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A Pretentious Owl
Mar 31, 2011

EB: it is true, it is a fact from an alien.


Over in the Strangest Fanart thread in PYF, a few posters expressed interest in reading the experiences of people who have provided the art half of the equation. A few of us indicated that, sure enough, some of us were the artist that (currently or have in the past) dealt with the internet crazies who want to see xenomorphs in diapers and are willing to pay for such a thing. So I present to you this thread.

I have been drawing on small-scale commission for about six years at this point, and due to the fact I have a pretty strong constitution and a pretty great need for money, I've drawn plenty of questionable poo poo and dealt with insane clients. We'll do our best to field questions and tell stories, because hoo boy could I write a novel.

Please no internet detectives, and along that lines I suspect many of us are not going to be willing to post examples of such commissions. I might just be speaking for myself, but I know some of us STILL draw on commission, and the last thing any of our clients need is to read their artist venting about them somewhere else on the internet; it could directly affect our livelihood. I know the impact might not be as great without seeing the art, but you understand. Besides, would you really want to see most of it anyway? I know some people very strictly maintain separate "legitimate" and "fandom/furry/etc" handles, but I'm not among them. And frankly we're all kind of admitting to doing embarassing things, you don't need to rub it it

Here's a few questions I get and my personal answers.

How do you even get into this racket?

I don't think anyone who does this didn't start as a somewhat talented, artistic nerd. The main market for the poo poo we hawk is definitely the nerdier venues, such as anime or furry, and I don't think you don't get into this without at least kind of being into that poo poo to start with. For me, yep, I was a nerdy little girl who liked Redwall too much and drew a lot of warrior mice and badgers. Never quite stopped, posted my art on Deviantart when I was, like, 12, continued to improve to "mediocre", someone offered to pay me 15$ for a drawing of a Pokemon when I was 16 and the rest is history.

Is the money good? Is it hard?

The money is as good as you want it to be, and the "difficulty" is hard to rate. No matter what, people will complain about your prices. This is guaranteed. To cut right to the quick of it, I get about 40$ per image, and though my talents are SUPER middling, I'm definitely undercharging (There's a huge race-to-the-bottom effect where 13-year-olds on Deviantart will charge single digit prices for notebook doodles, or even accept dA's dumbass fake currency "points" in lieu of real money). It's easy inasmuch that, so long as you figure out a niche, there's essentially a never-ending supply of clients with too many ideas and money burning a hole in their pocket to bilk. So long as you have a degree of self-discipline and treat it like a job, it's easy money. It can be hard establishing that niche at first though, figuring out what's trendy and what's mass-appealing the most. Even if you hate the clients, if you want to actually make money drawing furries, your rear end better be on Furaffinity every day, seeing what the popular artists are doing and what styles of art people are after. Once you establish a niche and a comfortable client base, though, you can just kind of stick to what works.

are the clients crazYES HOLY GOD. They come in a few predictably crazy flavors, but I usually deal with:

-The Impossible-to-Please: They will pitch a fit and nitpick every little aspect of your drawing to death. They will haggle over the price and demand you read the wall of text character description they provide and color-dropper the exact hues if a reference image is provided. They will FLIP THEIR poo poo if a stripe or a fold of fabric is out of place.

-The Socially Inept: They seem not to understand that you're being professionally cordial, not genuinely friendly, and will glom onto you as if you're suddenly friends. They will maintain correspondence long after the image is completed, no matter how tersely you reply (or if you completely ignore them!) They will often then try to segue their "friendship" with you into discounts or free art.

-The Anxious: They panic at the concept of a queue. They will bombard your method of contact for updates constantly, escalating from worried to furious that there are people before them to get a picture completed.

-The Non-Native Speaker: I don't hold this one against them, but some of my most frustrating interactions I've ever dealt with have been with ESL folks. They would have very, very specific ideas of what they wanted drawn and lack the vocabulary to communicate it, and it's just frustrating all around.

Where do you do this to make money?

Deviantart for a lot of it, niche websites for more specific poo poo (furaffinity, ygallery is a site just for gay animu boys I think, I don't draw it but I think you can guess what hentaifoundry is for), social websites like blogs and tumblr, conventions' artist's alleys or dealer's rooms for the in-person sales. You better be active and promoting your work because an "inactive" gallery discourages people.

Is there any sort of official structure, or are sixteen year olds running around and pretending they can run their own business?

