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Years and years ago, at the beginning of my illustration career, a veteran illustrator got mad at me, and at a number of my colleagues, for charging too little.  We all protested loudly.  "But, dude," we said, "we are not veterans like you, with years of experience and stunning portfolios to back us up.  We are newbies, and we need to eat, too, so we'll take what we can get.  We're not in direct competition with you, so why do you care?"  Then, we added, with great smugness, "Oh, and our rates are the current industry standard, so pthbbbbbt!"

Except more than a decade's gone by, and I see that my colleagues and I are now veterans, with our own pretty portfolios and lengthy CVs.  We have become the indignant illustrator's direct competitors, and we're not earning that much more than we were at the start of our careers.  We're certainly not getting what he did, at the height of his.  And we did this to ourselves.  Oh, sure, we're not solely responsible.  These are hard times, to begin with.  Rates would've taken a hit, regardless.  But we're not blameless, either.  Rates HAVE come down to match what we were willing to work for.  This is something I've witnessed firsthand, over and over again.

Why did I do it?  Even at the start of my career, I was doing work that, for the most part, thrilled my customers to their boots.  This is not said with ego, to imply that I was at the level of a veteran illustrator even then--I certainly wasn't--but to point out that my product was exactly what somebody was looking for, and willing to pay for...and yet, there I was, producing it for what amounted to less than minimum wage.  I was even a bit proud of myself, when people were surprised by my low rates, and thanked me for making my work affordable.  

There are a thousand excuses.  I needed money fast.  I lacked experience.  There's no single set of industry standard rates for artists, only a loose collection of generally accepted rates, which vary wildly by market.  My living expenses were lower, then; I was in an area where a decent one-bedroom could be had for as little as $200 per month.  Food was basic, but cheap.  It didn't occur to me that my colleagues might be paying ten times the rent I was, for a home too small for their families, or that there was already a recession on, and that artists, furnishing a luxury commodity, would be among the first to see cuts to their earnings--and that my willingness to undervalue my work was not helping.  None of these excuses are particularly helpful now, when I find myself arguing with the next generation of people who Just Don't Get It, and probably won't, till it's too late.

DA is now contributing to the problem, in their own small way, with a new commissions widget, which offers artists the chance to sell their services for a maximum of $50, minus a 20% fee.  At best, this feature will go largely unnoticed, and will be used primarily by kids and by hobbyists with no potential to become professionals (ie, people who will never be competing for mainstream jobs, and bringing that undercutting mentality to the grown-up arena).  The young, inexperienced, and simply oblivious will be exploited--and that's the best-case scenario.  At worst, it'll be used by people who are genuinely skilled, but who don't rely on art to make a living, or who have extremely low overhead, in terms of rent and bills.  Apparently, DA also plans to present the people using this widget as the artists on this site who are looking for work, contributing even further to the common perception of art as a commodity with little value, and artists as people who should work for peanuts.

On its own, DA's widget is not a disaster.  The problem is, it's part of a much larger trend towards rock-bottom prices.  A tiny part, to be sure, but a part nonetheless, and we shouldn't let it happen without a murmur.  Think of this widget as an ant.  When one ant comes in your house, it's annoying.  You stamp on it, and you're done.  When ten ants come in, it's a little problem.  Maybe you don't stamp on all of them, and one of them gets into the strawberry jam.  When a hundred ants come in, it's a disgusting infestation, and you'll probably get bitten.  When a thousand ants come in, they might actually kill you, or do serious damage to your home.
  • Listening to: birds
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:iconbjoernsiebolds:
BjoernSiebolds Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013   Digital Artist
This is so true!
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:iconmatildarose:
matildarose Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2013   Traditional Artist
I hate to comment on an old thread, but THANK YOU. I wish you could tell my parents and well-meaning friends this, as I get comments from them all the time about 'well, it gives you exposure!' and 'you can always price yourself higher later!' Not producing a lot money-wise on art and getting refused by magazines left and right who charge a reasonable rate makes it tempting to go 'just this once', but it's better to spend that 'just this once' on a project you're willing to lower your rates for, like something that's going to be for charity or for a project you really believe in.

