Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×

:iconogawaburukku: More from OgawaBurukku


Featured in Collections

Journals by mechacharibdys

Improtant journal entries by HeartandVoice


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
July 9, 2013
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
2,834 (1 today)
Favourites
14 (who?)
Comments
52
×
Hey guys, I really super didn't want to have to write a journal entry like this, but Jump USA or something must have a contest going because in the last two weeks I've had six requests to do a comic together with people I don't know. This year alone I've had twenty requests to do comics, and only about two of those requests have been legitimate commissions. The rest have been people asking if I would draw their comic for them, and I never hear back from them once I give them my commission rates. Considering I am pretty cheap, my guess is people are expecting me to do a full two months of work for next to nothing. 

No ill will toward these folks, but I am a professional and I have to admit that I'm getting a little tired of getting asked to do freebies. My guess is people who have never worked with a professional artist before don't know how to go about contacting artists and don't realize what artists charge or expect when people go out of their way to contact them. So if you stumbled onto my site and thought you'd try hitting me up for some comic work, OR if you were thinking about doing the same for another artist, allow me to jot down this list of unofficial rules for requesting comic art.



An Intro To Comicking

First of all, let me briefly describe what it's like doing comics on a regular basis. It is time consuming, it is frustrating, it is expensive, and it is not always rewarding (and I mean that in a financial sort of way).

Time - It takes me a day to draw 4-6 pages if I have nothing else I need to do, and if I am only doing pencils. If I am inking, since I work traditionally, it could take me a day to do anywhere from one to three pages, depending on the content. I will almost always go back a second day and make additional changes or enhancements that I may have missed the first day or didn't want to do because I was tired (it happens). It takes me a full day to do tones for those pages because I work traditionally for those as well, and if I'm sleepy I will always make mistakes cutting. Then I have to properly format my scans and adjust the threshold and crop accordingly, which may be fifteen minutes, and do lettering and SFX (which I usually do digitally) which can take an hour since I do them in both Japanese and English for two separate versions of the same comic (for FaLLEN, etc). On top of comic work, I usually have side projects I do for other people, I have to maintain the website, and I have a family and pets I have to take care of and see and be pleasant around.

Expenses - Screen tone, manga paper, ink, and nibs are tools I have to buy regularly in order to do FaLLEN. One set of pages of FaLLEN might cost me $20 in supplies! Even working traditionally, artists have to buy expensive tools to get the job done. In order to do digital coloring for my work, I had to buy a computer and a tablet. One job I did this year made it practically a requirement that I get a Cintiq... I won't break down the costs, but let's just say it better pay for itself by the end of the year (well, it technically already has, but whatever). If artists don't have money, they can't have tools to work with. If you are cool with just notebook paper and pencil sketches, you probably aren't looking for a professional artist to work with anyway.

Frustration - A lot of people don't like to pay for art, and I have had to fight for my paycheck before on several occasions. You never know where your next paycheck will come from, and whether it will come at all sometimes. Publishers will only accept FINISHED artwork, so there is no guarantee that work you have slaved over for three months will even pay off in the end. Sometimes a headache can mean you lose half a day of work. Most people don't take you seriously when you tell them you are "busy". You do not get a day off since your home is also your office, and people will often think you spend all day lying around playing video games and picking your nose. Pets have NO RESPECT for your artwork! Which is a shame because they are otherwise so wonderful to have around.

I do not have magical abilities to summon finished artwork! All of these things are the downside to working professionally, and time really does equal money for many artists. You will notice my gallery has very little fan art or doodle art in it-- I do not have time to doodle much, and even though I have a million ideas for fan art I'd love to do, I usually don't have time to draw things I want to draw. Thankfully, I very much enjoy working on FaLLEN, so most art for that is art I want to draw. But fan art? Requests? Unless I'm paid to do it, or unless it's for a print or for something I plan on selling, I just can't do everything, you know?

"Will You Draw My Comic Idea?"

Now we are at the part that involves the writer who needs an artist. There are some things you can do to make the process easier, and things you can do that will drive the artist in question crazy!

