i love to see artists thrive, so feel free to ask anything else. dont forget commissions arnt the only way to make money as an artist, apply for conventions, submit your work to galleries, make merchandise, monetize your blog, use patreon, or try out youtube. i really hope this helps !!!