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Submitted on
June 18, 2013


53 (who?)
Disclaimer: if you aren't going to read this journal completely to understand the concepts I'm bringing up, do not bother to comment. Random angry/drama-spewing comments from TL;DR-ers are unwarranted and unwelcome. Thank you for understanding!

I just had a new complaint about my prices for my Pay to use deviations... I've had a few of these in the past (for both commissions and pay-to-use deviations) and I try to handle them the same way.

1.) calm any frustration
2.) collect my thoughts
3.) and write my explanation for my own actions.
(I seriously have to explain my own actions and decisions that I have chosen for the permissions and pricing of my own creations? Really??)

I know that most people that complain aren't intending to be rude... but they end up looking that way to artists. (Especially to artists that are trying to make some extra $ to support their passions as well as their food, their rent/mortgage, car loans and other bills.) Art isn't just fun and games for a lot of the people here on this site. Many depend on their art for income. Questioning an artist's motives and decisions regarding pricing is insulting to their artistic skill and belittles the fact that they're trying to raise money to cover their financial responsibilities. Many of these artists are trying to pay for food and their college degree because they don't have parents or their parents are unable to support them; these artists have to fend for themselves. It's hard to understand when growing up and completely dependent on parents for food, shelter, and all the bonuses of childhood. Most people don't have things handed to them or changed on a whim; not during nor after childhood.

So when these comments arise, I don't get upset just because this is directed at me. I get upset for the artist community and what these comments end up doing to the community at large. For every artist that isn't strong enough to stand up and stick to their values, the prices drop, the value of art drops, and the artists lose. More expectations for artists to work for a few bucks (or :points:!) per hour of work! (Remember that 100 :points: is needed to get $1 in Paypal since DA takes a 20% cut.) I have vowed that I will not bend to the will of someone that obviously lacks social tact and doesn't value money or the work/talent/skill/time of an artist (beyond the benefit of some good hand-outs and other freebies.) The only time I have adjusted my prices were by my own will (if I saw that something stood out as being too low or high in relation to similar items.)

With all of these thoughts of how the comment devalues my work, my service, my skill, and my financial responsibilities as an artist, I do my best to keep myself calm and not show anger when writing my responses to these. It's never my intent to be mean (especially to people that don't know any better)... I'm simply trying to enlighten and broaden the minds of those who have taken advantage of the horribly low prices of other artists and expect EVERY artist to value their art the same way.

The following is what I replied to the most recent comment which was basically "why is the price so high?" (but with more exaggerated punctuation and tone):
Honestly, the price is far more than reasonable... Allow me to explain:

:bulletgreen: I've already had a number of purchasers buy this item at the current price. Changing the price now wouldn't be fair to anyone else who has purchased it.
:bulletgreen: I don't lower my standards of price just for :points:. 100:points: = $1
:bulletgreen: I worked over 3 hours on this piece. I have included animation, shading, line-art, and instructions so all that needs to be done is color the layers.
:bulletgreen: I make $20 per hour in my day job (which involves almost no creativity or talent.) And my fiance advises that I price my art accordingly. If you do the math, this is priced at 1/6th of the minimum price that my fiance would prefer that I charge.
:bulletgreen: If you don't have enough points but like my art, I have other pay-to-use deviations that may be in your price range.

And before you complain on any other artists' commissions and premium content files like this, please consider this journal:… A little tact goes a long way in the art community!

Thank you and have a good day!

For future instances, I'll just link them to this journal so I don't have to re-type every time to (re-)validate my stance in my pricing. I encourage others who share my views to do the same. (Hopefully we will spend less time explaining our prices and we can do more art!)

</relatively calm yet passionate rant>

:iconeditplz: I just had a conversation with Music-lovinFox regarding pricing - people were telling them to lower their prices. I completely disagree with those complaints!

Here is some advice that I shared with them so YOU CAN STAND UP to people that complain about your prices:

  • Let your price sheet educate the watchers you have - Sometimes if you segment the prices out into different "add-on"s (like pricing a Full-color picture as $10 and offer the add-ons of $5 shading or $10 full shaded painterly style) people can see the value that is added and why they're paying for the extra work/skill/talent/time you provide!
  • Find watchers who won't complain - If the same people keep telling you to lower your prices, that just means you need to spread your exposure and find more supporters that understand and agree with your pricing. You can start by adding your commission artwork and price journals to more groups like Advertising-Anything and any of the groups that are dedicated to commissions like:
:iconcommission-world: :iconcommission-me-gently: :iconcommissionpromoter: :iconcommission-network:
:iconcommission-share: :iconpoint-commishes: :iconpaypal-commissioners:

