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What are the general costs of illustrations?

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faith27
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Recently I posted that I needed some quotes given to me for illustration. I sent it out to a few forums.

I've had quotes in the range of $150 - $3,000!!! What on earth is going on.

What would you pay for 30 illustrations with background artwork from a professional graphic designer?

I'm really confused :(

VeritasGames
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

Depends on the artist. It also depends on whether they are domestic or overseas.

Depends on how large the art is. Is it full page art per card, or just quarter page per card?

Some comic book studios charge like $1000.00 or more per full color page. Let's say you can get four cards out of that, then you've just paid $250.00 a card for art.

If you go to an art student, you might get $15.00 per card from a high school art student, and your art will look like a high school art student did the work for you.

You should figure on paying at least $50.00 per card at a rock bottom minimum. If you can't get that rate, ask how much people will charge you for inked black and white art and then color it yourself with your computer.

You should visit the game design section of our website for leads on getting art. Listen to the Louis Porter Junior podcast and buy the Phil Reed colorization tutorial. Those will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Wherever possible, don't underestimate the value of good clipart that you can colorize.

http://www.veritasgames.net/...Obtaining_Art_for_Your_Game

seo
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

I don't know what the usual rates are, but here in Uruguay, in the book industry (which has lots in common with tha game industry, I guess) the lowest price per illustration in a children's book or similar is USD 30 (which IMHO is ridiculously low), so your project would be around $ 900.

From what I've read, a professional illustrator in the USA might charge $ 250 per illustration or so, so your project would be $ 7500.

HTH,

Seo

Shellhead
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

Fantasy Flight Games used to pay just $10 per picture for artwork, but that was years ago. They undoubtably pay more these days, judging by the increase in the quality of their artwork.

VeritasGames
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

If you get quoted ridiculously low rates, they are ridiculous. If you haven't worked with someone before and don't have a really rock solid recommendation, you are always best off taking the second or third lowest rate. Chances are, the company with the rock bottom rates is gonna take their time delivering art to you or will cut some other corner.

You pay for what you get.

That said, you can almost always find a great artist outside the U.S. who commands a lot less than the $100.00 to $250.00 per card art fee that a U.S. artist will charge you. Again, almost nothing is cheaper that taking line art or inked line art, cleaning it up, and coloring it yourself. At that point you are trading your labor for someone else's, but you might value your labor at less than someone else's.

Your results won't be as good as having a professional color guy do the job, but they probably won't look bad if you are good with a computer.

I learned most of my computer coloring skills from Phil Reed's article, David Nalle's article, and a vast quantity of personal trial and error.

If you spend less than $3000.00 on your art though, and if that art comes pre-colored, then if you use domestic artists, then every dollar under $3000.00 will show. I'm not convinced that blowing $7000.00 or more on art will get you a heckuva lot better art than spending $3000.00 on it. What spending more probably will do is get it to you a helluva lot faster. People who charge $250.00 per card tend to have a nice art portfolio for you to look over and tend to work fast (they charge the higher money often because there is more demand for their services). This doesn't say you can't waste $250.00 on a lousy piece of art. You most certainly can. You are just more likely to get a high quality piece of art with a higher art budget.

OutsideLime
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

The way most illustrators (that I have spoken to) generate their quotes is by multiplying the number of hours they believe a project will take by the number of dollars they wish to earn per hour, then wiggling that number up and down for various reasons. (I happen to be a working professional graphic designer and illustrator, and this is how I generate my quotes.)

Once an illustrator has tackled a certain type of project (say, card art, or quarter-page magazine article accompaniment, or comic book covers) a few times, they have a "standard" by which they quote for those project types.

I made the rounds recently and contacted many card-artists that have done quality art for various card games. Posing as a client that wanted to procure card art for a game design, I got quotes from a dozen different artists. Generally, the number hovered between $150 and $350 per image. Never less than $150. (Images defined as full-colour, 1 or 2 figures with backgrounds, fully described.) A few of the responses went up to the $500 range, and one gentleman quoted me $1200 for a single image. Pricey!

Perhaps the person who quoted you $150 for 30 illustrations really meant to say $150 per illustration. $5 for each full-colour drawing is really quite insane, from a professional's perspective. Insane or not, I would peek at that person's portfolio before giving 'em the thumbs-up. (Of course, look at ANY artist's portfolio before hiring them, or have them provide samples specific to your needs.)

I mean, I could DO it. But in order to make it worth my while, I'd have to make sure that all 30 illustrations got brainstormed, sketched, revised & approved, inked, coloured, formatted, and delivered in the space of three hours. That is 6 minutes per image, all of which would look like they were done in, well, 6 minutes.

So, there is no real standard, as far as I can tell. It's all about the artists' speed, skill, need to take the job, and desired rate. Those variables mix together to form a wide range of possibilities. Sometimes you can get lucky and find someone who will provide excellent art for a very low rate. I have done work for not much more than the abovementioned insane rates myself, on occasion... (but I try to avoid doing so as much as possible. :-) ) One thing I would suggest is that if you are communicating with an artist that you like, try offering him/her something lower than their quote and see what happens. Negotiation is negotiation, after all, and a quote is just a starting point.

~Josh

VeritasGames
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

OutsideLime wrote:
One thing I would suggest is that if you are communicating with an artist that you like, try offering him/her something lower than their quote and see what happens.

What will likely happen is that they will do the work, and will work to how they read your specification for the drawing, and then will resist your suggestion that they redraw it if something is wrong.

Unless you are experienced with drafting an art spec do not talk somebody down and expect the same level of service. Now, you probably can talk them down if you just get a short term license for the art, or if you make a deal for bulk production.

The best way to save money -- get a license to use previously published art. Yeah, it's not as cool as original art, but it's less expensive.

