NOTE: This journal is aimed at teenagers/young people who don't have a lot of experience with full-time jobs and who are still developing. I will concentrate on dA-related commissioning, so this is not actually a full guide to having a successful business. Also, if you have any suggestions on what to add, please comment below. I'll be updating this journal every time I remember a good bullet point.
Any ,, greatly appreciated as this journal took HALF A DAY to create and my back is killing me
Hey everyone! There are many helpful journals about how to do commissions, how much to charge. You've also established the payment options (as that's not in the focus of this journal, so let's assume). Since it's pointless to repeat what's already out there, I got inspiration to write about something more. I'd like to help those who still didn't get in to zone with commissions. If you've already started, made your pricing, or at least have some in mind, then this is the journal for you!
Every advice here is based on my personal experience as a young commissioning artist. First of all, you have to be willing to work, and in different fields. Being young and not having a lot of projects behind you means you have to take every opportunity you can. If you are lazy to work, but need the money, then you won't do any type of job adequately. There are several things you should consider when you're doing commissions: What is your motivation? To me, there are several things, like:
- Being able to work in the area I want to specialize in (having in mind I will soon start graphic design and visual communication)
- Working in the comfort of my own home (in my case generating more revenue than most of the people my age here where I live)
- Working for people living in countries with higher standards than of mine (go back to the brackets of previous point for an explanation)
- Making a foundation to having my dream job, as doing commissions helps build my portfolio, quality of work and job experience
- Building a status/reputation. Some of the job offers available involve having your work showcased in a popular magazine/website, especially if you're a comic book artist. You will be heard for, possibly by some big names in the art industry. One of my friends who is a comic book artist here where I live, finished art college last year and while working for some small publishers, got an email from a big French publishing house. Now his monthly income is approx $6 000 (plus fringe benefits worth around $4 000). I've taken the freedom of disclosing this information, as I didn't mention any names. Though, it's not really a secret to people who know this guy. If you're picky, consider this: do you really have a choice to decline a commission just because you don't like the style?
- Being spoiled won't help you at all. Commissions are all about obeying the customer's demands, not an excuse to do personal artwork and get paid for it. There are a few cases where the customer demands your creativity and style, but as much as I've seen, these opportunities are rare, and mostly taken by more experienced, professional artists. All of us young peeps just starting out should accept that there won't be big projects at the beginning of our
freelance careers. For this to happen, you will need to have an impressive portfolio with many examples in different styles. Your excuse for not doing something can't be "it's not for me". Gosh damn it, nothing can't be FOR YOU until you try it and practice. You can't give up easily and NEVER accept that you can't do something.
- One of my friends IRL who is a hobbyist artist got an offer to to 5 portraits a week or every two (not sure really) an get a monthly pay of $650. That doesn't sound like a lot, but the thing is that she only takes up to an our to
do a portrait, as she isn't really keen on improving or getting something fantastic as a finished product. I'm not going to comment on this note, but the more important thing in this example is that she declined to do the commission, as almost every she got. I was baffled and asked her why the H would she do that! She told me: "I don't know, it's not for me. I start many things and quickly give up. You have such a strong sense of business and I don't. That's it." If she was in the room with me when she told me that (it was over Facebook), I would give her the bi**hslap (pardon me for the word) of her lifetime to make her think about it all. Seriously, she wants to work as some kind of artist, but keeps declining everything, doesn't have ANY kind of job and is complaining about her family's economic situation. Though, her actions might be influenced by her family traditions or whatever, but I won't get into the details. The important thing is that I gave you an example in the context of this bullet point. Make your returning/permanent customers feel appreciated and rewarded for their loyalty.
- Do something that you're not paid for my the customer. Make them an artwork as a gift or at lease a short, accessorized digital card telling them how much it mean to you to work for them. This way you could manage to keep these customers around and possibly get extra referrals (goody, more commissions to do! (*claps like a retard*) Organize your time right.
- If you're between high school and college, like me, and already enrolled in your desired college, then take as much time to do commissions and get your name out there! If you're travelling try doing commissions on the go (most likely you'll only be able to do traditional art). If you're already n college, concentrate on your studies and leave commissions for the period in which you don't have to work as hard. Simple. Don't limit yourself to PayPal-only commissions.
- There will be times when you just don't have enough time to work on $$ commissions, or you won't be accepted to do any. In this case, your best option is to visit the Projects
forum. Here, you'll be able to ind collabs, point commissions, etc. People asking for point commissions usually aren't searching for a masterpiece, but things like chibis, pixel icons and page dolls. These won't take you a lot of time, but will add up to your portfolio and help you find a better paid job, so put some efforts into them
You will also gain some exposure by doing collabs, which can bring you in some customers, rather than you having to apply for a job. The Projects forum is not the only place where you can look for these. Try groups like: TheCollabClub commissions-and-more Point-Commission-Me P-Commissions
. Just be sure that the groups you're sending your
lists to are for both job services and job offers, as groups of only one of those attract members with only one goal, so you would have, for example, all sellers, and no buyers. Know where to look for jobs.
- If you're going to be serious
about it, try visiting the Job Offers
forum. Have in mind that it might take a while to get a job, but it all depends on what employers are looking for, your luck, your attitude and your personality (as being calm and friendly is 100% going to help). If you're not sure about your skills yet, try the Job Services
, offering to do what you know the best. I have to warn you though, this forum seems very empty (it might be that people are offering things that are not sought after or there are not many potential employers searching through the forum). It's kind of obvious when you see the forum:
- My suggestion is to try groups for commissions, where you can post your pricing info and examples and look for journals about people looking for commissions. Some of them are: Job-offers Commission-network Commission-Share Art-Zone You have to remember that fame in the form of watchers, faves or comments isn't going to help you gain customers if you're going around and just adding people like crazy and asking for a watch back. Concentrate on getting to the right groups of people. Fame doesn't necessarily mean more work. Well, that's it for now, keep an eye on updates. I want to make this journal as good as possible