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What's the going rate for Collaborative Artwork?

4 replies [Last post]
Stajin Imaizumi
Joined: 01/30/2015

These forums have been very helpful for a new designer like myself. I have learned so much. Thanks to all.

So, I have a working prototype where I used free clip art from the Interwebs. Through this site I have learned that what I would like to offer an artist is a collaboration. However, I have no idea what to offer an artist above the obvious: complete credit for the artwork. Would I offer him 1% of total profits? Would I offer him 50 cents per unit sold?

Moreover, I understand that what is offered is strictly between me and the artist and what the artist can do and what I'm asking the artist to do. I just have no idea where to start so I don't scare off a prospect by offering the ridiculous. Help!

Soulfinger's picture
Joined: 01/06/2015
Older thread on this:

Older thread on this:

I can tell you that the person doing the cover for my upcoming game is charging me $20 for the initial sketch and then up to $200 for the finished product with me retaining rights, which I consider a bargain.

A lot will depend on whether you are buying rights to the art or if it is just included in the book without any exclusivity. It also depends on the skill and reputation of the artist. I'm sure you could score an art student's stuff on the cheap, especially if they retain all rights outside of your one time use. I recommend checking out the submission guidelines for artists from different game publishers to see what their going rates are. Most artists I know want to be paid up-front, particularly if they are illustrating your ideas. Royalties are not enticing, as let's face it, a large number of games never make it to print, Kickstarters fizzle, and plenty of amazing titles fail to sell even 100 copies.

I always keep this site in mind when working with a graphic designer, artist, etc.:
Looking at entries, like the one for April 21, 2015, is a good reminder of the sort of collaborative deals they get offered.

The Game Crafter
The Game Crafter's picture
Joined: 06/09/2009
What SoulFinger said is all

What SoulFinger said is all very good information. I've paid anywhere from $5 to $500 for a single piece of art in a game. It all just depends on what you want, and what the artist you're working with wants to charge.

Some very new artists might be willing to work off a royalty deal or something of that sort. I'd recommend listening to this episode of The Official Game Crafter Podcast:

Stajin Imaizumi
Joined: 01/30/2015
Great Information

Thanks to both of you for pointing me in great directions.

Don't offer an artist half a pig for his art! Got it. Helpful, thanks.

Joined: 04/12/2015
Look on DeviantArt

I found a guy there who has offered me a good deal, I need about 150 cards doing.

I agree that most will want to be paid upfront, unless they are working with you on this and furute games as part of the company

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