What do you think?

The whole thing is kind of a clusterfuck. There's no real structure and the community sort of has to self-police. It has some resources; artists tend to create terms of service to work with them, but I don't think they're actually legally binding. The community "artists_beware" exists as a hub for clients and artists to warn one another about lovely transactions. Word of mouth gets around, but no, people definitely run off with thousands of other peoples' dollars and people definitely scam work out of artists all the goddamn time.

Worst client/worst request

That's hard to choose. There was this one dude who preyed on me when I was first starting out, sought me out to draw a massive SIXTEEN CHARACTER ELABORATE PIECE of his entire cast of ~*original characters*~, and he wanted to pay me something like 150$ for that drawing. He wanted me to start without a down payment, and ALSO wanted me and my girlfriend of the time to be in the pictures because "we had just become such fast friends". Later he would try and commission said girlfriend for porn of his character and hers loving. Class act.

There's this dude who goes to furry cons, he's a dude north of 50, white hair and requires a walker to get around - his fursona is a 3-year-old pink bunny who loves balloons. His career before retiring was apparently a professional clown. He always has balloons tied to his walker, and commissioned me and literally hovered over me THE ENTIRE HOUR OR TWO it took me to draw it, no matter how much I escalated the hints that he could loving leave and let me draw a fukken bunny. The weirdest thing, and I think it's a thing that consistently weirds me out, is that he would never commission porn, but the art was clearly fetishistic. I'll draw porn on commission, but I think the ones that weird me out the most are the pantsless cartoon rabbits sitting on their butts with their big ole feet pointed at the viewer, genitals absent per request. There's a lot of art like this; technically "safe for work" in all sense of the word, but you can just tell. You can tell it's porn to this person. The fact someone's whacking it to something so... esoteric just blows my mind.

I think that should serve as a decent first post. I'll post more stories later, and answer any questions. Other artists, please feel free to share and commiserate too!

A Pretentious Owl fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 05:42

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Springly
Dec 10, 2011



Can we see your pictures please? What was the worst porn? Are bat wings really $20 extra?

Turtlicious
Sep 17, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 3 days!


Which fandom is the worse? What makes them the worse?

Al-Saqr
Nov 11, 2007


Sheikh of the Couch

Do you feel weird when you are commissioned for porn art of any kind? what is the ratio of normal requests to porn requests?

Do you view commissions as a way to practice your art and drawing so that later you wont need to do them? like, a stepping stone?

also please post any of your own art.

DoctorPresident
Jul 21, 2012


A Pretentious Owl posted:

Later he would try and commission said girlfriend for porn of his character and hers loving. Class act.

I want to know more about this, how common is stuff like this?

Do a lot of creepos hit on you/ask you to draw porn of you with them?

What was the worst fetish?

The other artists in the Strangest Fanart thread were talking about getting depression after drawing their 50th sparkle dog commission, how do you avoid it? Have you ever felt like you're wasting your talent?

Acebuckeye13
Nov 2, 2010

IT GOT HOT


On average, what's the ratio of relatively normal commissions/commissioners to the absolutely deranged?

ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

*pbbbt*




What's the most niche character/fandom you've been commished to work on? Do the commissioners get mad if you tell them you don't know who Jazz Jackrabbit/Scared Inmate #2/KOMPLEX are?

the kawaiiest
Dec 22, 2010

Uguuuu ~


I've been doing this since 2001. I can also answer questions.

e: I don't draw porn, but that never stopped people from asking for porn and even offering me an ungodly amount of money for things that I refused to draw, simply because they felt that I was really good at drawing a particular character that they were obsessed with. I've dealt with more creeps than anyone should ever have to.

Tatum Girlparts
Sep 8, 2011

More like Tantrum Girlparts!
I can't be smug if I never stop whining.


What are some of the more crazy things you've outright turned down? Did the client get pissed off or did they at least understand 'yea this is weird'?

Basically where's your line between 'you're gross but I'll take your money' and 'get the gently caress away from me'?

corn in the bible
Apr 2, 2013



Do people ever have you draw fanart of other deviantart/fa/whatever peoples' stuff rather than actual TV shows or books? Presumably with their character or whatever included, but either way I'm curious.

the kawaiiest
Dec 22, 2010

Uguuuu ~


Tatum Girlparts posted:

What are some of the more crazy things you've outright turned down? Did the client get pissed off or did they at least understand 'yea this is weird'?

