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Advise About Commissions [Edit]


I'm new at the idea of commissioning and I just have a few questions.

Well first, I just started about a month ago to take commissions. I have received one so far. I figured that since I'm open to doing these commissions and if I had one completed that maybe more people would be interested in commissioning me. 

I completed the commission for someone on furaffinity and I was hoping maybe someone else would want to commission me too.

But so far it's quiet. I'm just not sure if I'm doing something wrong?

I'm fairly new to FA, I used to be on it a long time ago and I just got back into the groove of the site again. I made a journal asking if people were interested in commissions and the pricing of my art and I had quite a few replies.
I'm just wondering why now I'm not really getting much commission requests.

I was thinking maybe I need to post some more work to expand my audience. It's all I could think of. Or maybe my work isn't something people are interested haha.

Here was the commission I took: http://d.facdn.net/art/qlax/1319252690.qlax_sootcommishdones.jpg
And this is my FA page: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/qlax/

If anyone could answer this question for me please let me know!

Thank you!

[EDIT]: Thank You all for your help with commissions <3
I really can't thank you guys enough! If anyone has more I would love to read :3
But thank you all again! I do enjoy this community a lot. Very friendly folks <3

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 26th, 2011 01:40 am (UTC)
from what I can see, your work is great, and I'm sure people are interested.. it just seems to be a little higher class than most people on FA buy into. Most folks in the community prefer cheaper commissions it seems.. I have another friend who experiences much the same thing. He does expensive, high quality work and it's hard to get bites for that around here, even if the price is justified.
Oct. 26th, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
addendum: you also only have 100 watchers..posting a bit more (if you have it), or doing something else to get yourself some more watchers so people actually see your journals would likely help a lot as well.. perhaps the person who commissioned you could post what you did for them, as well, with a link back to your page. I generally try to do that, to get some extra attention for the artist, myself
Oct. 26th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
I think I'll ask him to do so, Thanks! :)
I figured it was the low audience. I'm aiming to draw more stuff for my gallery
Oct. 30th, 2011 09:36 am (UTC)
<--Guy who commissioned Soot ^_^

Buh! If you would like, I can totally do that. Of course, as a commissioner and not an artist, I only have a few more watchers then you. But the suggestions here are pretty spot on. One important step is getting people's attention! You will need more watchers to see you are open for commissions, before you start getting more.

Having frequent posts, even if they are just sketches, or works in progress, will help garner some attention. Picking up new watchers who just noticed your work on the front page is nice, so posting at prime times, rather then late at night might be good. Just a theory there. You could try tagging your work with keywords as well, which would help people pick your pieces out of searches more easily.

If you have a sketch style that you can work quickly with, you might try opening up a special set of commissions at a lower price, to nab some more skittish commissioners, who aren't looking for a big piece. There are a lot artist out there who do what is called Iron Artist runs. Series of quick, set priced commissions, usually done in a set sketch, or speed paint style. Open up 10 spots, work on those until they are complete, then open another 10 spots.

The benefit of that, I suppose, is working in a style you know you can complete a commission within a set amount of time. And you get more work out there for people to see, a little more quickly, hopefully picking up more watchers. Cascade effect! May be, just one idea o.o

Examples of other Iron Artists.


Just to give ideas on what some people have done.


I am not an artist, these are just observations from a commissioner! But it makes sense that you need to put yourself out there to be noticed. It will take a little time, but you will get as much as you give, so if you put the effort in to gaining attention, advertising, then people will notice. And if you keep up the fantastic work, people will definitely respect that ^_^

Best of fortune!
Oct. 26th, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, I got help from a local FA user who helped me with pricing. I didn't want to start off too cheap cause she told me then it's pretty hard to raise the prices afterwards.

Do you have any suggestions or probably just be patient and expand my audience and post more work?
Oct. 26th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC)
I'm a pretty chronic commissioner myself, but I hate to see when artists undercharge. I don't mind when they raise prices but some others do.. but it's just part of business.

My best recommendation would be to post more if you have it, maybe space it out (don't post it all at once) so that you can get waves of attention over a few days or weeks. You've got a good quality, for sure, you just need the viewerbase as your type of commissions are targeted at a smaller portion of the community than your average quick-sketch adult artist on FA
Oct. 26th, 2011 01:51 am (UTC)
I think your work is of a beautiful caliber.

I think you will do well, but first things are first, you have to network to get noticed, not just post. Watch other artists, talk to other artists, and try to do some art trades. Be active - go comment on things, favorite, and so on.

Second, you are very new on FA. You don't have many page views or watchers - give it time. Unless you were already very noticed elsewhere, you will have to build your viewers. Non-artists share artwork everywhere and they will bring you more watchers and hopefully some commissions! Be friendly - if someone watches you and you have the time, take a moment to look at their page, flip through their stuff if they have anything up, and leave them a note that you sincerely appreciate that they enjoy your work. Thanks for the watch/fav seems cookie cutter and they may not realize how much you like that they like your stuff!

