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Need help on potentially setting up comissions

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Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
I've had a couple close friends recommend that I give commissions a try and earn a little bit of pocket money. Fact is, I am so lost when it comes to this and it scares me how little I know about the process.

So, here's a list of questions I'd like some input on:
* In your experience, what is the best money transfer service to use for this?
* Is there a service that does not require me to link the account to my bank account or credit card-- I'm really skittish of doing so
*$5 for a sketch-- do you think that my skills are $5 worthy? I've done some serious improving in the last little bit that I've been without scanner, but this is the quality I posted some examples below
* Would my skills even warrant commissions, or is it just a kind of ego-inflation? Be brutally honest, because I would not want to waste my time.
*what exactly will go on if a person is not in approval of your drawing for them?
*Do you ask for pay before drawing or do you wait until after the drawing is completed?

I figure I do lots of requests for people, and I think it's high time I might earn a little bit from the occasional customer just to spend on some art supplies or occasionally some other items. I am not expecting much income anyway, so no false hopes of buying a new computer or Cintiq or anything.

Anyway, some examples of my sketches:
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/5707246
I'll add a few more when I get back home tomorrow.

Thanks for the time and consideration.
 
Z

Zoetrope

Guest
There's a few threads/journals I've seen about this, but the key is to not sell yourself short. Charge for the time it takes you to do a piece. If it takes you an hour to do a sketch normally do you want to be earning $5 an hour? This is your time and effort, if people want work from you they will buy.


*edit* Here we go! http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/2315965/
I agree with most of what is said in here and I was particularly fond of this line:

Artists - if you are charging less than $5 for anything, stop it. Just make it free. Especially if that something takes you an hour or more of your time. Stop wasting your time, stop putting yourself through the wringer for that little money. You are worth more, your art is worth more. Just because you're on a site where there are thousands of submissions added daily does not mean you're just one in a million. It does not devalue your work AT ALL.

You devalue you work.

And something I noticed personally, doing requests =/= commissions. People will sit and expect the next time you offer free art rather than buy a commission from you.
 
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Zenia

Member
For money transferring, PayPal is the most widely used. I do believe you have to link your bank account to it, but I have never had an issue and I have been signed up for several years. Actually, they can be a little strict... when I moved, I didn't update the address info with my credit card company before I updated it with PayPal, so the addresses didn't match and now they won't let that credit card be used with them because they think it isn't mine. Nevermind that it was registered with them already for a couple of years. I have to phone them and get it sorted out, but can't since their customer service wait times are kind of long and my pre-paid cell phone costs $0.30 to $0.40 a minute.

You can get people to send Interac bank transfers though. I am not sure if you can do them internationally... but I have had fellow Canadian customers send me money that way. I like it... the money is instantly in my bank account and I don't have to pay any fees at all! Unlike PayPal where you pay a fee for accepting the money, converting the money to your currency (I get paid in USD and have to change it to CAD, but PayPal doesn't use the ACTUAL exchange rates, they change them in their favor so they get some extra money), and a fee for depositing it in your bank account if it is less than $150.


And about free art since it was mentioned... I never do my good quality art for free since I think people would try to get free stuff from me more often. I mean, why pay me $30 if there is a chance to get that same quality for free! I do, however, have a quick scribbley doodle style that I usually ask $2 for that I will occasionally do for free... since they take like, 5 minutes.
 
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Z

Zoetrope

Guest
I've had a couple close friends recommend that I give commissions a try and earn a little bit of pocket money. Fact is, I am so lost when it comes to this and it scares me how little I know about the process.

So, here's a list of questions I'd like some input on:
* In your experience, what is the best money transfer service to use for this?

Paypal. Or Alertpay. Just ask that your commissioners pay as a 'service', because then they can't come back 6 months later and dispute the payment and get their money back. I have heard this happen to some artists and they found the 'service' was the answer.

* Is there a service that does not require me to link the account to my bank account or credit card-- I'm really skittish of doing so

I haven't found one, but I have had my paypal for a long time, linked to my bank account, with no issues. But I password change often.

*$5 for a sketch-- do you think that my skills are $5 worthy? I've done some serious improving in the last little bit that I've been without scanner, but this is the quality I posted some examples below
* Would my skills even warrant commissions, or is it just a kind of ego-inflation? Be brutally honest, because I would not want to waste my time.

Answer above. :)

*what exactly will go on if a person is not in approval of your drawing for them?

Personally I think 3 large revisions is fine. If I alter/revise the picture 3 times that's it. I will finish the piece for them, but I will not change it further unless they pay extra for my time. No artist should be expected to change a piece over and over and over and over again for a particularly picky customer. Again, I don't charge for the picture, I charge for the time it takes to get there. As much as I want to please my customers, I cannot slave away over a picture for them.