Choosing An Artist - You've got a story that you just know is killer stuff. It's new, it's fun, it's gonna be a hit if the right artist draws it! So what do you do? Spam a bunch of artists you've barely heard of on dA, right? No. You shouldn't do this. I get a lot of impersonal requests like this after I've posted a new illustration to a bunch of groups, and I feel like they have copy/pasted a speech about wanting to work with an artist for their comic. I am always personally offended when I notice they are not even watching me-- it makes me think just anybody will do. If you want to work with me, I hope you are watching me and legitimately enjoy my work. If you think asking any ol' person who can draw is enough of a requirement to do your comic, you are dead wrong. If you don't enjoy the artist's work, why would you think they could do your story justice? And do you know how much of a downer it is to see the person asking for your art isn't even a fan of your work? If you want to impress the artist, stroke their ego a bit. Tell them what you like about their work, what pieces specifically caught your eye, and don't be vague! "hi i like ur art" is not the high praise you might think it is.

If you do not have a large budget to work with, it might be better to find a younger artist who is still in high school or college (and getting financial aid from a parent, for example) who can afford to work on a project as a partner, maybe for the experience or just for something fun to do. Also, if you yourself are still in high school, I would recommend avoiding artists out of college all together. There may be problems finding someone who can commit to the times you can and can't, and most experienced artists don't want to take a chance on someone younger. I personally wouldn't mind as long as there was payment up front, but I have definitely worked with artists who won't have anything to do with someone younger. It is an unfortunate truth and a good thing to keep in mind if you don't have a wallet full of cash ready to give.

Payment - There isn't really an industry standard when it comes to comic pages. Publishers in Japan and America will often pay $80-$100 per page, and I know people who won't work for anything less. I have worked for places that paid $45-$60 per page, and the jobs were usually not worth it in the end.

I personally charge $45 per comic page for a black and white one-shot. If I'm not working for a publisher or established company, I will expect payment up front.  If the comic is especially short and doesn't require much for backgrounds, I might be willing to lower my prices, but I still have to eat and pay rent, you know? I can't go much lower than I already do. I have had people call me an idiot for my prices... they are quite right, I am an idiot. But until I have more titles under my belt, more credentials, etc, I will likely keep my prices at the bare minimum they are at now. Despite my prices being very cheap, many people act very startled when I tell them what I expect. To me, that is as if they are saying "Wow, you're not THAT good." At sub-standard prices? Makes me wonder, again, why they are even asking me to illustrate their comic story.

I worked with a guy who did custom illustrations and commissions and had done them for decades. He worked traditionally, was quite good, and he called me a moron when I told him how much I sold my prints for. Suffice it to say he sold his for much higher, but he'd earned the right because he was a professional and he was damn good. One day a non-artist asked him to do a movie poster. They had worked together on other projects, but this was a personal request. The non-artist was flabbergasted when the artist gave him his prices. "I thought, since you know me, you'd do it for free!" When I heard this story from the non-artist, all I could think of was "Well... duh? Of course he wants money, this is his job." I might do something for free for my closest friends or my parents, or for someone who has done a lot for me, but even then these freebies are probably not going to see as many hours as the stuff I do for publishers or comic events. But when a total stranger asks me to dedicate a few months to his or her pet project, you better believe I'm going to ask for payment.

Contests And Royalties - "Hey, would you do this project for me? I can't pay you upfront, but if we win/if we're a success, you can get paid later!" I almost NEVER accept royalties, and I have only ever once entered a comic contest. Oh sure, if you make it big you make it BIG. But that's a pretty big IF there, and I can't really afford to take risks. And I mean that-- I can't dedicate a few months to a project that isn't a guarantee paycheck. Those few months could have been spent MAKING MONEY... and I sure do like eating, and having electricity. If you guys think I'm being a cheapskate, uh, my annual earnings would make you laugh. I support myself with my art, but the support beams are pretty shaky sometimes. Most artists who are working independently are going to be like this. So even if you believe in your game or comic or whatever it is, you don't want to test an artist's faith!

