Freelancin'

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DrSteveMcSexy
 
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Freelancin'

Unread postby DrSteveMcSexy » Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:55 pm

I don't know if I spelled that right.

So! After a pretty brutal couple of days of work after which my employment status was pretty much in the air, I went and offered my skills of an artist to a customer at work who was looking for some things done up for her sons birthday party. I may or may not have violated some ethics policies at my work place by doing this, but fuck that. These are the same fuckers who won't let me take tips.

Anyhow, I was hoping to appeal to any of ya'lls on der borden here to see if you have any experience in what to charge for work like this. I kind of started this whole thing out of the blue so I really haven't quoted her anything concrete. Part of me is regretting that, seeing as I'm very familiar with people not wanting to pay for services rendered. So far I've only sunk about maaaybe two hours of effort into this and fifteen bucks worth of office supplies into the whole thing, but I'm only about halfway done.

Thoughts? Opinions? Snarky bullshit that won't really help me at all? Lets hear it. Ya'll might as well take advantage of me while I'm making my one or two posts a month here.

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Kai
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Unread postby Kai » Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:45 am

My guess would be to charge minimum wage for every hour you've put into it, plus charging them for whatever supplies you had to buy. I'm not sure what to charge for the specific services, but charging by the hour should give you a pretty fair figure.

I'll defer to anybody else here who's done the decorating/artistish stuff for pay, though. Those people probably know better than I do.

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Jak Snide
 
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Unread postby Jak Snide » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:59 pm

The prices I've seen people bandying about vary quite greatly. Seen full colour pictures from $15 to $100, if not more. Depends on the quality of the artist, I think. These is all internet based, mind you, and may not apply so well in the world of schedules and per hour pay.

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pd Rydia
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Unread postby pd Rydia » Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:46 pm

For jewelery stuff, I charge 3 times the cost of supplies--1 part supplies, 1 part work, 1 part profit. I'm sure this isn't all that useful, since you are in an entirely different medium, but I guess it gets you an idea, like.

I tried to find an old commission FAQ I saw on deviantart, but that artist is no longer taking private commissions and took it down. That FAQ was detailed, including price variations for different media (traditional, digital, trad/digital mix) and explaining how many WIPs the commissioner would get emailed (so they'd have a chance to clarify details, etc.) Still, here's a slightly less detailed guide, Runaway Five fanart included.

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BrainWalker
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Unread postby BrainWalker » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:55 pm

The most logical approach would seem to be to figure in the value of your time and the materials consumed. But, I understand the confusion here. I did some freelance web design for a Funeral Home a couple cities over, and I had a Hell of a time figuring out what I should charge. I ended up basing it on minimum wage and how many hours I spent working on the design. I didn't actually do any research to see what people generally charge for that sort of thing, though, so I probably undersold myself. But that was a few years ago and they still haven't called me with any trouble so, I guess they're happy with it. Either that or I charged too much and they don't want to have to shell out the big bucks to have me fix any problems. *shrug*
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pd Rydia
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Unread postby pd Rydia » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:35 pm

BrainWalker wrote:The most logical approach would seem to be to figure in the value of your time and the materials consumed.
Not just the value of your time to yourself (you could be spending that time doing other things, right? things you enjoy more or make you more money), but also the value of your time to the person commissioning you. The fact that I can put beads on a string to make a bracelet* is much more amazing--rare, and valuable--to others than it is to me. When someone else can't draw, design, or code worth a shit, they're willing to pay good money for someone who can and has had experience doing so--even if you think it's just your hobby and nothing special.

*slight understatement of the process

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Justice Augustus
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Re: Freelancin'

Unread postby Justice Augustus » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:43 pm

Two things, first:

DrSteveMcSexy wrote:These are the same fuckers who won't let me take tips.


That's not right. I don't think I'd go so far as to say illegal, but they cannot withhold unconditional gifts given to an employee by a customer. If a customer came to you and said "as thanks for your work, please accept these cookies, I baked too many to eat myself" they would have no right to prevent you from accepting that. That's all a tip is: a gift.

As for prices, I'd recommend you do some research. Find some other people who do similar work and work out what an average amount is. Call up and pretend to be an inquisitive customer, because if you put yourself out there as "for hire" you can bet people will be comparing your prices to others.

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pd Rydia
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Re: Freelancin'

Unread postby pd Rydia » Sun Nov 09, 2008 5:01 pm

Justice Augustus wrote:As for prices, I'd recommend you do some research. Find some other people who do similar work and work out what an average amount is. Call up and pretend to be an inquisitive customer, because if you put yourself out there as "for hire" you can bet people will be comparing your prices to others.

You can also probably ask as a fellow artist looking for advice. Typically speaking, people love sharing knowledge and love even more to bitch about problem customers.

Oh, I found another commission FAQ (lunk). At the very bottom of the entry, there's information about the commission process (full payment first, sketch approval, half-way WIP approval, watermarked & unwatermarked final). Another webpage I found (lunk) has some very lengthy advice for potential commission artists; notably, it suggests 1/3 of the final price up front and non-refundable.

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PriamNevhausten
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Re: Freelancin'

Unread postby PriamNevhausten » Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:12 am

Justice Augustus wrote:Two things, first:

DrSteveMcSexy wrote:These are the same fuckers who won't let me take tips.


That's not right. I don't think I'd go so far as to say illegal, but they cannot withhold unconditional gifts given to an employee by a customer. If a customer came to you and said "as thanks for your work, please accept these cookies, I baked too many to eat myself" they would have no right to prevent you from accepting that. That's all a tip is: a gift.


That's not entirely correct. If you're working for a nonprofit agency, you absolutely must not accept gifts of any kind, because that shit can be traced down the line and be used as grounds for accusation of favoritism or bribery, which is super bad when you're using federal preferential treatment.

Otherwise, though, you're okay. You are permitted to collect tips wherever you work--BUT!--you must claim on your taxes the amount you have received in tips during any month in which you earned more than $20 this way. Documentation is fairly imperative in this situation.

At least, that's the way it is in Ohio. I think that's federal, but I can't be 100%, because I am a type-fast-guy and not a know-the-rules guy. Bears research, if you care.

Unfortunately I don't have a damn idea what to tell you about the price thing. If you want to find out, ask people what they would pay for art commission x. My personal rule of thumb would be to increase that by 5 to 10%, and you have a decent starting point.
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Idran1701
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Unread postby Idran1701 » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:30 am

Honestly, minimum wage sounds like a lowball estimate to me for any sort of commissioned/freelance work. I'm not an artist, but what I would expect to see for something like that from the other side of things would be closer to $15-20 dollars an hour minimum, personally. And even that feels like it might be low. Of course, things are different if you're doing this as a favor for the person as much as for the money, but that's the sort of value I'd think would be most common.

What sort of work is it, by the way? Flyers, caricatures, a big mural, what? That's a big factor in salary too, I'd imagine, and you could always look on Craigslist or some other site like that to see what other people doing the same work tend to charge.

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pd Rydia
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Unread postby pd Rydia » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:57 pm

Idran1701 wrote:Honestly, minimum wage sounds like a lowball estimate to me for any sort of commissioned/freelance work.
I second this.

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Kai
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Unread postby Kai » Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:52 pm

That's why they call it "minimum wage," I suppose.


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