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Question about hiring artists

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diamondroller03...
diamondroller0331@gmail.com's picture
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Joined: 06/03/2017

Just a quick question:

How much does it regularly cost to hire an artist? I really have no idea.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
It depends on the artist

That's a very broad and general question. The quick answer is that it depends on the artist. Usually the better the artist, the more costly it is to pay for his/her services.

There are other considerations too.

The size of the original illustrations. The quantity of illustrations. Is this part of a larger project, do you have a budget for artwork? Bulk can affect the price of artwork too.

James Mathe says a typical "budget" for artwork is between $3000 to $4000 USD. That's basically him saying, how much you should be paying for artwork for a game. But that definitely doesn't mean 200 unique illustrations. That "budget" is representative how much he believe a game's artwork should cost.

Another perspective is from the artists... Some may work for $100 per piece. Others say that amount is far too inexpensive that artwork is worth way more. You get people from all the spectrum.

There are ways around this: hire someone from another Country. Like Poland, somewhere South America, the Philippines, etc. A place where the US dollar is STRONG financially and you can negotiate a better deal.

So that covers the general costs of artwork and the things to consider.

Last note is also STYLE: if you use a comic book style with Drawing, Inking and Coloring, that might be less expensive than Drawing and eColoring (electronic)... Obviously there is a difference in look between these two (2) style. The more photo-realistic the illustration, the more time taken to color it and the more expensive the artwork...

Cheers!

diamondroller03...
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Hiring friends...

Thanks for the info, questccg. I was asking because I'm on a tight budget (as in really tight). I'm actually hiring one of my coworkers, but we're both new to this kind of business. She might end up being a partner in my venture here as well.

I'm hiring her mainly because her art is akin to Hanna Barbera type cartoons, like Wacky Races, which is the type of art I'm looking for. I'm looking for inexpensive art, but I don't want to lowball her work as well.

I guess it depends on how she thinks her artwork is worth.

questccg
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How about this...

Maybe what you should do is arrange a "budget" for "X" amount of pieces of artwork... Then you could ADD a "percentage" "Y%" of a Kickstarter. But realize that Kickstarter margins are rather slim...

Remember that a Designer's royalty is 25% Profits (highly subjective), to 8% Wholesale or 5% Retail. Those are the upper ends of the royalties...

So I would suggest no higher than 5% as a bonus... So Pay + 5% KS royalty. That could be a viable option... And you're lucky to find someone local to work with. It's always better if you can meet face to face (meeting of the minds sorta...)

How many unique pieces of artwork do you need?

Good designs to bring to market are the ones with common artwork. IDK like three (3) of each card for example. And maybe a deck of 60 cards. So that works out to 20 illustrations...

This is just an example to demonstrate how to plan for a design (in terms of artwork).

If you have other questions, do not hesitate to ask!

Best...

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Some other "tricks"...

Sometimes the artwork is not the problem. It's framing the artwork with a BACKGROUND. If you can use more "generic" backgrounds like a gradiant, a brick wall, clouds, plasma, etc. ... that can reduce the effort in coloring a card too.

That's also a trick you can use to reduce the cost of the artwork.

From what you have described is that your game will feature "Cartoon Characters"... Well it's not really necessary to have highly detailed background to go along with "Cartoon Characters"...

So that can reduce BOTH the price and amount of effort spent on artwork.

Cheers!

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