I WOULD recommend you do more furry work. Find characters you like and draw gift art for their creators! Drawing characters that aren't your own will help draw others.

You're doing nothing wrong - you just haven't gotten a large enough base to get a lot of commission requests!

Your prices are very fair. I will tell you now that most furs are looking for very inexpensive work, and not many can blame them due to economy. But furs can be very stingy about prices and think that $30 for full color can be crazy. However, those that really do appreciate your work will respect your prices and will just save up.
Oct. 26th, 2011 01:58 am (UTC)
This really helps! Thank you :)
I've been meaning to do more furry work or anthros. I had a feeling this also played to not having much audience haha. But I'm getting in the groove of about to post furry work :)

I do thank all my watchers and people who recommend artists to me :)
I think I'll add for the favoring of work :)

Thank you very much for your comment!
Oct. 26th, 2011 02:05 am (UTC)
Your work is pretty lovely! I did notice one thing - In your commission journal I don't see any examples listed of your various commission types. (Sketches, portraits, so on).

When it comes to FA commissions, the more visual aid the better. It seems reading is not the first thing people do off hand. I'd say throw some examples in there, and widen the variety of what you offer.

Another way for networking is offering up art trades, a request here and there, talking to and discussing with other artists on the site and generally being social! Your work certainly would be desirable if you had more anthro/furry work as well, but you already have touched upon this topic. Your coloring is pretty fantastic, maybe offer coloring services or collaborative commissions? So many ways to get noticed, and most of them revolve around talking to people.

Freelancing takes time so keep posting on a regular basis, and get your name out there =).

Price wise? I charge similar wages, and rarely get a complaint. I don't think your prices are bad at all!
Oct. 26th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
Thank you for your comment!

I'm building my price sheet actually right now!
I saw some artists I watch had one, I figured I should have one as well :)

I definately will do some more anthro/furry works I used to do them a lot back when I used to be on here :3

But thank you! I'll take the advise :3
Oct. 26th, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)
I'm NOT saying your prices are "too high", because your prices are what the effort is worth to you, but I'd say your prices are about 2x the average I see at cons and on FA. Usually the people I see commanding those sorts of prices are very well known, have had their art up at a lot of cons, in the booklets, have a lot (thousands) of watchers, etc.

Some things that would help: post lots. That gets you more watchers. Chat with artists, comment on pieces you like, etc.
Give examples in your commission adds of what your sketches, etc will look like. Throw together a commission price sheet too.
Consider having "sales" of a particular thing, something you would like to do for a bit. (example: stigmata had a sale on Cracked graphite portraits (which nicely work as icons, too), charging $35 instead of $50 for a limited time. I know that's given me the incentive to commission folks from time to time ^-^
Oct. 26th, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
The only useful thing I can add is to have patience. Commission work is often irregular.

Good luck with your endeavors! You have lovely art. :)
Oct. 26th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
I have put up an ad on FA three times now and each time it has more than paid for itself (a month costs $20.) The last time I put one up I got over 500 new watchers and about 5000 new pageviews in a month. Costs money to make money, right? ;)
Oct. 26th, 2011 05:51 am (UTC)
I agree with this completely, and I was just about to post with the same advice.

When I first joined FA, I put an ad out and got TONS of exposure! And exposure means more commissioners! The $20 ad paid for itself many times over within the first day or two.

My ONLY criticism though, is to reduce the size of your commission price sheet. It's HUGE!
At least bump that sucker down to 1280px width. People should have no problem reading it at that size. One problem with having images that are too big is that if there is a lot of scrolling around involved, it might turn some people off from reading the information.
That, and, it took me a very long time to load.

Other than that, you're golden! Just follow the awesome advice people have given you, and you'll get commissioners in no time! :3
Oct. 26th, 2011 09:21 am (UTC)
I suggest basically what everyone else is saying. ^
Also a simple "I'm open for commissions!" with a link to your price/info page on your submissions could help. I know when I see art I like in someone's favorites/wherever else, I don't really like having to scrounge through journals or anywhere not in plain sight showing if they're open for commissions and what their prices are.
Just makes it a bit easier. :>
Posting a bit more frequently helps, too. My friend has great art but she posts so infrequently (she has three submissions up) that she doesn't have nearly as many watchers as she deserves.
Oct. 26th, 2011 09:34 am (UTC)
Do you have a DA account? Your work looks like it would actually appeal to non furry fans, if not more, and you might get more hits and commission offers that way.

You might offer cheaper things too like sketches, if you aren't already. That might appeal to fans who like your work but don't have a lot of money to spare.
Oct. 28th, 2011 12:47 pm (UTC)
I second the suggestion for an ad. Your work is quality and beautiful. It's just a matter of drawing in the customers whom have the cash to pay you your prices. (And you ARE worth those prices, please do not lower them!)

:3 I will definitely have to save up to commission you. I love your humanoid work.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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