Basically where's your line between 'you're gross but I'll take your money' and 'get the gently caress away from me'?
I don't draw straight up porn because in my experience the requests are always either really freaky or really creepy. I also will absolutely not draw children doing anything suggestive or just being naked or anything like that.

Anyway, the worst client I ever had (who also happened to request the worst thing) was a guy who basically wanted me to draw Sakura and Tomoyo (from Cardcaptor Sakura) making out. When I told him no he sent me a wall of text about how I was a "moralfag" and how it was because of "close-minded people like me" that we don't have a cure for cancer. He just went on and on and on and on and on about what a monster I was because I refused to draw two ten year old girls going down on each other.


crowfeathers posted:

Do people ever have you draw fanart of other deviantart/fa/whatever peoples' stuff rather than actual TV shows or books? Presumably with their character or whatever included, but either way I'm curious.
Yeah, "OCs" are a big thing. And these are usually the worst commissions because people will send massive, massive emails describing EVERYTHING about their special snowflake characters like their blood type and whether or not they're a virgin and what their favorite color is. There's also these huge, elaborate and almost always terrible backstories too which they think are relevant for some reason.

Socket Ryanist
Aug 30, 2004



How much does this ring true?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWTLoZgtruo

Socket Ryanist fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 07:10

Clockwork Cupcake
Oct 31, 2010



Does it seem like there's a relationship between the weirdness of what the commissioner is asking for and their behavior? Or any sort of relationship between fandoms/sites/etc and behavior?

A Pretentious Owl
Mar 31, 2011

EB: it is true, it is a fact from an alien.


Springly posted:

Can we see your pictures please? What was the worst porn? Are bat wings really $20 extra?
I'll draw something real quick just for this thread whenever I don't have a migraine

The worst porn? God, who knows. I'm going to say anything involving transformation. Once years ago, I was commissioned to draw a five-image series a dude and his friends' fursona being tentacle-raped, those tentacles laying eggs into the characters, the characters slowly transforming into these weird hermaphroditic anthropomorphic bug-creatures with big "egg sacs" like a bugs' abdomen where testicles normally go, and finally one of them laying eggs directly into the other one. If I wasn't sincerely afraid I was about to be homeless I would have ran, but things that get compartmentalized to "horrifying" to others I can safely put to "hilarious and weird" to mine. It was a horrifying series of images, but it got me around 200$ and the dude was honestly pretty chill and not demanding.

Haha, usually. A lot of artists essentially nickel and dime common features that add a degree of complicity to the drawing. Each client gets a quote but like to know what to expect, so lists like "Full Color Drawing x$, Additional Characters +10$, Adult Content +20$, Stripes or Spots +10$, Feathered Wings +20$, Bat Wings +20$" are common. It's a good technique to compensate for common as hell features that are sort of fiddly to draw, like wings. There's a pretty popular furry artist that literally charges double if the character is in any way a dragon, even if it's not a complicated WoW dragon.

quote:

Which fandom is the worse? What makes them the worse?
Ooff, tough one. Anime tends to be more strict about sticking to a particular canonical style; there's also a lot more money there to be made from drawing poo poo to sell as prints, because there's established media to work from. But, the whole crowd tends to trend a little younger surprisingly. The rich-basement-dwelling-30-year-otaku to 14-deviantart-weeaboo is WAY skewed towards the latter. Odds are higher that I'll get a commission from someone insufferable if it's anime.

Furries are paradoxically looser with their money overall but more stingy on individual pieces. I'll have to tell 10 weeaboos "no I will not draw something for you for 10$" for every one basement-dwelling "will you draw my waifu i will give you 100$", whereas furries will more consistently be like "You're asking 40$, I have 30$, what can I get", if that makes sense.

Bronies (I've drawn some ponies, yyyyup) are the most entitled motherfuckers on the face of the planet.

...bronies. It's bronies. All the groups are pretty dysfunctional, though.

quote:

Do you feel weird when you are commissioned for porn art of any kind? what is the ratio of normal requests to porn requests?
I don't feel too weird when I get commissioned for porn. Honestly, the weird esoteric kind can just be funny to me. "You want me to draw a giant-rear end dragon swallowing an anthropomorphic fox and this is erotic to you and you'll pay me for it kgjhdkgjhd". So long as it's at arms-length, and they don't try and get me involved, it's nothing too horrible. It can get old, and nothing creeps me out worse than when the client starts trying to discuss the subject with me though, ugh.

