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So I've recently commissioned an artist for an OEL Seinen web manga. I'm paying $25 to $30 per page (depending on the quality). On average though four pages run around $100. But lately I've wondered. Am I getting ripped off? I think considering that both of us are amateurs (I'm the writer and he's the artist) the artwork is pretty damn acceptable thus I think this is right. But lately paying him has become rather...troublesome. So I'm wondering. Does this artwork worth $100 per four pages or can I lower it?

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25/30 is generally a low price. He seems to be doing both pencil/drawing and inking/coloring as well as being a very decent artist.

He is giving you a discount. You are lucky.

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/much-comic-book-artist-make-per-project-12942.html
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I agree with zaMmap. The pages are high quality work for manga styled pages with monochrome toning. $25 a page is a GIGANTIC discount. It all depends on the time that the artist spends per page but I imagine that if they did batch work of all sketch then line-art with inking then toning in succession it'd take 20 hours of work minimum or 3/4 days of effort depending on how you prefer to measure time. And that's assuming that the artist is well practiced and speedy.

When asking "am I getting value for my money" always ask "how much time and effort is being put into this?"

And then mentally add value for quality, because heaven knows that to get the skills worthy to earn your attention for the commission there was a lot of practice, school, purchased art materials.

In my opinion you're getting a really good deal.
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$25-$30 for a page is a freaking deal.

Skilled work shouldn't be paid minimum wages or lower.
Vena's avatar

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In all honestly, if someone is getting screwed by this deal, its the artist. I don't know what his situation is but that is a really, really low amount for comic work. I am working on a comic project currently and it is 150 per page. The price does not vary depending on how my client feels about the quality because it is all run through a contract, revisional stages and scope of the project.

What is troublesome about you paying the artist? If it is that you don't have the funds... then you shouldn't commission the work.
Think of it this way, the least you should pay the artist is minimum wage. Anything under 7$/hr is practically slave labor. Every artist is different but personally it would take me approximately 10-12hrs to pencil and ink one full page. Assuming your artist works at a similar pace you should be paying AT LEAST 70-80$ a page. If just 25-30$ a page is putting a strain on your wallet but you're really passionate about your comic and don't want to have to resort to continuing the story with stick figures you should focus the rest of your time on marketing/promoting the comic and providing merch for the readers in an attempt to bring in some much needed revenue to support the project, yourself, and better compensate the artist.

At the very least slap up some Project Wonderful ads on your site, that's the most effortless way to begin monetizing the comic.

You can also think about selling posters, stickers, and keychains. A good place to look for that kind of stuff is here. A lot of webcomics use them when creating their own similar merch.

Might be a good idea to look into funding the comic through a crowdfunding campaign like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. If you really are serious about this project there really is no excuse to not being able to pay your artist a more appropriate rate and profiting from it yourself so you don't later resent it entirely for being a huge money pit.

I do commend you for at least TRYING to pay your artist something! So many hopeful "writers" recruit artists for no pay and expect them to produce professional grade work and get pissy if they do anything less than or get upset if the artist appears flaky because in all honesty they just can't afford to give themselves away for free without sacrificing quality.

If you want good art it takes years of skill and lots of time. And time is money. Unfortunately =/
Vena
I am working on a comic project currently and it is 150 per page. The price does not vary depending on how my client feels about the quality because it is all run through a contract, revisional stages and scope of the project.

That's awesome! I'm curious were you independently approached for the project or did you advertise your services some place and if so where? I've been afraid to open myself up to freelance work because I'm horribly afraid of getting ripped off and I don't know one thing about contracts sweatdrop
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Vena
I am working on a comic project currently and it is 150 per page. The price does not vary depending on how my client feels about the quality because it is all run through a contract, revisional stages and scope of the project.

That's awesome! I'm curious were you independently approached for the project or did you advertise your services some place and if so where? I've been afraid to open myself up to freelance work because I'm horribly afraid of getting ripped off and I don't know one thing about contracts sweatdrop


Its really important! It feels hard in the beginning to get the swing of it, but its so important to lay out the expectations for both yourself and the client early on. It was very hard for me to price in the beginning, because my life was all over the place, but once I settled down and assessed all my hard costs of living it was easier to evaluate what to price at. Its important to know what your hard minimum rate is, and be confident and open about your pricing. If you are missing some hard costs from your life (like if someone else pays for your food, rent, etc) do a bit of research to see what those costs would be if you were, and make a basic budget to base your rate off of. A lot of people drop costs really sharply in the beginning, but I feel like that only hurts you later on, and it just contributes to the devaluation of art. If you are good, things will sell, if you aren't, you just gotta keep improving til they do.

