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Your Art Is Too Expensive

Thu Jan 18, 2018, 6:30 PM
This idea.
I see so many comments and even journals around deviantART with this idea. And in a lot of cases, it's absolutely ridiculous. 

Since I opened commissions, I've been absolutely beyond lucky. Though my art is more expensive than a majority of what I see on dA, I've never had anyone tell me my prices are too much, so this isn't a personal thing for me (and for that I am extremely grateful). Instead I'm writing this on behalf of all the other artists who do get told this, and who are affected by this, because this needs to be heard.

When you commission an artist, it's just like hiring any other service, like a carpenter, or a car mechanic, or a pest control agent. You're hiring someone with a specialised set of skills to complete a specialised job for you. Essentially, you're not hiring the end product - you're hiring their time. With this in mind, let's continue.

This problem of perceived overpricing is particularly bad on dA - in the real world, people pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars for art, and I've seen people say a $5 illustration is too much. I think one of the main contributors to this is the currency of points. 100 points... well I mean, let's be real - 100 of anything sounds like a lot, right? In reality, 100 points is not a lot. 100 points is about $1 USD.
Let's go back to the idea of hiring an artist's time. Say the artist is selling a half-body painting for 100 points, and it takes them 2 hours to do. They are getting paid 50c an hour. It doesn't matter how inexperienced an artist is or how unconfident they are in their art, their time is worth more than 50c an hour.

A lot of people on this site are quite young, or don't make a lot of money, and I understand that in these circumstances, even prices in the $10 - $50 range can seem like a lot. But for complex, time-consuming illustrations, $10 is nowhere near enough. So please don't tell anyone their prices are too expensive, or that nobody will buy anything unless they lower them. Even if you're just trying to give them advice to get more sales, it can seem as if you're undervaluing their work or trying to get art for yourself for cheaper. Their pricing is their choice, and it's probably already less than what they should be getting!


And For Those Who Don't Feel That They Can Raise Their Prices

If you're selling art that you worked hard on for a pittance, remember that your time is worth more than that! If you're spending hours on commissions that are less than 500 points, or even less than 100 points, you're selling yourself immeasurably short. 
You might feel that people won't buy from you if you increase your prices, but if more people priced themselves reasonably, there wouldn't be this idea that 200 points is expensive!
There are always people willing to pay a bit more, and if you haven't found them, you probably just haven't got the right amount of exposure yet. 
Supply and demand is definitely something to take into account, but please - your time is worth more than 10 points! :hug:

Created at simplydevio.us
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:iconh2ofoxy:
H2OFoxy Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018
I've never seen this happen before on this website, but I agree 100%. Good art is a lot more valuable than what people think.

SOMETIMES (not always), I will throw in some extra points to my point commissions because I think the artist deserves a little more than what they offer.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I see it pretty frequently sadly :( 
And ah that's super nice of you!
Reply
:iconh2ofoxy:
H2OFoxy Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018
Aw, thank you! :)
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconbuniis:
Buniis Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2018
SO.MUCH.THIS !!

I hate seeing artists get screwed over and have their work devalued the way it does. The way some artists price their art honestly saddens me. Like, so many kids are pricing under $1. and honestly, it's the community's fault, this site is awful with that. 
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes I totally agree, it really is sad! Anyone's time is worth way more than $1! 
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:iconbuniis:
Buniis Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2018
Yeah !!
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:icondqube:
dqube Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
i was looking at the points worth not too long ago and its making allot of sense.
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:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad you think so! 
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:icondawnthestrange:
DawnTheStrange Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
You said it. I agree 120%
I do commissions for fun, not as a job or whatever, so I keep commissions cheap. Even when they say that it's too expensive! Like, 100 points is literally a dollar. And if you can't afford it then don't bother asking for a commission!
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yesss 100 points really isn't much. And you're right, lowballing is never a nice thing to do :(
Reply
:icondawnthestrange:
DawnTheStrange Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
Ikr. It's a set price. You're not gonna go to a restaurant and ask for less for a dish. It's the same thing here.
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:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes exactly! 
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:iconfidelibus:
Fidelibus Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
P R E A C H
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:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! ^^
Reply
:icontrufflerux:
Trufflerux Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so true. The minimum wage here in Canada is a bit more than 11 dollars. So if it takes you an hour to do, you need to be making a reasonable amount of money.

