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What's a good hourly rate/price?

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Morthagg
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What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-11 18:13:17 Reply

.. For an 'artist' with my ''''expertise''''? Some of you guys here might have some idea of what the things I make look like (and if you don't you can always take a look), and even though I'm planning to ask others (and ze rest of ze interwebs) for advice, I thought, why not Zoidb.. Newgrounds?

A person has asked me to do a rather large piece of work, a sitting up-from-knees-portrait of her and her boyfriend, with psychedelic aspects in the background. The work itself should be poster format (A2), she likes it to be done in watercolour (but I can actually add digital work too if I want, or a mix of a lot of things), she wants some decent amount of detail, made to fit the personalities of both of them, like holding books that they love, adding records that they listen to, .. All of it can have an air of humour and mock 'aristocracy'. As far as I know now the piece isn't needed anytime soon.
Now, I never made a piece of work that needed that much attention, planning and serious face, so I don't even know how long the piece is going to take.
Now a little info about me: I don't have a steady job at the moment, but one should/could be coming up. I am going to need to buy some new stuff to realise this project (like actual aquarel paint instead of kiddie watercolours), I'm probably going to have to do some real-life-observation/photography of the peeps and don't forget, I'm nowhere near an actual professional.

So my question to you guys: Have any of you had similar things made/made similar things? How much did/would you charge for it? How much would you be willing to pay for something like that (considering it's made by me, be that good or bad)? Hourly rate or fixed price?
I know I'm the one who ultimately knows best, and I hope asking such questions isn't against any rules, but I though some advice from here could be well used.

Thanks guys!

Kinsei
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-11 18:23:43 Reply

At 4/11/12 06:13 PM, Morthagg wrote: Thanks guys!

Well.... if I was Zoidberg, which I'm not, I'd be charging something between 15 - 20 dollars an hour considering all the things they want. Also your skill level is much higher than mine, so that factors in as well.

Definitely don't do it for less than 11 bucks an hour.


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Morthagg
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-11 18:40:02 Reply

At 4/11/12 06:23 PM, Kinsei01 wrote:
Well.... if I was Zoidberg, which I'm not, I'd be charging something between 15 - 20 dollars an hour considering all the things they want. Also your skill level is much higher than mine, so that factors in as well.

Definitely don't do it for less than 11 bucks an hour.

Oh no, to be honest, I wasn't even considering going below 15â'¬ an hour. Which is about 20US$, I think. Especially not for an actual painting like this thing. To be fair, the girl (while I wouldn't exactly call her an acquantance, we've had contact before and I've met them) mentioned a rather large amount of money to her name (I for some reason don't feel comfortable with telling the internet how much) and even though it was meant jokingly and I doubt she's willing to spend that much on me, it shows she is serious about paying me a fair price.

Kuoke
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-11 19:45:47 Reply

How many hours do you think it would take you to do though?

I would say that $20/hour is way too low considering that being an artist isn't a physical labour job and actually requires years upon years of experience to be able to do properly, additionally if you're doing part of this traditional, the hourly rate should compensate for the materials included.

If I had to give a number, I would probably say bare minimum $45 an hour, leaning towards a higher number - especially if you don't know them personally.

Given that, _if I know my shit correctly_ , the average professional visual artist goes for $70/hour on average.

But if you work really slow and the estimated time multiplied with the hourly rate becomes ludicrous, then you'd probably want to lower the rates accordingly to equal out the time required to finish.


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tul
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-11 19:49:04 Reply

per hour on a painting ? that's odd
well for a handmade/ traditional piece like that. A2, right ?

dude, If you're a decent artist you can go between 150 - 250 usd.( I personally charge about 120 euros on 1 character, digital art ... and digital art is waaaaaaaaay below traditional art, moneywise that is) But you'd have to negotiate with them. You have to convince them that your piece will enrich their life and will snapshot their personality for all eternity and all that bullcrap.

NEVER undeprice your self. Because you'll be head over your heels with work that's poorly paid. Trust me ...

ornery
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-11 21:47:31 Reply

Dont think of it too much as an hourly expense. Because you can screw yourself by working too fast, or way over charge if you are slow.
In general $20 is a good hourly rate to consider, so start with that as a base for how long you think it should take. Something of that scale and nature will probably take around 10 working hours, 6 if you are quick. With that in mind you are looking at minimum $120 - $200. Include a rough estimate of expenses, say an extra $50. That means that at no point should you charge less than $170. But here comes the fun part.

For my commission portraits I like to charge about $550 for a poster sized piece. If people don't like the price I have a bit of wiggle room or they can go for the next size down. These things take about 10 hours or so to finish and aren't particularly hard. Does that mean that I'm charging about $50 an hour? You could look at it that way. But in reality I base my price on my competitions prices, who charge around a grand for the same thing. I figure undercutting them will get me more clients, while still being a reasonably high price for my own sake.

