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How much for commissions?


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I’ve got many people asking me now. It seems stupid to not take them. But I have no idea how to price, because I’m drawing in an autistic hyper focused state for myself; sometimes through the night (14 hours straight last night). Which is fine when it’s up to me, but obviously not ideal when I’m feeling under pressure. 
 

Do you just charge for the time spent? Because I made loads of mistakes on my last one that I had to go back and redo, and am still trying to formulate a foolproof style I can bash out. 


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I’ve heard to charge £10 per hour. But this was 17 hours of work. No one is gonna pay that, are they. Do I estimate how many hours I spent fucking up and deduct it? It was still over 10 hours.

This piece is now in the public domain though. So why would people pay when I’m doing pictures anyway, and they can just right click and save the image?

 

 

I think I’m having issues because I don’t feel I’m worth anything, and feel like my art is a fluke every time. It’s relief it comes out good. I never know that it will. And how could you ever charge someone money for a happy accident you had no idea if you’d accomplish?

 

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I think you underestimate what people will pay for stuff they really like!

 

I'm constantly amazed at how much disposable income people still have in these days of pandemic and chaos, but they will pay it. I just got paid for painting four miniatures, and they cost the client around £300. I mean, I think that's bonkers, but for the hours I put in, it's absolutely fair and right.

 

The worst thing you can do as an artist is undervalue your time - £10 per hour is an absolute minimum you should be asking for. What you'll certainly find happening is that the more you do similar things, the easier and more productive you tend to be, so possibly the stuff you become 'known' for will be the stuff you can do much quicker, and thus make any longer projects be viable because you've claimed the time back from those regular ones!

 

It's a delicate balancing act, for sure! Just don't undersell yourself. It's really, really hard to go up in prices once people become accustomed to original (and too low) estimates!

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I wouldn't worry about feeling the need to go back and change things, or about needing to redo things. Your mistakes and their corrections are still part of your process in producing the final piece. You might not have nailed your style and your process, which will come with experience, but consider that those who have experience are going to price themselves accordingly.

 

 

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9 hours ago, NexivRed said:

I’ve got many people asking me now. It seems stupid to not take them. But I have no idea how to price, because I’m drawing in an autistic hyper focused state for myself; sometimes through the night (14 hours straight last night). Which is fine when it’s up to me, but obviously not ideal when I’m feeling under pressure. 
 

Do you just charge for the time spent? Because I made loads of mistakes on my last one that I had to go back and redo, and am still trying to formulate a foolproof style I can bash out. 


6AA7236A-B0B4-40EC-8E17-3948D887657A.thumb.jpeg.b2aec8df7e5d79f2c1569727befd3995.jpeg
 

I’ve heard to charge £10 per hour. But this was 17 hours of work. No one is gonna pay that, are they. Do I estimate how many hours I spent fucking up and deduct it? It was still over 10 hours.

This piece is now in the public domain though. So why would people pay when I’m doing pictures anyway, and they can just right click and save the image?

 

 

I think I’m having issues because I don’t feel I’m worth anything, and feel like my art is a fluke every time. It’s relief it comes out good. I never know that it will. And how could you ever charge someone money for a happy accident you had no idea if you’d accomplish?

 

 

Whatever you charge take half up front. People are cunts.

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My ex used to struggle with this when she was selling decorative cakes. She'd spend days on some of them, but when people want a birthday cake they'll not feel like spending over £50. Wedding cakes were slightly better, in that people expect to pay a lot for them and so she'd make her hours back. In the end it just didn't pay consistently enough for her to make a living from it.

 

She's making my daughter an 18th birthday cake and so far estimates it's cost her about £100 for the ingredients and decorations alone.

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Thanks all. Some really good advice. 
 

@JoeKyes, I am finding I’m getting better at this particular style and bashing certain parts of it out much easier. Some, I just haven’t conjured up the method to get it down yet. I need to look at some work by other people as see how they tackle my problem areas I think. Maybe even approach them and ask them. A lot of other gecko breeders do art. There’s a crossover. 
 

My worry is I’ll give the price based on hours, and people will be like, “I’d rather you spend about 5 hours on it and it wasn’t as perfect”. Which will be impossible for me to create and be happy with. 
So I am trying to maybe find a few styles to fit certain price brackets.
 

My line arts in bright colours are fun and fairly simple. Plus, they look awesome when put through an AI editing program. 
 

 

Quick and cheerful. The gecko’s position for interesting composition is everything for these. And dalmations come out great.
I’d probably be happy with fifteen quid a gecko for these. I’ll have to time myself doing one. 
They look nice in quartets. They’d be great as stickers or posters rather than online logos. 
 

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Spoiler

I fucking love this website lol  

 

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6 hours ago, JoeK said:

I think you underestimate what people will pay for stuff they really like!


Just wanted to say that this is really where I struggle. Because I would never pay for anything remotely creative, as I’d always be like “I can make something like that”. 
Even stuff like furniture; I’ve upcycled loads of stuff. Made the plainest of things unique. And I create “household mess solutions” out of broken bits or second hand things and hate paying for something from a shop. Even a few quid. I nearly always buy second hand cos I hate the value lost when you buy new. 
 

Whenever I look at anything I like, my first thought is “how can I do that cheaper?” So paying top dollar for a painting is such a foreign idea. Wish I could get into the head of someone who can’t do it. 

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You make fuck all on RedBubble and Tee Public and the like. The hardest part is getting yourself out there. I've been struggling with this for years now. It's nice if you can gain traction, but the share they give to the artist is pitiful.

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Okay. Maybe i’ll give commissions a go. Seems stupid not to make money from something I’m doing of it will also help my “brand”.

I’m not just a gecko breeder. I’m also making products and building a website that can be used by the community. And right now there’s a crested gecko morph selling for more than $21,000 per animal. So it’s a community that has money, and being “someone” in it would be really something. It’d mean a lot to me.

 

I’ve had someone ask me to do a logo for their business. If I can get attention by taking on work like that then it’s more people who might use the website and buy the products. 

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I wouldn’t charge by the hour, as you say people will ask for less and even if they’re happy with it you won’t be and they’ll be a bit of work out there with your name on it.

 

But it is a good guide for coming up with a price. A tenner an hour is an absolute minimum. 
 

You could decide that you’re only going to charge ten hours regardless of if it’s taken you 15 because you're learning. Or if it then only takes me 5 hours I’ll still charge £100 because that’s what a finished piece of my work of this size, complexity and format costs

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