I have my commissions at a low price because I don't have many watchers, I know a lot of them can't afford much, and it's a hobby not a job. But if it is your full time job, you need good pay. :)
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes I totally agree! 
I think it's completely fair to keep your audience in mind, but you've also got to keep your efforts in mind too I think! :D
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:icontrufflerux:
Trufflerux Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Exactly! 
Reply
:iconserrabritt:
SerraBritt Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love this!  Great reminder that we as artists are worth our time when we are performing a service for others ^_^
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:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I'm glad you think so ^^ And you're totally right! ^^ 
Reply
:iconzaloffshat:
Zaloffshat Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018
Well said! Every artist's time on their art is worth more than what some people think. Luckily I haven't had anyone say I price my commissions too high, I've actually had more people say I underprice my pieces! (which is good to know that people think my art is worth more than I think!)
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I completely agree ^^
Ah that's good to hear! And haha maybe time to raise your prices then? :D
Reply
:iconzaloffshat:
Zaloffshat Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2018
I think I might have to raise my prices, but not too high, otherwise I will start having people think my art's too expensive! (at least my stained glass pieces I should raise the prices since glass isn't a cheap medium!)
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah well your prices are yours to decide ^^ 
And yes definitely D: Glass isn't cheap!
Reply
:iconzaloffshat:
Zaloffshat Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2018
:D (Big Grin) 
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:iconmmkaay:
Mmkaay Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Student Digital Artist
"Your programming is too expensive but we'll still pay you 200$ and hour"

True story from my bro
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey at least they paid it XD I admit that $200 an hour is a lot though :o 
Reply
:iconmmkaay:
Mmkaay Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Student Digital Artist
My dad makes that after 3 decades of engineering. Attourneys make that starting their careers.

Unfortunately he doesnt pay any of our way now lol
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:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Gosh! I didn't even know that was even possible! D:  
Ah that kinda sucks 
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:iconmmkaay:
Mmkaay Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Programmers are valuable. My dad was laid off and then hired the next day no job searching. Never been unemployed for more than two weeks.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I did a little bit of coding in university so I can understand why!
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:iconzontickles:
Zontickles Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I've never done commissions before and I plan on doing them in the future, but I've seen this problem everywhere. And this journal can really help!
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hope it can! ^^ Thank you so much, and good luck on future commissions! 
Reply
:iconsaturdaystorytellers:
saturdaystorytellers Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Professional Filmographer
I've had this a handful of times as a commissionable writer. One particular time, someone just Noted me what they wanted me to write, out of the blue. No hello, nothing. Thinking he had seen and accepted my prices, I put time into my answer to take an interest in his characters, what he wanted from the plot, etc. I also asked how many words he wanted (I traded by the thousand words). He said he wanted "at least 1000". Which sounded odd, considering the complexity of what he was asking for and the fact that your characters generally don't get to do very much in just 1,000 words. I suspected he meant 10,000 - you can get a good story with that kind of count.

So I pointed that out just to check and told him the price per 1,000 words. I got a single-word response: "WHAT??!?!" Which I didn't answer partly due to the tone, and partly because I was busy with other things anyway. 24 hours later he followed it up with, "and when were you going to tell me you charge for writing??" I answered, saying that I didn't think I had to because they were on my profile page.

I didn't hear from him after that.

Another time, a girl Noted me to say that she wanted a story but that she couldn't afford one. I replied to say that I sympathised with the situation, but I could help nonetheless: although I wasn't prepared to write for free, I was established enough (this was on another web site, by the way) that I could put out a journal offering her story outline as free practice for any of the many writers who were following me.

