Questions for artists: market rate of some drawings

MushroomCake28

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Hi everyone!

I'm still in the early stages of my next project and I'm thinking of commissioning some art. This is not a thread to commission someone, I'm still far away from that point in my project. I'm just trying to figure out the market rate and what it'll cost me. So to all artists out there, tell me what's the approximate prices of these (and also how much time it usually takes to draw):
  1. Half body bust (face to torso) in RTP style based on pre-designed face and character, the kind that is used to replace the face image in dialogues (so a neutral pose).
  2. Full body of a character in a special pose (the kind that appears in a wallpaper), RTP style and also based on a pre-existing character (same as #1).
  3. Full wallpaper art with 4 characters (same as #2, full character in a pose) and the background.
Thanks!
 

pasunna

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Better go check on deviant art job offer forum
you will see what amateur done there
the rate is up to quality style size(real size)
so there are no fix rate
and better post the sample of what you expect
so the artist can guess how much time to work with
 

Andar

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as said, the rate depends on quality and style of the artist. I purchased full body quality art for about 50$ but I've seen artists with better quality asking up to 300$ per picture.

If you go to the classified offers forum here you'll see what some artists have asked for specific resources in the past - and this forum's classified offers are among the cheaper offers you can get (partially because those artists are experienced in the styles required by the RMs, partially because that specific pixel art is cheaper and easier than most general art commissions)
 

JosephSeraph

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How much a piece of artwork costs is, at a professional level, derivative of mainly two variables: Cost per Hour x Time Spent. You can expect more experienced artists to charge approprately more per hour, but also deliver more content in that timeframe. That being said, that's highly dependant on the style, on the artist, etc. and you won't find a table like "Doing a bust like this takes 8 hours for every artist of this skill level"

The accepted bottom for professional artists (i.e. someone with no previous experience but with a professional portfolio) is $20 for most of the gamedev industry. Oftentimes you'll find people charging less than that, sometimes even $2-$10 for each piece of artwork, as beginners. That's, of course, unsustainable.

The key to having success while hiring an artist, I think, is to plan your budget and scope very well to try and get the most bang for your buck, especially if it's for a commercial project. For example, I see a lot of commercial game developers in here that hire artists to do promotional artwork for their game... and then use charater maker facesets and sprites in the actual game. In my opinion that's not very a intelligent use of their budget, when with more or less the same you could make at least facesets for the same characters featured in the promo art, and these facesets could still be used in the promo art: the result being an eye-catching banner as well as eye catching screenshots.

But yeah. Planning. Making sure both parts are being fair to eachother. Hiring someone can be a blessing or a pretty big misstep depending on these factors.
 

MushroomCake28

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How much a piece of artwork costs is, at a professional level, derivative of mainly two variables: Cost per Hour x Time Spent.
I thought people focused more on the work because some people work faster than others?

The accepted bottom for professional artists (i.e. someone with no previous experience but with a professional portfolio) is $20 for most of the gamedev industry.
Is that for a single character art?
 

JosephSeraph

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I thought people focused more on the work because some people work faster than others?
People work faster than others for a multitude of reasons but the main one being experience; the more experienced you are the quicker you work, but also the more you invested into having that skill so the more you should be rewarded for your time. But once again, there are other factors -- some styles are easier than others, some artists are more confortable with style A (even if it's generally considered a harder style) than B and will output that at a faster rate, some styles are more well supplied by the artists and will cost less because of the competition, while some other less common styles might cost more because of the lack of competition, it's lots of variables.

You don't need to worry much about all that, though. Artists more often than not do charge for each piece of artwork, rather than for time spent, but that price wil be calculated based on how much time they think they'll spend on each piece multiplied by how much their time is worth.

if you sit down with an artist, tell them what you need, they can say how comfortable they are within that style and both how fast they can make each piece of artwork, as well as how much to charge for it.
Is that for a single character art?
No. That's the hourly salary a company pays an entry-level artist. (the actual cost of the artist to the company might run at about 150% to 200% that much)

If you find an artist whose hourly rate is $20, and they can create one piece of whatever art you need in 60 minutes, then that's how much you'll pay for each artwork. if their hourly rate is $40 but they can finish 4 per hour, you'll pay $10 per artwork. If their hourly rate is $15 and they take 8 hours to finish a piece of artwork, you'll pay $120 per artwork.