I'd consider the widget for small, quick commissions (at the fifty dollar rate) if it didn't have that high commission rate. Then again, I doubt my prices would attract anyone here.

Of course, even people outside DA have this mindset of 'I can get it here for cheaper'. I had one client ask me if I could, basically, work below minimum wage for a children's book, because 'someone else is willing to do the entire book for $500'. Even if I just illustrated 16 pages plus the cover, it'd be less than 29 dollars a page.

I apologize for using your page for a rant, but your post really touched on a few issues I've had with this new commission widget annnnnndddddd the market in general, especially for those who are 'starting out'.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
No worries on the rant...I'd say it's justified! :-)

I've noticed that there are sites out there, such as freelanced and elance, where it's very common for people to request entire books illustrated for $500 or less. These sites are an absolute joke. The fact that people are accepting such lowball offers is very disheartening. :-(
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:iconmatildarose:
matildarose Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013   Traditional Artist
Yeah. I can understand why they do it if they're in a country where 500 US would translate very well, but it's still a situation where someone is taking advantage of an artist since the artist could be receiving so much more at a proper rate.
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:iconfantasio:
fantasio Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Good journal post and an important topic, didnīt dug further into the "commision feature".
So in general we all start by accepting a low budget client, and maybe we evolve from there.

The thing is we have the chance to do so with every new day, because when you are honest, you are where you want to be, everything else is just way too expensive in your imagination... "kicking this client would mean to have a month without income, omg, what should I do..." yadda,yadda.

I know that talk with younger generations can be daunting, itīs like telling "Blue skies from pain".

I agree on the problem with the common perception, that is not easy to get out of peopleīs head, and I see how the widget can add to the drama. However, it is up to everyone to represent themselves as they please, I think when skill is not a matter for setting yourself apart from other artists there are other assets, and it is up to the perception of each artist to determine them in order to attract clients with the right pockets.
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:icontenfeettall:
TenFeetTall Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
A maximum of $50? My college holds an annual exhibit where submissions must be 2x2" and the maximum price we're to charge is $44, and that's for itty bitty pieces!!

Materials are expensive, and labor is time-consuming. This commissions widget's requirements are insulting.
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:iconemberguard:
Emberguard Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013   General Artist
after the 20% taken away it becomes $38.78 D=
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:iconbergholtz:
Bergholtz Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
This past week I have been rather concerned over the veritable flood of kids on the forum asking about what to charge for commissions. I wonder if this widget has something to do with it. I spent a few hours writing to some of them because some were getting insanely bad advice like "keep lowering your prices until you get commissions." Most of them are complete begginners with art as well and can barely hold a pencil straight. I have no idea what's going on.
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:iconsoliton:
soliton Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Good post.
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:iconendless-spirit:
endless-spirit Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013   Traditional Artist
Great icon!
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:iconwicked-illusion:
Wicked-Illusion Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great Journal and very well written. :clap: I hope as many people as possible read this as it's very important.

Related to dA's commissions, they might be good and useful only for people who were already accepting some smaller work, something that doesn't really go above $50 anyway. But yet, to see stuff like "will draw your OC for 5 points", or some more, in translation: for free, that's just...As for everyone else and the potential clients, _insert what you and others have already said_.

Anyway, you and I are on two opposite sites, I'm a beginner when it comes to trying to earn something with their art, so I thought maybe you could tell me your opinion, offer some advice or something that's a bit more loosely related to this Journal, but still that's it, more or less.

OK, being on the web, art sites, eBay and Etsy where people sell originals, prints, etc. of course I couldn't not notice huge and I mean huge differences in everything, people on the same/similar skill level and for similar quality, etc. work charging completely different prices (seeing someone selling a minimalistic drawing for over $100 for example and then seeing someone selling similar quality, fully detailed drawing on the same size for $50 is nothing new), people charging way too much or way too little in my opinion, etc.