Contests are pretty crappy. I submitted an entry to a contest Weekly Jump had in the spring of 2011-- you might recall there was a big ol' earthquake around that time. It was a very hard time for me and the whole country, but I was dead certain my silly little comic would place. It was the best art I'd done at that point, and I made the comic with Jump in mind. But one of the hardest things I'd done that year was sending the comic to Jump-- they wanted the original manuscript, not a copy. They wanted my original pages! I enclosed an a stamped envelope in the hopes they would send my work back to me... they did not, and I was afraid they would not because the magazine didn't say they would. I even went to the publisher personally and asked for it. My guess is it had been thrown out with all the rejects-- yes, I did not win, and now I was unable to take the comic I had spent months on to any other magazine. It was a crapshoot... I believe that's the technical term. If I want to send my work to a publisher, I do it directly. I live in Japan, so for me there isn't a point to blindly sending away my originals to possibly never see the light of day. I don't mind doing contest entries IF I get paid-- if the comic happens to win, the author can get a much larger cut of the prize money. But I do both writing and drawing, and I can tell you the workload is NOT the same. It's not an equal project-- oh sure, someone is bound to disagree, but if I'm writing something it may only take me a day to write a twenty-page script. Maybe two days. Even if it took me a week, that's still not the time it's going to take me to draw it! Writing also doesn't require expensive art supplies... I'm sorry, I just won't give in to the argument that the workload is equal. I have a great amount of respect for writers, but I have experience in both areas and no contest, drawing takes more time than writing.

Royalties sound great, but it's often a trick most experienced artists know to avoid. What if a project stops right in the middle of production, and it never even makes it to the final stages? If you were working on a royalties-only payment agreement, you are not going to be happy to see your efforts go to waste. I have been burned in the past by the royalties offer by a legitimate company, even, so when someone who has nothing to their professional name comes to me with an offer to get paid through royalties, I'm afraid I'm always going to be more than a little hesitant to listen to the writer's ideas.

But It Never Hurts To Ask, Right? - Well, no. But if you want to ask an artist to draw your comic and you have no intentions of paying them what they deserve for their hard work, their skills, their time, and cost of their supplies... then you are not a professional, you are a hobbyist, and you need to work with other hobbyists. Otherwise, you are just wasting a very busy artist's time.



I hope this made it easier for non-artists to understand where artists are coming from and what they expect when they enter into negotiations. I am always happy to discuss serious job inquiries, but I'd appreciate it if people who can't afford to pay me for my services would abstain from sending me requests, and I hope if you read this (rather lengthy) explanation you can respect my reasons for not wanting to jump on board. Even if I love the project and think it's top-notch writing, I cannot afford to take on another person's pet project for free. But I wish you well and I hope you can find someone as passionate about your work as you are who has a bit more financial leeway than I do for side projects!
 


FaLLEN - Ogawa Burukku's Ongoing Webcomic



ogawaburukku.com/fallen




:star:If You Like FaLLEN, Please Vote For It Or Add It To Your Favorites At The Sites Below!
 




Commissions Status (Updates: 7/10/2013)


currently not accepting commissions



Add a Comment:
 
:iconsamano:
samano Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
still doing requests?
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
I never do requests, only commissions.
Reply
:iconsamano:
samano Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
thank-you
Reply
:iconavirextin:
avirextin Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm actually aware of the contest going on and I entered, destined to fail because I'm going against pros like you. (Plus I lack important materials like screen tones, which are too expensive for me.) But trying makes me feel good, I guess.

I've yet to ever get paid for art. If some one asks for something, I kinda just do it, and it makes me feel terrible inside. I don't ask for payment because I'm not a professional, and I can't see myself buying artwork like mine. And I don't like saying no because it makes me feel like a jerk.

