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Author Topic: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)  (Read 26937 times)

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mike boss

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #120 on: August 13, 2015, 08:07:52 am »
Really interesting thread with some great info.
I was compelled to read this after just completing my Wonderboy Bartop project.
This was a "paid  to learn" type situation for me. And I will not tell you what I agreed to do it for.
It was not however worth it....I did apologize to the seller and a new price (very small increase) was negotiated.
HOURS and HOURS went into this, and the amount of revisions ! WHOA!

In the end when I sent the artwork to the customer they had 5 different versions of the sideart.

I think it the revisions that sting us. People like what they see, but then they want to see if they would like "this orange, that a square, shadow here." ARGHHHH ! Pain !

Yet by the same token I did a Mala layout (and to be fair I use the art widely existing online) and the consumer loves it @ 1st take.......pays, and we're done.

My experience was good..... but my hat is off to you guys.
I've been asked to do another project and I may have to decline.

Part due to I do not wish to put out an inferior product.
Part due to the time it will take me, it is simply not worth it.

What are some of the main things you all consider when pricing a job ?

eds1275

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #121 on: August 13, 2015, 09:55:13 am »
As I stated above, I do audio, but last year I made a cabinet for someone. I spent so much time on the art that it ended up not being worth it for me in the end, and I cared about it so much I didn't want to give it up.


Malenko

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #122 on: August 13, 2015, 12:28:57 pm »
That looks smurfing awesome.


When I do pricing, I tell the people "it will cost X if I take about Y number of hours"  Big changes mean more time and I always say up front that what they want changed will increase the cost. Almost everyone understands. I've had people completely change the scope after I thought I was near a final version and I've refunded money to not deal with them anymore.
If you are helping someone and expecting something in return, you are doing business not kindness.

mike boss

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #123 on: August 13, 2015, 12:54:21 pm »
I don't know if it is just me, or this is a slippery slope ?
I'd like to think every time I set out to do something for a customer I nail it first take.
But that would be anything but the truth.

And my desire to ensure each and every individual is happy often times has me working on stuff when it isn't worth it.

I think on a go forward when I present my original concept (which I always do) I'll take the input/feedback at that time.

If someone is asking to see it this way, now that way, now that way again, then asking for all versions included it has to come at a cost. I think most people do realize time is money.

Where I need to be fair is my lack of ability, and not having someone pay extra because I am slow.
But I think I'm fair with that and price things accordingly.

opt2not

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #124 on: August 13, 2015, 03:17:25 pm »
Prefacing expectations.  I state right at the beginning of any commission that I allow only 3 revisions, once at every "pass" that I provide.
Anything extra will cost extra, and that cost is high.  This is to temper the nitpickers, or wishy-washers, because honestly the money we take in is not worth the hours and hours of revisions. It can really get out of hand.
Yes, I do want people to be happy with the work I provide them, but I have no time nor patience for small adjustments that can creep up time and time again. 
This is only a slippery slope if you let it be. Personally I don't allow my customers to run-on with minuscule changes and I let them know that frankly right from the get-go.

It's a hard rule that I try very hard to stick to, but I'll only break it when it has to do with placement or measurement changes.

This is why I tell people that when they give me exact measurements at the beginning, and the revisions feedback must be well-thought-out. Take your time to think about what you want changed and at each pass try to give me as much feedback as possible.  I realize this is hard for most people who are not creative-types, since they have a harder time envision what they want.  But that's the rub eh? When you are hiring an artist for a commission, it's up to the artists interpretation to deliver what you think you want. This is very similar to how tattoo artists work...you go in, give them an idea of what you want, they show you examples, or give you a rough sketch...you sign off on it and it's direct to the inking.

As for the starting point, my customers must provide me with as much information as they can before I price out how much it costs. I have a "standard workload" that I let them know about.  Creating 40+ characters collage doesn't not fit within a that standard workload.
Anything above the standard and I scale the amount of time and money it'll cost drastically. This keeps people from going crazy, and if it turns people away from hiring me, then it's no skin off my back. Like I said, the money and time to do these commissions are not worth that kind of effort. I do this for a little money in my pocket to fund my hobbies, so the wife doesn't go ape----steaming pile of meadow muffin---, as well as a service to the community 'cause I like seeing nice art'ed-up cabinets being made.  If it comes to a point where I feel its not worth it, I might as well just make art for myself and say screw-it, people can stick to that fugly blue lighting stock art.

pbj

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #125 on: August 13, 2015, 04:18:11 pm »
Hmm... so how's about $5 for a drawing of grizzled Sonic the Hedgehog nursing a whiskey in a dive bar and pondering his direction in life?