*Do you ask for pay before drawing or do you wait until after the drawing is completed?

In advance. Or half in advance and half later. If they disappear or change their mind I still get paid for my work.
 

FireFeathers

Mr. Red Flag
* In your experience, what is the best money transfer service to use for this?
Paypal, hands down.


* Is there a service that does not require me to link the account to my bank account or credit card-- I'm really skittish of doing so
Best I can think would be Western Union and money transfers, though that can get a little tedious constantly going to your local one to pick up your cash.


*$5 for a sketch-- do you think that my skills are $5 worthy? I've done some serious improving in the last little bit that I've been without scanner, but this is the quality I posted some examples below

That answer above says it best.
* Would my skills even warrant commissions, or is it just a kind of ego-inflation? Be brutally honest, because I would not want to waste my time.

Brutally honest, I don't think you're ready for them. You're in a period of refining your skills, so i'd give it a few more months of diligent practice before going ahead with it. You're not too far off though. You should also be aware that when you open commissions for the first time, it's not uncommon to not get any bites. People have this notion that everyone's just waiting to snap at the bait, and it's not true.

*what exactly will go on if a person is not in approval of your drawing for them?
This gets worked out as you agree on a sketch; if they don't like it, you ask them to be painfully specific on what they want and fix it. If they don't like it then, charge fees.

*Do you ask for pay before drawing or do you wait until after the drawing is completed?

I ask for at least half with approval of the sketch. My sketches are pretty rough, so they take all of 20 minutes or so to get done.
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
Brutally honest, I don't think you're ready for them.
Thanks, this is all I really needed to know.

Thanks everyone for all your input. It doesn't seem like commissions are the best thing for me right now. Bolster skills and maybe do this junk later. I'm not in the mental state to be able to worry about it.

I'll be dropping the free art anyway, and getting back to legitimate art now instead of potential commission sketches
 
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One thing I would recommend would be to do trades. Working on other peoples' characters can help you get that diversity you need to start drawing outside of your usual comfort zone, but there's no real risk involved if things don't turn out as well as you'd have liked.

I do them when I'm trying to overcome these massive lapses in motivation that I tend to get from time to time, and they really help with that as well.
 

Taralack

Hit 'em right between the eyes
* In your experience, what is the best money transfer service to use for this?
Paypal is, by far, the most widely used and prolific service on the net. Only a handful of people who have wanted to buy my art have not had a Paypal account, and I have even once gotten payment from someone using their credit card via Paypal without having them needing to register an account. So it is rather flexible in that sense. It's more important to have a service like this for me, as I live in Australia and payment options like bank transfer and cash in envelope are pretty much out of the question.

I've been with Paypal for years - my bank account has also been linked for the same amount of time - and never run into any problems. Look at it this way - you can use it like a second bank account online for purchasing stuff on the internet. You don't necessarily have to link it to your bank account (though without a bank account your Paypal account will not be verified) and you can use Paypal to pay for several other things online as well. A few years ago only a few sites supported Paypal as a payment option, but in the last year or two many large services have started adopting it - World of Warcraft and Xbox Live, for instance.

*$5 for a sketch-- do you think that my skills are $5 worthy? I've done some serious improving in the last little bit that I've been without scanner, but this is the quality I posted some examples below
* Would my skills even warrant commissions, or is it just a kind of ego-inflation? Be brutally honest, because I would not want to waste my time.
I have to agree with Firefeathers on this. I know you're all about improving anatomy and other more art-related subjects, but when it comes to furry commissions, people need to see a distinctive style, and I don't think you're quite there yet. And to be honest, that sample sketch you linked is posed awkwardly/stiffly and not the kind of quality I would have expected from you. :p

*what exactly will go on if a person is not in approval of your drawing for them?
*Do you ask for pay before drawing or do you wait until after the drawing is completed?
I do up to a maximum of three major changes before asking for more, though I have never had a customer who was unsatisfied after the second change. Whether or not you want to set a limit to the number of changes you have to do is completely up to you, though if you feel they are being unreasonable (especially if you haven't been paid yet) you should charge more to compensate.

I usually ask for payment up front before even starting on the rough sketch. However when I was just starting out (both for my first commission and when I restarted my commission business) I did the rough sketch first with a large watermark on top, and once the sketch is approved ask for payment. Now that I'm a little more established I think my reputation affords me the luxury of having payment up front.
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
Thanks again everyone. I figure I'll set up some junk later on, but I figure I've got some things to work on first

*Improving
*making sure my quality is worth $5
*and frankly drawing some real life studies for a while.

And in other words, I'll wait to develop a style in the process. For now, I can't figure out how to add one into my artwork. So... yeah.

Anyway, I'll close this thread since there seems to be little left to discuss. Thanks for all your advice and opinions; I really appreciate them.
 
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