The comic I was approached about, I do *sortof* advertise, but I would say I get 90% of my contracted work through networking, peers and recommendations. It really depends on what works for you, some people are really great networking online (I really suck at it!). In this case it was from someone who has known my work for a while. The price of it was agreed upon after discussing what the scope of the project was, what work I would do, how long it would take. I also take a small percentage as a non-refundable deposit at the beginning in case things are cancelled.

And also, I have had my fair, fair share of terrible contracts. It is just something that happens. Missing payments, trying to add to the scope, etc. There will always be nightmare clients so it makes it extra important to be clear about whats going to happen and be firm about getting paid.

anyways, bla bla! I think that's all I can think of right now. I hope that helps? You can always PM me for a better conversation about it.
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Oh my god, that's insane.

That artist should be getting $150-200 per page, at least. That is professional quality work, and the artist is seriously underpaid. Finish whatever contract you have written up with them, but next time, save up so you can pay your artist a little more.
Zeqoi's avatar

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So I've recently commissioned an artist for an OEL Seinen web manga. I'm paying $25 to $30 per page (depending on the quality). On average though four pages run around $100. But lately I've wondered. Am I getting ripped off? I think considering that both of us are amateurs (I'm the writer and he's the artist) the artwork is pretty damn acceptable thus I think this is right. But lately paying him has become rather...troublesome. So I'm wondering. Does this artwork worth $100 per four pages or can I lower it?

If I was your artist, I'd easily be charging you $250 or more for similar quality pages, simply because the amount of hours and labor that goes into that is incredible. It sounds like you're getting amazing work very cheap - and that the only one getting ripped off here is the artist. If you clarified what you meant by troublesome, I think we'd all be more willing to offer you advice than simply shoot you down and walk away. Either way, thank your lucky stars that an artist is willing to work with you for that cheap and keep paying him or her!
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yeah, you're getting a good deal for reasonable prices. art can't be haggled with.
Zeqoi

If I was your artist, I'd easily be charging you $250 or more for similar quality pages, simply because the amount of hours and labor that goes into that is incredible. It sounds like you're getting amazing work very cheap - and that the only one getting ripped off here is the artist. If you clarified what you meant by troublesome, I think we'd all be more willing to offer you advice than simply shoot you down and walk away. Either way, thank your lucky stars that an artist is willing to work with you for that cheap and keep paying him or her!


-_- Guys. Get a grip. $250 is a page rate for Marvel or DC level artists. Even Jim Lee(the best of the best) is reputed to get $400 per page.
For non-professionals, $25 is on the low side, but saying that you'd charge $250 for this kind of art? Puh-leaze. $80-$180 should be more accurate. $180 is kind of the the entry-level pay rate if your working for a big publishing company.
The $250-and-above range is commanded by REAL professional pencilers who have work experience(meaning, past titles in their name)like Mark Morales, Brian Buchalo, Cliff Chiang...etc(and paid for by the Big 2, who can afford this kind of page rate)(because Batman and Spider-man bring in the big bucks). Smaller publishers, like Image and Dynamite, pay a smaller page rate.

This guy seems to be doing comics for a hobby, instead of for profit, so $80 is a fair page rate.
I agree with the rest. This quality is semi-professional (I've worked with plenty to tell the difference), I'd value these $50 to $100 per page, so $75 on average.
3 years from now this artist will likely be starting a carreer as an illustrator and charge real wages. As I mentioned in another topic: It takes 10x more time to draw than to write a comic. Even if you are both amateurs, the workload isn't equally divided. If you want to be off cheaper, consider doing the colouring or inking yourself.
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ehh I find your post borderline ridiculous. that artist is the one being ripped off sweatdrop and you should really tell em more how you appreciate them doing the work. as the others have said , those pages could easily go for 100 dollars each if not more. its way faster to type/write out the pages than it is to draw them even simply

if your having trouble with funds explain that to your artist so that you can give them a heads up if you have to stop. it doesn't matter if your both amateurs that artist is still deserving of credit and good pay. and if you don't think their art is worth what your paying or more, you really shouldn't have made the deal/continue the deal.

your getting a really good deal

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