FastLearner
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

There's a hidden cost related to incredibly inexpensive art where you've seen the artist's portfolio and the quality is good: your deadlines won't be met and odds are very good that you'll only get a small percentage of the total project.

Inexperienced artists trying to build up their portfolios or who are just drawing for the pleasure of it will often go into the project at a very low rate but once they get going they'll discover that it takes a lot more time than they thought and/or the project will get boring. At first they'll blow some deadlines, and eventually they'll just throw in the towel and not bother to do any more (though they won't tell you that's what's happening, they'll just stop responding to your email).

In any service industry, which certainly includes professional illustration, you really do get what you pay for.

-- Matthew

faith27
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

Thanks for the very informative replies. It's was in fact the lower quotes I got was what I was mainly questioning. I appreciate the comments here about value for money and I don't like cutting on price to compromise quality.

Outside lime - did you receive my second message? Not sure if you did as my pm doesnt work when I respond to messages. But I wanted to ask you for a quote on overall cost for all the artwork i.e. packaging too and the design of the cards as well as the illustration on the front of the cards.

The back of the cards will have logos I have already got and general information from sponsors.

I like your work outside lime especially the chemical elements graphics that is excellent.

Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you.

E

PS The $150 was actually £300 for the total project, I just converted it to $ it's probably closer $200. It definately is NOT $150 per illustration believe me! I've also got a sample of a picture and to be honest was not totally impressed with it.

OutsideLime
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

Veritas Games wrote:
What will likely happen is that they will do the work, and will work to how they read your specification for the drawing, and then will resist your suggestion that they redraw it if something is wrong.

Well, this is how it might go. However, an artist who has ended up in that situation before will learn that unhappy clients don't result in repeat business very often, and we rely on that repeat business (or recommendations from clients) to survive. If you have good sketch/approval system, you can avoid this scenario in the vast majority of cases.

Also, I always include a clause like this in illustration contracts:

"The quoted prices include a reasonable amount of revisions (defined as one round of substantial changes and subsequent minor fixes) permitted per item. Any item breaking this limit will be billed appropriately as an extra item at Mr. Cappel’s discretion but with considerable fair warning to the client."

This never fails to insure that a client is prompt and diligent about offering critisicm thoroughly and early in the creative process. Nobody wants to pay more than the agreed-upon quote, for some reason. ;-) I do much of my art in the Toronto film industry where turnover times are startlingly quick ("Have it designed, approved, printed, and delivered to set by first thing tomorrow morning!") and there are a dozen different people (art directors, directors, producers of all kinds, agency, etc...) who might decide to disapprove a visual for a myriad of reasons. I learned to insist on an efficient approval system with good communication the hard way, but I learned the lesson well.

I also insure that any images I create are kept in as malleable a state as possible, in the anticipation that revisions may come up... any digital artists out there will understand the steps you can take, such as preserving resolution, keeping elements on seperate layers, saving duplicates of files at various stages of completion, and generally keeping things as editable as you can manage.

faith27 wrote:
Outside lime - did you receive my second message? Not sure if you did as my pm doesnt work when I respond to messages. But I wanted to ask you for a quote on overall cost for all the artwork i.e. packaging too and the design of the cards as well as the illustration on the front of the cards.

I like your work outside lime especially the chemical elements graphics that is excellent.

Thanks! Those "elementals" were for a client's game proposal where (you'll dig this) players are scientists committing various creatures based on the elements of the periodic table to combat against each other. Players could combine elements together in the scientifically appropriate amounts to create more powerful creatures. E.g., you could combine three Oxygen elementals together to upgrade to an Ozone (O3) elemental. The client lost interest in the project somewhere along the line, but the elementals still live in my portfolio!

I did get your message just now, and I am preparing a quote for the whole project. Will have that over to you in an hour or two, just leaving for the office now.

Speak to you soon!

~Josh

faith27
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

I didn't realise you're based in Toronto. I just flew back from there last week Wednesday! It's a great place and the people are soooo nice. I accidently dropped a coin and a lady says to her daughter 'pick that up for this young lady dear'. We don't get that in England! lol.

As for the elements game, I would very much like to get further info on this. Is it at all possible to trouble you for a link. My business sells card games for schools and that one would be excellent addition to my collection.

I've sent you an e-mail too, Outside Lime and i look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks to all that have responded. This is a really great community.

faith27
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

I should really stop skim reading as I miss a lot of info.

Just reread your post about the elements game.

What a shame the client lost interest!!! I am really shocked as it's such a great game for the education market. I specialise in educational card games and would be really interested in anyone who has an educational card game they may want published. I am very good at getting the funding for publishing an educational card game. So there is an idea for anyone interested.

OutsideLime
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

faith27 wrote:
As for the elements game, I would very much like to get further info on this. Is it at all possible to trouble you for a link. My business sells card games for schools and that one would be excellent addition to my collection.

There is no link. There is no game, in fact. I did the illustrations on spec (ahh, inexperienced youth) for the client, to be part of their proposal package for the game. There really wasn't even a game, just the concept. ("A game like Pokémon but based on the periodic table of elements" - no kidding, that was pretty much all the direction I got.) I ended up actually inventing the game so that I could have a framework on which to base the illustrations. No playtesting, no development, no nothing have really been done. There are some decent ideas in the game design though, so if you want to talk about developing it further, perhaps we can do that too!

~Josh

PS - Okay, really must leave for work now... :-(

faith27
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What are the general costs of illustrations?

A game like pokemon...hmm...innovative.

Yes I would be interested in disucssing this one with you further.

boardgamegeezer
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GOod artist

Try tmcreations.com

IT is not just the art. Some artists charge for usage of the art.
Like on music cds I thik where the artist gets roalties for each one sold.
However some like the above give you full copyright.
BGG

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