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DA has recently announced a new portal for users to search through those offering commissions to find artists they want to support.

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.
:thumb214227933: DeviantArt Point Calculator by charfade

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
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmamasio:
mamasio Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is an interesting topic.  I think DA has such a huge community base that it has real merit as a marketing strategy.  Bringing serious business in, could upset that. It seems to me the majority of consistent online users are 12 - 20.  I think in about 5 - 10 years that could represent a strong community of buyers (once they all have jobs) if you had a way of effectively executing a business transaction.  (Paypal, etc for significant exchanges)
As far as this commission for making money from points.  I don't see this as any form of actual income.

I agree with parallellogic.deviantart.com/

DA is like my video game.  When I've got some recreational time to use, I feel it's a better use of it.   The points (though, admittedly, exhilarating to recieve!) are of an equivalent value to points in Super Mario Brothers, or gold in Terraria.  I only use them for other things within the game (like giving to other DA folks).
I know the old sages of art will say "Never sell your art for less than it's worth!", but honestly every time I pick up a pencil I don't want to think about how much money I'm going to make.  Plus when someone writes you a genuinely sincere thank you, that adds to my quality of life.
I'm technically termed an "artist" at work (ignore my gallery -_-), and I spend a lot of time (almost all of it) sculpting and animating (even drawing every now and then!...The rest is doing math. See kids, you do need it!).  There's hundreds and hundreds of us in Vancouver alone, and no on DA is going to match our rates... (unless they want to pay 2500 - 5000 points / hour, and I don't consider any of us overly talented)
If I mull over a drawing for 10 - 15 hours, I'd love to know which of you is going to step up and pay me the 50000-100000 points...
...then I'd really have a bone to pick with DA cut off the top.
I take DA for what it is to me.  A game.  I feel it has a much more positive impact than most video games, and should be treated as such.
Transactions, for me, are a online version of a friendly high-five-thanks-for-the-drawing, that has just enough value to make it a hair above imaginary.
**Now I'm sure someone will hop on an be like "I make a bajillion dollars off of DA points!"** that's great!  I hope you can do that.  I don't even have a very informed opinion (I haven't scoured this topic deeply).  Just seeing a lot of people bent out of shape over their limitations on perceived potential income.

I think DA is an interesting outlet for creativity and community and should never become a serious platform for revenue.  This small scale transaction system has appeal and keeps disputes free of serious litigation.
To further repeat myself (*sorry*) I'd love to keep serious artists here, I love seeing everyones amazing art that makes me want to be better, I think it markets your skills well...but keep your primary transactions through another system (paypal, etc).  The small transactions are for fun, and maybe as a motivating factor for younger crowds to draw.  Which I wish more forums would encourage.
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:iconstop-go-slice:
STOP-GO-SLICE Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014
I see your point here but what I despise is that artists charging easily over a hundred quid for a half-assed piece of work. I don't mind paying a lot but I also would prefer to receive a good quality commission. Once, the artist has (not on DeviantART but on a private site) run away with my comission money. Oh well, guess that's what I get from deciding to go to a unlicensed site. Just angry from being ripped off that's all.
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:iconseaoffireflies:
SeaOfFireflies Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I think many professionals initially felt deviantART was just a guilty pleasure -- that is, they looked at art and engaged with the community, but wouldn't go for any of the jobs due to the horrendously low prices. After this "Commission" System was created, that feeling was solidified. 

This System just further establishes that this site is for hobbyists, and not professionals. For this reason I find that I'm on the site less and less, and the only value it has left is to just look at art and gain a modest network/following.


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:iconmichael-sherman:
Michael-Sherman Featured By Owner May 3, 2013
minimum wage is not about commission.

If the artist accepts a commission knowing the rate.....thats the artists responsibility. Also look into artists as self employed and responsible for federal tax like ss tax and medicare tax.