Twist - Sonic is a metaphor for pinballjim.

This forum needs more threads about Arcade 1Up cabinets.

sellsellsell2000

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mike boss

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #127 on: August 15, 2015, 10:22:52 am »
My brothers are electricians....and at some point or another everyone is looking for an electrician.
And everyone wants a deal. And I remember one time my brother told me, "Stop telling people I'm an electrician!" I asked him why. He said everyone wants something for nothing and acts like this doesn't feed my family.

So I remember when I was getting married I went to my buddy, he had a full service wedding company. My school of thought was put the money in his pocket. But I remember in my dealings with him I went to him for trust, confidence, and I wanted a deal. But I did not lose site of the fact that this is how he feeds his family.

When I see that cartoon about the 10 minutes I laugh. Because it is very true. I've found doing small stuff like Mala layouts people don't sweat it when they get the finished product in an hour. But with more expensive stuff they tend to freak.

mcseforsale

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #128 on: September 27, 2015, 03:25:00 pm »
So, I have a question.  I'm working on an arcade for my neighbor and I'm out of my depth in artwork.  How much would it cost to have the side artwork done with a simple HUGE Jack Daniels bottle up the side on each side and a CP top that looks like a worn bartop with coasters featuring their last name as drink brands? 

I'm going to try it (in Photoshop 5.1), but if I get into trouble and I start hitting deadlines, I'd gladly pay someone else's money to get it done quickly. 

So, for all the discussion regarding artwork, to the (very) layman...what's it really worth?

LeChuck bailed me out on the Fistful of Quarters build in a mercy-killing...he probably got tired of watching me flop on the dock...

AJ

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #129 on: September 27, 2015, 11:43:45 pm »
Hmm... so how's about $5 for a drawing of grizzled Sonic the Hedgehog nursing a whiskey in a dive bar and pondering his direction in life?

Twist - Sonic is a metaphor for pinballjim.

I did get a request like that. pacman and bunch of other characters in a tiki bar..make them wear skirt and dance or something too..maybe smoke weed  :dizzy: :dunno

opt2not

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #130 on: September 28, 2015, 01:19:54 pm »
So, I have a question.  I'm working on an arcade for my neighbor and I'm out of my depth in artwork.  How much would it cost to have the side artwork done with a simple HUGE Jack Daniels bottle up the side on each side and a CP top that looks like a worn bartop with coasters featuring their last name as drink brands? 

I'm going to try it (in Photoshop 5.1), but if I get into trouble and I start hitting deadlines, I'd gladly pay someone else's money to get it done quickly. 

So, for all the discussion regarding artwork, to the (very) layman...what's it really worth?

LeChuck bailed me out on the Fistful of Quarters build in a mercy-killing...he probably got tired of watching me flop on the dock...

AJ

mcseforsale, if you are actually seriously inquiring about a price quote for getting some art done for you, please send your questions through PM.  I don't discuss prices in a public forum.

But if you're asking more of the philosophical question of "what's it really worth?", I invite you to read this thread again from the beginning.

 :cheers:

yotsuya

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #131 on: September 28, 2015, 01:35:24 pm »
Hmm... so how's about $5 for a drawing of grizzled Sonic the Hedgehog nursing a whiskey in a dive bar and pondering his direction in life?

Twist - Sonic is a metaphor for pinballjim.

