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Need information on hiring pixel artists

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I'm starting a small company that'll work on mobile and web games. The focus at first will be in simple stuff, mainly puzzle games. I'm now looking for the possibility of hiring one or two artists on a freelance basis (virtual office model - ie, work from home) to team up with us. The job would involve creating the graphics for the web and/or mobile versions. For mobile, it can be done for a primary device and a specified number of ports, with the possibility of having extra ports required. The payment would preferably be on that basis (basic work + ports), for efficient cost control. My estimates point at around 15 to 20 hours per game (basic version plus 3 or 4 ports). If you only know hourly rates, that's something I could also use. My question at this point is: how much would a pixel artist charge for this type of job? This will help me see if it's worth searching for someone to hire under these terms. Thanks for any feedback you may provide.

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I, myself am a pixel artist and I must say there is no set "rate". Freelancers charge basicly what they need to get by. I, myself have charged as low as $20/hour when starting out, and as of current charge $30/hour.

a good pixel artist will be able to create the style you want without much guff, make sure they can take constructive criticism and stomach the fact that you're writing the paychecks, you get the final say. I say this because I know a lot of artists have ego issues.

Make sure they come with a good reference, you want someone who's had at least one project under their belt and knows their limits, hiring a first timer can lead to some headaches, such as countless unauthorized revisons and buggering off when they should be working. Some even get over their head and dissapear off the face of the earth when things get iffy. They can sometimes lead up costing more in the long run, but for overall labor may be cheaper.

If you're interested in contracting me or need some more information, we can talk some more.

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Another freelance pixelist, affirming everything Spater said about hourly rates and the heartbreak of hiring inexperienced artists. You can expect about $20-$40 per hour, consummate with experience, talent, and how demanding the style of the project is, but this leaves both parties open to being burned when it comes to time spent on revisions.

I'm just jotting down a little of my input here.. every contractor is different and the practices of most probably don't align with my own.

For me personally hourly rates are preferable when the work is steady, and/or semi-long term. Even though at all stages of development there are art jobs that always need to be done (conceptual work, resizes for mobile screens, post-production art), given the time constraints you proposed (15 hours for the core content, allowing time for platform resizes/optimizations.. which is pretty realistic) I might lean more towards a flat fee charged per title, for a few reasons. First, it makes the client a little more confident that the art assets for a game won't run out of their budget. Second, it gives a little incentive to maximize productivity. If I take 9 hours to finish a project for
$400, yay me, and yay you. If for whatever reason I take 20 hours to finish it, you're not footing the bill for my slowness/mistakes, I am. Granted, an artist wants to be paid for the work they do, but if you as a developer are having to shell out industry rates for an artist's 5th consecutive attempt at getting something right, it gets silly.


Sorry if this is a little difficult to read, I'm a little scattered today :P

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