I mean, just yesterday someone on a fiction site asked me to draw something (very abrupt and upfront) and I begrudgingly asked what I may get in return and he said he had nothing to give me. I then proceeded to to ask if he wanted it digital or traditional. xD

Any advice for idiots like me? The opposite side of the spectrum?
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well, if you don't feel up for going pro and asking for payment, you might make a habit of saying you only do trades. That way you don't have to ask for money, but you won't be doing art for nothing, either. Plus, you might get something nice out of the deal :D

I did trades when I was younger because I didn't think I could sell my art, but when there got to be a demand I couldn't handle I had to switch to doing commissions only. I got some really amazing art and made a lot of cool friends through the trade network, though, so sometimes I wish I could do that again!

That's about all I can think of, at least until you can get the courage to say "gimme moneh!" It's not easy at first, heh, no doubt about it.
Reply
:iconavirextin:
avirextin Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, you're the first person to give me legitimate advice., and sound advice at that. Thanks. :D

I can do trades. Sounds fun.
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Professional General Artist
Trades are fun! If I was less busy I'd still do them ^^  Good luck!
Reply
:iconavirextin:
avirextin Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks a bunch.
Reply
:iconarnaldomachado:
arnaldomachado Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Hi, that is exactly what I have been doing for the last week - looking for artists I mean. At least I also posted in the forum and I AM offering payment. XD. I don't pester people if they say they are closed for commissions though - ;)

Thanks for the llama.


Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
As long as you aren't expecting freebies, it's all good! Haha
Reply
:iconarnaldomachado:
arnaldomachado Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Student Digital Artist
You know what gets to me though? Some people who ask for requests. At the moment I do accept requests understanding they are free and all, but at least say "Thank you", right?

Some people... Makes me want to udno the request - XD
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
People who ask for requests, who get free art, and DON'T SAY THANK YOU!? Oh man, they are the worst. I had one person who got some free art from me years ago, and I think all they said was "Thanks." Like I had held the door open for them or something. I was thinking, "Oh man, don't look too happy or anything." 

If people didn't even say thank you then yeah, I would want to undo it too! But I think MOST people are really happy to get something, so that hasn't been much of a problem for me lately (that and I rarely do any gift art just out of lack of time!).
Reply
:iconarnaldomachado:
arnaldomachado Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Haha - the hlding the door analogy was perfect. I will not keep you any longer, I can only imagine how busy you are. Nice chatting with you (honored). Look forward to seeing more of you work!
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks so much! And I love to chat, don't worry about it :D (though I DO need to get back to working on the title page for Ch. 4 of FaLLEN, haha)
Reply
:iconmonkeynohito:
monkeynohito Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
"We could provide a Wal-Mart gift card if the artist truly needs it or asks for payment." :3
Reply
:iconmonkeynohito:
monkeynohito Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
Here's a twitter account I caught a link to the other day dedicated to just these sorts of people: twitter.com/forexposure_txt Pretty funny, pretty scary, lol.

Society really doesn't value art these days and I think these attitudes are a reflection of that. People get straight up offended by the idea of an artist wanting to get paid.
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
Oh my god, that twitter account gave me quite a few good chuckles! My guess is that a lot of these people are younger and just don't understand paying for services. The internet has really numbed the economic senses when it comes to movies, music, and comics I think since so much of it is free. People think "I don't get it, I can read webcomics and watch streamloaded movies for free, why would I pay money for what I can usually get for free?" I remember ten years ago it was a LOT easier to get well-paying commission work. Times are a changin'.


Reply
:iconartist-theocclusion:
Artist-TheOcclusion Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I'm a member of some professional animation groups on facebook and I see these kind of posts all the time, you are not alone and it almost calls for a website that explains just that to refer people to whenever they think artists snap their fingers and magic happens at no cost.
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
They ask for free animation? Oh geez...
Reply
:iconartist-theocclusion:
Artist-TheOcclusion Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I'm not talking only about animation of course, since the field is interlaced with 3d,illustration and storyboards.

And yes people sometimes come over there with : 'Make me a character, make me an illustration cover, ill give you credit and it will make you famous'
or think that building an animatable 3d character(modelling+rigging+texturing+blendshapes) should be really cheap even though it can easily take a week worth of work just to prepare it for animation.

