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Warning about a bad deal - The art of Thornwolf — LiveJournal
Warning about a bad deal
Fewer things get me as riled as people not paying artists what they're worth. I'm writing to alert folks of a specific example of this, simply by giving the details of what the pay rate is. You can make your own decisions for yourselves to work for this individual for these prices, it's of my opinion that any artist who contributes to something like this further encourages the low pay of skilled artists and perpetuates the opinion of non-artists that good art is cheap.

If you are approached by a user named Ken09199 on DeviantArt to draw items for his virtual pet site LuraPets http://www.lurapets.com/, please be aware of the pay rate he quoted me when I asked for more information.

Pay rate for items: $0.50 per completion of each item. Example here:

Pay rate for NPC's (characters): $5.00

Also, you can get up to $2.00 for items and up to $7.00 for NPC's if the artwork is, to quote, "fantastic". The owner of this site told me that they pay based on the quality of the image. If your art is better, naturally they'll pay more. A dollar more.

I'm aware some people may feel this is a fair deal. It's your choice of course, but realize that items of that quality, for most people, would take about 20 minutes to a half an hour, earning you a pay rate of $1.00 per hour for an item you can't sell elsewhere. Minimum wage in my state is something closer to $8.00 for reference.

I asked if that price was per useage of the item, like if someone buys the item on the site, is the artist entitled to a fraction of the proceeds. The answer is no, this is a one time payment of 50 cents per item drawn.

Here's my official response:
I'm sorry but that is horribly unreasonable. Especially as pay is
completely based on someone's opinion . If my work is as good as you
said it was when you approached me you'd already know that I take my
work very seriously and consider it just that: work. I wouldn't ask
you to do your job for a dollar an hour for something you won't be
able to sell anywhere else, please don't ask the same of me.

Best of luck finding "quality" artists who will find these prices
reasonable but I can assure you, they're hard to find.

I'm of course not here to bash the individual, after all he approached me on his own accord and complimented me on my work, but I felt the need to draw attention to yet another example of why our market is so bad, that these are the prices people expect to pay for quality work.

*edit* Kind of unrelated but did anyone catch the top banner of the site where it says "battle collect buy trade sell friends"? Am I the only one who finds that, when said as a phrase, totally hilarious? :D

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

36 comments or Leave a comment
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julian_wilbury From: julian_wilbury Date: August 27th, 2008 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)
That guy contacted me. Now I am SOOO GLAD I didn't even bother to make a second reply. The fact that he couldn't even spell or punctuate (or at least in the message he sent me) smelled of unprofessionalism and just not knowing what he was doing in general.

(I dunno if that sounds "grammar nazi"-ish of me, but if you're contacting me for what is basically a job and work, I would like some effort put into their presentation, which includes their grammar and punctuation. Nobody would hire me if my resume wasn't in proper English.)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 27th, 2008 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah I only really glanced/skimmed his email so I didn't catch it much but i figured it might be worth asking anyway. Hoo boy. Wish I didn't.
reyfox From: reyfox Date: August 27th, 2008 06:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Man oh man. I don't SHIT for fifty cents, let alone pick up a pencil. What a fuckbag.
buttfacemakani From: buttfacemakani Date: August 27th, 2008 06:10 am (UTC) (Link)
lmfao I like you.
buttfacemakani From: buttfacemakani Date: August 27th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Haha yeah that guy contacted me. Pet sites are a dime a dozen today anyway and are generally bad news on the artist seeking front, so I deleted it.

But man, that is pretty bad. Imagine that little lettuce took you 20 minutes to do. That's working for $1.50 an hour.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 27th, 2008 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)
a buck fitty will get you some penny candy, a haircut, and a nickel peep show, with enough change left over to catch the bus by golly!
xianjaguar From: xianjaguar Date: August 27th, 2008 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Well said.
tigrin From: tigrin Date: August 27th, 2008 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)
My commissions are pretty cheap, and even I wouldn't bother if I was getting paid that little... I hope no one falls for that.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 27th, 2008 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)
According to him 20 artists did? I should have asked for names. Im curious what kind of quality he's getting. Hey big spender!
katarina42 From: katarina42 Date: August 27th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC) (Link)
artists_beware, perhaps?

Edited at 2008-08-27 06:25 am (UTC)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 27th, 2008 06:30 am (UTC) (Link)
did. its in the queue :D
shoomlah From: shoomlah Date: August 27th, 2008 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
This is the problem- people don't really ask what art does and should cost on the internet. If you compare commission prices to what you get in the industry, the chasm of difference is astonishing... And I definitely would have accepted pay like that back when I was younger, which is sad and telling.

I will take this moment to thank Microsoft to seriously taking care of their artists. It means a lot to see a big company respecting the fact that art takes a hell of a lot of time and effort.

swandog From: swandog Date: August 27th, 2008 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree totally...if he contacts me, I'll tell him the same. XP
keovi From: keovi Date: August 27th, 2008 07:26 am (UTC) (Link)
He also approached me about doing work for them, and when I told him what I wanted to get paid per item, he blew up saying it was 'outrageous' and he had other kids doing the same work for less than he was offering me.

I'm pretty glad I didn't give into my money-grubbing-instincts and go with it.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 27th, 2008 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Did he really say "kids"?

Well there's his problem!
turbinerocks From: turbinerocks Date: August 27th, 2008 08:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Man, that's cheap for indies! Even penniless indie devs paying for their games out of their own pocket can generally scrounge up $15 an hour.
demonvaska From: demonvaska Date: August 27th, 2008 08:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I wouldn't even bother peeing on him for only fifty cents.
oliverfox From: oliverfox Date: August 27th, 2008 09:00 am (UTC) (Link)
oh my... I was asked too and didnt answered because i allready knew the prices.
a few friends here in germany are asked a few month ago too. seems he needs new artists because so many are jumped off *fg*
tacimur From: tacimur Date: August 27th, 2008 09:22 am (UTC) (Link)
May a quote a bit from my AIM chat with him
Feuerviech: And how much would a completed item earn me?
Truckerman0808: .50cUSD?
Truckerman0808: did i scare you off
Feuerviech: Hm... with the current €/$ exchange rate and 15 items per month I'd earn less than 5€ per month this way...
Truckerman0808: I can do 1$ since you have the euro
Truckerman0808: If thats good with you
Truckerman0808: thats what all the other artist are paid
Truckerman0808: You there?
So, he basically tried to rip me off in the first 5 minutes. I took a look what other artists had already signed up with them and found very respectet people like Daichym there and since I was only asked for these tiny 80x80px graphics said "Perhaps for a month until I get my next real commission." Which happened the next day basically so I never worked for them. I think this "job" is maybe nice for schoolchildren but the rest of us are encouraged to laugh and move on.
alexf0x From: alexf0x Date: August 27th, 2008 09:55 am (UTC) (Link)
27p for 20 mins of work?
£2.70 for a sodding character commission?

I know I am something of a novice artist, and I regularly give away freebees, but even I wouldn't work for those rates.
From: rhandimask Date: August 27th, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
What's with these people tossing around third-world pay rates like they're doing everyone a favor?

I feel like part of the problem lies with the artists, as well. I can understand doing work for cheap when you're just starting out, but damn, don't sell yourself short, folks.
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