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Advice and maybe a question?

(Because I'm ignorant in the world of commissioning half the time) I've been hearing and reading a lot about "Sketchbook" commissions and was wondering... well, what are they? Does someone just go out and buy a sketchbook and dedicate to whoever commissioned them for x amount of time, or how does that even work?

The reason I ask is because I'm interesting in offering. There isn't anywhere I won't go without a sketchbook and I have plenty of time to dedicate to something like that. I'd just... I'd want clarification and a general consensus as to what prices sound fair/outrageous/etc etc. I'm only really willing to work on a 5.5 x 8.5 canvas (less for shipping or something and I draw pretty small :| ) and yeah... Here's my DeviantArt if anyone wants to gauge what I should charge, or what they'd pay for or something.

Er... Sorry for the sudden invasion/my stupid. Just want some input.

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( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 30th, 2010 11:44 pm (UTC)
I honestly couldn't tell you what to charge as I don't do commissions because I'd totally end up here with how much of a flake I am.

However, sketchbook commissions are usually when an artist gets a sketchbook and offers x amount of pages filled in with sketches or color pictures and charges by how many pictures they want done which way.
If that makes sense.
I've also seen artist hold auctions offering more colored pictures for the higher the bids go.
Dec. 30th, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
What do you charge for a sketch? I'd go by that x's the amount of pages you want to offer and then take off a percentage to make it seem more like a deal. :)
Dec. 30th, 2010 11:59 pm (UTC)
Haha, I JUST posted something about this on FA today!

The way I do it, and the way I've seen others do it, is that you have a blank sketchbook, and draw the character of whoever buys it. You might draw a page full of different facial shots, one of hands and feet, or engaging in their favorite activities, etc.

As for how much to charge, it's really up to you. What do you feel comfortable charging? Can you let it go for two bucks a page? Three bucks? Etc etc.

Good luck!
Dec. 31st, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
I have seen this done in a totally different way a few times. The sketchbook pages are left blank, but the artist decorates the cover for the commissioner. :)
Dec. 31st, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)
They're sketchbooks filled with a certain amount of artwork, with an agreed ratio or number of sketches/inks/colors. Often they'll be themed or involve characters of the commissioner.

Honestly, I've commissioned five sketchbooks and never received a single one. I would strongly recommend that you write up a defined content and time contract that you can realistically complete to avoid losing interest or dawdling with completion.

It's up to you whether you or the commissioner chooses the sketchbook itself, but make sure it's material you can be creative with and will last.

%60-80 of your normal prices added together plus the price of the sketchbook and shipping seems common.
Dec. 31st, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
If you've been ordering sketchbooks and not receiving a single one, how come you keep ordering more? x)
Dec. 31st, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
I ordered all of them within an 8 month time frame 5 years ago, I don't "keep ordering more".
Dec. 31st, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
Oh okay :)

Ordering 5 must have been expensive, so one would think you'd keep making an attempt to order one a year.
Dec. 31st, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
I know we only hear about the bad stuff here, but I do wonder if sketchbooks have an extra high nondelivery rate - they seem like things artists commonly commit to then realize they've bitten off more than they can chew.

Did you at least get refunded for the others you haven't posted about??
Dec. 31st, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
I would guess that you're right about them having a negligible delivery rate.

No, I haven't been refunded by a single one. Both of the other artists disappeared from anywhere I could contact them. One was N/Nitrogen and the other I can't even remember their name anymore since I have been unable to contact them for so incredibly long.
Dec. 31st, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's really, really sucky :(
Dec. 31st, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
I am pretty notorious for taking on huge projects, but I do get them finished, and I try to update them as regularly as I possibly can... And mind, I'm talking about maybe 20-30 character flats in full color for about three or four people. It took a couple years (because I do have to do projects in-between to pay for food and stuff) but they were all relatively happy when it was all done with (And I was too, haha.)

A sketchbook I don't think would be too difficult - but I'd definitely give myself a year at the most for a time of completion (and like offer 50 small pages at most.)
Dec. 31st, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
A factor in pricing is how specific the commissioner wants it to be. I've seen commissioners make a detailed list of ideas,with a request for each page. I would charge more for something like that, because it requires more interaction with the commissioner. You also need to decide if it will be pencil sketches only, or if some pages will be inked or colored.

My formula for larger projects is to determine how long it takes me to do one page. Then I multiply that by the number of pages. Then I multiply that by my hourly rate. I add cost of materials, then discount by 15% or so for 25+ pages.

I charge, generally, $15/hr for illustrated work, whether it's sketches, inks, or color. I round to the nearest half hour, and assume half an hour of "communication" with my commissioner.

I would suggest starting with smaller sketchbooks (both in size and number of pages) to avoid burnout and to see if it's something that you really want to do. :)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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