Question for all you freelancers

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Randy Dianogah
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Question for all you freelancers

Post by Randy Dianogah » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:47 pm

ive been a freelance artist for a few months now. ive been making some decent money off of it, but i was wondering how everyone else charges for their work? do you guys charge a flat fee? if so, what price range do most artists charge? or do you guys work per hour? and if so, how do you go about that? because i have no idea. how does the client who hires you know exactly how many hours you've worked?

sorry if i sound like such a n00b, but im very curious. i dont want to be charging people too much money, or so very little money that they'll take advantage of that fact.

thanks for the help!

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Post by jdalton » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:54 am

I'll let others talk about how much to charge because I've only been paid once to make art professionally. The best advice I can give is to make sure that you only sell the reproduction rights to your art, not the art itself (or your time for making it). If you sell the art you lose copyright on it. Most clients, unless they don't know what they're doing or are evil, only expect to get reproduction rights anyways and won't even bother to bring up the subject- they assume you still own the art. You only need to worry if they don't give the original back or make you sign an evil contract (non-evil contracts are okay).

Jonathon Dalton
A Mad Tea-Party

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Post by Kazu » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:57 am

Most of my clients are pretty established, so they generally know how much to pay for the services. For clients who are fairly new to this, I just quote them the rates I get from my established clients, and also my day rates. I have a flat fee for a day's work, and I charge accordingly. Also remember that it will almost always take you at least 2 to 3 times as long as you think, especially when dealing with less experienced art directors, so be sure to double your estimated time to compensate yourself for the headaches that you will inevitably endure. As time goes on, you will learn to gauge your work process pretty accurately, but it takes quite a few mistakes and miscalculations to get there. Currently, I am finishing up a project that ended up taking me more than 10 times as long as I anticipated. This is a worst case scenario, and something I vow to never repeat. You know, I am actually only doing freelance work to keep myself afloat until my books pay for the time I work on them, so I'm hoping I forget about all this nonsense very soon. :D

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Dan Santat
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Post by Dan Santat » Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:39 pm

Places usually have a budget in mind. Like Kazu said most established publishers (or places you do sevice with) have an idea of what they usually pay for certain sevices. A place that doesn't have a clue will often ask you what you charge and you can either gauge it upon the experience of what you've done in the past or you can probably just ask another illustrator who has done the work.

Another source is the Graphic Artists Guild pricing guide which will give you a ballpark estimate of what you should charge for certain work. You can find it in the art books or reference section of any bookstore. I find it to price things slightly under what they charge by todays standards but it's a great place to start.

In my experience I find that some places (usually the ones that don't know what to charge) need to be charged for changes because they have a hard time trying to find exactly what they want, where in that case I'll estimate an hourly fee and most places usually abide by it.
Dan is my name. Art is what I do.

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