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So this is a thing! www.deviantart.com/commissions…  

So.  Your friendly neighborhood Auntie Toerning is going to step in for a second here.  Firstly, I think it's very groovy and awesome that DA is establishing their own marketplace.  It's a scary world out there of work for hire and it's totally awesome that DA artists now have this stepping stool to practice professional habits in the same way that we practice artistic skills!

A
BIG
FAT
HOWEVER

I would like to take a moment to discuss the rates here.  I was just exploring quickly, and saw on the navigation on the left "price," and, like every other human on the planet, clicked on the most expensive first, thinking to myself "wow, good for DA to promote work that costs $1,000!" and wanting to see what that work would be.

Well.  Boy was I wrong.  In fact the prices are organized by Points.  Remember when you were a kid, and the dog peed on the Monopoly box, and so you drew dollar signs on a bunch of scraps of paper and used that for the money?  Points bear more resemblance to those scraps than to actual currency.

Quick conversion here: 1-29 points category?  (prices are organized in ascending categories.)  One Honest American Dollar is about 80 points.  Meaning the entire 1-29 points category is work for under a single dollar.  UNDER A SINGLE DOLLAR.  On the other end of the scale (not really,) the highest category is 1,000+ points.  1,000 points is, pardon my math, about $12.50.  This is not the maximum an artist can charge, no not at all, but it IS the HIGHEST CATEGORY, meaning it's setting a precedent and boundaries that no one's going to want to exceed.

Let me reiterate.  The most DA is suggesting you pay for a commission is $12.50.

If this system works for you, if it gives you joy and you are producing work and getting paid and being happy, there is NOTHING wrong with that, I mean that completely honestly.  If it works, that is fantastic.  I just needed to state for the record, for the sake of my conscience, that I think DA has a responsibility to its artists to set an example.  This is going to be the first encounter with art as a commodity for a lot of artists, and it is going to give them ideas about how this works and teach them habits and every other thing.  And I think that the example being set is, frankly, shameful.

I'm not going to go into a lecture about pricing your art.  I just wanted to have a "let's be real" moment.  My inner goddess of indignant vitriol is satisfied. 

Be safe; be happy; get money; get paid.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconjohnthemurray:
JohntheMurray Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks Auntie =P
Reply
:iconhungerartist:
hungerartist Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013
I wouldn't sell my art for any less than 9000 points.
Reply
:iconhelloheath:
helloheath Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I honestly think that if any artist is satisfied getting paid that little...than there is something really wrong with that.
Not only does it devalue their work and effort, but it brings the entire market down. "Clients" approach me and other artists all the time with ridiculous demands about pricing because they see this type of undercutting run rampant. I understand that a beginner is not going the charge the same as a seasoned pro, but >$1 really is just abhorrent and a slap in the face to the craft IMO.
Reply
:iconelizabethzelia:
elizabethzelia Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013  Student Filmographer
I remember when they first announced this concept for dA and everyone (and their mother) literally had an opinion on this (and this is more ridiculous than we imagined). But, everyone was just making this an argument about how to price your work blah blah, but another issue (and I think it's the main issue in this specific case) is that this is about dA making the most money and self-promoting their points/membership system (equaling big $$$ for them). They're also burying their graves even deeper because their pricing system, by having the highest commission price at $12.50, is targeting youth/pre-teens and making the site more youth-oriented (as it seems to have been going down that route these past few years) and driving away older users to the (better, more efficient) wondaland that is tumblr!
Reply
:iconashcat:
Ashcat Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yah the prices they are setting are just ridiculous. You spelled it out perfectly.
Reply
:icontuesdaynightcompany:
TuesdayNightCompany Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013
I agree, the price category settings are poorly thought out.
And I hate points.
Reply
:iconsweet-pea-soup:
sweet-pea-soup Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
my favorite part is WE TAKE 20% OF YOUR HARD EARNED POINTS BECAUSE UH, WE CAN.
Reply
:iconkrizy:
Krizy Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
I'm on the fence about the whole points system and point commissions in general (although I suppose it's good for those who don't have means to purchase their own points or no means to pay for commissions with money)... Having said that, I initially thought this new commissions shop thing is a good concept, but I think I'll stick to advertising my services in the forums and be in control myself, to be honest. As for the commissions shop, I won't judge nor comment on what artists should be charging for their services, but I suppose those lower prices like 100 points or w/e are fine for hobby artists perhaps, but for the artists who rely on commissions as a way of earning income to help them survive, it's simply not possible. So, I think (other than the 20% the artist loses), this new system would probably only be good for those who prefer to offer/buy point commissions.
Reply
:icongabbi:
Gabbi Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I think the whole "commission culture" on dA is a big joke, and dA themselves doesn't make things better.
People should charge more for their art, but with everyone around them talking 5 or 10 dA points for a fullbody commission, a lot of people think that it's the norm.
And that's so fucking sad.