There are also people who don't give proper pay for the work after it is done despite what was agreed upon and so on since many animators are freelancers...

They formed a union for Animators here to try to give legal advice/representation and raise awareness to issues, it costs around 100$ a year to join the union.
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
I have heard the "you'll get credit, so why do you need payment?" thing before. Ugh.
Reply
:iconartist-theocclusion:
Artist-TheOcclusion Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I think people come with that expectation due to the many contest people are willing to put time and effort into just to get exposure, so they think, hey maybe this guy would be willing to do this for the same reasons.

and then there a whole other story of people who expect drafts or fixes to come for free which is also part of how some freelancers end up having to run after the money.
Reply
:icon80yearoldcatlady:
80yearoldcatlady Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I am nowhere near close to a professional, and have never sold any art but I completely understand, it hurts when people treat your art as though you are lucky to even receive their attention. I've had to resist the urge to slap a bitch or two.
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Ahaha XD What's funny is when I get an insulting compliment. Like "Wow, I love your work-- you can't draw feet very well but I like the rest of your work!" and I'm like "Oh, uh, thanks?" I've probably given a few insulting compliments like that in the past before, and I honestly don't know why anyone, my past self included, thinks it's okay. Also, people tend to tell me "good luck" when I tell them my prices, and I have no idea if they are being sarcastic or not. People are silly.
Reply
:iconyuushin7:
Yuushin7 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
I'll definitely bookmark this in case I start getting requests like this xD
Great article! About time someone covers this -,- :lol:
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Ooh, you probably will get requests like these at some point, your work is so good and all!
Reply
:icongalacticpink:
galacticpink Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really like the part about writing =/= drawing. I do both as well and well... okay I'm sure someone out there manages to be the exception and takes much longer with art than writing, but... It's the reason I don't like entering OCTs that allow both. I sure as hell ain't looking down on either art form, its just that writing AS A GENERAL RULE tends to go faster at least for me and apparently for you too. I don't have my deadline rush panic hit me with writing the way it does with art. Admittedly I'm not the world's fastest artist (I'm no longer the world's slowest artist anymore, either, mind you) it's just...

Like the whole journal and if I ever encounter this problem I may just throw this link at them. Gosh I hope I'm good/successful enough one day to have this problem. XDD But the part about writing vs drawing really stuck out to me because it's a pet peeve of mine and many people accuse you of being 'jealous' or 'hating writing' or something similar when you try to make that point ;---;

I also like how polite you are in it. Because some artists, probably at their wits end with people doing this kind of thing, will get really RUDE about it. And it's like it's not that I don't understand patience being worn out, but at the same time...

Anyways, great post! Personally I think you should make a deviation out of it I'd love to suggest it for a DD and I don't think you can with journals? XD
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
I think you can favorite journals now, so maybe DDs will come later. I don't need a DD for this (I'd rather get a DD for my comic pages or something... maybe someday XD) but spreading the word to anyone who doesn't already know this stuff isn't a bad idea.

Ah, I've been polite to the point that it caused me problems. There was a guy a year ago who wanted to work with me, and I kept telling him I don't take on partnerships and such, and he insisted that once I read his amazing work he'd be able to change my mind. So I thought I'd be nice and give the guy a chance, knowing I'd probably not be interested since at the time I was preparing to start FaLLEN. He got on Skype with me and sent me about three or four different ideas, and I tried to be nice and tell him what was good about them, and before he'd sent me a novel he'd been working on that was completely bizarre in that he'd said he was a published author but the writing was very... simplistic. I also gathered he was lying about his age, which is why I was trying to be encouraging and finding the good in his work. But when I told him my prices, he was totally baffled at why I didn't want to work with him and his brilliant stories, and accused me of leading him around in circles even though I'd declined his request multiple times and always maintained that I was probably NOT going to work with anyone for free ever. He started insulting me, my work, telling me he was a much better writer than I was and that my art wasn't really THAT good, etc. Called me names... I wasn't insulted by his behavior, just annoyed that he mistook my kindness for something else, and in the end when he accused me of stealing his ideas I told him something not nice, and I regretted it after that. So these days I just won't even let it go that far unless the other is fine with my price list.
Reply
:iconmsmissy87:
MsMissy87 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Professional General Artist
Darn, was just going to ask you to take a stab at drawing a comic that i have all thought up in my head, and send you telepathic waves. and we could split the profit!! :p