They are coming to you because they like your skill and style, art isn't really something that gets charged at an hourly rate. Think of it more as a special unique creation. This is a skill that ONLY YOU can provide to them. Start as high as you think is still fair (about double that original 'hourly' rate is a good benchmark) and if you have to barter a bit drop a hundred and you will be surprised what they will be willing to pay. If they want significantly less then you need to size down the project, its only fair. You are the artist, they came to you because they trust your skills, they will listen to whatever you say.

Vonschlippe
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-11 22:32:29 Reply

I charge 35$CAN an hour for graphic design (posters and typing, not drawing), and I charge 55$ to 70$ an hour for actual drawings.

If you are doing freelance and you have other things to do, don't be afraid to set up a higher price. Let your (awesome) portfolio speak for you, not a specific degree in art. I am an extremely busy engineering student and the idea behind my price is to make my time worth it. Keep in mind that if you set cheap prices, people will think you provide a cheap quality. You are the only true assessment of your worth, within reasonable limits...

Charging 55$/hour is very reasonable considering the quality of your work. Eventually a stable job will come by with a much lower hourly price, but this is the price of stability. Your freelance fee should account for the particular nature of the job. Finally, make sure you ALWAYS write up a detailed contract before starting any work (friendly or not). Learned this the hard way.

x-factor11
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-12 03:43:56 Reply

At 4/11/12 10:32 PM, Vonschlippe wrote: Finally, make sure you ALWAYS write up a detailed contract before starting any work (friendly or not). Learned this the hard way.

What would you include in the contract? I assume some kind agreement to not steal the work, or anything like that.

In any case though, I'm glad this thread came up :O! There have been a few times where either someone has wanted to hire me to do something for them, or where friends and family have wanted me to try to sell my art, and I always get stuck on how to price myself and if there is anything legal wise I should do beforehand.

J-qb
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-12 06:05:19 Reply

At 4/12/12 03:43 AM, x-factor11 wrote:
At 4/11/12 10:32 PM, Vonschlippe wrote: Finally, make sure you ALWAYS write up a detailed contract before starting any work (friendly or not). Learned this the hard way.
What would you include in the contract? I assume some kind agreement to not steal the work, or anything like that.

Well, it'd be hard to steal a traditional painting, you'd typically include that the client will actually buy it, payment details (half before half after/all at one time/etc. amount), and maybe most importantly number (and timing) of revisions.


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Morthagg
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-12 10:11:26 Reply

Thanks for all the replies! I'm really grateful for the advice and ideas given here.

I think the painting could take more than 10 working hours, to be honest. I'm not really a slow worker, but I don't really trust my own skill with painting in aquarel/watercolour and I just see myself making mistakes and having to start over. So uh. Yeah. I'm also counting in the amount of time it will take to come up with the definitive design. Since it has so many details that could take a while in itself.
I'm really flattered that the couple actually browsed through my work and referenced my own work as examples of how they liked things done. It does indeed mean they want something I have made, the way I make it. So I guess that does give me power. I've asked them to think about how much they want to spend on the thing, but I have the feeling it'll be more or about as much as what I'd like to make from it. Which is, I guess, about 400 euro's. Although a part is me feels like a quack for asking that much, and another part is yelling NO ASK MORE YOU IDIOT. It's confusing.

I'm also planning to make a contract, yes. Truth is, I have hardly an idea what to put in it. Now, my mom works in design (.. well, that sounded mature) so she could probably help me out with it, but if you guys have some advice regarding that, it's welcome.
For instance:

At 4/12/12 06:05 AM, J-qb wrote:

:and maybe most importantly number (and timing) of revisions.
.. I wasn't even aware that was a thing.

J-qb
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-12 10:18:57 Reply

At 4/12/12 10:11 AM, Morthagg wrote:
At 4/12/12 06:05 AM, J-qb wrote: and maybe most importantly number (and timing) of revisions.
.. I wasn't even aware that was a thing.

that's mostly something I've picked up from other poeple, but especially on big projects I understand it's pretty important; you want to deliver a satisfactory result, to that end you want to give your client a chance to give feedback, but you don't want em to tell you to redo it once you're finished or to keep wanting new stuff/changing their mind over and over again.


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MeowolaSS
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-12 10:45:08 Reply

And so shes askies the questions.

Meow

What's a good hourly rate/price?


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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-12 11:16:33 Reply

If she's expecting you to use your own materials, charge her more to compensate for the use of materials. Traditional art supplies aren't cheap. =[

lovingthedark
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-12 11:47:16 Reply

I've got a sample contract in a book somewhere- I'll type up the gist of it for you when I get back from class.


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Morthagg
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-12 15:52:00 Reply

At 4/12/12 10:45 AM, MeowolaSS wrote: And so shes askies the questions.

Okay, I lol'd.

Actually, my mom seems to think asking 400 euros is too much. But I think that's what I'm going to go with anyway, if they think that price is too high, we can still negotiate. Actually, she seemed to think me wanting to make an actual contract was a bit much, and that an email with a basic agreement would do fine.
.. Mom, I'm trying to handle this thing professionally, now you're making me feel stupid for trying to do it right, and too amateurish to pull it off :( Anyway, we'll see what the couple thinks of the whole idea.