Etc. that's how most freelancers, in most fields, work.
 

Celianna

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I would say that most freelance artists drawing character art do not work at an hourly rate, and have flat rates per character (and how much they need to end up drawing).

I've seen cheap artists go as low as $60 for a full body drawing. But I've also seen $300 for a full body drawing from a highly popular artist (I'm not even going to mention the artists that ask for over a thousand dollars). For a torso and up, you're looking at around $40-$100. Some artists charge you an arm and a leg if it's for commercial purposes, so make sure you read their terms well and state your business. Also remember that artists charge per expression (usually between $5-$10 per expression)!

Artists charge extra if they have no visual references to work from (it's pretty much the same as creating a character for you).

Your #3 of 4 characters would cost you the most, I would say roughly between roughly $300-$700 depending on the artist. Add around $100 more for a background. Some artists give a slight discount if you have multiple people in the same shot.
 

JosephSeraph

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I would say that most freelance artists drawing character art do not work at an hourly rate, and have flat rates per character (and how much they need to end up drawing).
Yeah! However, these flat prices are usually (and should usually) be derived from a calculation between hourly rate x time spent, and that'll fluctuate when it comes to style. So that's what I meant: Even if artists are charging flat prices, the hourly rate is still calculated in there. I'm mostly saying this to help other artists that want to be commissioned and are reading this, too. :^P

You can expect a flat price when you're commissioning an artist to work on their "default" style that they use as reference to table those prices, but if you want something different from that style then the same numbers will usually not apply, i.e. the artist will raise the flat price if it's difficult or laborious for them or might even offer a discount if it's an easier style etc.

But yeah, I agree 100% that that's how it goes
 

jakeybreaky

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Honestly kinda depends who you're lookin to commission, as differant people have differant rates, but generally from what I've seen from my other artist as well as my own prices, a single full body character character usually costs anywhere between 50-100 dollars. Again a lot of that depends on what you're asking for and how in demand that particular artist is.

Also if you're still looking for an artist and don't mind me shilling some of my friends' art biz I can DM you their info if ya want lol
 

Finnuval

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As mentioned before it Highly depends on several factors : time spent, experience, quality but Also how much effort it takes the artist to adapt to the choseb style, how complex said style is (a realistic portret vs a manga face for instance), If its for a single piece or a bunch of work, etc.

Both flat rates and hour based rates are pretty common, often the difference is experience of said artist within the field. Amateur off hobby artist are more inclined to have a flat price not always based on an hour rate where as the experienced proffesional artist is more likely to have an hourly rate or base their flatprice on that as mentioned by @JosephSeraph.

Personally I would expect anything from $15,- up to $100,- per piece as a reasonable price depending on experience and quality, the 3d option going up to $150,- to $500,- depending on complexity.

But what do I know xD
 

JosephSeraph

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more inclined to have a flat price
The only reason I say it's always based on time spent is that even when the price is flat the main drive is how much work that takes on average! unless we're talking DeviantArt point commissions that charge $2 for every full bust XD


edit: sorry, i was redundant, i had already said that in a previous post. i thought this was another thread where i hadn't lol
 

Tamina

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As mentioned before it Highly depends on several factors : time spent, experience, quality but Also how much effort it takes the artist to adapt to the choseb style, how complex said style is (a realistic portret vs a manga face for instance), If its for a single piece or a bunch of work, etc.
Besides quality and experience, one thing to consider is the target audience and the market value of the artist themselves. Many artist are more well known in that particular field and they have tons of followers. By hiring them for character designs, some of their fans will have a good chance to buy the game because they like the art. It's also possible to release art book as dlc or something as extra income for that project

Market value don't not always associate with skills. An artist that can do really high quality art don't always have tons of followers and vice versa.

Another thing to consider is the project needs and your target audience. Say it your goal is to create a brutal looking game with mecha in it, using cute moe anime characters in such project may not attract players into mecha, but players into moe.

