im not even an artist and these prices are hurting my feelings
This is what I have to dig through every time I look for new jobs to apply for.
For non-artists, let’s give you a little perspective.
For me, an illustration takes a bare minimum of 6 hours. Mind you, that’s JUST the drawing part. Not the research, or the communications, or gathering information. Just drawing.
That’s if it’s a simple illustration.
My art deco or more detailed stuff can take 20+ hours each.
Even simple, cartoony things still take at least 3 hours.
Let’s go with the second one. 2 illustrations for $25. Figuring 6 hours each. 12 hours total, for JUST the drawings. That’s approximately $2.08/hour.
Asking these prices is an insult. But what’s even more hurtful is there are people out there that will take these jobs. Which only encourages rates like this to be acceptable. And there are people who will try to say these are just what you have to do to get started.
I believed that. So my first coloring gigs were just $10/page. The day someone offered me $25/page for just flatting work, I realized just how wrong I’d been. I’m still not making the rates I’d like, but now I refuse anything below $25/page. Because there is value in my time.
In any standardized industry, even ones that pay piece rate over hourly, these numbers are criminal.
Do your fellow artists a favor. Never accept jobs like these. There are others that pay legitimate rates. Or at least closer to legitimate.
Such baby bullshit. Don’t even get out of bed for these rates.
If you are an artist who wants to make money off their art, I highly suggest you buy The Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook. It goes in depth about copyright issues and even contains contract and model release templates. The 2013 book *I believe* states the average professional charges $72 an hour. This article calculated that to make a 40k annual salary you would need to charge about $60 per hour.
After graduating from Art Center in 2012, I think I asked for somewhere between $35-45 an hour and got laughed at by multiple big name clients, which was infuriating, sadly expected, and terrifying with over $100K worth of student loans staring me in the face. If they tell you it will be “great exposure” that’s a red flag. Ask yourself how their exposure can compare to your Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr and Facebook pages combined?
And when you do get a decent paying gig, PROTECT YOURSELF. You have the right to negotiate and revise a contract. Do not start a job until you have a contract signed. If they don’t provide you with one, MAKE ONE. And make sure you have your bases covered. You can specify in a contract that maybe two revisions are included in your cost, and if they ask you to revise the piece more than twice, they will have to pay extra. In terms of payment schedule, I usually do the 50/50 Method (50% before, 50% after) or the 3/3/3 Method (1/3 before, 1/3 in the middle, 1/3 after all work has been received). Both of those are pretty standard in the industry, as they guarantee you will get compensated for your time, even if the job goes bad.
Remember you have a skill, and you have spent time honing that skill and you deserve to be adequately paid for that time and effort. You will have clients dismiss you because, honest to God they think, “Well, I could do that if I wanted. Hell, my five year old does it now.” No they can’t, because they didn’t, they don’t, they won’t and they probably never will. And good luck hiring a five year old. They can’t keep a fucking deadline.
And in a last ditch effort they’ll say, “But that drawing only took you an hour!” Son, that drawing took me 20. fucking. years.
10 Dollars for 1 minute of animation. Oh my god my heart. It took my team 6 months and a team of 12 to make a 4 minute short.