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Hourly commissions

Hi, I'm hoping people who have experience with hourly rate comms can please help me out.

If you are an artist who charges hourly rate, how do you figure out how many hours a project may take you? What kind of logs do you keep? What happens if the project ends up taking more time or less time than you anticipated? Do you prefer loose ideas or detailed descriptions? What is a good way of presenting information about your prices so clients understand how your hourly rate works?

As a client, should you provide information differently than you do for an artist who just gives a quote? For example, linking a picture in the artist's gallery to show the level of detail you want or stating what your budget is. Since hourly rate can end up being expensive, would it be a good idea to have a written contract?

These are the sorts of things I'd like to know. Thank you =)

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
celestinaketzia
Aug. 18th, 2018 01:27 pm (UTC)
I don't do hourly commissions, but I do time myself to make sure my commission prices stay within an hourly range that I'm comfortable with. I use this timer to keep track of how much time has been spent actually working.
skulldog
Aug. 18th, 2018 07:05 pm (UTC)
I've always use Cash Clock to set a price and run it when I'm working. After a few tests I find a pretty solid range it might take me to complete similar styles of commissions.

https://www.online-stopwatch.com/cash-clock/
fix_the_spade
Aug. 18th, 2018 08:12 pm (UTC)
Learn from Brad
I had a big long post planned out, but everything to look out for is neatly summed up in this video by Brad Colbow.



Everything in that video has happened to me, the biggest takeaways are to have a written agreement on the hourly rate, the inital quote and that the price will increase by the hour if the project over runs. Then make sure that the commisioner knows (and is often reminded) that any time your are dealing with them the clock is running.

Certainly when dealing with an hourly job you want as much detail as possible before you start, it will help you create a realistic quote. Set price work implies a level of polish based on the price chosen off the board, hourly can run and run, or start seemingly simple then suddenly change.
mortymaxwell
Aug. 19th, 2018 09:46 pm (UTC)
Hi, thanks for the timers and the advice. It's appreciated!
sheepilyy
Aug. 21st, 2018 02:55 am (UTC)
My fiance does all his work hourly and he streams and books time that way! Clients will request time slots and then he sends them a stream link. Here is his TOS which explains the prices and how much a client is getting per hour. However, it all depends on the client. If they need a lot of changes or edits that eats into the time. Since they are billed per hour it is on the client's dime.

What happens if the project ends up taking more time or less time than you anticipated?: He always tells clients to put more on the document in case there is extra time. When there is extra time left over and no content left he will sometimes guess what the client wants (they get what they get). If the project takes longer than what the client booked then he directs them to book more time. He is pretty good at his estimations when there is a quote, but again, there is always the client factor that may change that.

Do you prefer loose ideas or detailed descriptions?: I know he prefers CLEAR and SHORT descriptions. The it is pitched to the client is that the longer and more complicated the description, it will eat into the time he does the art (since he had to read and then translate the image onto the page). He really advises people against long stories, or unneeded information. He also tries to avoid "loose ideas," since more often than not the client knows what they want and will ask for changes, so it is best if they can describe it as clearly and concise as possible.

What is a good way of presenting information about your prices so clients understand how your hourly rate works?: His TOS document above I think has done a pretty good job. I know starting out he did a few like "in processes" images which he times how long each one took.

As a client, should you provide information differently than you do for an artist who just gives a quote? I believe concision is key for any commission (from my own personal experience), but that is what I would suggest to clients.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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