I am a firm believer that using photos and other media for inspiration, posing, and referencing is highly beneficial. Ideas need to come from somewhere. As an artist, I can’t pull poses, anatomy, and environments out of my head, and I definitely can’t pull them out of my ass! I don’t know where this stigma against using references came from, but it needs to stop.
This is a question that many, many artists struggle with. I still struggle with this as well! The only thing I can suggest is, always have your prices be a work in progress.
When I took multiple art commissions in 2010, I started small. Really small. I had things priced extremely cheap. I remember back in the day I had a $2 sketch sale… Those were the days.
One reason was due to inexperience and lack of interest from others. What you’ll often read and what I’ll regurgitate is to check your market. Do you have any peers or people on art communities you frequent that you’re watching who works in a similar style? Research their price sheets. Research their following. Are they able to get away with a “Your Character Here” piece for $300? They probably have the followi- (I’ll rephrase that), the right following to back that up.
If you’re just starting out, it’s okay to begin your prices a little lower. But once that value, the quality of your work, and the demand for your work rises, your prices need to do the same.
Just…don’t drop your prices after charging others your current rates. Your clients will be highly peeved when they find out.
This answer will not give you a definite price, nor will any other answer. You, the artist has to decide your worth, but again that’s where that work-in-progress pricing comes in! This year, I decided to look at my prices and determine is this enough for me? Is what I’m being paid for sufficient for the amount of work I do? I’ll be honest, at the moment, no. I’m not satisfied with my prices. But once I answer these questions, I can then decide to revamp my prices depending on how the demand is progressing. And with every year or so after that, I’ll revisit, and tweak my prices as I see fit.
Next time, we’ll talk about flat vs. hourly rates, and how I charge my clients.
Until next week!
I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “it’s who you know” in show biz. Well, that applies to the illustration biz as well. Making connections is the best thing you can do for your business and your quality of life. When you make new friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, not only can you bring value to them, but they can do the same for you.
Are you a writer? An author? A person who forms ideas into words? You might need a creative companion. Someone who forms your literary ideas into something… visual.
You need an artist. But not just any artist. You need someone who is competent, who knows their value, and knows that the possibility of teaming up with you will benefit you and them. You also need an artist who can use your hard-earned money and ensure you seeking out their talent was the best decision you ever made.
You need a hireable artist.
“I hate my art”.
“This is ugly”.
“I need to rush to get this done”.
Hold on there, tiger!
Artists on a deadline do have to churn out things in a remarkable amount of time, but when that becomes something that needs be done day in and day out, the joy of creating gets sucked out of you, and your project.
Here’s three words to get your groove back.
When it comes to sharing value, I thought it would be easy to type everything I know about illustration down and share it in a blog post format. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong, but I never thought leveraging video would be easier.
Blogging. Everyone’s doing it nowadays. Digital Marketers, Companies, and especially thought leaders in their specific profession. With all the countless blog posts and content that I’ve come across, it seems the group that blogs the least are the illustrators. Why is that?
Maybe illustrators don’t have the time to blog.
Maybe illustrators feel like their art should speak for themselves.
Maybe illustrators don’t have anything to say.
Regardless of those excuses, there are plenty of reasons for an illustrator to blog, and I have three for you.