Having trouble attracting more watchers? Most people won't wander randomly to your page. And there are a lot of people on this crazy site that may never see your work if you don't go to them first! They have to find you in someone's front page, journal, or :+fav:s. Watchers watch you because they like you as a person or they like your art. If you're having trouble getting noticed, there are a number of ways to self-promote on Deviant Art:
  1. BE NICE! - Stay positive, greet people, and thank them. Don't yell at people for commenting on your front page or for not knowing where something is (that scares people away D:)
  2. PRETTY PROFILE - Make your profile look nice so that people can easily find information that they want to see (like commission info) or something pretty/cute/funny. Try to reduce clutter (stamps, PLZ accounts, animated gifs, etc)
  3. GIVE LLAMAS - give them out, people sometimes come to check out your artwork or profile!
  4. SUPPORT ARTISTS - :+fav:, feature people's artwork, leave thoughtful/insightful comments, and watch lots of people - more people you do nice things for, the more likely they'll stop by your page and possibly watch you back^^
  5. DISPLAY YOUR ART EVERYWHERE - Add your artwork to LOTS of groups based on different subjects, themes, styles, and topics!
  6. GIVE POINTS - Hold contests where people win :points: or premium memberships or donate :points: to be featured in a group or on someone's page!
  7. COMMISSION PEOPLE - Commission lots of people or save up to commission popular artists to draw your OC - You may have a cool/unique/recognizable character but may not be noticed someone until you have your awesome character drawn by an amazing artist on DA!
  8. EVOLVE YOUR ART - If you show a level of determination to improve as an artist, that can be attractive to new watchers! One good place to start is the P.E.A.S. method! In that journal I have listed some of my :+fav:s gallery folders that contain reference photos and tutorials that can help with anatomy, shading, fur, and line-art! ^^

I hope that helps! :tighthug:
Add a Comment:
Vocol Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm putting a link to this in my commissions journal because people seam to think I have a high price when the highest is really $25 and that's still to cheap and no one buys from me because it's "to much" and "not worth it."
JomoOval Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I strongly agree with everything in this journal! XD
TzikiiWolf Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Student Filmographer
This is brilliant, thanks for making everyone aware Craz! ;) I have a similar issue where I'm always scared to raise prices, but in the end, if you not happy with what you're charging for your work, it becomes demoralising :P
RedianWolff Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You have a right to ask for however much you want to charge for your art. If they want to complain about the price that's their problem. They can go buy cheaper art, with lesser quality, somewhere else.
8TwilightAngel8 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Student General Artist
I agree with you, and its very frustrating when people do not take the artist's expenses into account when trying to understand the price. I've had people get upset over my private photo print prices before. I wasn't selling just yet, but i listed the prices just so people would know for later. A girl noted me and said i should charge $4 for an 8x10 inch print because that was what walmart did :wtf:

That really pissed me off, so i gave her a few paragraphs explaining why i was charging $20 (i was printing them myself, buying cardboard envelopes so they would not be bent by the carriers, slip covers for extra protection, a couple dollars for my editing/shooting time- an "artist fee" so to speak, and international shipping- i calculated an average price based on where most of my traditional art customers came from to create a generic price for everyone). She shut up after that.

For commissions i have had no complaints. I know i do undercharge but i am in the process of changing that, especially since i need to save for schooling abroad. I try to base my prices on media (i do mainly traditional) and the average time working with each media i use.

All of the people who complain i think should take an arts based business course. They would understand then why we charge "a lot" for our services. I understand it a lot better now thanks to that :D
Sheishido Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Anyone that doesn't want to pay your price, doesn't have to commission you. Let them go elsewhere to see if they can get what they want cheaper. They might succeed but we all know it won't be the same. The reason they approached you in the first place was because there was something about what you do that they liked. Every hand, eye, mind, and soul is different and we all know a person's essence cannot be duplicated or replicated. You shouldn't have to be questioned about anything nor should you have to consider dropping prices. This isn't a flea market or a swap-meet. If you drop your prices, it should be because you want to, not because people are being pissy about paying for your time, effort, and skill.
Deazea Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013
I have had people complain about my prices too, its down right insulting when someone comes to you and says "I love your art! How much would you charge for this character to be drawn? [link of a abnormally cluttered and almost impossible to recreate character]"

you give them a simple quote, even at that point I explain extra charges like "you trying to get me to work the word "rawr" into the FUR of a wolf and trying to make me do this fur in a realistic shading and texture while making the word still readable, this is going to cost extra cause it will be a pain in the butt and very well could add HOURS onto the work" they complain and tell me "I wont pay more than $20 for that!"

and yes people have used the line "I wont pay more than $... for that" on me before, it was very insulting.
Stygma Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's very hard. Either you do very simple art for cheap or your an astounding artist who can sell someting for 50$ and more. But if you're in the middle, it seems your not interesting for those who have limited ressources and your are also not interesting for those who commission professional-grade artists. I had to let go 3 hours or my time for 600 points, because I need to make myself known. I'm lucky I don't need that to put bread on the table.
ZephyrMaximum Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
YES! I AGREE! May I post this in my journal?
Crazdude Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Absolutely! :la: The more people that see this, the better! :hug: Thank you!
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