It is not a minimum wage issue. Its a selfemployment issue
Reply
:iconparallellogic:
parallellogic Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013
I'd focus predominantly on the 20% cut for dA and drawing far more users willing to commission work to the site.

The supply-demand side is obvious. This is an art site, with abundant artists. Artists can feature their artwork and get huge amounts of feedback. Artists generally have an incentive to set up shop on dA. Conversely there isn't anywhere near as much support for users who want to commission artwork. There are far too many people involved to form any kind of price control, so that really only leaves dA with the option of setting a far higher minimum commission price. You won't be scaring away any of the users looking for real commissions, but you'll predominantly remove the users who want to use the site for recreational purposes.

I'd argue against the minimum wage issue. There are a lot of young kids who peruse the site and who have set up these cheap commissions. This is something they do for fun in their free time, it's entertainment that they also happen to make a little bit of currency from. How much should you be paid to have fun? Does a child's fun time really carry the same weight as the minimum wage an adult would earn?
Reply
:iconkironaoftheskies:
Kironaoftheskies Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2013  Student Photographer
I cannot comprehend what commission could possibly be worth only 10 points. At conventions, I do five minute notecard sketches in pencil for $2. 13 cents might get you a stick figure, if you asked me really really really nicely. :P
Reply
:iconmusical-ecstasy:
musical-ecstasy Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
20% is a bit too much, I work over odesk and they take 10% as commission, it isnt an art site but many projects their require artists. I recommend it to any and all pro artists who want to find clients online, dA system is full of bullsh*t really.
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:icondawnziarte:
DawnZiarte Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why is DA so money hungry.... -.-" Makes me want to leave even more than usual.
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:iconmichael-sherman:
Michael-Sherman Featured By Owner May 3, 2013
DA.com

the .com makes them a business.

go to a .org for a less money driven thing
Reply
:iconblaue-rose:
Blaue-Rose Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I LOVED this journal. I totally agree with you~!!! :happycry:
I guess commissioners get used to those pitiful prices and expect everyone to charge that low for their art...
It's kinda annoying and thoughtless when people ask why a 200 :points:-full color-full body commission is "so expensive"~
I think my PayPal prices are fine. But my point commissions are cheaper... People get shocked when they see a big amount of points as the price :(
My old point commission prices were TOO cheap (even cheaper than now). I used to feel that I was making such a big effort and taking so much time on doing something that was not very well paid. And even if I increased the prices a little bit, I still feel the same but I'm not getting so many commission requests as I used to.
I really don't know what to do... I wish dA would encourage artists to set a minimum/fair price for their art, not only for PayPal commissions but point commissions as well.
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:icontenlongfingers:
TenLongFingers Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
For people arguing that it's all about supply and demand

The free-market system and DA's market are very, very different. In the free market, people are trying to make/keep as much money as possible, so the supply and demand curve is in full control. this is not the case in the DA market. In the DA market, the artists who are actually charging a reasonable market price are competing with artists who do commissions among friends for experience or just for the lulz. The price of 80points isn't determined by the supply and demand curve because the artist isn't trying to get as much money as possible. They don't care about supply and demand because the 10 points are seen more of a "thank you" than an actual price.

This is why undercutting is so much more of a problem here on DA that it would be with Walmart or something.
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:iconxonen:
Xonen Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
"In the DA market, the artists who are actually charging a reasonable market price are competing with artists who do commissions among friends for experience or just for the lulz."

Are you basically saying hobbyists cannot sell their commissions at whatever price they want so the pros could get a fair chance? If so, then... too bad? May sound harsh, but its people's free will. If they want to sell cheap commissions, let them. If they want to buy cheap commissions, let them. If they don't want to sell expensive commissions, they aren't obligated to. If they don't want to buy expensive commissions, they aren't obligated to.

Also, who are you to determine what price is reasonable/not reasonable? That's the artist's job :)
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:iconmichael-sherman:
Michael-Sherman Featured By Owner May 3, 2013
If you are selling, then you are a professional.

