Seeking Direction [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Seeking Direction

12-08-2014, 12:11 AM
I haven't posted to this forum yet, but I decided it would be a good place to begin. I am a 22-year-old artist from Illinois.

I'd like to begin commissions again -- I started with a local Facebook group where I gathered members' references to rebuild my portfolio. I had taken commissions in the past (ranging from $1.00-$40.00, and later arranged to up to $50.00), and kept getting told by other artists (professionals who were also friends) that I was priced "too cheap" for the quality of my artwork.

One artist explained to me she began commissions charging $60-70.00 for work that held less quality. (Below is a copy-paste of her area of the conversation.)

I had a quick nose! One second
Your Album back to the sketchbooks Shows a hell of a lot of skill!
Better than mine when I was charging $60/70 for mine

We went on to discuss various pieces she had created and the price they sold for. Unfortunately, I still have no idea how to price my artwork...

I've been told to charge by the hour. Essentially, I am a hobby artist -- I have a full time job, a 4-year-old, and 3 horses and simply don't want to take on "by the hour" charging.

I was told to break down the materials that I bought and charge according to that -- which I figured into my prices anyway (last prices set at $5.00 up to $50.00).

Now that I am beginning to beef up my portfolio and re-open for commissions (and perhaps sell some work I create on a whim), I'd like to know some tips for creating my prices. I have seen other artists with poor quality artwork get the same, if not more, than what I charge right now.

It's a tricky spot I'm in. If anyone would like, I can gladly share "examples" if you're questionable yourself.

12-08-2014, 07:40 AM
Welcome to the forum.You should create an album on your profile page and upload your work in it.

12-12-2014, 08:38 PM
DLeeG, I have just done so. I wasn't aware of that function right off the bat! :)

02-24-2015, 10:17 AM
We are in the same boat. I actually feel quite guilty about charging too much for my work and have never received more than a hundred dollars for any drawing I have done. On average I charge between 45 to 50 and constantly get told (even by my clients) that I don't charge enough. I routinely get paid MORE by my clients than what I quote In my case my materials are cheap and I feel I would draw regardless so don't feel the need to ask for more. If I was doing this for a living then yes I would probably start to up my prices more.

I looked at your album and really prefer your traditional work over your digital. To me it has a lot of heart to it. You have a great deal of talent!

02-24-2015, 10:52 AM
I checked out your album and I agree you are talented and should charge a bit more. I understand the dilemma. I have sold some of my works over facebook to friends that I know and I only charged $10 plus the cost of shipping. Every time I've gotten a check for much more than I asked, the most being $50. But I've chalked that up to having sold it to a friend. I doubt an unknown client would do that for my work. You are talented and young. You have a wonderful future ahead as an artist.

Personally I've refused to do any commissions. I actually have had two people ask me to (where was there head?), but I know my talents are very limited and I hate having any pressure. If something I've already done happens to sell I'm thrilled but I won't commit to doing anything for anybody but myself. That's just me. You might talk to Liz on this forum, she does commissions of painting pets.