The ratio's more skewed towards plain art than you'd expect. I'd say I honestly mostly draw "badges" or pinups, R at worst cheesecake poo poo. Furries loving love to collect badges (which is just a little drawing of their fursona, laminated and worn at conventions) and it's like 25$ to poo poo out a cartoon animal bust. Needless to say there's the porn, but I'd say the just plain porn is maybe 20$ of it.

quote:

Do you view commissions as a way to practice your art and drawing so that later you wont need to do them? like, a stepping stone?

also please post any of your own art.
That's the hope. I'm kind of not sure if art is what I'd like to pursue professionally; without turning this A/T thread into an E/N one, a very rough period from ages 15-20 has left me with some moderate to severe anxiety conditions and dealing with life killed my motivation to seriously draw for about two years. I could trudge through commissions for money but it was a challenge. Things have sort of settled down and I recognize that, still affected by anxiety, I don't presently have the drive to pursue this career-seriously, but once I get my mental poo poo together the sky's the limit

Even if I did it as a career, I'd probably still take the odd commission. I could probably just afford to be a poo poo ton pickier about the projects I accept.

As above, I'll doodle something for this thread!

quote:

I want to know more about this, how common is stuff like this?

Do a lot of creepos hit on you/ask you to draw porn of you with them?

What was the worst fetish?
Wanting art with the artist's character/fursona is very common. It's also one of the few things I will not under any circumstances draw, because holy poo poo you're sort of implying you want to gently caress "me" ew go away. A few people sidestep and capitalize on this, though; they make consistent "characters" that people will commission to be in porn with. There's this huge trend right now in furry art of selling "Your Character Here (YCH)/This Could Be You (TCBY)/Pre-pose" commissions to capitalize on it. It's basically just the artist going ahead and sketching some porn, finishing one of the characters but leaving the other as a loose sketch. People then "bid" on the position of the unfinished character.

I get hit on more than I would like, especially when it's discovered I'm a girl. It's a mixed blessing at conventions, because I look pretty "mainstream"; dudes are kind of creepy and gawky and hover at my table more than they should, but they're also way too socially inept to actually honest-to-God hit on me.

Transformation is a hell of a fetish to draw.

quote:

The other artists in the Strangest Fanart thread were talking about getting depression after drawing their 50th sparkle dog commission, how do you avoid it? Have you ever felt like you're wasting your talent?
Treating it like a job helps some, but yeah, it's definitely a little exhausting drawing A Fox With Glowsticks and Tripp Pants #112. At the end of the day I get to choose the projects I pursue, at least, so it helps a little that I know I can just say no (especially now that I have a job outside of this). Wasting my talent? A little; I can recognize that this can lead to some serious stagnation, but at the same time even if I wasn't paid I'd probably still be drawing cartoon dogs. They'd just be my cartoon dogs and I'd get to be more playful with the character design and not try and make them so mass-appealing and they wouldn't be all I drew.

quote:

On average, what's the ratio of relatively normal commissions/commissioners to the absolutely deranged?
Normal, SFW: 50%
"Normal", NSFW (i.e. "normal" porn): 20%
Deranged, NSFW: 20%
Deranged, SFW: 10% (the clearly fetish poo poo that just doesn't actually involve genitals)

Socket Ryanist
Aug 30, 2004



A Pretentious Owl posted:

A Fox With Glowsticks and Tripp Pants #112.
How many of these people look like they've actually done these things in real life?

MissEchelon
Dec 16, 2006

HELLO.


A Pretentious Owl posted:

Transformation is a hell of a fetish to draw.

Transformation is the most hilarious with the dumpy blokes who'll send you photos of themselves and pictures of (anime chicks/big-busted herm furries/god the worst thing you could think of) and ask you to draw them turning into them, hoo boy...

Katamari Democracy
Jan 18, 2010

Oh, We understand
A trip to collect a million votes, yes.
Oh, we know why
We get the point of rolling up a million


Have you ever turned down drawing something because you had different views on it? For example if I had any form of artistic ability I would not want to use that talent to draw two characters loving each other.