It  hurts the business as a whole, and I have pretty much hated dA's commission widget since it appeared.
The first points roof in that widget was 4000 points.... I think that says a lot of how dA thinks commissions should be done (and of course they take 20% of that as well...)
Reply
:iconaspiringauthor20:
aspiringauthor20 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Student Digital Artist
You can price it over 1000 points, it's just a shame that they're accepting such low point ranges for commissions, which makes it seem like it's ok to those who don't believe their art is worth much :(
Reply
:iconpixel-prism:
Pixel-Prism Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Read your journal, got angry, added my own voice to the angry chorus: pixel-prism.deviantart.com/jou… >:V

not cool, deviantart. >:V
Reply
:iconevebolt:
evebolt Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional Artist
It's sort of baffling they settled fot those amounts. I mean, surely it occurred to them that it was a bit ridiculous to be paid in cents for any kind of drawings, especially since they take out a part of it in fees too? How can it help them to take out 20% of 0.29$ ?
Reply
:icongreensprite:
GreenSprite Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I just can't have a conversation about the "commission shop". It doesn't seem appropriate to do anything but laugh.
Reply
:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
I think that's the most eloquent thing that can be said on this subject honestly.  I can only laugh.
Reply
:iconpixel-prism:
Pixel-Prism Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
...Wow, yeah, that's BS. Step it up, Deviantart. >:|
Reply
:iconkatikut:
Katikut Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
What's funny too is that DA already owns your money when you buy points. Then they take 20% of your money when you use some points to pay commissions. They are paid twice.
Reply
:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
I KNOW.  I had this realization when I was ranting to my friend and I swear I like froze for 30 seconds while this banner rolls across my brain like it was being dragged by a plane that just said

"THEY GET PAID TWICE."
Reply
:icongabriela-birchal:
Gabriela-Birchal Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional
At first i thought that this DA comission thing was a really good idea, but once I saw that I was supposed to charge in points I went the other way around. Really, even if the person is just starting out, charging less than 10USD is totally outrageous, really really. 

I know many of us (me included) fell afraid to charge more and don't get any jobs at all but I've learned that if I have to lower my price to that range, my time is better spent studying and doing art for myself than slaving away for pennies. A shame.
Reply
:iconchriscopeland:
chriscopeland Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I really need to find out who they spoke to when arranging this commission thing, because i feel like they were sorely misinformed. Great post, and i agree completely.
Reply
:iconjanfalkenberg:
JanFalkenberg Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Student Interface Designer
Truth.
Reply
:iconangilram:
Angilram Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I had arrumphed at the 20% DA takes (a lot of agents out there take 15% and they do more work), I had rolled my eyes at the whole "pay with DA points" crap, but I'd never actually looked into the point / $ conversion.
It is shameful indeed, and is giving clients and artists the horrible idea that 10 bucks is very decent, maybe even high, for hours of work on the artist's part. I guess the guideline is the good old "only a starving artist is a real artist".
Reply
:iconmidsea:
Midsea Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Exactly! DA is seen as a joke by a lot of my artist friend, I use to not know why but I'm learning. 

