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Advice? -Sketchbook Commission - The art of Thornwolf — LiveJournal
Advice? -Sketchbook Commission
Ok so a post on a friends journal reminded me of the idea of sketchbook commissions. How exactly do these work? Do you really fill an entire sketchbook? Do these tend to be small sketchbooks, larger sketchbooks?

Also, do the sketches tend to be of a person's character or of whatever you choose to draw or a mix of both? Are the artists usually allowed to scan the sketches and upload them? How does this work?

Also, if I were to offer a sketchbook commission on furbid (not anytime in the near future mind you, I need to knock down some major commissions first, current list, I'm looking at you) would anyone be interested? I don't know if it would be worth my time, fun, a hellish experience or what? If I were to do it I'd probably find one of the smaller sketchbooks since I honestly don't see myself filling 120 pages of someone else's wishes, but something more reasonable, sure. Honestly while I don't mind drawing other people's characters I wouldn't mind some freedom to sketch whatever comes to mind. I tend to like sketch pages where people drew really weird things that you normally wouldn't see them upload. It makes me smile XD And honestly most of my personal sketchbooks are like that.

So, thoughts?
25 comments or Leave a comment
martes From: martes Date: October 10th, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
To me it sounds absolutely hellish. I won't offer a sketchbook commish unless I'm on skid row. I don't do that much sketching any more, and I don't see how I could fill up a whole book. People usually seem to offer a theme of the buyer's choice (bondage, M/M, ect)and a certain number of finished and/or inked peices. There may be a set number of pages too, but I'm not sure.
From: dirtylittlelie Date: October 10th, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just opened sketchbook commissions for the first time. I only do up to 30 pages (customer is able to choose how many pages and what I draw) because...1. I don't know if I want to kill myself for that many pages, and 2. I don't know if people would pay enough. ;D

As to content, I do anything the person wants. If they want random sketches of anything, sure. If they want specific characters, that's what I do. The sketchbook commission I have now is 13 sketches (maybe some of them inked), 2 full coloureds, and 3 four-frame comics.
If I were to commission you, I might want one or two pages of my characters and the rest I'd probably just let you do whatever with. But I don't have money enough for your beautius arts<333

And sketchbook commissions on furbid, I hear, go for $100+. ;D

I don't know about the artists being able to upload the sketches. I try to ask the commissioner if they mind beforehand. If I forget and they're like, "ARGH" which has never happened, then I take it down.

Um...did I miss anything? Prices...well, I use http://www.lullaby-child.deviantart.com 's method of sketchbook pricing. Adding up the cost of the individual pages and then dividing by two.
Except that I have modified prices for those so that the cost for a 20 page sketchbook of all sketches doesn't come out to $140. D: I honestly don't think my sketches are worth that, they don't take that much time.

Also, I only take one sketchbook commission at a time so I don't run myself ragged, and I'm going to wait to start doing this until I'm done with my current commissions. ^^; Hopefully it won't be long now. lol
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: October 16th, 2006 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry for late reply...havent had time to sit down and read these things with all the travel. ANYHOO!

I think a limited number of pages is a good idea actually, if i were to do that i think that might be the way to go, because thinking on it i dont think i could actually fill someones book. id burn out eventually.
From: dirtylittlelie Date: October 16th, 2006 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yah, and I also warned the commissioner that it might take me months, even years to complete the book. He said he didn't mind, and I think he's even willing to pay half up front.

Although, it also might not take me very long at all, as I resolved to only take one sketchbook commission at a time and only when I had no other pending commissions. He also didn't say "just do whatever you want with it," which I am SURE I would have trouble doing. I don't just sketch much. lol
He actually gave me an RP that he had with another person to base the sketchbook off of. Told me which "scenes" he'd like drawn, etc. Which means...it's pretty much just a bunch of commissions all stuck together inside of a book! lol
arbeywolf From: arbeywolf Date: October 10th, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
hmm I guess it depends on how much you know/like the commissioner.
If it was someone you are close with I'm sure it'd be easy to fill a book with silly sketches and inside jokes...but if it's someone you really don't know it might be more on the hellish side :/
silverfoxwolf From: silverfoxwolf Date: October 10th, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Generally I would say that sketch commissions are a few things. First you can either have one that only contains one carachter (which tend to be more expensive) or random doodle antying fill it and send ones.