If its for money, then money is a teacher and we learn what that means.
Reply
:icontenlongfingers:
TenLongFingers Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
ummm....I never said any of that...all I said was that the "free market" argument was invalid....so I don't know what you're ranting at me about....? XD

I just said that defending 5pt commissions because of supply and demand is ridiculous because it most likely isn't determined by supply and demand.

I don't like the minimum wage idea, and I don't like telling artists what to charge for their work. Like you said, they really are free to choose what they want. But the DA market system is skewed and I do think "something" should be done to make it more like the real free market. The trick is figuring out what. Kxhara and some of her watchers in the comments have some nice ideas that help do this a little.

I'm all for letting market economics run the prices. But I'm against DA market economics running them. There's a difference and I think we should find a way to make them the same.
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:iconxonen:
Xonen Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I responded to this:

"In the DA market, the artists who are actually charging a reasonable market price are competing with artists who do commissions among friends for experience or just for the lulz."

So what I said was completely relevant :)

"But the DA market system is skewed and I do think "something" should be done to make it more like the real free market. The trick is figuring out what. Kxhara and some of her watchers in the comments have some nice ideas that help do this a little."

So what is the point of doing something about DA's free market when you don't even know what the issue is?
Reply
:icontenlongfingers:
TenLongFingers Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I define reasonable prices as prices that are defined by supply and demand.

And I do know what the issue is. Are you even reading what I'm writing? When I said we need to figure out what, I was talking about the solution.
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:iconxonen:
Xonen Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
So you say that supply and demand is a lousy excuse to use when people describe some of the individuals that charge low prices? But then turn around and say a reasonable price is defined by supply and demand? What makes the two any different than the amount they charge?

You know the "issue" isn't even an issue but instead something you just don't like (and may unfortunately have to deal with) Maybe an issue for you, but not for everybody.
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:icontenlongfingers:
TenLongFingers Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, you really aren't reading anything I wrote. I'm going to stop wasting my time typing things out and just start copy-pasting things I've already said.

In the free market, people are trying to make/keep as much money as possible, so the supply and demand curve is in full control. this is not the case in the DA market... [The artists who charge cheap] don't care about supply and demand because the 10 points are seen more of a "thank you" than an actual price.

^that was from my very first post I wrote that you responded to.
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:iconxonen:
Xonen Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aaand~

Don't assume that just because it is cheap means it is more of a "thank you". Some artists know they will have a hard time selling a certain/any of their items due to the fact that they still need the time to improve. And don't tell me that I am not getting what you are saying since I am responding to what I see up there.
Reply
(2 Replies)
:iconwalter11x21:
Walter11x21 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't do commissions for the money (at the moment), just for fun, I like to have points to buy other people commissions as well, it's easier than ask them for an art trade. My prices are cheap, from 1 dollar to beyond, not surpasing the 10 bucks. Also many of my watchers are very young, and they asked me for pictures but they didn't have a lot of money, so that's why I opened my commissions with very low prices, especially for them!. Sometimes I buy to them so actually the points are bouncing between them and I, is just symbolic.

For young people without credit card is easier to pay with points, since they win them in contests or through their own commissions, so I think we need to give them a chance and make avaible our art for them. If someone is interested in a drawing from me but it has no money but some points, then why not?. I even made some just for 30 points or less. Art is fun for me, not a business.

Of course some people live with their art and that's awesome, so in that case their commish can't be cheap, especially if the artist is very skilled.