This points system dose nothing but fuck up peoples view of how much they are paying even more. 1000 points is seen as a small fortune when over here you'll be lucky to find a meal for the money it represents, oh and actually the artist only gets 800 of those points. It's stupid! Go to the da shop see how much you can buy from them for 800-points! Not much! It isn't even worth much to them! So why should it have more worth to us!?
Also Note in the da shop the lowest pice you can search by is $25.... That's over twice the MAX they give us!
And I still don't think we should have to pay 20%, especially premium users.
Reply
:iconthe-troglodyte:
The-Troglodyte Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yep, all of this. And there is actually a limit to the amount of points you can set as well, so I think the most anyone can charge for their work is about $50 which is just appalling--and then let's not forget that dA takes a 20% cut of your commissions too. Will definitely never being using dA system, that's for sure.
Reply
:iconsirladysketch:
SirLadySketch Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Student Artist
I know there are a lot of people who love using the points, because they seem to be a decent currency for hobby artists (people who don't have to pay rent, and instead use the points to buy prints or whatever from artists here on DA). I like the idea of having a real currency equivalent beside the points value, but maybe they think that'll scare away potential artists/customers?

That said, I'd really like to see them just release a widget or something where artists can say "I will do commissions, let's talk about prices" somewhere on their journal, like a dropdown that says "Yes, I'm taking commissions", "No, not right now," or "let's negotiate." I realize that something like this would take away from DA's cut of the commission (which, if I remember correctly, is like 10%???), but I think more people would be willing to use said widget than the commission shop for all of the reasons stated above.

I guess the shop has perks like advertising and seeing what your competition is like, but... I dunno. For now, I'm going to continue taking my commissions through notes and email. :P
Reply
:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just noticed this in Beta too, and I agree 100%.  Great concept, but it's just furthering the idea that artists should work for pocket change.  In addition to increasing the price ranges, I think they should list the dollar amount with the point amount.  I feel like that would put things in perspective for people a little better.  Because 1,000+ pts LOOKS like a lot.  But put a $12.50+ next to it, and you suddenly have a better idea of what you're looking at.
Reply
:iconanime-halo:
anime-halo Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Student General Artist
Hey, looking at it, there is a chance it is still in beta. I still do not understand why they would add more people and do some small update without fixing that problem first. I would go to the forum post they link and reiterate this point though. The more people that put it forward, the more likely they are to do it correctly. 
Reply
:iconanime-halo:
anime-halo Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Student General Artist
I was in the beta for this. I along with MANY others made this same point. However, it seems they went ahead and posted the commission shop without the suggested changes...ridiculous really...
Reply
:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
Ditto.  Actually, I didn't even make it to testing.  They asked me if I wanted to participate, and I was real excited...until I saw what they were proposing.  Then I dropped it like a mouldy old potato haha.  But that being years ago I guess I just forgot.  Jeez. 

Glad to hear you spoke up during.  I am utterly unsurprised that it came out this way, just also utterly disappointed.
Reply
:iconannacstansfield:
AnnaCStansfield Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
:clap: Well said. 
Reply
:iconfinnguala:
Finnguala Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hear HEAR!
Reply
:iconpainted-flamingo:
painted-flamingo Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013
I have to agree. I mean I don't charge much at all for my commissions I don't think, but even with price of $5 or 500 points for something its so hard to get takers because there are sooo many people willing to do the same thing for like 50 cents :( Then to see the tiers its like well of coarse people are just going to look in the low 100 point and under categories to commission people

I love the idea of the feature I just hope they change the categories for pricing 

