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How much should I charge?

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  • How much should I charge?

    Hi! I always find it difficult to decide how much to charge. I've been asked to do illustrations (oil paint + vector) for a children's storytelling project. The scope of work is: 5 full page illustrations + 18 smaller illustrations.
    What do you think I should be charging? THANKS!

  • #2
    Hi Iris and welcome to GDF.

    I'm sorry, but we cannot discuss pricing here, it's against the rules. You can get feedback on how to come up with your own pricing, or where to look in your area for ideas, but no discussion on specific pricing, no dollar amounts.

    We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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    • #3
      Just multiply what you want to make per hour by how many hours you estimate the project will take.

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      • #4
        Yes, you need to have a good understanding of how many hours this project will take to complete and how many sets of revisions/changes the quote covers.

        I find illustrations are a lot harder to implement changes than graphic design. If a client wants to change a colour or font in a design, that doesn't take long. But to change something in an illustration often means re-drawing or re-colouring a whole section. So keep that in mind when quoting.
        It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

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        • #5
          That doesn't really work with commissioned artwork B.
          A lot of times it can depend on how in-demand the artist's work is.

          While that is probably not the case here, probably, and the hourly thing works, I tend to find that many illustrators have a per piece charge that depends on the size of the piece and how many revision sessions they give you on sketches.

          While it's nice to get large artwork to get the detail for the final output (remember, I usually only do really large prints,) these days, the artwork has to fit on the highest quality scanner I can find or I have to resort to an additional 3-figure charge for someone with a scanback camera. I used to have an art-quality source nearby with a 48" x 60" -ish cruise scanner. But they've switched over to scanback now too. Even a cruise scan used to set me back 150 clams each. A photog in the mix nearly doubles that.

          In other words, be sure of your output method before beginning the art.
          Last edited by PrintDriver; 10-10-2016, 07:04 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
            That doesn't really work with commissioned artwork B.
            A lot of times it can depend on how in-demand the artist's work is.

            While that is probably not the case here, probably, and the hourly thing works, I tend to find that many illustrators have a per piece charge that depends on the size of the piece and how many revision sessions they give you on sketches.
            Everything boils down to whether or not the compensation is worth the effort. The only way to determine that is by estimating how long it will take to do the work and whatever incidental expenses are involved (which in the case of an illustrator are typically known and included in the initial quote).

            An experienced illustrator (my wife is an illustrator), might charge per piece and might base that rate on, as you said, the size of the illustration.That rate, however, is still a reflection of the illustrator's best estimation of how long it will take to produce a finished illustration. Since larger pieces take longer, the price is generally higher, but that price is still a reflection of the time needed to produce it.

            Yes, if the illustrator is in demand, the price rises, but that's also true for an in-demand designer. An illustrator might present costs to the client in terms of different sizes ,mediums or styles costing different amounts, which might make it appear to the client that the illustrator is using a different sort of pricing structure than, say, a designer, but in the end it really still does just boil down to pricing the job based on how much the illustrator expects to make per hour.

            One thing that is a bit different is that illustrators are typically hired for their style. This is also true of designers to a certain extent, but successful freelance illustrators really do tend to get pigeon-holed into the styles as their work matures and people hire them based on that style. This makes it really easy for the illustrator to start listing prices based on size since every illustration is, in a sense, a variation of ones that came before. But even in this case, that pricing is still a reflection of the time it takes and how much that time is worth to the illustrator.

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            • #7
              For commercial art illustrations: (Estimated hours including revisions) x (the most money you know you can make per hour doing something else) x3 if you pay all your own marketing and overhead costs.

              For fine art illustrations: The most money you think anyone can possibly make off of your art the number of years you think you have left to live.

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              • #8
                Here's a few ideas.

                Depending on where you live, you could contact a professional association for illustrators / designers in your country/state to get an idea for what to charge.

                Alternatively you could contact a professional illustrator directly, tell them your situation and ask them if they could give you some guidance on what to charge.

                I used to work for an illustrator who was highly skilled and in great demand. Even though some of his work might only take him 30mins or 60mins he was still able to charge seemingly high amounts of $ because he was in demand and worked for a lot of corporates. My point is, much depends on your particular illustration skills and how your skills/style compares to others in your locale as well as the demand for what you do.
                Last edited by Pavlo; 10-19-2016, 04:45 AM.

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