hahahahaha i really liked reading this
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Oh man XD hahaha
Reply
:iconmsmissy87:
MsMissy87 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
XD i love the project ads where there's no compensation at all, and the people are super picky with the art quality and style.. like really...? you can be picky with what you are asking and offering nothing? id understand the want to have a certain style but still
Reply
:iconcybervideo:
cybervideo Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You may not have wanted to write this, but at the same time I believe that this was quite the necessary "evil" to get out there. At the very least this way no one can say "well you didn't specifically state..." but here it is now. At the very least it'll catch the attention of those who are possibly worth your time (ie. they'd actually look for it instead of being lazy).
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
I'm sure in a few months when this is off my front page I'll have to deal with other requests, but I can at least lead them to my guide if I feel they are looking for freebies.
Reply
:iconcybervideo:
cybervideo Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I guess you could always permalink it near the bottom with your other links.
Reply
:iconheartandvoice:
HeartandVoice Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you for posting this, all of this is very good to know. I'm not a writer, I'm a manga artist in training (if thats the best way to put it) but its good to know what lies ahead if I ever make it into the industry.
And i know what contest you're talking about, just recently JUMP announced a world wide one-shot contest. I'm currently in the middle of the storyboards for my entry, chances are pretty low of me making it but hey, still gonna go for it. Luckily all the entries are sent over the internet so i wont have to worry about my original draft being taken forever.
Anyways, I'm sorry so many people bombarded you with all of these ridiculous requests, but thank you for posting this! It was really good advice!
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
OH, okay. Man, it was just like all at once I had these requests... that makes sense. That's nice that they only require digital copies, though! Good luck with your submission :D
Reply
:iconheartandvoice:
HeartandVoice Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Yeah sorry about that, I can't even imagine how annoying it must have been ^^;
Thanks! :D
Reply
:icontadpole7:
Tadpole7 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013
Sounds like good advice hard won.

I'm a hobbyist comic artist ,but having done it, I'm more than willing to offer money when I need artistic or editorial help. Artist's (and editors) spend a lot of time and personal resources just getting good enough to get paid but very few people outside of the profession seem to realize what material+ time costs are involved. At minimum wage I'd have to pay myself $70-$100 a page (I'm slow) . $45 a page is cheap ( tempting ) but more than most people seem to be willing to shell out.


Freebies ... Only if I offer first, or you're blood kin and I owe you some familial debt, or I need to hone a technique/style and working on your project will develop that ( aka home work) ... Art is my hobby so I can indulge but I find it very rude when I see people asking for free art when the artist has a commission page front and center.

I like contests and have fronted money for a few. But I think for the most part it's for hobbyists and amateurs. It's a lottery ticket that usually doesn't pay out unless your just having fun with it. Any contest where you have to part with the originals... even as a hobbyist that makes me cringe.

I enjoy perusing your posts they're often quite interesting.
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
What with the internet and all, people are really used to seeing art for free and art in general is slowly losing its value and artists have to compete with others who will do art for next to nothing. It doesn't surprise me that people don't really know any better these days, but that makes it worse for artists who work independently (especially for anime-inspired artists, since our market is generally going to be younger and penniless... haha). What sucks is when the big companies start treating their freelance talent this way...