So how does one determine the range of reasonable prices for something when you see things like this? Of course, how much someone will charge depends on many, many factors and different people determine their prices differently.

When talking about myself, for now I only want to earn from my art by selling my originals and prints of various types of art I do. I can't accept commissions even if I wanted to because of lack of time: uni, traveling there and back, studying, etc. and summer during which I do have time, but the work conditions are unbearable because of the +30°C temperatures most days in my "work place" and no air conditioner nor possibility of finding another good place. :/ OK, my problem is determine the good and reasonable price for my originals and especially managing to sell them. Many people seem to like my work and I have a nice number of wonderful watchers and get decent feedback, but yet no one wants to buy anything and that's OK, just mentioning it compared to how many other deviants are successful at selling their originals to their watchers/fans and other deviants. More of a problem is trying for months selling originals on eBay and Etsy and usually for too cheap and still no success while watching all this other people selling, for example, much worse quality works than mine of same subjects for way much higher price and wondering where's the catch. Don't think the problem is in my presentation, description, shipping cost for which I usually charge the lower price that it actually is if that can help to sell, etc. I know some other very important factors that also help, will skip listing all here now. Am I just so terribly unlucky or am I missing something huge that's in front of my eyes and I can't see it. Do you have any idea or maybe an advice you can offer?
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
You know, this is a really good question, but I may not be the best qualified to respond. I used to sell a lot of prints on eBay, but the market eventually became flooded with similar products for lower or equal prices, and it was no longer profitable enough to bother with. And it has been a while since I sold originals anywhere besides on my own site, or to people who saw them on Facebook and asked for them.

But this topic did come up on a forum I belong to, recently, and a few issues were brought to the surface:

* You can't just put up listings and expect to make sales. This seems to go even more for etsy than eBay. You need to advertise your shop link in as many places as you can think of, and also, if possible, get involved in online communities related to what you are selling. This is a significant timesink, especially in the beginning, before your brand starts to catch on.

* Market oversaturation can be a problem. If you are one of ten thousand artists selling fairy paintings, your prices may end up being dictated by going rates, or driven down beyond reasonable levels by aggressive competition.

* On the flip side of that, if your product is really unusual, people won't know to look for it, and it may not get much attention.

Based on everything people were saying, you have to find a way to make yourself a popular/desirable brand, and capitalise on that. Also, making each product seem like something limited and special can help--for example, you could sell very small editions of high quality prints, or original art from never-to-be-repeated theme collections. When people feel like they have to get it right away or miss out, they can be more likely to spend.

I know that Jasmine Beckett-Griffith has been very successful on eBay, and James Browne sells a lot of originals on his site. Checking up on them and seeing what they are doing right could be helpful. I think James's secret may be that he's pretty much created his own fanciful little world, and people just want to be part of it.

Sorry I don't know so much about this!
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:iconwicked-illusion:
Wicked-Illusion Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for the reply! :hug: Yeah, these things you mentioned, like not just putting a listing on expecting to sell, need to advertise, get involved and make yourself known, etc. are all important factors I skipped writing down. One of the reasons I always wondered if I'm just terribly unlucky is how on tumblr for example, people are nuts about certain TV shows, Supernatural, Doctor Who and Sherlock especially, and they buy lots of art directly from other tumblr artists/their eBay, and not cheap stuff (recently saw one guy sell just a sketch for +$400 :wow: he sells anything like crazy in general it seems)but when I try to sell a popular subject which, like, everybody is successful with selling, my 2 SPN original fanarts for example, nothing. :shrug: Well, I'll keep trying and trying in different ways, maybe someday I find something that works :)