I did get a request like that. pacman and bunch of other characters in a tiki bar..make them wear skirt and dance or something too..maybe smoke weed :dizzy: :dunno

Reminds me of this one I saw on KLOV...
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

SNAAKE

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #132 on: May 30, 2017, 01:46:54 pm »
lol thats great actually  :applaud:

morton

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #133 on: June 11, 2017, 10:40:16 am »
As someone who is dabbling with art themselves, I can say unequivocally that paying someone is the best course of action. I do not consider myself an expert, nor do I see myself as a layperson. Even knowing how to use the programs to a certain degree, the workflow is extremely slow and one mistake at a certain point can undo hours of work if you aren't careful. I have probably spent 6-10 hours total in my free time, and am still not done. I figure another few hours at least... so if that is the case, essentially you're almost gonna be at 1/3 of the hours in a work week (depending what you do for a living). If a guy wants 1/3 of my weekly pay to do art, and it's gonna be better than what I can do and it's gonna look good... its a no brainer.

Look at the art some of the sellers are creating, and the type of reception folks get when they share what they have commissioned... That alone is worth it. Anyone who isn't seeing the value in this, just remember, you're gonna have to look at it forever. It's art. No different than a painting on a wall. If you want a big portrait, you don't paint your own if you cant paint. When I used to paint, I was constantly unhappy with my work and constantly tweaking to the point I ruined some great pieces... anyone I know who owns any of my completed work just enjoys it.

Not just to the artists but.... Hats off to the pros out there who do what they do and do it well.  :notworthy:

SNAAKE

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #134 on: August 15, 2017, 01:27:53 pm »
got another recently..make mario ride a bird or something lol  :lol

opt2not

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #135 on: May 22, 2018, 02:30:12 pm »
Another classic story:

I had a member, who shall not be named at this time (you know who you are), contact me asking if I could get a copy of some control panel artwork I created for another member's project.  The commission was for a full art-set, costed a lot of money, and it took months to complete...many many hours were spent not only creating the artwork, but also translating the vision that the project creator wanted.

I explained to the guy that this artwork is owned by the project creator and that he should contact him about it. I created the art, but I do not own it. Every time I make art for someone, the first thing I make sure is that they understand I have no ownership/copyrights to what is delivered. It's their artwork to do with what they want.  Anyone who hired me for artwork can attest, once it leaves my hands, I have no ties to it other than being the artist who created it.

Additionally I offered my services to this cheapskate, and of course...*crickets*. I knew it would be. If a person is asking me to give him free artwork, there is pretty much a 100% they will never buy artwork.

Let me just say this:  If you PM me asking for art handouts, be prepared to receive some sass. I don't give a rats ass if I've had dealings with you before, if we've been cool on the forum, or if you're an established long-standing member of this site. You should know better, and you should know my stance on custom art.

I will never, ever, share the artwork that people paid me to create without their permission. Now, if the person who commissioned me contacts me and says it's ok and it doesn't generate any extra work for me, then that's fine.   But if you're asking me to underhandedly share that person's artwork with you, without them aware of it -- basically stealing, then you can go to hell.

/rant (for now)


SNAAKE

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #136 on: May 22, 2018, 07:06:01 pm »
whoever you are, I am still in business and can photoshop some premade picture togther for you :cheers: :applaud:

stock pictures are good too lol
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 07:09:12 pm by SNAAKE »

yotsuya

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #137 on: May 22, 2018, 09:09:01 pm »



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

opt2not

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #138 on: November 18, 2018, 01:42:17 am »

1-UP

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #139 on: March 13, 2019, 12:12:25 pm »
From the perspective of a customer, I'd want to see previous work with at least a guide price along side it before I even contacted a designer / artist. If its annoying you so much, why not filter off these people before they even contact you? Not being transparent with pricing from the start can make people feel like they're being lured in, then get defensive when a price seems high to them (when it probably isn't). It's all phycological, similar to photographers who charge peanuts, then want a kidney for a few digital images once they've got you on the hook. I know this is not the same but I do think customers need a rough idea.

Personally, I'm one of those have-a-go 'Adobe' heros because I'm just too perticular about what I want. I've seen a lot of these 'art-kits' online and I'm yet to see one that looks worth paying the money for. If someone created an arcade realistic FIFJ art set I'd gladly pay for it because whats out there is just awful. Thats what puts me off using an artist. Once you've paid, if the work is poor, you're stuck. It's the consumers opinion agaist the artists and you're paying for THEIR work not a customers interpretation of what it should be like. I pitty anyone in this line of work, it must be hard. If I was doing it, I'd just product 'off-the-shelf' designs that anyone could buy. No one gets upset that way.

opt2not

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #140 on: March 13, 2019, 02:20:34 pm »
From the perspective of a customer, I'd want to see previous work with at least a guide price along side it before I even contacted a designer / artist. If its annoying you so much, why not filter off these people before they even contact you? Not being transparent with pricing from the start can make people feel like they're being lured in, then get defensive when a price seems high to them (when it probably isn't). It's all phycological, similar to photographers who charge peanuts, then want a kidney for a few digital images once they've got you on the hook. I know this is not the same but I do think customers need a rough idea.