I usually only enter contests if it's on Pixiv or someplace that showcases the artwork and will still get me some good traffic whether I win or not. I will sometimes enter contests not so much to win, but for that extra exposure. I used to hold art contests (and probably will again next year) for my FaLLEN characters and I put all entries up on my page, on my dA page, and give cash prizes to the winners and will put some of their art in books and such. I try to give people exposure since that is the hardest thing you can get these days DX
Reply
:iconblueshoney:
blueshoney Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013
This is a nice little guide for people who might need to contact an artist for this sort of thing. I never have since I have no cashola to offer up and I'd only attempt it if I could offer money lol. I'd probably only ask to go in on something together with someone if it was a friend of mine and we both acknowledged the risk that we might not make money off it, and even then my friend's paid stuff would come first and our attempt at being ultra-famous comic writers would come second. Trying to get a stranger to do that just seems bizarre to me though. Or even just an acquaintance, I guess. I'd only attempt this with someone who was a really close friend that I wrote with often or something. And even then I'd hesitate unless they were gung ho about it. (Funny story, chrome wanted to turn "gung ho" into "bunghole" when I accidentally made it one word.) Time is money and money means not dying of starvation and all that.

I did have an incident when an artist came up to me asking for money when I was talking to a friend of mine about ideas. That was unexpected and a little strange. I wasn't even being specific about what I was doing or, you know, talking to him.
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
I think collaborations like that are usually pretty good, too. If the author wants to work with an artist but doesn't want to pay them, the only other real option is to go on a forum and try to find an artist who can't write and is actively seeking a partner-- there are people like that, but I think there are more writers than artists, which is all the more reason writers should be willing to help support the artist financially OR stick to forums with artists looking for writers, where the talent pool might be a little shallower.

I laughed at the bunghole correction. And what a weird incident with that artist... someone had a little misunderstanding, haha.
Reply
:iconcharming-egotist:
Charming-Egotist Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013
Just recently, actually, a friend approached me and asked how I go about commissioning artists, since she knows I've been acquiring art for some characters in a story. I was surprised to find out after a bit that she didn't realize that I'd been paying for the artwork I had been getting, and the reason that she was so curious was because her boyfriend is in the market to make a children's book but he couldn't agree with an artist he had been talking to about the cost - rather, he couldn't quite understand why the artist was not willing to work for a partnership instead of an actual commission. I'm not trying to be too critical of him, either, because this just seems to happen a lot - even one of the quickest professional artists I've ever watched takes a long time just for uncolored sketches, and her turnaround time is one of the quickest I've ever seen, so it's not as if being talented has anything to do with how easily and quickly something can be put together. It's apples and oranges, I know, but as someone who love writing, I've always been *proud* of the fact that I can agonize over getting a line of dialogue done for an entire afternoon or not settle on a person's name for a week. People just seem to think that because someone has a bit of skill in an area that it becomes easy or noncommittal, and that bothers me.

I dunno, what you said just resounded a lot with what I replied to her with, and as someone who edits for people and writes personally, I mean yeah - what we need is a service, and we should have to pay for those. Granted, I'll be one to talk about how tough it would be to try and exist solely as a writer and that a writer may not be in demand as a good artist in the sort of circles I frequent, but that's rarely really the case around here or when it comes to stuff like these contests - what happens is an aspiring writer looking to break into authorship needs the help of a trade artist, meaning that while they have some sort of existing living situation that doesn't hinge on their writing, the artist kind of needs their fees to pay the bills. I mean, one huge advantage I get from being on the writing-side is that no matter what I'm doing, I tend to have stories on the mind or I'm internally working out scenes or dialogue; I can lay down a tiny bit of framework as a result, whereas an artist can plan stuff out, sure, but I'd think that paint actually needs to hit canvas, so to speak, so it's harder for them to juggle responsibilities. I'm not saying that it's easier to write a *good* story, since doing anything right is going to take some struggle, just that in the sort of situations you mentioned, yeah, your would-be clients don't seem to recognize this.

When it comes to making stuff for contests or a potential book, there's zero security for anyone, writer or artist, so really the need for a financial base should be easy to understand. The contest entry bit sounds especially-risky, since it just gets put out there or thrown away, so it seems harder to treat as part of a portfolio than even an unsuccessful graphic novel or something of the like. I've worked a lot with editors, general artists, and other writers, and I've seen a lot of good work get thrown away or stolen, but losing all of the art, type-setting, panel layout, etc, of a comic just sounds terrible.