She answered with just a sad face. Then, about five minutes later, she answered with another sad face. And then a few minutes later, with another one. So I answered, pointing out that I'd already offered her an alternative solution, and did she want it or not? She sent me a very sheepish reply which seemed to be more nervous at the fact that I'd been a bit short with her in my reply than embarrassment at having missed a very obvious part of the message. Either way, I put up a journal asking for writers to respond if they wanted practice, and got about nine or ten replies.

A few days later, I contacted her to ask if she'd picked one yet. She seemed to have no idea what I was talking about. I should probably have just left the whole thing alone sooner than that, but I Noted her back anyway, linking to the journal and spelling out what I'd done. I even suggested (because I was pretty sure by now that she probably wasn't going to think of this herself) that she could contact all of them and get many free stories. I forget how, or if, she responded to that.

Far more recently I got someone on here asking for me to write a pretty complex story. She didn't even mention renumeration for it, and I wasn't writing for anybody else by then, so suggested a few places she could go, to find a writer. It was a fairly detailed Note that I had clearly taken time to write, but she didn't even write back to say a quick 'thanks'.

These days I'm inclined not to respond beyond a quick "Sorry but no, I'm not writing commissions or requests at the moment."
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my gosh, that's so rude of that first guy? People like that just have no idea what goes into writing :stare: But yeah I do find people don't really check what's on your profile, cause I get asked if I do requests sometimes 
when I have a stamp on my profile under my commission info links saying I don't. :shrug:

And that girl was actually super rude too. Just spamming you with sad faces? And then not even bothering to check the journal you'd put out for her (or read your reply saying there was a journal, perhaps?) Some people :no: 

After the second girl I'm honestly not surprised that you just reply with that, and I don't blame you in the least! Those are some bad experiences, and I'm sorry you had to deal with them! :( 
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:iconsaturdaystorytellers:
saturdaystorytellers Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Professional Filmographer
Meh, we just kind of end up running the gauntlet a bit, don't we? With the third girl, I think she was just, well, dim. She didn't seem like the sharpest banana in the shed.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes I suppose so!
And hahaha it certainly didn't seem as if she was XD 
Reply
:iconlunarestrella:
LunarEstrella Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:clap: You have totally hit the nail on the head on this one! Honest I am so willing to pay the price the artists asks for a high quality piece of art! It takes so much time and work!
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :la: And yes I totally agree, I'm perfectly happy to pay more for an artist that puts a lot of time and effort into their art ^^ 
Reply
:iconlunarestrella:
LunarEstrella Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:squee: :D You're so welcome! :D It makes me so sad to see people who try to devalue the work of artists who work so hard on their art!
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:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Me too honestly!
Reply
:iconnata-sama:
Nata-sama Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
It's already hard to be found for me as I'm new to DeviantArt. So I'm already happy to get noticed at all. I don't sell my stuff (yet) because there's just no one to sell it too. But once, and if, people start to notice me, I'll be sure to start selling stuff and I'll keep this post of yours in mind. Thank you for making me aware of what's a fair price to ask for stuff.
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:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's definitely hard to get noticed when you're new, but it just takes a bit of time, persistence and promotion ^^ You can do it!
You're most welcome ^^ Good luck! 
Reply
:iconnata-sama:
Nata-sama Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much, I'll keep trying my best! ^•^
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome! :hug: 
Reply
:iconnekob00:
NekoB00 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I've had this happen to me only once. It's really frustrating and honestly a bit disheartening.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, exactly! I'd imagine it'd be pretty upsetting, so that's why I want to try and spread a bit of awareness. I'm sorry it happened to you :hug: 
Reply
:iconnekob00:
NekoB00 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
It's definitely appreciated and no worries. I think... for the most part... people mean well (I would like to hope anyways .-. lol) when they say it and just don't necessarily think things through fully.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah I think they mostly do, but I agree haha, sometimes there's a bit of a lack of a filter :'D 
Reply
:iconflabbergastingdragon:
flabbergastingdragon Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
whoever complained about art being too expensive needs to get a job.
Reply
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