There is a really problematic culture of artists underpricing their commissions online - though I’m sure this practice extends towards the ‘real world’. A fun fact before we start: the internet is actually part of the ‘real world’. If you don’t think that industry artists are also underpaid and…
Yes to this post.
My skill isn’t in drawing/art, but I have bought artwork from my friends/community before, and there is a lot of confusion over what prices should be. I even made a blog to help create a forum for those wishing to promote/buy.
I will add one thing though. If you’re ever going to start up commissions, try three things.
1: A base currency that everyone can use. Not everybody has the same channels of distribution, but a commonly recognised payment system is a must. Whether it’s a good website like Paypal, or a more niche payment like Steam funds..
it has to widely accessible, understandable, and something that is reliable. Remember, commissions are a reflection on your reputartion as an artist. Sell yourself well in its process!
2. Set a base price. Search about. Chances are that you’ll find another artist similar to yourself.
Use pastels? Graphite? What are the traditional artists charging for their sketches?
What about digital art? How much does line art go for? The professionals might be charging higher with their expertise, but keep in mind your own skill level, and don’t overprice it if there is a large gap in quality. A BAD MOVE to start off with if your building a customer base.
Also, please remember that art can be a finicky subject in matters of taste. Sometimes it’s an instant favourite, sometimes it takes a bit of time to find your audience. Test the waters, find out which of your work is a crowd favourite and if need be stick to the favoured subject for a while..to get your toe in the door so to speak.
3. Have fun! At the end of the day, art is a vocation. It’s like writing in that it can’t be rushed. I’d reccomend limiting the amount of commissions to a set target,
even if you’re a pro, to give yourself time to treat the buyer and the painting as they deserve.
Money is a great factor, true. But what drew you to pick up your tools in the first place?
Of course, this is no reason to spend ages getting your muse together. A customer is waiting, which means you MUST keep to a deadline that you both agreed on (not very sporting of you otherwise). Still, as long as you’re having fun with it, then I can’t find any problem in you starting up commissions!