Personally, I'm one of those have-a-go 'Adobe' heros because I'm just too perticular about what I want. I've seen a lot of these 'art-kits' online and I'm yet to see one that looks worth paying the money for. If someone created an arcade realistic FIFJ art set I'd gladly pay for it because whats out there is just awful. Thats what puts me off using an artist. Once you've paid, if the work is poor, you're stuck. It's the consumers opinion agaist the artists and you're paying for THEIR work not a customers interpretation of what it should be like. I pitty anyone in this line of work, it must be hard. If I was doing it, I'd just product 'off-the-shelf' designs that anyone could buy. No one gets upset that way.

I am transparent with pricing.
The first thing I do before even discussing any kind of design is supply what I call the PPP.  Prices, Process (outline), and Policy (things like payment, iteration passes, final delivery) that is used as a filter. Once people read through the PPP, it's up to them if they want to continue talks.
I just don't broadcast this to the public as it can change day-to-day depending on how my schedule is, or how much I want to take on extra work. I don't have a set-in-stone price that I keep year after year, sorry, but my time is my own and I'm not a business, so prices fluctuate based on life factors.  Also, the prices I give out are a baseline starting point, which is also outlined in my policy. Sometimes a customer wants more than the average art workload, so I gauge what they want based on what they describe, after they've read my PPP, and I scale the price based on how long and how much work it would take to create.

As for examples, my blog is in my sig. It's the same link I send to people that approach me.  It has examples of my work as well as hobby stuff.
But most of my customers are active members here, who know my reputation and my skill level from this forum. I don't get many people just randomly finding my blog and approaching me.

As for being stuck with poor work...this is why I always charge half of the total cost up-front, and the rest on final delivery. That way both parties don't get completely screwed if someone gets cold feet. It's a "cut-your-loses" insurance policy that mainly allows people to bail without completely screwing me over for the work I've already put in.

Thanks for your pity, though it's not needed.  I don't do this as a primary source of income. It's mainly a favour to the community here, that I've weened off doing the last couple years. Now-a-days I normally only do commissions for established members, and friends of the community. I'm also very choosy on what I want to work on. Unfortunately I've had to turned people away in the past based on their theme choices. If it's something I'm not interested in creating, I don't take it. My best work is done on themes and subject matter that excites/interests me. If I'm doing something I don't like, I don't produce the best results.

The off-the-shelf design idea has been something I've considered doing, but ultimately decided against it. It indeed cuts down a bit of the time needed to produce the artwork, using what could be considered "template designs" as a shortcut, but what happens is you lose that uniqueness geared specifically for your project. I don't like the idea of all my artwork going out looking the same, and people pay for a fully custom design, unshared by anyone else.

Thanks for your comments.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 02:22:18 pm by opt2not »

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #141 on: March 19, 2019, 10:25:20 pm »
Sorry. I now realize that pitty was the wrong word to use. I didn't mean it disrespectfully. Thanks for the other info on your PPP, I stand corrected on that too. I did assume the custom artwork was your business income that's the only reason I suggested off the shelf downloads. Off for a slice of humble pie. How can I get to your blog to see your work ?

opt2not

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Re: The thing about custom artwork (FAQ & rant)
« Reply #142 on: March 19, 2019, 11:03:24 pm »
How can I get to your blog to see your work ?

Thereís a link in my signature at the bottom of  my posts, but here it is just in case: http://the-artcade.blogspot.com/

Keep in mind, itís kinda random. It has artwork Iíve done, arcade/gaming hardware Iíve modded or am into, game hacks, etc...basically a plethora of nerdy ---steaming pile of meadow muffin---. The older posts have more samples of my artwork.