How would I price this Project

  • Hi guys I have a client that's asking for a bundle price for 200 to 300 recreations of clip art they would like me to turn into character designs for their book I believe. I'm not to sure how to go about pricing this one, how would you guys go about doing something like this what would be a good price for making this many pieces ?

  • SVS OG

    @Corlette-Douglas wait, I'm a bit confused. They have a bunch of clipart and they want you to make illustrations out of?

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz yeah character designs , I guess Im just making them more fun and whimsical for them. But there's like 200 to 300 pieces they would want done.

  • SVS OG

    @Corlette-Douglas wow... that's a lot. when do they want it completed?

  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz I'm not to sure right now they just asked for a bundle price, my main thing is not doing all this work for little pay. 😞 Im not the best at doing pricing I'm gonna be honest. I'll go ahead and ask her when she would need this by.

  • Pro

    @Corlette-Douglas I'd say to start, forget the quantity and think about each individual design. How much time would it take you to thumbnail (even if the design is already done, you have to find a good pose), then sketch, lineart (if it applies) and final color? Divide the design into all the steps and estimate how much time each step will take. Then multiply by 200-300 to figure out how much time the whole project could take.

    For example let's say you take 30 minutes to thumbnail, one hour to sketch, an hour to lineart, and 2 hours and a half to color. That means 5 hours per character, so 1000 to 1500 hours for this project (yikes!) Make sure the client understand how much time what he's asking entails.

    Next figure out a timeline. If you do 1 character per day, 5 days a week for instance, then it would take you 40 to 60 weeks to complete this project, which is a whole year worth of work. Yes you could probably cram more character in a day or work weekends, but a long project is a marathon, not a sprint. You cannot work day and night for months on end. You also have to take into consideration that you won't be able to dedicate 100% of you work time on this, as you'll presumably still have to do admin work like emails, taxes, updating your social media, learning, updating your portfolio, etc. You cannot rush this, so this could very well be a year's worth of work.

    Make sure the client understands that, because this means he should be prepared to give you a year's worth of salary, whatever that means for you to pay your living expenses: 30k? 50k?

    Unless the client is a big company, I doubt he has that big of a budget. This sounds like it could be one of those instances where someone wants a lot of art and doesn't really understand the staggering value of what they're asking for. Go in with reasonable expectations, but I hope he will surprise you! I also personally dislike doing special bundle discounts: it just means you get to do a lot of work for less money! Lastly, I encourage you to do a bit of research and ask questions to make 100% sure that what he's asking for is legal. As someone who sells clipart, I personally would not allow someone to rip off my designs and have them redrawn without an expensive commercial license!

  • Another additional option to the steps that @NessIllustration laid out could be to figure out a stripped down version of your usual art. If you can do some quick and dirty lineart that only takes 30 minutes you can present both options to the client (this art for 50K, or THIS art for 10k).

    I had someone ask the same of me (100+ clip arts). I gave them a VERY low price. They then approached another artist to do some of the work as well (complicated situation) and THAT artist charged literally 10 times what I was charging. You can be sure the next time the client approached me my rates skyrocketed.

    Never be afraid to charge what your art is worth. The worst that will happen is the client will say 'No thank you'.

  • Imagine approaching it like an animation: Can some of the pages use the same character poses? Say you have 5 characters and make 5 poses for each then just position them together? 25 character drawing then place them in different environments? Can you design 4 different hand poses and reuse them, for example? Or make a library of torsos like the characters are puppets that you place different parts together to make new poses? In any case I doubt that you would have to draw any character 100 different times - there just wouldn't be any need.

    Building the characters as 3d models (physical or CG) would make changing the camera angles and lighting easier. If you hire a good 3d artist (if you're not one) they could apply your drawing style onto the 3d characters and then pose them anyway you want at any angle.

    A 300 page illustrated book? Or a graphic novel with ~4 panels per page?

    I'd make a presentation with style frames from your work or other's illustration that you can make and say "to do in this style: $X. and in this style: $XXX."

  • Do you have this request in writing? To me it sounds like another self publisher looking for cheap art.

    Get a proposal in writing spelling out exactly what they are looking for. Is it 200 or 300, huge difference. what is a specific timeline (if they want it fast, that costs more. What are the milestones for payment - 50, 100, pencils, etc? how is final work to be supplied, digital, hard copy? if hard copy, what size and how? can you have more than 1 character per board? Buying 100 pieces of illustration board is significantly less than buying 200 or 300 pieces of board. what about a kill fee? you may get into this and if it is a mom and pop operation they could decide to give it to their daughters mother who likes to draw.

    Get a proposal at least before you spend the time to quote this out. Have a signed contract before you put pencil to paper.

  • I agree with what a lot of people are saying here. Another thought I had is this- I know coming up with a price can be stressful and it takes some time to plan out and think through, especially with a potential big project like this; when I get emails like this I like to ask questions about deadline, budget, etc. before I talk price and see if they even email back?

    I don't know how well you know the client, or if you have had an exchanging of emails already, but if not, I would ask some of these questions and see what they say/if they respond to kind of gauge how serious they are? It helps take some of the pricing pressure off for a bit while I email back and forth, until I know they are serious, then I can start stressing 😆 .

  • Looking over all the comments now and this project may be a bit more stressful than I thought. The person never even responded back about me asking when she would need these illustrations by. I think it might be best to let this one go.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @Corlette-Douglas Probably a good idea. There are a lot of red flags with a project like this. I think you would be wise to pass on it.

  • @Corlette-Douglas Not much else to add except that when you give them the price, don't flinch at all. Practice saying it like 50 times in the mirror if you have to.

    I'm advocating that you present what you might see as an obscene rate just for practice. I think @NessIllustration is probably pretty close on the estimate and you could say something like, "Based on what you've given me, it's pretty realistic to assume we'll be spending between 3 to 5 hours per illustration, so this project will run a minimum of 800 hours. Assuming we cut corners everywhere we can, the budget will need to be somewhere around $50,000 so we'll likely need to set up a monthly payment schedule." and then let them respond 🙂

    @Lee-White is probably right to pass it in. But hey, what if they say yes and drop you a $10,000 down payment and it turns out to be a lot of fun???

  • @jdubz Thanks , I already passed it up but this is something to look into for the future though. XD

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