Don’t be afraid to ask questions on the actual scale of the project that a client wants and don’t accept a gig just because it’s a lot of money.
Is the money they are offering proportional to the amount of work you are going to put into it? Is the scale of this project reasonable? Is the client being completely clear with what they want?
I say this because I got offered a gig of 200 dollars to do full body drawings of 10 different characters. Sounds good right?
Well, turns out, the client wanted to offer me 200 dollars to do drawings of 10 different characters and 20 different poses for each character.
This means that I was going to be getting paid 200 dollars for 200 drawings. Which breaks down into 1 dollar per drawing.
For a project that large, it would have been 2,000 to 4,000 dollars minimum. Let’s say it takes me 8 hours to do one drawing. I would be investing 1600 hours of my time minimum into the project for 200 dollars. Keep in mind, I would only be getting 1 dollar per drawing that I make because they need to have ~200 drawings total. That then breaks down into…
.125 dollar per hour that I put into this project.
that is less than 25 cent per hour.
Minimum wage in my area is 7.25 dollars per hour.
Needless to say, I haven’t taken the project, even though I actually do need the money. Why? The amount of work and time I was investing into the project simply was not worth what was being offered as pay. Just because someone dangles a wad of cash in front of you doesn’t mean you should take the project or commission, regardless of how much you need it.
Sometimes as much as it hurts your pocket book or you’re struggling for money, sometimes you just need to say no and if you are struggling, look for alternative methods of help.
Working 8 hours just for a buck is incredibly unfair to you. Even panhandlers can get more than just a dollar for 8 hours of work. 1600 hours of work is equal to 66 days worth of work for just 200 dollars.
I know everyone jokes about the starving artist stereotype but sometimes you just have to say no. I even asked my grandparents and uncle about this and even they agreed that it was far too little pay for that amount of work and they are not artists nor do they buy art. I didn’t even tell them the number of hours I was putting into it at a minimum, I just said it was 200 drawings for 200 dollars.
Value the amount of time you put into a project, especially a large scale one. Don’t take on a project especially not a large scale one because it is “a lot of money”. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion from friends and don’t be afraid to ask questions and break down the cost of summary yourself. Ask yourself if it is really worth the amount of time you are going to be putting into it.
Don’t be afraid to say “no” because the amount of work they want from you is not worth the amount of pay you will be receiving.
That offered payment reminds me of that guy the furry fandom dealt with a while back that was basically trying to get people to full on, detailed animation for basically pennies.
He proceeded to attempt to draw the money on a GoFundMe that was basically bad-mouthing artists for not wanting to be his slaves and was laughed out of the fandom.