Thank you very much for the tips! :glomp:
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:iconmercgribern:
MercGribern Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
As someone who manages a 'specialty' retail operation I can see the bleed through there as well. I feel another aspect of this is the obsession of what I shall term the 'Walmart effect.' People cease to see anything but the price. They don't care there's overhead, they don't care about what goes into it, it comes down to a dollar figure, and often their interpretation of it is based on nothing but the nearest similar object they've paid for in the past. As a result, that booth at the carnival drawing 'wacky portraits' becomes the yardstick by which they assess costs for actual work, and upon seeing a difference they become indignant and espouse bile towards the actual artist. In my case I see this in comparison of pricing between what I sell and the nearest familiar product. And it doesn't take long to see that the customer ends up doing themselves in whilst pursuing rock bottom prices. Unfortunately the only way to really truly change this is by educating people as to what creates price. I know in basic economics price can be defined as 'the most one is willing to pay for a service' but one should also learn to read into the concept of "reasonable expectations' regarding price to services provided as well. This problem is why I went from having a staff of four well paid individuals working under me, to just one. I wish the best for you in your situation.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! And you're very right...the average customer has no idea how narrow an artist's profit margin can really be. It's easy to look at a drawing made with pen on paper, for instance, and think it was made nearly for free, when in fact, the materials were not that cheap, and the artist also has living and business expenses to deal with. Customers feel, too often, that this isn't their problem...but whose is it supposed to be, then?
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:iconmercgribern:
MercGribern Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
the process of buying is inherently a selfish practice it would seem. But then so much of life appears that way, sure we hear "think of how the other guy feels" but how many actively do? And no, I'm not someone above this. But I see that.
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:iconxxwingxx:
xxwingxx Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student General Artist
i have this problem. i dont think of my work very highly at all, all i think think is that my friends work is a lot better than mine, if they are charging this much, then mine should be lower..
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
There will always be SOMEONE you see as better than you, though, no matter how good you get. The fact that someone else is better doesn't mean your time and effort is worth nothing, or next to nothing. Besides, even when someone else is more skilled, your work can still turn out to be exactly what some clients are looking for, so why shouldn't you get a fair rate for bringing their ideas to life, right? :-)
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:iconxxwingxx:
xxwingxx Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student General Artist
thank you for your supportive words :)

my confience is low as i hang out with people near the top of my year.. and all i see is a gap between me and them..

i will get there sometime, just feel that my work is not worth that amount...
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:iconalanralph:
AlanRalph Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
My interest was piqued when I first heard about the commissions system, but when I dug into the details I quickly realised that it wasn't for any substantive work or for anyone looking to make proper money. :hmm: And if it's true that dA are going to promote the people using the new commissions system, then it stinks even more.

I'm now working freelance myself, and I'm going to be marketing myself on a) actually knowing what I'm talking about, and b) educating clients on the whats, hows, whys and whens of getting work done. That's worth a lot more in the long run, both for me and the client.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Sounds like a very wise way to market yourself! Being as open and clear as possible up front saves you a lot of bother down the line. :-)
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:iconcalebkane:
CalebKane Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
Agreed.
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:iconthedarkrayne:
TheDarkRayne Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Speaking of my own experience, I had a client contact me about a promotion I was running with about a 50% off what I charge normally. The client wanted more than that so I denied. After a few days I realized they had their work done by somebody who charges twice as much as my regular price. This made me realise that it's quite a stupid thing to offer art at an extremely low price which deep down even you know is a lot less worth. People do have money, they just don't want to spend it. After a while when you're known for your work, money isn't such a large issue anymore. It is the beginning when you have to stick to the standards to get to that point later.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, exactly. And also, when you charge too little, people can start to wonder if there is a reason for that, like unreliability or uneven quality. Even if your quality is fine and you are always on time, people can still get the wrong idea. I guess it boils down to self-respect encouraging respect from others.
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:iconthedarkrayne:
TheDarkRayne Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yes that's too. People always appreciate expensive stuff more even if it's crap.
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:iconsophia-christina:
Sophia-Christina Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
You are absolutely right!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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:iconxnatje:
xNatje Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student General Artist
You are absolutely right!
I see sometimes people doing commissions for 50 points.. common.. these points are worthless, and their value in money is worthles aswell (less then a euro)..

