Rachel Keslensky (lastres0rt) wrote in artists_beware,
Rachel Keslensky

Guide for New Artists, Please?

I've been following the community for a while now, and while I've been meaning to also get into my own commissions . . . I've been having some trouble with it, mostly the 'getting started' part. I'd like to see a similar guide for new artists getting into the fray.

My previous experience with any sort of work-for-hire can be summed up thus:
  1. Attempting to do an Art Auction on Gaia while questing. Long story short, I made in a "Panty Auction" around the same time frame (which to those not familiar with Gaia, is basically just personal charity/name-whoredom), and the Panty Auction made four times as much... which basically means I made jack.
  2. Similar attempts on Gaia saw me making 1-2,000 gold for headshots a year later. Opening up a petstore on Gaia helped fetch higher prices (around 4,000 for custom stages), but only a half-dozen actually sold.
At this point I wised up a little and realized messing around with such tiny amounts was a fool's game, and have been mostly working on a webcomic to help boost my reputation. This method, while it's improved my skills significantly, still feels very slow-going reputation wise. I've really had to bite my tongue to keep my disillusionment in check (since I know 'being whiny' is a turnoff), but I get the sense that there's something actually wrong with how I'm promoting things, because I know there has to be a way to beat the 'sit on DeviantArt for Five Years' method.

I have no clue what to charge for how much effort; my comic pages can range anywhere from 1-3 days of work (most take just 1 though), and my previous headshot efforts took only a few hours, though comparing the two is pointless. I think I want to try a FurBid auction first just to get my feet wet, but since my first attempts for even virtual money did so poorly, I'm still not certain I have the reputation needed for this price to be representative, let alone worthwhile.

(Examples of my work will be shown upon request; the icon is from a future page in the comic, although I admit it's not my most recent work. I'm hesitant to show the most recent unless it's somehow relevant. Besides, the 'guide' could benefit from being a little more generalized than specifically to my situation.)

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