News from Ninja Mountain
A collective of artists who work mainly in the fields of Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, and comics. And we have a podcast too!
Great episode, especially towards the end! I look forward to hearing your coverage of SFAL2. While I await forum access, I'll query here; it seems universally acknowledged that $200-$300/page is far too little for one to charge, even as a fledgling. Given the group I'd presume that to be for a fully rendered painting/illustration, going further, lets assume that is on 'work for hire' style terms, meaning the artist retains few if any rights.I'd love to hear from folks as to what rates they think are fair at the low end, particularly relating to usage/ownership rights. Given that there's no shortage of people trying to take advantage of each other, how does a new illustrator safeguard against inadvertently damaging both themselves and the field as a whole by accepting unacceptable terms?
More and more, I'm starting to think the answer to that is "don't work on the low end." It takes more time and legwork to get your portfolio in front of people who can pay a good rate, but when you do make that investment, you are not only improving your own income, but sending a message to the low-end clients that your work is not available on their terms. (This is not to be stingy or elitist, but just realistic...not everything can or should be available to everyone; to get a premium service, it's reasonable to be expected to pay a premium rate.)A new illustrator has no obligation to pay his or her dues by starting at the bottom: if the quality of your work is high-end, don't settle for bargain basement wages.If the quality of your work is low-end, I would strongly suggest not entering the market yet. If you are wondering why, listen to that one episode of Ninja Mountain, where we all exposed our worst published work, from early in our careers. YOU CAN'T TAKE THAT SHIT BACK, MAN! Ha, ha, ha. (Also, you probably won't earn enough to survive, anyway, so unless there's nothing else you can do for a living, hold off on going pro.)
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