I think we have to choose our own prices, I don't use the gadget anyway, 20% IS A LOT, it's a scam!!, but still, if I HAD TO, I would be doing them very cheap :) but that's just my two cents :D (sorry for the bad grammar, english is not my first language)
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:iconlucky-puppy:
Lucky-Puppy Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Student General Artist
I honestly dislike dA's points; many people that I've seen doing point commissions charge less than 80 points, less than $1. They should just either get rid of the point system altogether or revamp it so that the values don't seem so skewed.
...but really, points don't have any monetary value, you can't refund them or exchange them for money, so really why bother having them?
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:iconrobynrose:
RobynRose Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013
With the commission system, you can now redeem points for money, but DA takes a 20% cut of the profits.
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:iconenclosedone:
EnclosedOne Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
So this is DA's way of trying to compete with Paypal? Sounds to me like DA is trying to be an unnecessary middle man purely out of greed...
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:iconitsnotfilia:
ItsNotFilia Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's not even related. dA is simply giving people a chance to use the points that exist in the system and convert it into real money.
This was never intended to, and doesn't do jack about current methods of transaction.
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:icondream-cup:
dream-cup Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I generally disagree with this article, though raising some interesting questions...

Young/amateur artists get excited and encouraged by having someone commission them, even if its for 10 points. They aren't doing it for the money. And if they are, they will quickly find out it's a bad way to earn money. So it is, in my opinion, a *good* thing that 10 point commissions are possible.

I think a better way to tackle the problems you've listed is to educate the community. Plain and simple.
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:iconranbassi:
ranbassi Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
I think fundamentally, the internet has created a global market. In a larger market, it is easier for larger corporate players to suck up massive sections of the market, to a degree which was unthinkable decades ago. An independent bookshop can't compete on price with Amazon. An artist on the internet (a massive market) can't make as much money as he would if he was sketching people on the street in a tourist town (a smaller market). Musicians don't focus on selling downloads, because anything can be streamed off youtube; they focus on creating live experiences for an audience of a couple to thousands (which is still much smaller than the internet audience). No matter what Google and its peers like to pretend, the internet is not good (overall) for small businesses. If you went to your local market you might find a youngster selling t-shirts shes printed herself and you might buy one. On the internet there are thousands and usually the winners are not the most innovative, but rather the corporate ones with the most resources for such things as advertising and hiring a pr team/person. This is how the internet works. Look too the right.. see that advert?
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:iconxadrea:
Xadrea Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Honestly, if you really think about it, the commissions widget is geared toward hobbyists, not those of us who can easily charge double what the capping price is. Your argument about minimum wage is somewhat confusing as well. Minimum wage varies from state to state in the US and what's to be said of that worldwide? I don't really care about the 20% royalty, because in real life I've been charged as much as a 45% royalty for sales within a gallery (and that can go even higher depending on where you're selling)

All in all, it's not something I'll be using as a source of significant income, that would just be hilarious.
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:iconmidsea:
Midsea Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I think this whole commission gadget stinks but these changes would go along way to improving it.
Reply
:iconjingobingonfinky:
jingobingonfinky Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013
The friction of a global workplace.

Bottom line is that no one has the right to demand someone else work at a certain rate - whether that's because its too high or too low.

Supply and demand will dictate the market price.

The unfortunate fact is that if you find yourself priced out of the market, the market has spoken - you need to find a different line of work that is more lucrative.

Bear in mind that different economies around the world have a different view of what a single dollar means to them. The rich West bemoans that it simply cannot work at *insert some low rate of pay* and they make demands that everyone else work at *insert some arbitrary value that makes a Western worker able to make a living*. Doesn't work like that however. Someone not in the rich West may be able to make a very nice living at what a Westerner would consider unlivable, simply because of relative costs and lifestyle.

The reality is that like much of the rest of production, jobs and everything - not just art - somethings are not just economically feasible in fat rich countries that have bloated expectations and costs. That is the price of the global market. You get cheap goods. But also some of the jobs you have traditionally made a living from are no longer feasible.

I don't make the rules, nor is this me opining about rights and wrongs. I am simply stating global economic facts.

Adapt and survive.

Don't adapt... and be destroyed.

For you to truly make a living at something like this, you either have to be exceptional - and command a good price - IE your supply is limited and there is enough demand to support a high price point. Or you must cut your costs - and tbh you would have to move country and change lifestyle to make enough of a difference here.