I heard aswell that I don't charge enough, in real life; I asked around 30-50 euros for an A4 drawing. I know this is impossible to live from. But it has all to do with self-confidence. But for now, I don't make art for a living. I don't plan on doing it, because I hardly sell a drawing per year. Now I try to ask a bit more.. But then people are complaining that it is too much for 'just a drawing'. Maybe they are not taking art seriously anymore. Why should people take it seriously when people are selling for less then a euro on deviantart?
Luckily the real art world is different.. But then a bit too much on the other side, and not affordable anymore for normal people.

On the other hand.. I craft jewelry aswell. And I'm always afraid that I charge too much. I can't compete with china-storebought jewelry. I'm at the same price range though (15-20 euros for a necklace).

Art is a difficult business. And when it's not for their job, people can ask as less (or nothing) as they want because they don't take it seriously. Ofcourse it's difficult concurrency for us. But what can we do about it? Globalisation isn't helping us either. It's not good for any small business.
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:iconsandrahultsved:
SandraHultsved Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
They are starting to digging us a hole. Although like you also said, we "newbies" are bringing it on ourselves, I have never been taught in school what a reasonable rate is for my work. I simply had to guess, or worse listen to the client, that will of course pay as little as they can. It's tough..
I will share in my journal!
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:iconboggleboy:
Boggleboy Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
...and DA's latest widget...is an insult and a betrayal. They should know better, but it shows the predominating age of those involved here in admin...and that makes me sad...
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:iconboggleboy:
Boggleboy Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
That young-gun philosophy of "..get over it over old dude/dudette..." has done more lasting harm to the art world as a whole- commercial, graphic and fine art- than anything else...oh to be young, arrogant, and full of self-importance. You think at that age, "Yeah, I'll charge this little now, but later when they love what i do and I'm in demand, I'll have them over the barrel..." Then....you find yourself where the old whiners were....and they move on to the next young talented ignorant wide-eyed young naive fool who calls everyone else naive in line...and the beat goes on.... :no: I promise every young buck and doe out there: they will NOT pay you more if you have helped to perpetuate this suicidal trend of "rock-bottom discounts" on art and your talent. Have more respect for yourself and for the field.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I wish I had been open-minded enough to realise this was true when someone first said it to me!

Part of what went wrong, I think, was that some of the artists who were culprits along with me, in the undercutting game, were absolutely BRILLIANT. I thought to myself, "If so & so's charging the same as me, it CAN'T be wrong." But those people were my age, only slightly more experienced, at best, and also not inclined to listen to the voice of experience. And I'm sure I passed on bad pricing advice to other inexperienced artists, thinking I was being helpful. Augh!
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:iconboggleboy:
Boggleboy Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh I can't tell you how many verbal beat-downs I got from younger people who did the very same thing and who were also very talented, and who, mistakenly, saw old farts like me and other far more established and talented artists than I as the enemy. It was and always will be the business people who seek to exploit the F_ _k out of everything in the waking world to meet the bottom line who are the enemy of those of us who actually DO things! We are, whether each of us wants to accept it or not, members of the same tribe and when we divide and betray others of our tribe, we cut our own throats ultimately. The REAL bottom line is simply this: respect yourself and what you do... And none of us are in this alone: all we do effects others and ourselves. I just made several comments about this, more or less, on FB...It may not be the quick road or the fast path, but the slow road is the more lasting one and the quicker path has far more dire consequences. There's a reason why there is a tale about Hercules choosing the path he did to his own destiny. Ah... but I know younger ones will read this and be angry with me and indignant at my tirade and claim knowledge and wisdom that simply can not be had at that age...it is the way that old fuckers like me get ignored and only hard experience gets through...and these days even that seems to not penetrate the dry drought-ridden soul of modern intellect. :no: Sometimes older people actually do have a little wisdom to pass on... In my workshops I ALWAYS include a section of pricing and it includes the notion of respecting your own ability and NEVER price for "...your area..." or to sell, because even if you sell at a lower price and think you've made money, the very real truth of simple mathematics will show you quite dispassionately how you have, in fact, NOT made any money...
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah--I am very bad with money, and a lot of artists also say that, but that's no excuse: if you want to follow a career path where you have to run your own business, YOU NEED TO LEARN TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS! You'd think that would stand to reason, but somehow, it can fly right over people's heads. Years later, I am still undoing the damage I did to my income and credit rating, by running my business badly.

