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Complicated Characters/Commissions Pricing

Hello again!


I'm returning with more questions. I'm slowly taking commissions and more art trades, and I couldn't help but to notice that some characters are more complicated than others (of course lol). My question is what is a reasonable price to charge for complicated characters? For example, a character with complicated fur patterns (with words and barcodes in the fur... I'm sure you've seen those around) and intricate accessories. Now, I'm not saying that these kinds of characters are bad to have. Everyone has different tastes. Though, I'm sure X Character with several accessories will take more time than X Character that's just a plain anteater.  


Also, on doing trades, I wanted to ask if it was fair to deny someone a trade because his or her character is more complicated to draw? I don't mind a challenge in art here and there, but some designs I know turn out to be too tedious for my liking. And if so, what would be the best way to tell the person “no” without sounding too mean.



Thank you for your time!

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( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 29th, 2011 12:38 am (UTC)
On doing trades it's fair to decline because grass is green if you feel that way, there's hardly an obligation. But if it's with someone you'd like one to go ahead with, you could try explaining that their character is more complex than what you asked for and so could they ask of something more simple from you.

As for excessive extras as commissions, the amount to add on would depend on what your rates already are. I think it would be fair to add 10% or a minimum of $5-10 for wings, for example. Prices should be fluid depending on the amount of work put into them, and if you were so inclined you could charge less for aspects that you actually enjoy drawing I suppose.
Aug. 30th, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your input! I've had a hard time deciding if it's ok to decline because the character is more complicated than mine. I know it varies, because I've been told my characters are complicated.

Hm. Since I generally don't charge much for my art, $5 seems about goo to me.

Thanks again!
Aug. 29th, 2011 12:51 am (UTC)
I agree with the above.

I generally add $10 extra for complicated markings or wings, but YMMV.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
I charge more to draw things I don't like to draw, so...yes! Feel free to put a $5-$10 'Your character is going to be very time consuming to draw' charge. Or more, if there's a bunch of little nitpicky details.
Aug. 29th, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
I have an area that says: 'If a character is quite complicated, I will charge more. You will be notified of this before the commission starts'.
Aug. 29th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC)
For commissions I'd guess around 10%, but don't be afraid to go over that for barcodes and words, 50 earrings, and 3 sets of wings - that sort of thing. What I would say is "All prices listed are estimates and will vary with complexity. Contact me for a more accurate quote."

As for trades I'd say "That's a bit more complicated than I anticipated. Can I simplify the designs or is there another character you'd like me to draw instead?" It makes the decision on how to proceed theirs.
Aug. 29th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
I agree with the flexibility of commission pricing, depending on complexity of character. Don't feel you have to stick to a specific price if a character is going to take twice as long to draw.

As for the trade, you could ask them to give you several different characters to choose from. Like that you have more variety to pick the one you'd have the most fun doing a design for. Though you run the risk of all of them being crazily accessorized. Otherwise everyone else's suggestions are great.
Aug. 29th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
I forgot to add, that when I do trades, I tend to do that. I'll give the artist a couple choices to pick from, since I figure trades should be fun and more free.
(no subject) - miryhis - Aug. 30th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 29th, 2011 03:13 am (UTC)
Off topic, but -

Eeee Felidae!!!
Aug. 29th, 2011 03:48 am (UTC)
I came to say this!
(no subject) - hybrid_xisha - Aug. 29th, 2011 05:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - miryhis - Aug. 30th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hybrid_xisha - Aug. 31st, 2011 07:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - miryhis - Aug. 31st, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - miryhis - Aug. 30th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 29th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC)
For complicated characters, I figure +50-100% of the price of a character.
Though I usually err in the favour of the commissioner...
But something like a tiger or whatever I'd just treat as normal even though it's more work. It's splitting hairs for me to charge extra for something like that.
Wings or some fancy tattoos that I know are going to increase the time spend on it are like +50% (so half of having added a second character).
Something like wings, and tattoos, and robot arms, oh and it's a taur, that's really like drawing two characters to me so it's going to be the cost of two characters.
Aug. 29th, 2011 08:15 am (UTC)
I have never charged extra for complicated characters only because there have been times that the simpliest of designs took FOREVER compared with something that had tentacles...the amount of time it takes for me to complete a piece varies so much that I just price my art at what I'd like to be charged either way. I have declined commission offers because of overly complicated characters...especially ones with tribal tattoos that are not clearly displayed on a ref sheet. I find that I get more commissions when my prices are clearly posted without a "contact me for clarification"... maybe posting a range in which a commission can fall $20-30 for inks, for example. This gives your customers an easy way to see the price but gives you the wiggle room for characters that should cost more to render.

For trades? I had to stop offering these because I NEVER was requested to do something simple...it was always some transgendered-herm with a macro theme with 8 wings, 3 tails and a split tongue trying to swallow some inflatable pool toy while in a three some with two other characters that look just like the first! I find that many people hunting for trades are those who can't get an artist to take a commission for their characters/subject matter. You have to put your foot down if you're not comfortable. You WILL be taken advantage of if you don't.

if you feel undercharged for complicated characters, charge more
don't feel guilty about declining complicated characters in a trade offer
Aug. 29th, 2011 08:30 am (UTC)
I laughed so hard at this unfortunate trade XD

I agree with this post. If you have a TOS you might say "note: prices are subject to change" or something. I usually don't open commissions up to overly difficult stuff when I'm using a set price list (usually stating the commission is for a full-body picture, normal pose, etc). If I take on private, separate commissions I usually name my price after I've heard what the commission entails.

I don't do trades EVER. I did yeeears ago, but I am really bad about doing my end of the trade because unless I get paid I will put RL things first. I might do gift art sometimes... I am an example why people shouldn't do trades, because the other person might not be fair or forget, etc etc.
(no subject) - millislim - Aug. 29th, 2011 08:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mariechan - Aug. 29th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - miryhis - Aug. 30th, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - millislim - Aug. 31st, 2011 12:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - miryhis - Aug. 31st, 2011 03:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - millislim - Aug. 31st, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - miryhis - Sep. 1st, 2011 02:21 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 29th, 2011 08:48 am (UTC)
For trades, I always reply with a generic, "Thank you for your interest in my work, but I will be unable to trade with you at this time." That line never seems to anger people.
Aug. 30th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
I'll keep that one in mind!
Aug. 29th, 2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
Don't be afraid to go up to like.... 25% of the price for complicated characters. As someone with a complicated/not to everyone's taste (okay not barcodes and words but still lots of wings) I am not turned off by paying a lot extra. And in fact if someone does not have a complicated character additional fee I usually will tip extra more than usual.

As for trade, just tell them you actually just got busy on some other project. >.>
Aug. 30th, 2011 08:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your input! I do hope my future commissioners are as understanding as you when it comes to paying for complicated characters.
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Aug. 30th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 30th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
It's a whole different game with sculptures to me. I agree with you, because you have to make it look good from all angles. Lots of little details to take care of.

Thank you for your input!
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )


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