Grape Juice Vampire
Aug 1, 2009


I recently started doing free requests in order to build up my gallery, leading me to discover "art whores". There are people who fill their galleries with literally dozens, even hundreds of commissioned pictures of their character. One person who asked me to draw for them had hundreds of versions of the same scene: a fox girl, wearing a diaper and a straight jacket. Page after page, all commissioned.

Aside from that, I haven't had anything too heinous requested of me. I'll come back with stories once I get some.

the kawaiiest
Dec 22, 2010

Uguuuu ~


Katamari Democracy posted:

Have you ever turned down drawing something because you had different views on it? For example if I had any form of artistic ability I would not want to use that talent to draw two characters loving each other.

I don't really mind drawing porn when it's normal stuff, but you rarely get people asking for that; the kinds of people who are willing to pay money for anime porn usually have disturbing/weird/extremely niche fetishes and paying people for pictures is the only way they can get their fix. If someone asked me to draw a couple loving or whatever I'd do it, but it's literally never that simple. It's always, always horrible poo poo like prolapsed anuses, scat, pedophilia, diaper fetish, pony porn, etc. That's why I have a "no porn" rule.

And sometimes it seems like a normal request at first. I had a guy contact me about drawing him a picture of Yui from K-ON, and I said sure, I love K-ON, it'll be fun. I asked him for more details and he said something like this

quote:

OK so Yui forgot to put on her bra and she was out in the rain so now everyone can see through her shirt and she's very embarrassed. Make sure her nipples are visible and make them dark and small, and her breasts really perky. Then draw some guys in the background with boners and one of them should be opening his fly because he's going to surprise sex her.

So yeah obviously I declined because gently caress that poo poo.

nielsm
Jun 1, 2009

Not gonna wear that.

How long do you typically spend on one drawing? (What does your hourly rate end up at?)

Do you make drawings of your own in the hope someone will buy prints or originals?

And what's worse of original characters, or existing characters twisted into something they aren't originally?

Pick
Jul 19, 2009

Maybe I got time to figure out how to de-spirit a toaster.


I did this briefly and it was awful. You're a braver soul than I am.

unabaumer
Jun 15, 2012


Sorry if this is implied, but I didn't see it spelled out anywhere--are you mostly making digital work or do you get requests for traditional media?

Are there hilariously bad artists that get commissions because of what they are willing to draw?

Do you create fursonas or whatever to fit in to the communities that you cater to?

Socket Ryanist
Aug 30, 2004



unabaumer posted:

Are there hilariously bad artists that get commissions because of what they are willing to draw?
Ffffuck yes. There are also hilariously bad artists who are just really good at tickling the fancy of certain fetishes.

Raserys
Aug 22, 2011

IT'S YA BOY

To stem the tide of awful people, were there any particularly nice or friendly people who didn't want crazy bullshit?

The Monkey Man
Jun 10, 2012

HERD U WERE TALKIN SHIT

Are there any series that are so awful that you'll refuse to draw any art of them, no matter how innocent the actual request is?

A Fancy 400 lbs
Jul 23, 2008



Yup.


Socket Ryanist posted:

How many of these people look like they've actually done these things in real life?

There's a huge rave every year at Anime Central near Chicago. Apparently it's one of the biggest annual raves in the entire United States. I've known people who don't watch anime at all who get a one day pass just to go to the rave. So surprisingly enough, it's a big overlap.

Chorocojo
Sep 25, 2005

Legendary Enchantment Creature -- Bird God


I used to do this before I had a steady source of income. You, uh, learn a lot about the internet doing it.

Raserys posted:

To stem the tide of awful people, were there any particularly nice or friendly people who didn't want crazy bullshit?

Every so often you'll get someone super nice who just wants a drawing of their character in your style. They are few and far between but when they would happen, those were the best days and the funnest things to draw.

Once you're done you are right back to drawing Naruto characters as furniture or Fairly Oddparents inflation poo poo though.

Clockwork Cupcake posted:

Does it seem like there's a relationship between the weirdness of what the commissioner is asking for and their behavior? Or any sort of relationship between fandoms/sites/etc and behavior?

It swings wildly. Sometimes they're normal-ish guys who just want weird things. Sometimes they're super awkward but polite and want the same.

I've found that the most awkward ones tend to want things from shows found on Nickelodeon/Cartoon Network.

The Monkey Man posted:

Are there any series that are so awful that you'll refuse to draw any art of them, no matter how innocent the actual request is?