It's easy, when your rent is $200 and you're in the lowest tax bracket, to think a couple of hundred bucks for a complicated job is a good deal. Hey, that's rent, right there! You don't want to hear it, when someone yells at you, and says you are irresponsible to accept so little. This is especially true when you are 20, and not yet thinking about retirement funds, family, the possible need to provide for aging parents, and even the effect poor financial choices can have on your health (being without food frequently, or eating expired or poor-quality food, can have lasting health effects, which become very expensive). But when these things are pointed out to young people, they don't want to know.

I never thought I could be betraying other artists, or causing them problems...maybe it's true that only experience drives these lessons home. (Or maybe I should've listened to my mother, and taken a few business classes.)

I suppose all we can do is keep speaking up, and trying to pass on the message, where possible. Probably, SOMEBODY listens! The arguing voices just seem the loudest because, well, they're shouting at us! ;-)
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:iconboggleboy:
Boggleboy Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Well....one never stops learning...and I try to be...diplomatic with most of my tirades. :laughing: I'm not too removed from my youth to forget what that was like but old enough to know what a load of crap it was too... :shrug: The beat goes on... ;)
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:icondollphinwing:
dollphinwing Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
I thought the 20% fee was bad but I didn't know they also had a max price.. of $50? That's terrible, I really hope they fix that widget, and if they don't bother then we can only hope that no many people use it.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I couldn't believe it, myself, when I saw it. It's insulting; I am not understanding how they thought it was a good idea.
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:icondollphinwing:
dollphinwing Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
It is very insulting. I thought the 20% fee was bad enough.. But why do they need a max price in general let alone such a low one?
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Some people have suggested that the maximum price is intended to prevent people from charging a bunch, then delivering stolen or unacceptable art. But I can't imagine this would be an issue, because

a) people tend to LOOK at someone's gallery before paying them for commissioned work. Someone with unreliable quality or a bunch of stolen work would be easy to spot. Viewers here tend to be pretty vigilant about calling out stolen work, especially when there's a whole gallery full of it;

b) DA is taking a nice chunk of artists' profits, enough to more than cover their arses, in case of a dispute (or several) that couldn't be resolved;

c) if DA is still not comfortable, they can get artists to jump through some sort of verification hoop, before they are allowed to offer commissions...that way, if they behave dishonestly, they can be sent to a collections agency, or even subject to legal action.

There is just no good reason for a maximum price, that I can think of. I suppose I could be missing something, but really, if there's an obstacle SO large that reasonable prices are plain old impossible, why have the widget at all?
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:icondollphinwing:
dollphinwing Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
The only good use from the widget I've seen is if people can only pay in points, because then you can convert the points to real money when they would normally be only allowed for use on the DA site.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
The only circumstance I can think of, though, where someone would realistically be able to pay ONLY in points, would be where the customer is a child. And it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, to think that this widget is aimed largely at kids, as the implementation is very sleazy, and I don't like to see young people being taken advantage of.
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:icondollphinwing:
dollphinwing Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Yeah I was thinking that, I mean that must mean some 14 year old won a contest or something and only has points. That ends up teaching the kid that they can pay a low price for your work. I don't know how the widget works either so I don't know about the sleazy-ness but I just feel really strange when people ask for 20 points for a drawing.. what is 20 points anyway? 20 cents?
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I just think it's sleazy in that it's taking advantage of artists and customers who don't know any better...maybe that is the wrong word! I think 20 points is as you say, really just pocket change. I don't remember the exact ratio of points to dollars.
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:iconostentatiousnessness:
Ostentatiousnessness Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It seems that Artists have a similar problem to the old English Longbowmen: As crossbows and guns became more readily available the Longbowmen, who took their whole lives to become what they needed to be, didn't change their rates and overpriced themselves out of the market.
It appears to be the opposite for artists who innocently, but no less ignorantly, under priced all other artists on the market and the $50 max for some of the breath taking artwork I've seen, some of which is better than what I see massively famous and dead artists have made get sold for millions, will not help the problem and might I say if there is anything that I could do to help get rid of this thing or at least help change the max price I will unreservedly.
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Ha, yeah, we kind of did shoot ourselves in the feet with our prices! And it only gets worse, if the next wave of upcoming artists does the same thing we did. All that can be done is keep struggling to revitalise the industry, and speak up when we see mistakes happening, however innocently.

