1. Compensation: Flat rate $100 per diem. I've really simple commission structure because after a several years of haggling I realize I won't work for less than $15 an hour for anyone & I won't work for less than 6 hours a day for any paid-project. After about six hours painting in a day I get a bit burnt out so while I [may] work extra time on it that day I've landed here.
I take ½ via Paypal before even touching my stylus to my Wacom because while I trust you, a complete stranger on the Internet just fine, money and I go way back and I speak her language. Truth is, you either can pay or you can't and regardless of what's going on in your life right now you shouldn't be commissioning [anyone] for work if your fiscal world is in dire straits. Get the $-situation together before contacting any artist; you shouldn't be hiring someone for a commish when you're struggling. I've struggled & I know your pain. I've learned impulse-buying leads to one road: buyer's remorse avenue. I don't want you to be dissatisfied with the work because it meant you couldn't feed the fam for a month.
This is the structure that works for me & as such is not up for negotiation. I don't feel I'm underselling or overselling myself for what I do. I'm charging the price point I'm comfortable working at plain and simple and completely unapologetically. I just ask if you're hiring me that you know you're agreeing to this price up front before wasting your own time or mine.
2. Art Direction: I only work with one "director" at a time per project. I'm not getting paid enough to deal with 5-6 different people with different visions. If you've a group of people who're funding the project make sure there's just one voice who is directing a clear idea of what you're wanting. I've recently had another "too many cooks in the kitchen" situation and it was all over the map & seemingly never-ending. It was painful. If I'm being real I burn out on projects that don't seem to end. I've artistic ADHD like no one else & my best work is going to be done on day one thru day three. I blame myself for not being concise, for not being assertive, for acting like someone hiring me is bestowing this incredible favour on me and I won't put myself or a client in that situation again. That's the skinny. That's the real.
3. Artistic Style & Content. If my gallery is so appealing to you that you've decided I'm really the artist you want to work with, awesome! Many happy grins as I'm gobs thrilled when people want to hire me for their projects. There's no higher form of praise than someone saying "I love what you do, I trust what you do and I'll pay you to do it for me". Even better when that person comes back for more. Just make sure that when you're looking at my work you're not going a completely random direction with my scope. Thinking "I really want this girl to paint environmentals/mechanical/typeface/logo/linear work" when clearly that's not my kind of work and those requests truly leave me dumbfounded. There's tons of incredibly diverse artists who specialize in those areas and are amazing at them; you should definitely hire them for that kind of work.
If you're writing a book and want a cover-artist/illustrator for it, want to feature me in a magazine , want me to do your album cover, or to paint a family member in a certain style to hang from your wall; I'm so totally in. Man, am I ever and I'm excited to hear what you're doing. My strengths and weaknesses are pretty apparent to anyone with eyes & sensibility so use those.
If I were hiring a tattoo artist to ink my skin, I would make sure it was one that had strengths & skill-level in the category of tat I wanted. It's common sense. Does that limit me as an artist? Absolutely. I have to go with my strengths though if I'm going to charge someone for something I want them to love and that I'll want to slap in my body of works.
4. Startups with no capital, "pro bono" or volunteer artwork:
"Would you like to participate in this startup concept for ______________ I’m doing? I don’t have any money to pay you but you’ll get exposure".
I get this one an awful lot and it pains me to a degree every time.
I've a shit-ton of these in my inbox right now that I've not responded to (sorry not sorry) & the disappointment in seeing a potential commission that turns out to be someone panhandling for art-favours shouldn't be hard to imagine. In fact for every 7 of these I get, I get about one legit offer for a paid commission & I just want to stop you now if you're even tempted to contact me with this kind of request.
In case I'm not clear, the answer is "no", I mean come on… "hell-to-the-no".
I have a fantastic yet demanding job in the tech-industry and as an art-hobbyist who essentially freelances when stuff lands in her lap I've no desire to spend my limited extra-time spending hours trying to conceptualize and fully realize your vision without any compensation. If I'm going to do volunteer work it'll be on my terms and for a cause I believe in that's going to enrich my life or satisfy me on some level and it's not going to be for your art website, a character you want a free visual on, your web comic, the first book you're writing but have no $$ for illustrators, or video game you're really impressed you've conceptualized… if you don't have the startup capital to pay someone you're going to get exactly what you pay for & hey if you find someone willing to 'hook a brotha up', more power to you.
I however, am so not interested. Not even slightly… no buts… I don't care how cool it is. I don't care if millions will see it & it's going to magically put me on the map as an artist; I'm still not interested.
5. If you've fully read this info and want to hire me, awesome. I'm thrilled!! I oft go months without checking DA-notes though and I do apologize but I check e-mail every other day @ firstname.lastname@example.org so shoot one over with "%%commission%%"
in the subject-line so I can easily see it. If you're serious about your fully realized project and want to get started I cannot wait to talk to you
as a side note, follow me over on instagram @ www.instagram.com/cypherxx
I'll be posting original never-before-seen (and some oldies but goodies) products & prints over at Society6 in an effort to capitalize on my skills & put myself out there a little.
www.Society6.com/cypherx will be the store's (shop's?) locale - I don't expect any products to be up until August but will update this journal at that time with some featured products.