Hetalia.

Baika
Jul 8, 2011

Cap on, apply directly to the rats head.

I have an old friend from high school who isn't really too good at drawing, but he insists and has spent a lot of money renting out artist alley space at various cons, including anime expo. Would it be fair to say that for his art skill, that he should just try to stick with building up clientele online with art sites and getting better before buying a booth at a convention? He doesn't really sell anything at the cons. Any tips for him?

I admire him for his motivation and drive to continue to draw and improve, unlike myself who burnt out on art completely in the last couple of years to focus on my studies. He tells my art gives him a lot of inspiration and it makes me flattered.

Phoenixan
Jan 16, 2010

Just keep Cool-idge.

Chorocojo posted:

Every so often you'll get someone super nice who just wants a drawing of their character in your style. They are few and far between but when they would happen, those were the best days and the funnest things to draw.
This is actually all I've commissioned people for in the past.

To keep the thread going, I briefly did pixel art commissions for people's game projects on the Game Maker forums. It was definitely more tame than the stuff being mentioned here, although, a lot of what people wanted me to do was, "I need this character to look like x from y (game), but different enough from x to not be copyright infringement."

That Fucking Sned
Oct 28, 2010



Does anyone ever ask you to draw a character from a book, where there's no visual reference? I imagine most people would be fairly descriptive of how they imagine the character, so hopefully they wouldn't get too nitpicky about the details.

That Fucking Sned fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 17:20

corn in the bible
Apr 2, 2013



Thanks, all the guys answering questions; this is fascinating. But I'm curious -- I've seen some artists with... pretty poor chops get by on commissions because they actually are willing to draw anything at all, no matter what. Do those people ever commission works from better artists for their own pleasure?

Jyrraeth
Aug 1, 2008

I love this dino
SOOOO MUCH


Have you ever done a project where the client said "just draw me something you find fun, and I'll pay you for it."?

Sometimes I'd like to help out an artist in need, but don't know what to commission. I guess I could ask for something I'd know they'd enjoy drawing.

What's your preferred way of getting references from clients? I know the 4 page annotated word document for an OC is on the "really bad" end of the spectrum, but what would be the dream? What's your workflow like?

Questions for anyone who wants to answer them.

jalopybrown
Oct 11, 2012


Do people ask for the absurd stuff face to face at conventions or is it just vanilla, if so do they ever seem to express self awareness about asking for inflation scat pictures of their half-wolf half-dragon OC?

Perfidus
Sep 1, 2012


Reading through this I'm glad to learn I'm one of the "good guys" as far as commissioning art is concerned. Since late last year I've been on an art binge of my characters from an MMO that is now defunct. I've never, ever asked for anything rude and never been anything but polite and patient, even if sometimes the artists are dicks for no reason. I've never haggled an artist before. I show references and give a brief description, pay their prices, wait for my art, maybe ask for a single change or two if there's a glaring mistake and it doesn't involve redrawing anything more than a couple lines, thank them, and that's that. Happy artist, happy customer. I even usually leave the general pose up to the artist - I just will mention an idea or two.

But now having read this thread, seeing some of the specifics on lists of things artists won't draw makes a bit more sense. I'm sorry there seems to be more assholes out there than good people who just think you're talented and want to get some of your work.

Fatkraken
Jun 23, 2005

Fun-time is over.

Jyrraeth posted:

Have you ever done a project where the client said "just draw me something you find fun, and I'll pay you for it."?

I've commissioned art with very vague concepts, like "draw me a monster!" or "a fantastical creature based on a single word prompt", and gotten some realy great stuff out of it. I also know of artists who do "artistic freedom" commissions on costume work where the client will nominate a species and general style or again, just a concept word and the artist is allowed to go to town with the approach and details. Often they offer a small discount for this kind of work because it's just so much less stress and a lot more fun.

Costume (who am I kidding, fursuit) work is such a huge chunk of money and will be on public display so some clients can get picky about the look of their suit and ask for lots of revisions and changes, which are often really hard to make, so being able to just relax and do whatever takes your fancy is a big relief. An artist friend recently had to scrap an almost completed $1000 fursuit head because the client didn't like the expression, she recoloured it and made it into a different character and will probably auction it at some stage. Though I tend not to do artistic freedom commissions as I find concept drawings help me make better work, instead if I want a break from client demands I'll do a premade costume and sell it on an auction site. I've personally been quite lucky with my clients, most have only asked for very minor revisions all of which made the final costume better, and the only major problem I had was when I used some inappropriate materials due to inexperience which the client was really understanding about and even helped out with postage costs on the return for repairs/alterations. A lot of it is down to picking and choosing your clients, with fursuits you are only taking on a fairly small number of projects so if you're good at it you can afford to be choosy.

Most of the poo poo I know about if through other people. There was a newish maker, actually it was a husband and wife team, they had a few cute pieces under their belt and took on an enormous amount of work all at once, took a lot of deposits and payments and simply couldn't keep up. They ended up producing a few costumes and a few bits and pieces but eventually the couple split up, one of them ran off and the other stopped making costumes and most of the clients never got anything. They were even still asking for more installments and taking on new work when they were clearly struggling and not keeping to any deadlines. As far as anyone is aware they ended up basically running off with at least $9000 (estimated), possibly a lot more.


Chorocojo posted:

Every so often you'll get someone super nice who just wants a drawing of their character in your style. They are few and far between but when they would happen, those were the best days and the funnest things to draw.

This is pretty common in the Furry fandom, I know a lot of people who just have galleries full of nice, work safe images of their character done by dozens of different artists. Though in fairness there are also people with massive galleries full of fetish porn.

DicktheCat
Feb 15, 2011



Jyrraeth posted:

Have you ever done a project where the client said "just draw me something you find fun, and I'll pay you for it."?

Sometimes I'd like to help out an artist in need, but don't know what to commission. I guess I could ask for something I'd know they'd enjoy drawing.

What's your preferred way of getting references from clients? I know the 4 page annotated word document for an OC is on the "really bad" end of the spectrum, but what would be the dream? What's your workflow like?

Questions for anyone who wants to answer them.

I'm an artist that does this as well, so I'll field this one. Yes, I have had a commissioner say "just draw something you wanna draw, and I'll pay ya." This guy has been something of a "patron" (as in, Medici-style) to my BF and me, so I picked a version of his character and made something cute. He was actually really pleased, and gave me a tip of like $20 so I was happy. This person also encourages me to make my prices something reasonable that I could live on rather than in the single digits. He's really, really cool even though he has silly fetishes, and I adore working for him.

However, most of the time, it's not like that. I actually usually dread people saying, "Oh, whatever, as long as it has this and this character in it." Because now, not only do I have to figure out the scenario, the margin for error is all whacked out, because what I would want to draw is probably way different than their murry-purry fantasies.

If you want to help artists out, but don't know what to commish, either let them have FULL freedom (as in, don't get pissy if they draw something you yourself aren't into/don't like) or narrow it down a whole bunch. Because if I had full freedom, I'd probably just end up drawing my own characters in a goofy style, and you'll be all like "Dude, what's up with the long faced fellas and da curvy wimmins?" It's generally better to just give at least a general direction if you aren't sure of the exact thing you want. (ie: make a cute Mega Man fanart or draw something kind of moody with rain.)

Preferred references... Hmm... And ideal ref is a full turnaround of the character with each color separated to the side so I can eye dropper that poo poo, yo. If I can get the character's head from different angles, too, that would be a bonus! I really, really love it when someone has that on hand to give to me, and it's big enough to be good quality/no fragmentation, etc.

Workflow. Ah, workflow. What I do is make a list of commissioners, post it up on my "journal" for all to see, so everyone knows where they stand, and go at it. While I work, I'll generally have some sort of music on (often Pandora so I don't have to fiddle with changing songs myself, but I also have a Spotify work playlist), dive into my headphones and ignore everything around me but my work for hours at a time. I myself am very bad at forgetting to eat and hydrate when I'm in that mode, so my bf keeps tabs on me. If he doesn't forget.

Do other artists have this problem, too?

I also tend to have to be alone if I'm working with traditional medium. I don't know why, but I panic a little if anyone gets near my precious paints and tools. Don't you touch my tacklebox! On the computer, others can be in the room, though, mostly because of my big ol' headphones.

Crap... Now you guys reminded me that I still have a commission left. I'm not looking forward to it because I have to design a dudes character...

E:

jalopybrown posted:

Do people ask for the absurd stuff face to face at conventions or is it just vanilla, if so do they ever seem to express self awareness about asking for inflation scat pictures of their half-wolf half-dragon OC?

