Fairly pricing commissions and choosing the best ad?

  • I've been thinking that in between projects I'd like to try and offer my work for private commissions for some extra income and to help expand my portfolio. I also thought it would be a great way to keep practicing whilst making money rather than painting random characters that might not have much purpose at this time.

    I've come up with 4 illustrations that I think best illustrates my style and what would be achievable within the pricing I am thinking. If I can only choose 1 design to print off and leave at a shop or someplace, which do you think would be most appealing?

    I am thinking that a fair price would be about $100 for a single commission of someone's son or daughter (or an additional $60 for an additional subject) and they can choose to dress them or pose them as a superhero or whatever they are interested in. I think for a single subject I could keep it within 4 hours and as I own my own high quality printer I can keep printing costs relatively low for a single print. Do you think $100 is a reasonable price? I figure that as long as it doesn't take too long and I can use it in my portfolio then it would be fair on both sides.

    Commission Ad-04-04.jpg

  • @Gary-Wilkinson I don't know about pricing but for the quality of your work I'd say $100 is reasonable. Also I think the blue one with the boat may come in price wise a little higher -it just feels like there is more design, environment and prop thought in it than the others -I would put that at a higher price range -how much I don't know. Do others normally include the JPEG file in the original price? Later they can print out and send it out to others? Is that allowed? I'm curious.

    I think it's a great idea though and very versatile especially the single kid options!

  • I think the boat illustration is by far the strongest of them all. Make sure your charging enough. Maybe charge one peice for a single character and more for additional scenic and character options. I am in the process of doing same thing.

  • Pro

    @Gary-Wilkinson Depends how long it would take you to do. Your style is painterly and seems like it would take a long time, so my instinct is $100 is on the low side. If it takes you 10 hours to do, you're only paid $10 an hour. Any more time that that, you're under minimal wage. Also I'm not sure the commission graphics really communicate that additional characters are extra. The one of the family portrait just says $100 so if I was a customer I'd think that it's $100 for the whole family. I'd be peeved to order one only to realize it's actual $220 for the family of 3.

  • I agree with @NessIllustration it's not very clear, at first I thought the additional 60 was for the jpeg data file.

    Personally I think for the quality and style you are undervaluing yourself. You may be able to keep it within 4 hours but then I would recommend increasing your hourly rate.

    Also I know you said you own a high quality printer but doesn't mean that the client should reap that benefit. That is an additional asset you can earn from.

    Also cost for packaging and post costs international vs local.

    Your work is great, know your worth!

  • @Gary-Wilkinson These are great. I can't get my head round you drawing them in under 4 hrs! I did a portrait recently for a friend and offered him a 60% discount and charged him £100. He was happy to pay that. It took me two 7 hour sessions - i am slow at drawing. What's the logic in faster artists getting paid less?

    I pay a fine art digital printer more money because they are great quality and them being quick is a bonus!

    I think it would better charging more. Not due to time but for the unique artwork being created.

  • Just for practice I thought I would try something a little less exaggerated and start a painting of my own son to test out some styles. If nothing at least I can hang it on my own wall 😛

    @Heather-Boyd Yeah, I think I should be careful about explaining what can be included in the scene. If it's a simple concept with a basic background that fits the scene then it will be ok though. As for the jpeg, i'm happy enough for them to make reprints of it to their family if that's what they want to do with it.

    @NessIllustration You are right about the graphic not conveying the pricing well. I'll try and fiddle around with that to give it more information and avoid people getting the pricing wrong. I also agree that $100 may be on the low side, but my goal is to do each one under 5 hours (ideally 4) which is still lower than i'd charge for print work but most people seem unwilling to pay much no matter the quality in many cases 😕 When I use to do my caricature work I had a lot of people want to pay under $100 for work that would take in excess of 20+ hours .....

    @sigross 4 hours is tough to hit, but I managed it with some of the other pieces and the somewhat roughness of it will give it a painterly feel so hopefully I can consistently hit those times.

    Noah Painting 2sm.jpg

  • @Gary-Wilkinson I do private igital commissions and I work fast as well (usually less than four hours but some up to eight) for more realistic work. I charge $150-300 per piece depending on the detail. I try to pay myself at least 25-50 an hour. I don't have a lot of work but I think that is due mostly to almost zero platform. Most of my clients have been happy to pay those prices. You can always raise prices if you feel you are underpaid.

  • one thing you should keep in mind is that its always easyer to lower the price later on then to rise it for your potential customers so dont start to low.

  • @Gary-Wilkinson These are really great! I would with the first or last one one, since I think it goes best with what you're advertising price-wise, unless you are going to make a scene as detailed as the boat one included in that price. I think $100 is a good price for something with a flat background and I would charge extra for putting them in a scene like the second or third.

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