The size of the book is also something to consider. They range from a twenty page A5 sketchbook to A3 monsters. You have to think quality of sketches in the price, cheap ones are not worth as much. Detailed sketches with one per page are the top of the line ones when refined.
From: ext_3788 Date: October 10th, 2006 06:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aaaaaaah, if the day that Thorn started doing sketchbook commissions ever arrived, I would knock over Fort Knox and offer a gajillion dollars for once. *YOUR* sketches are like...at the top of a dorkily long list of artists-who-do-sketches-that-make-me-go-*censored*. Totally love your sketching style and the humor that's worked into many of them. But the pricing for even...ten, fifteen pages by you should be rather high because you, m'dear, are a class artist. I would definitely set some of your own rules 'cause...even if it'd be mucho dinero being pulled in, you don't want it to be horrifying hellish, right? So I think maybe you could ask for negotiations before any decisions are made on the format of the sketchbook, how many pages, what sort of sketches, subject, characters involved, designated or freestyled. Upon giving you the gajillion dollars if I were to, for example, commission you for one...I'd beg and plead and generally make a fool of myself to have you do, say, ten pages of Lone in whatever situations/poses/paradoxes (paradoxen?) you saw fit. And then another ten of whatever came to your mind (though in my case, preferrably canineish). But clearly other people would have different desires (omg man pr0nz and placenta) and dreams (I'd give my spleen just to have you draw three pages of anything that came to your mind so long as I can have them for my own and frame them and make them the central aspect of my Thornwolfian shrine)...so it'd be rather fun (ie, hellish) sorting out how you'd wanna do 'em. But there's my take on it.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: October 16th, 2006 09:00 am (UTC) (Link)
It appears I have a fan! :O yay XD Thanks Lone, you make me smile
shoomlah From: shoomlah Date: October 10th, 2006 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think sketchbooks are a complete exploitation of the artist. I considered them a lot when I was younger, thought them to be an awesome-sounding deal, but unless priced accordingly they just don't seem fair... Especially considering the whole "adding up the pages and dividing by two" deal. If you could get twice the money just by doing individual sketches, then there's little motivation to do a sketchbook.

As has been said in several rants within the past year, the furry community gets away with paying seriously cheap prices for high-quality work, and I think the sketchbooks support that. If you priced your sketchbooks accordingly, factored in how much damn time and inpiration they take, then that's dandy... Just don't seel yourself short. You're too good for that. :)

From: dirtylittlelie Date: October 11th, 2006 05:28 am (UTC) (Link)
"If you could get twice the money just by doing individual sketches, then there's little motivation to do a sketchbook."

For a really well-known and sought after artist, that's all well and good...but I've sold ONE sketch since I've been doing commissions, that was in the past 3 months, and it was because I was having a special sale where a sketch was only $3, so someone that normally wouldln't bother decided to buy one for the sheer inexpensiveness.
Now...my sketches really aren't anything wonderful, but they're cleaned for the most part, they look semi-nice (not messy) and they take me...5, 10 minutes to do them (at the least. At the most, maybe 30 mins), depending on the complication or simplicity of the character. The sketchbook commission I just took from someone is going to rake me in about $80-100, which I need for food, and it probably won't take me all that long to do it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...probably yah, that method is very unfair to some artists. But it's a nice medium between what people will pay for my art and what I think it's worth, so I don't mind it so much. Besides, if you get the right commissioner, they tip. ;D lol

And I do believe that you're the sensational artist who just made Thornwolf and Silber's icons that she was showing off yesterday. *jealous* :3
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: October 16th, 2006 09:04 am (UTC) (Link)
True very true. Im not trying to sell myself short here by any means. Ive actually raised my prices considerably to lessen the demand so I can actually get some work done for a fair price, which so far seems to have worked. But to behonest im curious about experimenting with this sort of thing, but if I do it Ill set it at a fair starting bid. if no one bids. oh well. Ive seen these things go for a lot but who knows. I think dirtylittlelie has the right idea in limiting the page numbers rather than doing an entire book. thinking about it theres really no right price for a whole book, but 20-30 pages, maybe an inked page every 100 dollars spent?

And to be honest im kinda desperate at the moment but dont have time for larger commissions. sketches i can do standing on my head.
ravynwolf From: ravynwolf Date: October 10th, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooo, answers.

1. I know I'd be interested, you've got such a solid, rich style that I think you would see quite a bit of interest in a sketchbook.

2. I've done one myself. If you have a good commissioner, it isn't a hellish experiance. Just make sure to not burn yourself out, and explain that it may very well take a while to get the job done.

3. Most people either do a smallish sketch book, or a larger (normal) sized one, but few ever totally fill it up. Usually the most I ever see is 25-75 pages. And its usually closer to the 25-30ish range. Often times it sa combiation of mostly pencil/ink sketchs, a few inked/cleaned up/lineart, and a speckling of colored peices.

4. From what I've seen and done many artist will put some of their own ideas/characters and sketches in the book as well.

5. I don't know about a lot of people, but I freaking *adore* sketchbooks. one of the best presents anyone ever gave me was one of their old sketchbooks that was filled. Whenever I'm in a nasty artblock, I tend to flip through that.