I mean, even with the artists I deal with, I have to mention money first for an entirely different reason, but nonetheless to let them know that I absolutely do not intend to undervalue their service. As a result of being private by nature and then having deal with personally and also witnessed plagiarism and artistic theft, I always end up asking people I'm looking to hire if they don't mind dealing in private commissions, and if it's not already mentioned on their profile, I offer them their commercial rate purely if they keep the artwork off of the internet, because I'm basically asking them not to add something that they put time and effort into to their portfolio - at that point, I'm basically trying to own the piece until I'm ready to let it go.

Quite frankly, because I've not really been present on DA until making a new account, I never really have considered free requests as for being something meant for anyone other than an artist's existing watchers, since they'd be the ones see the journal post announcing that requests were available. Assuming something like that is pretty...presumptuous.

...and I'll stop rambling now. o.o;;
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
The comic I'm currently working on, FaLLEN, actually existed as a novel first. I used to work at an office that didn't have a whole lot for me to do usually, but they wanted me to look busy, so I would work on my novel when I was busy. I also carry an iPad with me, and before that a pen and notebook, so I could jot down ideas on the fly if something came to me. Until really really recently, I always preferred writing to drawing, since I like to multitask and writing is so much more relaxing. It's also a hundred times easier to fix mistakes and rework stuff when it's something written as opposed to something drawn. I love writing, but I think the only times when the writing takes more time than the art is when it's a light novel or something, and the artwork is supplementary and not the main focus. I will argue that in comics it IS the main focus, since you can have a comic without words but you cannot have a comic without pictures. But like I said, I totally respect a good writer and their work, and I have always been a bigger fan of comics with great writing over comics with great art (all the better if there is both).

Man, good for you. I will actually charge extra if someone wants me to draw something but doesn't want me to put it in my portfolio and online galleries (or if they ask me to draw something I CAN'T post, like something a little to risqué or whatever). It's really nice to see someone who values the work their artists do and can see where they are coming from. I wish more of my would-be clients were like you!

Rambling is good ^^
Reply
:iconcharming-egotist:
Charming-Egotist Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013
...oh damn, this was supposed to be a reply to my initial post below, sorry! >___<
Reply
:iconjoshwolf999:
joshwolf999 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist
I need to save this for a reference later.
Reply
:iconmllebienvenu:
mllebienvenu Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013
Same here. Nice article.
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Professional General Artist
:D
Reply
:icontriaelf9:
TriaElf9 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh yes, yes and YES >_< I think this also applies to people asking for pictures as well, and they seem surprised that I don't do requests. I've gotten a few people being like "I have this comic I want to work on with you" which is always awkward b/c I don't want to be rude, but I have my own stuff I need to do. The most frustrating is when people blindly try to recruit me to their "group", and when I can see that they're totally inexperienced and know nothing about the business and decline, they verbally harass and abuse me and ask me where my published works are (thus, proving they didn't actually look into my work at all, they just blindly contacted me). And of course, b/c I disagreed with them, they block me b/c heaven forbid they get a taste of reality.
I didn't know all that info about page prices though, but that's really good to know, thanks! ^_^
Reply
:iconogawaburukku:
OgawaBurukku Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Professional General Artist
I don't feel quite the same about regular illustrations, since they don't take as much time as comics do (but this guide can certainly apply to all kinds of art work, haha). I hate having to say from the get-go "I'll draw for you if you have money" but... you know how it is. Like you said, people will take that kind of stuff personally and I think get offended that you don't want to draw their brilliant idea or awesome OC. It's not really about that... I've turned down pretty good ideas before simply out of principle.
Reply
:icontriaelf9:
TriaElf9 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh yeah, for sure. I think the issue is mostly that people don't get the time that goes into art and also that it's a business for some people ^_^;;
Reply
Add a Comment: