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Edit: This tutorial covers aspects related only to your Deviantart gallery and Deviantart Journal. It has nothing to do with the Deviantart's newly implemented points commission system. You can take commissions without using that points system on Deviantart as long as you have paypal.--------------------------------------WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO START--------------------------------------When you have enough watchers and people interested in your art.
When you have a closely-bounded community around your work/galleryHow many is enough I can't say for sure, because it depends on the community around you and your work. Some artists can live on one patron, others need to live on millions of them.For DA, I would say typically around 20,000-40,000 pageviews, at least 40-50 watchers on your DA is best before you start considering taking commissions, (because out of that 40-50, you may have 1 person willing to pay, a safer bet is 100 people.
) however, if your gallery has explosive growth, or you are good at making new friends, you probably can start earlier.If you need more exposure, do really good fanart. After all, people would type and search famous series, not your name. If they do type your name, you are famous.If you don't want to do fanart, the other option is draw the cliche-category.Pirates are selling, draw pirates.Angels and demons, vampires, wolves always sell.
..However, the key is naming your title of the piece with "cliche words" so that the search engine will show your work up when someone searched it. Like my "Angel Shines" will come up when someone search "angel"A list of cliche words in popular search: Angel, demons, vampire, devil, rain, wolves, wolf, dragons, tutorials, anime, pirates, jack, sonic, mario......You get my drift?Now that DA has clubs/groups, you can also submit more original stuff to those clubs and be seen, but competition is fierce still, make sure you only submit your best if you want business.
HOW TO START: - POST A BLOG ON DA and title it "Commission Me!". It's that easy!For people who doesn't know how to post a blog: help.deviantart.com/100/+ EXAMPLE JOURNAL: My real commission journal postContent of the blog:1. Draw samples of your art, make sure you can make the quality art you can continue to work at steadily.2. When you are Setting prices:if you don't know how to set prices yet, there's a few things that can help you to determine what prices you need to go with:-Evaluate the competition:take a look at other artists who are doing commissions and their prices.
While evaluating, be critical about your work in a skill-based manner, (forget self-esteem for a while when you want to do business.) Is my drawing skill high enough?Is my painting skill high enough?What's my strength?What's my weakness?What can I offer that is my specialty that this other person doesn't offer? -Hours and effort spent on your part:1. Time your hours per piece on the quality you are offering.
2. set an hourly wage for yourself3. hourly wage X hours per piece= your set priceEx: I want to make at least 10 dollar an hour.A character design take 2 work day to make, 16 hours total10X16=160 per character sheetGenerally, when your pageviews is over 1 million, (1,000,000) you can charge upto 300-500 dollars per finished piece, 20-25 a sketch, and you might still have a lot of buyers.Most of the audience on DA are teenager to young adults, their spending range is really around 20-150 USD dollars.
Anything over 100 (currently at 2010) is still pushing it.*However, in a few years, if all of the users still stay around DA, and started working on jobs, the spending range might gradually increase.Anything above 100 USD will be hard to come by for start ups, lower is not a problem. You also don't want to set it too low, don't charge less than 5 dollar per piece, if you do that you might as well do it for free.
No one is interested in paying for a piece that's 1-3 dollars, it doesn't feel like buying art, it feels like donating to a beggar.For Pro level users, they tend to charge $20-45 an hour rate and won't work lower than certain amount. You can work your way up to that. As Pro freelance artists your cost should cover your own insurance, retirement, and family expenses. 2. Keep things flowing-Free trials:Use free offers on commissions to friends or your close-nit watchers to get started.
(use what you have)Submit your commission pieces to DA for advertisement. Commission pieces title should include "Commission" to let your viewers know you do commissions. Include your commissioner's name on the describtion. - Include an easy access to your commission related information.- Provide finished samples and price range next to each other.EX: Finished illustration: [link] - 45 USD.- Provide payment method: EX: My paypal email: xxxxx@xmail.
com KEY POINTS TO SET UP COMMISSION JOURNALS1. Be clear, and make it easy to read -Use spaces.... lots of spaces between words help for easy reading, the faster they can read your journal, the more business you may get.If your journal is chaotic, you will get more notes of confused commissioners.- use icons, graphic information to decorate your journal post 2. Keep a list - Slots- the easiest way to let people know whether you are available, and that you are active in business.
- Keep the contact information somewhere you can review easily. PAYMENT AND RELATIONSHIP WITH CLIENTS1. Deadlines or no deadlines: most people actually don't give you a deadline, (then don't ask for one...) but if there are those who do, keep a clear account for that. Set your priority on the commissions in reaction to the urgency of your commissioners. Updates: even though the clients didn't give deadline, it's best to offer them a healthy weekly update of your progress, they will feel like they are getting their money's worth, if you got busy for some reason, make sure you let them know too.
Don't make them wait half a year to a year without a sound unless they say they are ok with it. I update the client at least 1 update a month if the project slows down or I got busy with other stuff. 2. When should the client pay:Usually the artists in illustration industry can ask for an advance after doing some sketches. Then the rest should be paid off after the work is done.I do 50/50 portion payment with my clients, 50% advance after I showed them the sketches, update them on the progress, 50% final after I am done.
But if trust is built between me and the client, often they just pay me in full after I have shown them the sketches.If it's a large project costing several thousand dollars, (like animation or long term commitment) I do it by sections, (like 25-50% each deposit) negotiate a payable amount per stages, use up the fund upto that point completing the work then ask for more. In my experience, clients who already paid an advance stay and will follow up on payment, it's the clients who never paid that might take the work and run away.
Once they paid part of the budget, I would say 95% would stay on project until it's complete unless they need to cancel. Follow this advice you will less likely to get run-away client. 3. Payment method:Paypal, money order, check, if you have your own shop set up you can take credit card as well.Just go to paypal.com to sign up, it's pretty easy.For people who doesn't know how paypal works: www.paypal-search.
com/socialse…For people who does not know paypal... this internet transaction bank (like a mid-way bank) can do fund transfer with just the email you use to sign up with. All you need to do is: 1. Sign up for an account.2. Get your account approved with a bank account linked to it (or credit card account)3. Give your paypal e-mail to your client, and they use their paypal account to pay you. I personally recommend getting the business account, even though it's more percentage taken from your earned share, you get more access to all the merchant tools you will find useful later.
3a. Points Commission: DA allows people to take points and convert them to currency later through paypal or DA cash. You can do points commission with basic account but more shares go to DA if I presume correctly. I have never used the points commission myself, but if you do, follow the advance payment method I listed in Point 2, except with points instead of cash.CHOOSE YOUR JOBSIf you don't want to do the job since the beginning of the request, you are better off not doing it.
(ex: If you hate hentai, don't take hentai work.)-Choose the jobs that you feel is more suitable, compatible with your personality and quality. (unless you are super desperate.)If you choose your jobs wisely to fit both your needs, and the clients' needs, you will get good work done, your client will be happy.While choosing for yourself and your portfolio, you will also build a brand name with your commissions.
.. that will create a steady flow of customers for you as well.
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When it comes to commissioning, there is so much that needs to be decided, arranged and thought of that it can all appear a bit daunting at first.However: when following a couple of basic guidelines, setting up commissions really is not as hard as you think!If you find the article informative, please it.---------------------------------------- First things first So you have decided you want to start doing commissions.
That's great!The first thing to do is to determine what you want to offer.Do you want to offer drawings, or designs?Will you be coding journal-skins for people, or will you be pixeling?Take a look through your gallery and try to determine what you do best and what you like to do the most.Because that will most likely be what you'll be offering.TIP:Stick to what you're good at.Don't promise what you can't deliver when someone is paying you for it.
Now that you've most likely decided what you want to do, it's time for the next step. ---------------------------------------- Payment & payment methods Time to start writing up a price-list! But how much can or will you charge for a piece of your work?A good way of going about this is to ask yourself the following: * How good are your drawings?* How many hours do you spend on a single drawing? Chances are that if you just started drawing, you can’t ask the same price as someone who’s been doing it for years and does a better job at it.
Don’t over-price, but also don’t under-price yourself!Ask a couple of people you know for an estimate and for some advice. That way, you’ll have a broader view and you’ll be able to write up a price-list with more information.Now is also the time to decide whether you want to be paid in advance, paid after the work, or paid in segments.This is pretty much up to personal opinion, though most artists prefer payment in advance.
