STOPPP RIGHT THERE BUSTER
I just found this in a commission journal on DA. Points commissions are honestly the worst because A) lots of people offering to take points usually have no idea how much they’re actually worth and B) points are only a valid currency on DEVIANTART….
Have you really considered what kind of currency Points are? They are a flowing currency ALL THROUGHOUT DA. They literally provide a much easier way to earn something, and not only that, give people a far cheaper spending range. Here on tumblr?
Talksprites can cost me up to $8-20
Digital Paintings can go for from what I’ve seen, up to $100
I personally do Talksprites for around 40-100 Points. So around less then a dollar. I don’t feel ripped off in the slightest. I do that because I can buy a LOT of stuff on DA for 100 points. And not only that, I can commit to what I buy and MAKE something out of it. Something worth around 60 points has become my most recognized character. A little more then 40 cents. That’s all it (in retrospect) costed me.
Now if this was a recently incorporated currency, then FUCK YEAH DUDE! Points would be a terrible idea! But its a currently moving currency. People trade with them. Sell with them. Buy with them. Whether they are worth less then a penny or not, it is still an active currency. Saying that just because something is less then a dollar it is worthless is like saying that the currency Yen is worthless. Yen is worth less, but its still a used currency.
I’m not saying that people shouldn’t commission those on tumblr. Dude if you want effort, I would say go commission a Tumblr Artist. Tumblr artists are REALLY AMAZING. But if you want a deal, then look around DA and save up points! Yeah its a little harder to find things, but its honestly worth the search.
Points are A-Okay~
You missed the entire point.
This is about how the DA points system perpetuates the idea that charging peanuts for artwork is normal and expected. You are prioritizing a cheap buy over artists being able to make an actual reasonable living off their hard work.
Not only is that incredibly selfish, it’s insulting to people like me who have actual real paying jobs in art. You’re basically telling me that you think it’s totally ok if I get horribly ripped off by a system that makes it extremely difficult to generate any kind of worthwhile profit through it.
Is art deserving of less pay than other real jobs? Are you telling me the artists who really want to sell their skills aren’t even entitled to minimum wage? Do you realize that it’s people like you who gladly accept CENTS for their work that are forcing artists to lower their prices to compete?
"Well -I- don’t feel ripped off when I charge next to nothing for MY work, so no one else should!"
No. Get pooped on.
Professional illustrations in the digital medium start at $300 USD minimum for an “entry” level professional without a decade of experience in the field. Most artists on dA should certainly not be charging the equivalent of 20 cents for a fully coloured and worked artwork. It devalues the entire industry for starters and this sort of behaviour is why VFX studios are going out of business - it’s because of the constant undercutting and poor payment of creatives that occurs globally. Life After Pi is a wonderful short documentary that looks at these sort of problems (in the VFX industry in particular) and to be honest this sort of thing extends out to illustration as well. Creatives face many of the same problems when it comes to getting paid properly.
Undercutting and charging peanuts for your work is bad for the people selling it at price and the people who are then forced to compete with these prices. It devalues your work because it forces everyone to compete at an artificially low price which won’t pay your bills. On the whole it makes working as an illustrator unsustainable financially and reduces the quality of the pieces completed for clients. Many clients lack an understanding of the process and some even a willingness to understand the process which in turn leads to them further devaluing the work done as well. This is also a problem. My favourite is the scenario of:
Client: “Oh, well I could do that!”
Me: “Well sir/madame, you are most definitely free to try.”
In this scenario the client clearly has no idea that illustration is a learnt skill and not simply an innate talent. Those with talent must nurture it to develop into a great illustrator and those without innate talent must likewise do the same. Regardless of natural gifts, some sort of training in the fundamentals is required to illustrate and design well. As education is an investment you should expect some sort of return on that investment like any other job.
For 20 cents I’d give a client a squiggly line if I was feeling generous followed by a gentle lecture explaining to them the amount of work that goes into the illustration complete with pricing breakdown. Never underestimate your work, because your hard work goes into and you deserve to be paid a reasonable price for your efforts. Unless you’re giving your client a 1 minute scribble on a napkin, $1 USD is never an acceptable price for your work and nor should you tolerate people paying you so poorly.