Hope that helps. :)
From: kilojara Date: October 10th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
The price to get me to dedicate an entire sketchbook to someone else is something this market could not bear. Even though I can get though a 80 page sketchbook in a matter of months, I'm not really being directed to draw anything except what "the muse" commands. I rather just sell the sketchbook when I'm finished so it doesn't seem like work while I'm sketching.

So basically, I'd personally would just complete a sketchbook on my own time then sell it, though without that in mind while sketching 'cause it's more enjoyable that way. 'course this is about profit so I guess you could try offering a custom sketchbook. Just consider the time it takes you to fill a sketchbook and then figure how much that time is worth to you. I know at least for me, that is a hefty sum o' money, one that not many (if any) in the fandom would be willing to pay. You could try like mini sketchbooks, of like 15 pages. Still a lot of money, but probably something both you and the market can bear.
aurorawolf From: aurorawolf Date: October 10th, 2006 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Kinda funny really; I've been entertaining the same idea myself. I do a lot more sketching than I do completed works, and it just comes easier for me. I was thinking of offering up a 30 page sketchbook on furbid with a starting auction price of no less than $250. That's less than $10 a page. The upside to the sketchbook idea is you get a decent sum of money in one crack.

I'd work things out with whoever won the auction as to exactly what to draw. I rather like being told what to do. I'd also have to figure out how many sketches per page, whether any would be inked or coloured, etc. I think there's a lot involved, and I'm not in any position to do it right now. :-P But it's an entertaining thought for a future endevour.

From: distantembers Date: October 10th, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
a lot of people don't charge enough for that sort of thing I've noticed. just because a lot of the work might be furry, don't forget to give yourself what you deserve. what would you ask per page? what kind of detail, and size? media? cost of the hours of work you'll put into that? a sketchbook commission could cost as much as one painting or more.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: October 16th, 2006 09:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Very true. Id be talking sketchy sketches though. I dont do the color thing when i sketch. I was also thinking maybe for every 100 dollars spent an ink page will be done? dunno.
From: distantembers Date: October 16th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
dunno. I am in the process of completing one for a friend, but we laid down in the beginning what he wanted and what kind of work I was willing to do. I don't know what it would be like if I had people wanting them from me. I'd probably keep it to sketchy, they'd provide the sketchbook, and each sketch would have a flat rate of whatever you please.
nesting From: nesting Date: October 10th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
they are terrible and they are an insane amount of work.
i totally second what shoomlah said up there. complete exploitation and you sell yourself way way way short. if you want like 2 or 3 hundred bucks all at once, just take 6 seperate commissions instead of 30-100 commissions in a single sketch book commission. it makes more sense.

They are total stress and I hate them. i have one i'm working on from two and a half years ago that i wish i never, ever, ever took.

Something i dont mind doing as much is doing a themed book on my own and then selling it for a few hundred bucks, and adding a couple of pages at the end as gratitude to the person who bought it. I've done this twice before and it works out fine. I have stopped drawing furry stuff in sketchbooks though.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: October 16th, 2006 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Oddly enough i dont think i could bear to part with a sketchbook of mine, thats why i do the thorn doodles so people can buy my sketchbook copies for a much more reasonable price. I guess several pages of drawing the same character doing various thigns would get tedious now that i think of it. how many pages are you doing? i thought of limiting the page number to like 20 or 30
shinigamigirl From: shinigamigirl Date: October 11th, 2006 02:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't do it. The only reason I am finishing mine and not refunding the money is because it's for a friend and I'd feel bad doing so.

Unless of course you get huge amounts of cash that would be more beneficial than doing normal commissions time-wise.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: October 16th, 2006 09:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Id probably start the bidding price at something i found fair for my time and see how it went. If anything it will be a learning experience eh?
camelai From: camelai Date: October 11th, 2006 07:49 am (UTC) (Link)
The way I see it, if you want to do it then you should, but you shouldn't be asking "how it's done" but rather "how would I want to do it". So basically, if it sounds fun if you do it such and such a way, but absolutely hellish if done way B, then set yourself up an auction and describe your terms. I don't think you'll have ANY problem at all selling it because your art is awesome and your sketches are just sooo much fun. If you sold it through LJ or DA or something instead of an auction site like FurBid, you could have a say in who your commissioner is, too, which means a lower chance of the "absolutely hellish" situation.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do about it. Sounds fun. :)
growing_rose From: growing_rose Date: October 11th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
My friend did a sketchbook commission for a friend of hers and you can find lots of the art on her VCL account. I suppose that part's like any commission.

And the size of the sketchbook totally depends on what you're willing to do, just like size of paper.
brown_wolf From: brown_wolf Date: October 12th, 2006 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Off Topic

Cool Icon! Where did you get it from? I recognize it's from the "Take on me" video.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: October 12th, 2006 09:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Off Topic

Thanks! actually i dont know. istole it from someone who stole it from someone
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