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Pricing on 2D art

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I'm interested in hearing from artists who sell, or will sell artwork for a game. I would be interested in 2D art. Everything from Gui elements to characters etc. I am looking for info on the following points however: - How would you normally handle this type of commision? Flat fee for all art, per art piece? What about animations? You get the idea. - What rates would you charge for the different kinds of work? - If possible, what rates are reasonable? I know that every artist is going to have their own idea of reasonable, but there also would have to be a price range that wouldn't be too surprising to encounter. - As an artist, what would you need to know to be able to make the art? (Intended resolution, bit depth, visual look of game, you get the idea.) - Is there anything else I should be aware of?? I appreciate your time and answers. Thank you. ~Casey~

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If you are serious about hiring a freelance artist, here are a few tips that I think will help you get what you are looking for.

1. Know what you want and how to communicate it. Simply saying, " i want some fantasy art" is asking for trouble unless you have a pile of consistent examples to point the artist to.
It's also helpful to find a common identification system of styles. Here is an article from another web site that can help.

2. Are you looking for an artist to 'design' or 'construct and build'? These two elements can often be confused and lead to frustrating contracts for both parties. I have heard many artists complain about the infinite irritation that can sometimes arise from performing 'design' services.

3. $$$ Helps. A phoenix does not want chicken feed. Many artists work very hard and sometimes have to work even harder to compete with ever growing natural competition. Agree on a reasonable payment system that does not lead to a power struggle between you and the freelance artist. Many artists look forward to being paid for their work and are happy to do business with contractors that need and want services.

4. Don't blow 'Royalty" smoke unless you have outstanding proof that your project is a serious commercial endeavor that will pay off for the artist both in credentials and money. Under the right conditions a royalty offer can be a wonderful thing. If you are creating a product that will be sold commercially, then offering a combination of paid contracting AND royalty share will most likely kick start a positive contracting relationship so long as you keep contracts simple and clear.

5. Skill vs Credential and the infinite 'show me an example' by working for free. Much like the infinite promises of money routine, contractors can state they like what work they have seen of the artist and want an example or proposal. While this may be a logical step in the process of contracting with freelancers that do not have a strong portfolio, do not ask for the copyrights to 'example work' in any way. It can and will be interpreted as sly business practice or the activity of an 'IP' whale. In the end, such activity will only discourage new freelance artists and annoy seasoned professionals.

6. Stay objective, professional, courteous, and keep it simple.
Keeping a professional attitude and simply asking for the information you want often often leads to a pleasant exchange of services.
Although wordy copyright transfers or pages of art descriptions are often involved, such paperwork is simply part of the exchange of services and often required in order to secure the art assets you are purchasing.

7. Business is and always will be business, but playing hardball will only annoy professionals. Do everything you can to simplify your contracting and purchase of services and appropriately secure a system of purchase.
If you are looking for 'design services' it may be best to approach artists with a reasonable hourly system.

If you know the style and themes you want and are looking for 'construct and build' services, then establishing a per product pricing system can be very helpful. x$ for a gui interface, x$ per character model & texture, or other measurable systems of purchase and labor.

I hope this helps


[Edited by - darkmage7 on December 14, 2006 8:10:57 PM]

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Thanks darkmage7. This post was very helpful and I am sure I will refer to it mor than once, when I begin looking to purchase artwork for my games.

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