The market is a harsh mistress and it will sort the chaff from the wheat, whether you approve or not.
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:iconjamiemdavies:
JamieMDavies Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The system works itself out. And the commissions widget already is the request system you're asking for. Except as it is now, they get a little more change for their effort so they can buy those snazzy shades their llama so desperately needs. /sarcasm.

When you pay 10 points for a commission, you get what you pay for. It will probably take them more than a few weeks to do your commission. It won't be very high quality. You most certainly don't get a WIP sketch with the option to veto sketches it if you don't like it. What you end up getting is something someone poured their heart and soul into... as soon as they finished their homework, checking their messages, and petting the cat.

Now, when you pay $100 for a commission, you get what you pay for. Barring unforeseen emergencies, you will get your commission in a timely manner. The artist is usually willing to share WIPs with you and accept feedback on their progress. And the art is stellar, and something you want to hang on your wall.

You get what you pay for. :shrug:
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:iconjamiemdavies:
JamieMDavies Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think you're confusing the commissions widget for something non-hobbyists would use. :lol:

A professional artist would not use the commissions widget. Not for real commissions, not even sketches. What self-respecting artist who charges decent prices would agree to pay a 20% fee for an 'agent' that does... what exactly? Market their art to a bunch of broke teenagers? It doesn't help either side if there's a scam. It doesn't handle disputes (hell, they can't even keep up with the bug reports/art theft/porn on here, why would anyone expect them to handle money scams?) It doesn't offer a ratings system so you know who will actually do the work and not sit on your 'request' for 2 years. It doesn't moderate, doesn't fix anything, it's just there.

And they charge a 20% stupidity tax for using it to try and make real money (so fie on them, and their silly widget).



To go even further, professional artists do not even offer point commissions, because the prices they would charge are more than what the market could handle. When was the last time you saw a 1500-4000 point commission? WHY would any good person demand their potential customers pay $50 for the ability to purchase $40 worth of art?

If the artist wants to charge honest-to-god-more-than-minimum-wage-prices, they need to go to a market where the majority of the populace actually has jobs and can afford to pay for good art.

There are other, more professional websites for that (and no, I was NOT thinking of DreamUp :sarcasticclap:)
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:iconstygma:
Stygma Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The only part I don't agree with you is to expect dA to control the market. It's not their job.

The dA commission widget seems more intended for hobbyists than professionals. You cannot expect a teenager to pay 400$ for a picture of their OC. And a professional should really think of another way to sell their art than using the dA widget (and pay the 20% fee). If you pump up the prices, that means less experienced hobbyists won't sell anymore, because you'll be able to get much better for a seasoned artist for the same price.

And don't forget the laws of offers and demands. More offers than demands means lesser prices. You have to see artworks more as goods that services. Meaning, yes, you'll have to work for peanuts (and even less since peanuts are quite expensive these days). Laws are protecting employees from their employers. Since an artist is often he's own boss, it's hard to apply any law here. And you cannot really ask deviantART to control the prices. dA offers web features to all their users, regardless if they are professionals or hobbyists. Maybe we reached a point where art cannot be your main job anymore. Too many artists out there now and so easy to reach. We're no longer the only artist in the village. To stand out, you have to be an exceptional artist.

I'm not a talented artist, I'm a patient artist. For a full artwork, it takes me between 20 to 50 hours. Minimum wage in Québec, Canada is 9.90$/hour. No way I can charge 495$ for my art. My solution is that I don't do commissions, I only do trades, exchanges, contests and the occasional gift art. Also, I don't want the hassle of having to fill a tax report for the extra income. And I rather think of the enjoyement of drawing that the money I don't make of it. :)

I understand the value of good work, but it's a world wide problem that now, quantity is valued over quality and we are far from a solution for that. Blaming deviantART for the low prices is like blaming Facebook because your teenager girl put naked pictures of her online.

