The commissions system will be handled using DA's internal currency system of points, of which DA takes a royalty from.
Commissions are allowed to start at 10 points each for any type of art produced, from rough sketches and small icons to full digital works. Commissions is a great way for artists to offer their services, but are we creating a low-wage market where over-abundance of supply and lack of unification undercuts everyone?
That is to say, how can we guarantee that artists get paid fairly for their work?
- 10 points is roughly 13 cents. 1000 points may seem like a large commission, but it's really only $10.
- Right now DA takes a 20% cut of point commissions.
- DA's commission system also has a $50 cap set on it. Many professional artists charge much more for full, detailed art and simply won't use the system for professional work.
For more information on industry standard pricing and salaries, see the jornal below. Beside it is a USD to points calculator.
For an hour's worth of work, 10 pts / 13 cents is a pitiful wage, yet many young, inexperienced artists are willing to offer their work for such low costs. Worse, they're afraid of seeming greedy if they charge too much, and will undercut an artist that values their work at or above minimum wage.
We also have the problem of hobby and amateur* artists competing with professional artists** who want to create for a living. Amateurs don't care about wage and do it for fun, or don't feel like their art is worth much, and so offer a much lower price for their work.
Should DA work to ensure that artists who are providing real-money commissions work for at least minimum wage?
Should there be a set minimum price for certain complicated works like full-body drawings and animated art?
Also, what about commercial use and licensing? What are these commissions for and how will they be used?
I've had a lot of shady and questionable offers for my work, some of which I have been scammed into doing. I regret those decisions, but they have helped to make me less naive about the world of buying and selling intellectual property. Other artists will inevitbly experience the same thing at some point in their careers, but I feel as though older and more experienced artists have a responsibility to encourage new artists to value their work at a livable price, whether they feel like it is worth that or not.
In such a low-wage environment, how can we ensure that new, young, inexperienced artists are not being ripped off and abused by those who want free or cheap art and may even try to profit off of an artist's work?
My suggestions so far:
*In this case I define an amateur artist as someone
- Who draws as a hobby or simply for enjoyment
- May not have schooling or training in art
- Does not earn living income off of their art (they may take in money with a "jobby" but it's not the sole income)
- May not be able to guarantee quality or deadlines
- May be young, still in school or in a career that has nothing to do with art as their main job
- Does not consider themselves and their work professional
**A professional artist would be
- Someone who is trying to make most or all of their living income from their art
- Someone who charges industry standard price for their art
- Someone who usually has some form of training / schooling or a skill level that is the equivalent
- Someone who can guarantee quality and deadlines
- Someone who considers themselves and their work professional