I think what we can do here is comment on all posts by DA about this widget, and explain our problems with it as clearly as possible, and also send messages directly to DA admins. Also, spreading the word on Facebook and other social networks can help alert other artists to the problem.

I only noticed the announcement by chance, while scrolling down to see daily deviation features. Probably, a lot of people missed it entirely, and have no clue this is going on.
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:iconostentatiousnessness:
Ostentatiousnessness Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sadly it might eventuate that you will get to much and professional artists will stop.
but as with everything one day some entrepreneurial individual might come along with a talent for art, see there is no competition and charge whatever exorbitant amount they want and so others will see what they can get and as such the professional artist might be reborn! only to have the cycle repeat but you know...

But I think that more seasoned veterans should befriend budding talents and offer them advice a guidance to make sure it never happens again
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I think this type of thing always happens to one extent and another, but the digital revolution has allowed it to happen on a larger scale than normal, lately. Hopefully, things will eventually level off, and from there, start to rebuild.

I do like your mentorship idea, and I try to reach out to other artists whenever I can. I always reply when people contact me about school projects, and so forth, and when I see a forum topic where beginner artists are looking for help, I chime in when I have knowledge I consider useful. And I'm part of a podcast that covers mostly topics relevant to beginner and intermediate-level artists. But there's always more a person can do! I see some people teaching classes over the Internet, and I've always thought it would be great to do that, but I lack the technical know-how. Maybe I'll see if I can find someone who's been to business school/has a lot of business experience, to come on the podcast, so more people could hear the basics from a reliable source.
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:iconostentatiousnessness:
Ostentatiousnessness Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I have to say first up, I love your long replies as they allow me to write my own long replies and improve my less than stellar writing skills :)

I think that it would be easier if more and more grizzled, old veterans did half of what you did then the situation would not be as perilous as it is and further more I think that there should be an art site dedicated to professionals looking to advertise and sell their works for fair and reasonable prices and if there was I would plug it to death on my YouTube channel.
Also see if you can get someone who can lay down the reality of not only what people would pay for exceptional work but also the difficulty of being a professional artist and having a family whilst still being competitive (though I think that's not the word I was looking for it was the best I could come up with)
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Ha, ha...I guess I do go on, a bit!

In fact, a lot of people also helped me along the way--even the angry artist I referred to in this journal entry has, in other contexts, been very kind and helpful. And he WAS being helpful with his angry rant against me and my cohorts, too. I was just too hardheaded to entertain that possibility, at the time. Sometimes, I think the problem is that these things seem SO obvious, once you've been in the business a while, but when you're starting out, you see other people doing the same as you, and money is starting to roll in, so you just think you're doing it right.

I have been looking for a site such as you describe. I tried freelanced.com and elance, and they are both absolute jokes. People are on there offering less than $500 to illustrate entire books...and this is normal, not a few bad apples. I have got some work from posting on the ConceptArt and RPGnet forums, but they aren't specifically FOR that--it's just one small subsection of a large forum.

I don't have a family, myself, but one of the other guys on the podcast has his first kid on the way right now, and others have children already, so the topic of using art to support a family has come up, but it never hurts to touch on issues like that repeatedly, as it's something that affects us in so many ways, from affording medical and dental care, including emergency funds, on a small freelance income, to coping with an overcrowded marketplace.
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:iconostentatiousnessness:
Ostentatiousnessness Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
<Insert intelligent conversation piece here>
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:iconsocar:
socar Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Hahahaha...I LOL'd.
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