Urgent Pricing Question - Please Help !!
A client has contacted me about freelance work for a comic book project. The client has asked me for my pricing before giving me further information on the project. I told the client that I would need more information (timescale, materials, size of project etc.) before coming up with an accurate price, but that my average daily rate would be 200.00GBP per day. In this I have included an hourly rate of 20.00GBP per hour, 8.00GBP for materials (my monthly Adobe bill) and 10% profit (32.00GBP).
Is this too high or too low? It's my first time pricing my work to a client so I'm really uncertain about it all. The client is a small client as well as he contacted me as an individual and not on behalf of a company.
Alzamon last edited by
I'm not aware of the cost of living in the UK to seize whether 200 pounds / day is a fair daily rate or not (I'd be more than happy to be paid that in my home country), but whatever the case this is why it is important to track all your monthly expenses, cost of business assets (your equipment, software licenses, electricity bill), and any extra obligations like VAT and other taxes which are money you don't keep to yourself — so as to come up with average and minimum rates you can live with and not feel like you're losing your shirt in the process, or leaving money on the table that could be yours.
And after all that you'll always want to add a 10-20% padding to cover your earnings. The more jobs you do, the better you'll get at estimating pricing quotes. The latest SVS podcast had some informative tips on this matter. Pricing, specially on this field, is more of an art in psychology and marketing than an exact science. A lot of factors can alter the final quote: available time, detail level, rights licensing/scope and so on.
willicreate last edited by willicreate
Just this week the Draftmen podcast uploaded a video about pricing: How to Price Artwork - Draftsmen S3E18. Hosts Stan and Marshall talked about negotiating contracts and selling finish work. It may be of help.
The Draftsman is pretty good video.
Good for pricing a drawing or painting, but not a great one for pricing illustration.
Proko is more of a gallery artist and so is "selling" physical artwork (i.e. not for reproduction and is usually a flat fee where the artist no longer has the possibility of generating additional income)
rather than an illustrator who is typically "licensing" artwork for reproduction (the original artwork isn't sold, and remains with the illustrator. Usually payment is a flat fee OR a royalty, but typically one in which additional income from an ongoing license is possible)
@brettb_draws is creating artwork to "license" for a comic book project.
When pricing work to license, "time" "materials" and even and "hourly rate" are factors to consider (I will always recommend that you don't actively lose money on any project you take) but these are lesser considerations than the value of the project to the client
In illustration you are primarily pricing a project based on the potential value of the project to the client.
So the really important part of the 1 hour and 20 min Draftsman video is at 01:12:20 Story 4: To License or Not to License
In the case of @brettb_draws comic book project, an important point to discuss with the client is how many copies if each comic book will be sold.
If the initial print run is going to be 1000 copies the potential value of the project is much smaller than if the initial print run is going to be 20,000 copies. With this information in hand, the licensing fee for the project would be adjusted accordingly.
Melissa Bailey 0 last edited by
@brettb_draws it sounds like you've done your homework and your math -- you know what you need to make per day and per hour for a project to be worth your time. Stick to your guns. Agreeing to a really low budget just to get that first job can put you in a tight spot time-wise and budget-wise. And you'll probably regret it later.
Here are a few things to think about:
- Is 8 hours of drawing per day achievable for you? How many days will you work a week? Five? How long can you sustain 8 hours a day, 5 days a week before burning out? For some artists, 8 hours of straight drawing a day is comfortable and doable. For me, I'm done after drawing 5 or 6 hours. My eyes, back, hands, and brain need to rest.
- You'll also have other business-related things that will take up your working time, most of which aren't billable: reading and answering emails, invoicing, sending estimates, marketing, etc. It's something to factor in.
- What are the going rates in your corner of the world? A resource in finding that information is the AOI (The Association of Illustrators - theaoi.com). Many UK-based illustrators highly recommend them for pricing, contract, and business guidance (at least the ones I follow on IG and YouTube). Might be something to check out.
- Is the client also a newbie? If this is a first-time project for both the client and artist, who has the experience to know what they're doing? It could become a frustrating and difficult situation -- is that something you feel personally and professionally equipped to handle?
Having worked with small clients for most of my freelance career, there have been amazing experiences and not-so-good ones. Taking time to communicate honestly at the outset really helps you get a feel for what it might be like to work with this client. Hope everything works out well for you, whether or not you choose to take on this project.
@Alzamon @willicreate @davidhohn @Melissa-Bailey-0 Thank you very much for the advice ! This is really helpful. Regardless of the outcome, I feel confident now that I gave a fair price, but I'll still continue to look into the subject for future opportunities. @Melissa-Bailey-0 Yeah the AOI is a really great resource, I visited their HQ on a trip when I was a student. I completely forgot about the pricing calculator, I'll be sure to check it out, thanks !