Really low prices make me less likely to commission an artist.
Me: I’m not an artist. I do commission artists - I spend around $300-600 a month on digital art commissions.
I sometimes find an artist who has really impressive work, or a unique style, or something else that makes me think “I should commission this person.”. Then I look at their prices and they are crazily low. As in less than 20 dollars for a colour full body character.
And I don’t commission them. Because I can’t pay prices that low and feel good about myself for doing it.
I know it takes hours to draw even one character. Plus the time it takes to study the brief, look at the references, communicate with me, etc etc. No way are they making even minimum wage this way, let alone a living wage.
I commission art because it’s fun. It’s my hobby. If I’m knowingly paying someone slave wages to support my hobby, it isn’t fun.
To artists who undercharge: Please reconsider. I’ve heard many reasons why you decide to do this (see below). But if you price your work like you don’t respect it, you won’t get clients who will respect you or your work either. You charge peanuts, you get monkeys.
To commissioners who push for these prices: Have some respect. Not just for the artists, but for the other commissioners out there. You’re giving us all a bad name. If you can’t afford decent prices, don’t be mean about it. Save up, or find some other hobby. Or hey, learn to draw.
Comments I get whenever I say the above:
- "No-one will buy commissions from me at decent prices." - That’s a pity. But you realise by underpricing like this you are making your problem worse, by contributing to the “art should be dirt cheap” mindset that seems to exist in dA and other places? (okay mostly dA, that place is a cesspit) Besides, there are other things you can do than keep lowering prices. There’s tons of advice in dA:
'Official' Pricing Your Commissions or Artwork Thread
Finding Freelance work: pricing and self doubt!
And other places:
How to get commissions: A guide
Getting the Most Out of Commissions
If none of the above helps you… maybe you need to reconsider if you are at the right stage in your development to be offering commissions. Sorry.
- "I’m only doing this for fun, I don’t care about the money." - Good for you. But there are others that are trying to make a living doing this. Have some consideration for them, yes?
- "It’s the clients pushing my prices down." - Gah. Then your clients are awful people who don’t respect you. It’s a trap though - you charge low prices, you get cheap clients. There’s only one way out of that trap.
- (Commissioner says) “But I want this drawn and I can’t afford higher prices.” - I want to live in an exact replica of Wayne Manor, but I can’t afford that. So, um, I don’t. Simplify your idea, or don’t commission it until you can afford to do so without ripping off the artist.
- (Commissioner says) “By paying less per artist I can support more artists.” - No. Just… no. You are not supporting artists, you are exploiting them. Paying less per artists lets you exploit more artists.
- "Just tip the artist." - I have done that, but it sends the wrong message. Tipping isn’t the norm in this game, so when I tip artists assume it’s because they did an extra-awesome job, when in fact I’m tipping them because they did their normal-awesome job. Plus if an artist is charging one-third or one-quarter what they should be, do I tip them 300%?
(Image by me. Not an artist, remember? The price list is made up, but based on real lists I’ve seen recently.)
submitted by -badgermushroom
With me looking to revamp my price list and TOS, as well as having a few friends in the past asking me for help in pricing accordingly for commission, I thought I would reblog this lovely post.
Far too often do I see and hear about wonderful artists underselling themselves because they’re afraid they’re not good enough to charge more, or that no one will hire them if they’re too expensive :<
Don’t shoot yourselves in the foot guys, don’t make yourself a doormat because you deserve better.
Okay whoa. Whoa whoa stop that train of thought RIGHT THERE.
What the actual fricker fracks.
You think by NOT buying art from artists because they under charge, that you are HELPING them?
How in the heck is that going to send them any sort of positive message??
Deciding to pass an artist up because they don’t ask enough is just turning a blind cheek! I agree far too many artists under price their work, but this just isn’t the answer! /scoffs
Why not commission them, and pay what you think they are worth? A kind ‘I think you are severely under-pricing your work, and that this price is far more accurate. Please reconsider your prices! You deserve far more!’ would be a million times more effective! By doing this, you will gently encourage the artist in an extremely positive manner. In fact, I think more buyers should do this, should they be able to afford it!
If your excuse is something so silly as ‘Well they are ruining the market for other artists, so I am deciding not to support them in this manner’ well also what the heck??? Every artist is unique, having art from one is NOT the same as having art from another. Competition is fierce, but boycotting is just NOT the answer in such a world.
So I ask, please reconsider YOUR decision to forgo artists who under price. What they need isn’t harsh shoving of a vague and confusing manner, but gentle embraces and pushes toward the right direction!!!
This SO much!
A lot of people new the the commission scene have NO IDEA what to charge to start with. I mean yeah they want to make some money like anybody else with nice high prices, but at the same time they don’t want people to pass them up cause of the prices.
They look around and compare themselves to others and think they are nowhere as good so they under charge.
You know what I do it I see a cheaper artist? I jump on the chance to get a freaking commission!
You know what else I do that NOBODY else has ever done for me? I tip them! If you feel like you should pay them more and you are willing to, just do it! Every time I tip the artist is blown away and I get a millions thanks and I tell them they deserve it. It’s a HUGE confidence booster for them. I’d have to say that this is better than just completely skipping them cause they don’t charge enough. That is so asinine I cant even handle it.
Don’t punish artists that don’t feel confident enough to charge more cause they WILL NOT take it the right way. All they will do if they can’t get any commission at those prices is -
A.) Think nobody even likes their artwork and quit
b.) Think their prices are TOO high and most likely try to make adjustments.
Don’t think they are trying to ruin the market and making it a personal matter. If people like your style and want to pay the prices they will do it. If a person is willing to completely drop you out of consideration because they found somebody cheaper they most likely weren’t much into your style anyway. If people find a cheaper person and like the style they will get it.
Point being if you see an artist with commissions and you like them commission them! If the prices are too low tip them.
If the prices are too high idk. save up.