Thank you for this article. It was very informative and might help artists know the value of their art.
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:iconsilk824:
silk824 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I do agree that everyone who is working should get a minimum wage, but, when you are self employed you have to charge whatever the market will stand, in other words, you very often have to charge a lot less that you would like just to put a crust of bread in your mouth or starve.
Nobody can tell you what amount you can get, you have to figure this out for yourself to get the most money (points) for the least amount of work, you do this by trial and error and by listening carefully to what other are saying and what value for money, you think, they are giving. You also have to take into account the cost of materials, no good selling something for $1 if the paper and paint cost you $1.25, however quickly you can work.
This applies to all businesses, including DA, a lot of you do not understand just how much running the web servers for a site this big costs, you all have to pay for your internet access each month, now multiply that by the number of users online and you get some, general, idea of costs involved. As for DA or any other business not giving a shit about thier customers, one wrong comment or price move can affect revenues drastically, practically overnight, so I think they do, I know I care about mine, they are the only way I can pay the rent, electric and fuel, for the our garage.
You will always have the guy in his backyard, out of the back of a clapped out van or after homework artist, undercutting you, no matter what trade or business you are in, garage services, building or as an artist, it's a cross we have to bare and work through to be a TRUE professional. A lot will fall by the wayside and have to get a job, moan about how hard they have to work for so little money, but they won't try being self employed again.
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:iconhinakanin:
hinakanin Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013
I think that, despite all problems listed above, you should be free to charge what you want; what's ridiculous is the 4000 points limit.
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:iconitsnotfilia:
ItsNotFilia Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You can use DreamUp for professional-oriented services.
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:iconhinakanin:
hinakanin Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013
Thanks, but you definitely don't need to be a professional to charge that much. I'm a sixteen year-old hobbyist and my commissions often reach $60+, and I know I'm not one of the most expensive and that it's still underpricing. I want to give people the option to use points because many don't have PayPal, but that limit is plain ridiculous so I can only offer chibis though dA's system.
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:iconsupernatantem:
Supernatantem Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm an amateur whose still in education and have never taken any courses in art and everything I know, I taught myself. I create art for fun and I'd love to be able to sell my work. However I'm constantly being told that if I were to sell a commission, which for me would be four to five hours work, I should charge no more than 20 points, and it's been people who inspire me and also friends telling me this. I mean I don't want a fortune and I understand I'm no where near professional level but it really made me feel, well in all honesty shit. But with only around 30 watchers, I've been told to not even bother as "no one would be interested" so right now, there's no chance of me creating a career out of this.
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:iconzoven:
zoven Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
One of the problems I have with charging more than I do for my art is that I just don't get clients if I charge more. Albeit I only charge $1 for simple sketches but I charge a lot less than most for my CG 10hour+ pieces. I am not trying to 'undercut'. There's a matter of 'demand' to be taken into account well. Most of my watchers just don't have that kind of money. The cheap sketches I do gets my art out there though and brings in more clients. I of course feel the 4 to 5 hours I do for those "simple" sketches are worth more than a measly dollar. However, if I charged say $5 I wouldn't get anywhere near as many clients...and I usually only have about 1 or 2 every few months as it is.

I agree with what you're saying though. For those of us out there that are trying to make a living on this or trying to build a career those are great suggestions. When you break it down to hours it gives a whole new meaning to "starving artist".
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:iconkai-ni:
Kai-ni Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Bless this journal.