No. There is no self-awareness. Fur cons are THE single most safe space in the world for every kind of weirdo.

DicktheCat fucked around with this message at May 27, 2013 around 19:14

Dewclaw
Apr 22, 2010


Oh boy, this sounds like a thread right up my alley.

quote:

Have you ever done a project where the client said "just draw me something you find fun, and I'll pay you for it."?
I actually get scared of these requests. Usually they're not too bad, but now and then you'll get one where you draw whatever and come to find out the client wanted you to read their mind and know what they REALLY wanted what some specific foot fetish pose of their dragon character.

quote:

Bronies (I've drawn some ponies, yyyyup) are the most entitled motherfuckers on the face of the planet.

...bronies. It's bronies. All the groups are pretty dysfunctional, though.
I flat-out refuse pony stuff now. I've done a couple on commission, I don't even hate the show, but something about it finally broke me to the point that I won't draw any of it. And yes, I'd say "entitled" is the best word for them.

quote:

It can get old, and nothing creeps me out worse than when the client starts trying to discuss the subject with me though, ugh.
"Hello! *GLOMPS* I loved the picture you did, would you like to RP with me???"


Now some of my personal tales! Much of what I tend to get on commission is furry stuff, mostly not TOO bad (even the fetish stuff), but now and then I've gotten:

- A guy with a male fox character and several female characters. All of the female characters are pretty much his made up girlfriends that all love the male character, think the male character is the best thing ever and have no issue with 'sharing his love' amongst all of them.
He commissioned me once for the male character and two of the girl ones cuddling together. He was incredibly specific with what he wanted, including exact positioning and direction of each character's individual limbs. After sketching it out, he had no less than eight changes he wanted that would only be possible if I completely redrew the picture from scratch.

- A guy asking for a comic commission; I needed some more info before I could give him a price. He didn't respond for about two weeks until I messaged him to remind him he had even asked for anything, at which time he sent a copy-pasted version of the last message instead of any of the info I asked for.
When I finally was able to give him a price he complained saying it was too expensive and he'd have to save up money. I told him if he wanted he could commission parts of at a time, such as just the sketch first, later coloring it and so on. Due to a few bad commissioners running off with part of the art and never painting, I take payment before even sketching my commissions now (but I can refund if there are problems). Despite me explaining this to him, he still expected me to sketch the whole thing out first before he would "decide" if he really wanted the picture".

- A guy asking for a "well-endowed" female child character acting as dominatrix to an adult male. Obviously, I did not take this one.

- Person B asks for a commission of himself a friend, Person L, L being a person I had some issues with before, but as a professional I sucked it up and agreed to do the image. Once the image was completed, B was polite and liked it, but L sent back a list of tiny details, such as having one-too-many stripes on his character's leg, one-too-few on his arm, not enough whiskers, etc.
I don't think I would have had as much issue had this not been a gift commission from B to L. I don't know, being that petty always came off rude to me.

Heresiarch
Oct 6, 2005

Whosoever would undertake some atrocious enterprise should act as if it were already accomplished, should impose upon himself a future as irrevocable as the past.


Was anyone else here doing anime cons back in the late 90's and early 00's? And if so, does the name "Captain Oogie" ring a bell, or possible cause flashbacks?

carry on then
Jul 10, 2010

how much do you think this sweaty ceo is worth?

Dewclaw posted:

I flat-out refuse pony stuff now. I've done a couple on commission, I don't even hate the show, but something about it finally broke me to the point that I won't draw any of it. And yes, I'd say "entitled" is the best word for them.

How so? Did they expect you to perfectly mimic the style of the show, or read their mind for half the details, or something even worse/more annoying?

Cool thread, always interesting to hear about the morass of internet fandoms from people who aren't caught up in them.

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Fatkraken
Jun 23, 2005

Fun-time is over.

DicktheCat posted:

Preferred references... Hmm... And ideal ref is a full turnaround of the character with each color separated to the side so I can eye dropper that poo poo, yo. If I can get the character's head from different angles, too, that would be a bonus! I really, really love it when someone has that on hand to give to me, and it's big enough to be good quality/no fragmentation, etc.


I refuse to work without a reference like this. A good thing about doing such high ticket work is I feel OK telling someone to go away and spend $30+ on a good reference, since it's a tiny fraction of the cost of the commission

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