That way, when a client suddenly cancels the commission, you still get some payment for the work you've already put into a drawing.Something to also keep in mind is that if you can't do the work, or if the client is not satisfied with the commission, is that in some cases you may have to refund.Try avoiding this by doing your very best with every single picture and don't spend what you were paid before completing the commission.
Also: no rushing and definitely no sloppy sketch-deliveries when you were asked for a painting!Moving on to payment methods, you have the choice between the two most used methods on deviantART: points or Paypal. * Points are deviantART’s on-site currency and may be purchased here. Once purchased, they can be donated or, in this case, used to pay for a commission.* Paypal is an online service that allows you to safely pay and transfer money over the internet.
Information on how to set up a Paypal-account: www.squidoo.com/paypalsetup Right about now you should be having a lot of information. Time to move on to the commission journal! ---------------------------------------- Setting up your commission-journal To let everyone know you’re taking commissions, it’s a good idea to have a commission-journal.There, you can notify people of what you can be commissioned for and for how much.
It's also a good idea to keep a list in your commission-journal of who you are currently working for and how the commissions are progressing.I’ll try to dissect the commission journal point by point and link to a couple of examples afterwards.But first of all: * Commissions: open/closed?Are you taking commissions or not?This is important since it lets people know whether or not they should contact you for information.
* Amount of commission slots available: ?How many commissions will you be taking at a time?How many slots have already been filled?Don’t bite off more than you can chew and keep it reasonable.When starting out, I suggest keeping 3 commission slots.You can always add more later on when you're accustomed to being commissioned. The next thing to do is specify what you can be commissioned for. Include samples for each type of art you are offering and make sure to show your best works.
After all, you want to get people interested, no? It’s also usually in your best interest to include a list of what you can / will do and a list of what you can’t / won’t. TIP:Keep your lay-out simple and orderly.No one wants to dig through a wall of text in order to find what they’re looking for. The easier your journal is to navigate, the better! You can always add a list of completed commissions at the end of the commission journal to show what you've already done.
A plus is that it also shows people you finish your commissions and that you are trustworthy.A couple of examples of commission journals:example ~ example ~ example ~ example---------------------------------------- Getting your name out there. On this part I will be brief, though it's also something important that most people forget. Let people know you're taking commissions! * Put a link to your commission-journal in your signature.
* Put a link to your commission-journal in your most recent journal and keep it there for as long as you're taking commissions. Nothing is worse than to have to dig through loads of journals in order to find the commission journal.* Advertise it in the projects-forum for commissions you do in your free time.* Advertise it in the job services-forum if you are wanting to take your commissions seriously and treat them as you would a real job.
And if all goes well...---------------------------------------- I am being commissioned; what now? Ask for details about what the client wants of course!Also set up a clear set of rules in Terms of Service (ToS). * If the client is not satisfied, will you re-do the piece?If yes: how many times?If no: do you refund?* When you finish the piece, how will you deliver it?See below for various methods of delivering said piece to the client.
* Do you give progress-reports?If yes: how often?* Will the client be able to change his/her mind?If yes: will there be extra cost? There are a plethora of things that can be discussed to avoid complications later and I hardly listed them all. But I think you get the general idea, no?When the commissioned piece is finished, you need to show the client, of course.How you will do this all depends on what you have agreed upon with the client, but a couple of options are: * Uploading it to deviantART and linking it to the client.
* Sending it by e-mail.I recommend making a separate e-mail account for commissioning only.Make sure people know about it and that they can contact you there* Sending a copy / original in the mailKeep the cost of sending things in mind and be sure to notify beforehand if the shipping will be included in the price or not. This list is not exhaustive, of course. IMPORTANT:Do not send out the full-res, unwatermarked copy of the commission if you haven't been paid yet.
In cases of payment-after-commission, send a low-res and watermarked proof of the commission being finished.You can send over a higher-res version after confirming you have been paid. ---------------------------------------- Last but not least Have fun with it!And then all that rests me to say is: good luck!---------------------------------------- * A couple of related tutorials *
Title: How To Do Art Commissions