For some people, art is indeed their job, and they deserve to paid minimum wage like anyone else who works for a living. One of the main reasons I think all this commission stuff deviantart is putting is devaluing our work and just downright wrong.
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:iconitsnotfilia:
ItsNotFilia Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
At the end of the day, it's a game of supply and demand. dA ain't what's devaluing the work; rather, it's the sheer amount of artists supplying the service to a limited market that do.
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:icondoodlemancy:
doodlemancy Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really want to know what exactly the little widget does that's worth 20% of an artist's profit. Since we can, you know, just sell commissions through other avenues and keep most or all of the money... :roll:
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:iconahkward:
Ahkward Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Professional General Artist
Even if you put your artwork in a gallery, they will charge you. Often a minimum of 30% as high as 50 or 60%. Da's 20% is gracious. Also for exchanging currencies. Paypal does that.
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:icondoodlemancy:
doodlemancy Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Paypal takes a looooot less than dA, though. And can you really compare a physical gallery to dA? The service dA provides is totally automated-- a gallery has much more limited space, people have to hang your artwork, light it, run the shows, etc. =P Not to mention we're talking commissions here, which is different than selling an already completed work from a gallery.

To be clear, I'm not complaining that dA's taking a cut. Obviously this is an expensive site to run, and dA is a business. They are providing a service. I don't expect them to provide it for free. I just think they're severely overestimating how much the service they're providing is worth.
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:iconranbassi:
ranbassi Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
dA is a business. They charge 20% because thats what their research suggests will give them optimum profit. They aren't charging 20% to be gracious, it's for profit. The 20% charge does not reflect anywhere near the operating costs of the service, whereas in a real world gallery there would be much more parity. Also the use of its own currency, dA points is considered abusive by some. dA is not alone in this practice (among websites that target younger audiences) and because of the scale I read today that the practice is currently under investigation by the EU or in the US.
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:iconitsnotfilia:
ItsNotFilia Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It can help converting points into real money.
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:icondoodlemancy:
doodlemancy Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
But points are mostly an unnecessary middleman. :shrug: I realize they can connect you to a few commissioners you wouldn't otherwise be able to get... I guess the question is really whether or not that's worth it. Maybe for some people.
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:iconitsnotfilia:
ItsNotFilia Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Points aren't exactly a middleman, because that's not the market this system is meant for. With less than 1% of the user base actually having premium memberships (and, out of those, some had received theirs -or equivalent in :points:- from others), it's safe to say that a fair portion of the user base ain't willing to spend their own :twocents:, to begin with. They can, however, part with :points:, largely because they couldn't extract their gained points as real money.

That's where the commission widget comes in, enabling those trades to be meaningful for artists that are looking for :twocents:.
All this is basically dA saying "hey people, see all these :points: on our servers? you can have some of them back."
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:icondoodlemancy:
doodlemancy Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
But points cost money to buy. I don't understand the mentality of being willing to spend money on points, but not directly on the art. Because when you buy the points, both you and the person you're commissioning lose out.

Basically this comment says it better than I can: [link] "WHY would any good person demand their potential customers pay $50 for the ability to purchase $40 worth of art?"

I can see why points work as an in-site currency for site functions like saving up for a subscription or a group subscription or badges or what-have-you, and maybe for smaller things, like adoptables or downloadable resources. I can see why they're useful for people who can't just spend money. But I still wouldn't ever use them for commissions.
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:iconitsnotfilia:
ItsNotFilia Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That "OK to spend on spend on points, but not on art directly" mentality doesn't exist. A good amount of people who're looking to part with points never bought those points, in the first place. Mostly kids, who don't have bank accounts and whatnot. Thus, whatever the reason, they'll only be interested in paying you with their earned points, best case scenario.

In the event they can and want to pay with other methods such as Paypal, they will avoid dA's system, problem solved.

That's how the system really works, it wasn't designed to do something else.
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:icondoodlemancy:
doodlemancy Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No, I get that, and no offense to them, but people without money aren't really people I'd look to earn money from. :lol:

I guess what I'm really disappointed about is the fact that, like you said, the system wasn't designed to do anything else. I expected better. People have been hoping for a commissions system for years, because it provides a more structured, safer way to do commissions. This thing could have been so much more, but it's all just centered around the in-site currency. It's wasted potential. If they want more people to use it, it needs to be more flexible and more attractive.
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