At 4/12/12 11:47 AM, lovingthedark wrote: I've got a sample contract in a book somewhere- I'll type up the gist of it for you when I get back from class.

Oh, that would be great, thanks!

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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-12 16:54:39 Reply

Okay, the book, which is a super useful one called Art/Work by Heather Darcy Bhandari and Jonathan Melber, recommends charging 20-100% more than you would for commissioned work, based on how you are giving up creative control and having to move away from your regular studio practice.

Anyway, sample Commission Agreement hereand here. I figured the wording was particular enough i'd probably miss something with just a summary. Feel free to edit the sample before using it based on what does or does not make sense for your situation. There's another sample agreement in the book for installation type work, which gets a little bit more complicated.

Don't let the buyer add any clauses saying that you agree "not to make any work in the future that is substantially similar to the commissioned work", because most work from the same artist tends to be substantially similar anyway. It's okay to agree not to make "identical work" though.

If you find yourself running into a lot of similar questions, I recommend buying Art/Work or seeing if it's in your local library- it's got some really great information.


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x-factor11
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-13 01:08:50 Reply

At 4/12/12 04:54 PM, lovingthedark wrote:

:ArtWork

Neat! Might try to look for that book, I got amazon money to spend anyways.

Morthagg
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-26 08:18:46 Reply

Sigh.. Okay, so, apparently they thought the price would be no more than 100 euro's. Which comes down to around US$130. I really hate to do this because it's a cool idea and a cool picture and they're cool people with whom I'd love to work I think, but I'm afraid I'm just going to have to refuse. For that price I'd have to make the thing in either very mediocre quality or just very small. I don't want to do either and neither should they, so I'm going to advise them to maybe save up some money if they really want to have the thing done.

I feel kind of bad for doing this because I hate to be all 'hurrr I'm doing it for the money', but I'm guessing it's for the best here.

Breaktroll
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-26 12:02:02 Reply

At 4/26/12 08:18 AM, Morthagg wrote:
I feel kind of bad for doing this because I hate to be all 'hurrr I'm doing it for the money', but I'm guessing it's for the best here.

Y-you monster! D:
You're not family anymore.. :I


Try not being a bitch for once, huh?

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bigjonny13
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-26 12:42:44 Reply

At 4/26/12 12:02 PM, Breaktroll wrote: Y-you monster! D:
You're not family anymore.. :I

That's okay, she can join my family.

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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-26 12:46:44 Reply

At 4/26/12 12:42 PM, big-jonny-13 wrote:
That's okay, she can join my family.

Is that..... is that an official proposal?


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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-26 12:56:14 Reply

At 4/26/12 12:46 PM, Luwano wrote: Is that..... is that an official proposal?

>_>
<_<

You're already in the family Luw
Breaktroll
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-26 14:53:38 Reply

At 4/26/12 12:42 PM, big-jonny-13 wrote:
That's okay, she can join my family.

No.. She vill hav no family. I vill make sure ov zat..
..mwahaha..

I don't even know where I'm going with this post..


Try not being a bitch for once, huh?

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Morthagg
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-26 16:38:49 Reply

At 4/26/12 02:53 PM, Breaktroll wrote:
No.. She vill hav no family. I vill make sure ov zat..
..mwahaha..

I don't even know where I'm going with this post..

Yeah uhh me neither. Also, does jonny's family come with a secret handshake? I'd join that.

bigjonny13
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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-26 17:22:50 Reply

At 4/26/12 04:38 PM, Morthagg wrote: Also, does jonny's family come with a secret handshake? I'd join that.

No, but we all have fancy capes we wear on special occasions.

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Response to What's a good hourly rate/price? 2012-04-26 21:22:57 Reply

At 4/26/12 08:18 AM, Morthagg wrote: Sigh.. Okay, so, apparently they thought the price would be no more than 100 euro's. Which comes down to around US$130. I really hate to do this because it's a cool idea and a cool picture and they're cool people with whom I'd love to work I think, but I'm afraid I'm just going to have to refuse. For that price I'd have to make the thing in either very mediocre quality or just very small. I don't want to do either and neither should they, so I'm going to advise them to maybe save up some money if they really want to have the thing done.

I feel kind of bad for doing this because I hate to be all 'hurrr I'm doing it for the money', but I'm guessing it's for the best here.

Don't ever feel bad about refusing to do something like this. When you have bills to pays, you can't tell your bill collector that "Eh, I was only planning on spending "x" amount this month on bills." I don't think that would go very far. Art isn't cheap and neither was all the time and money you put into materials to learn your craft.

To give you an example of how march I charge. This I believe was 30 x 40 inches on illustration board. I charge about $200.00 for this and it takes me roughly 4 hours to do. If it was on a canvas I would've charged and extra $100.00 to cover the extra material.

What's a good hourly rate/price?