Because of all these factors going on, it's very hard to get real value of a piece. If artist A with 100 followers charges $60 per full body shot but artist B with 40k followers charges $300 per full body, even though artist A seems cheaper and more "reasonable" for indie dev, in the long run the game may sell more using art of the artist B because he has more "fans". It can be a good marketing strategy to have expensive big name artist do a few "key art" or main character art just to open the door to fans of the artist, as well as selling art materials as dlc/special edition or something.

Amateur off hobby artist are more inclined to have a flat price not always based on an hour rate where as the experienced proffesional artist is more likely to have an hourly rate or base their flatprice on that as mentioned by
It's actually the opposite. A skilled artist tend to work faster, so charging per hour is often a loss for them. Say if they finish an illustration in 5 hours and charge $20 per hour, they only make $100 per illustration. when in fact the same illustration can be sold for $300 or even $500. I've even seen some industry top people who can finish a piece in less than an hour. Even if they charge $60 per hour they'd just make less money than a deviant art hobby artist. So in general, they charge flat price for higher gains.

For the most part price are associate with demand. When I started offering commission service years ago at one point I received 10 commission requests per day, it's not possible to do all of them because I didn't have enough time, so I only worked with requests with the highest budget: that was $250 per full body shot. There were plenty of people who wanted commission for $50 but I didn't take the job since there were higher offers out there that used all my free time already.

If an artist is really well known, popular and skilled, it's not uncommon to see several hundreds of even $1000+ per illustration.
 
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Finnuval

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Besides quality and experience, one thing to consider is the target audience and the market value of the artist themselves. Many artist are more well known in that particular field and they have tons of followers. By hiring them for character designs, some of their fans will have a good chance to buy the game because they like the art. It's also possible to release art book as dlc or something as extra income for that project
This ofcourse factors in aswell however is much less clear to gauge and as such i left that out of the answer xD

Because of all these factors going on, it's very hard to get real value of a piece. If artist A with 100 followers charges $60 per full body shot but artist B with 40k followers charges $300 per full body, even though artist A seems cheaper and more "reasonable" for indie dev, in the long run the game may sell more using art of the artist B because he has more "fans". It can be a good marketing strategy to have expensive big name artist do a few "key art" or main character art just to open the door to fans of the artist, as well as selling art materials as dlc/special edition or something.
True however this includes having a more longterm marketing strategy in miond which was not in the OP.

It's actually the opposite. A skilled artist tend to work faster, so charging per hour is often a loss for them.
Well that is your experience then, not mine and I have been doing this for a while now too haha but I will say that it also differs per country/culture you are in. As for the speed of the artist I personally tend to work very fast but I adjust my hourlyrate accordingly. so you won't see me ask $20,- p. hour and as mentioned I migth ask a flatprice however this price is based on an hourly rate (in my head anyway lol).

t's not possible to do all of them because I didn't have enough time, so I only work with requests with the highest budget: that was $250 per full body shot. There were plenty of people who wanted commission for $50 but I didn't take the job since there were higher offers out there that used all my free time already.
that's just good business-sense xD
 

Tamina

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Well that is your experience then, not mine and I have been doing this for a while now too haha but I will say that it also differs per country/culture you are in.
May also depends on the goal of the artist :). I never really put the time into marketing myself and I stopped commission after a month or so. So in general I charge based on hours because I wasn't super successful. However if one day I decide go back and market my art seriously, and ended up getting tons of commissions, then I'd go for the highest offer with flat price, even if they need less time to complete. Otherwise it's not worth the time and effort on all that skill improving and marketing.

I mean, there are people out there who made $100,000 per logo:

Surely he didn't spend 5000 hours on that logo. After you get certain level of market value in the field, doing (really high) flat price disregard hours spend is really the way to go in my opinion.
 

Finnuval

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After you get market value in the field, doing (really high) flat price disregard hours spend is really the way to go in my opinion.
Oh I agree with you on this haha
But I am also answering under the assumption the OP isn;t about to hire someone like Kazuma Kaneko lol
Or anyone else that has a real big enough marketvalue that they can apply this strategy to their pricing :)
 

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