Reply
:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
WELL SAID.  DA has always had an unrealistic standard for pricing, but it was always at least a sort of unspoken thing.  By setting up an organized system through this very widely used website, they are asserting that this is a good standard to go by, OFFICIALLY.  And that is HORRIFYING.  It's only going to broaden the giant trench between DA and the real world, creating artists with bad working habits, and patrons with unrealistic expectations, which we artists will then meet, because they've got the money and it's better than nothing.
Reply
:iconpainted-flamingo:
painted-flamingo Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
:no: so true
Reply
:iconsmalljoy:
SmallJoy Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013   Digital Artist
404 Forbidden :( I guess it's just for beta tester right now, but from what you've said it just seems like another way for DA to get revenue. If they were serious about making a commission market on DA, it wouldn't be in points.
Reply
:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
ugh.  Yes.  Well.  It depends on what they're "serious" about.  If it's just growing the community and makin money, they're serious alright.  If it's about having any actual positive effect on the design market and their artists, they're laughing all the way to the bank.

I don't mean to make it sound like a total moneygrubbing operation.  This has to have come from someone's original concept which was full of optimism and inspiration.  I just feel really bad for whoever had that original vision.
Reply
:iconsmalljoy:
SmallJoy Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013   Digital Artist
But it IS a total moneygrubbing operation. I mean, they get a huge cut when you buy points, and a huge cut when you spend points, and you can't withdraw points and go buy food or art supplies, can you? You've got to spend them right here on DA. In other words, you're buying monopoly money, but even worse, the value of this fake money is diminishing every time you use it.

But I can see some good in it, I guess, since for high schoolers who take art as a hobby, they can spend their pocket money on getting some pictures done, and maybe buy some prints if they earn any. And I think for a lot of people, this will be really fun. Sure, this enterprise makes the commission culture of DA seem more legitimate.... less illegitimate, really, but that commission culture only exists because there are crappy artists desperate to prove that their art is worth commercial value, and if DA is facilitating them, then that is to their partial advantage. But, at the same time, they are being exploited by the system DA is using to facilitate them.

I think the people this will most hurt will be the bad artists who try to work at minimum wage within the commission culture of DA. They're not good enough for professional work, but they produce some mediocre work and offer character commissions or something, and they have the real world knowledge and self-respect to offer prices that, even though they're a long way off professional, are at least some you can actually buy some food or supplies with. They're going to face a lot of much cheaper competition. But, the problem there is also that, a lot of the time, those artists are essentially trying to sell a product that is not worth buying. Though, that's a separate discussion.
Reply
:iconlukael-art:
Lukael-Art Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Completely agree.
Reply
:iconlulles:
lulles Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013
Siiigh
Reply
:iconrem-dog:
rem-dog Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013
eep.  So it's a points only basis?  No cash?  No thanks.
Reply
:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
haha I'm going to protest outside DA headquarters and that's what my sign will say-- "No cash?  No thanks."
Reply
:iconrem-dog:
rem-dog Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013
Right there with you.
Reply
:iconhollows-grove:
hollows-grove Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013
Can't I just get paid in pizza delivery?
And yet I'm fairly serious.
Reply
:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
I mean if that were an option at least it would indicate that they knew their pricing was a joke!  You could pay in pizza or Chinese or KFC.  Bam.
Reply
:iconsavagefrog:
SavageFrog Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Apparently the highest you can go is 4000 pts. on the widget (but 1-29 is highly ridiculous -aside charging a full pic for that- since you actually can't have anything under 10 & if it isn't rounded to 0, you have to edit the number).
Reply
:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
Oh god, I didn't even know about the max.  That's, what, $50?  That is appalling. 
Reply
:iconsavagefrog:
SavageFrog Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
P.S. Just found someone at 6500 pts on the widget so I'm assuming it goes up to 8k pts now.
Reply
:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
oh god I wish I could be excited about this update.  But...no.  Hahha :heart:
Reply
:iconsavagefrog:
SavageFrog Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
it's ok. XD
Reply
:iconsavagefrog:
SavageFrog Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I give props to anyone actually does charge that. Most of my friends don't mind the $12.50-$15 since they get work done quickly & it's more than what most people make in their country (it's also not a fullblown extravanganza-just a sketch).

You read miss *Katikut 's  journal on the subject?
Reply
:icontoerning:
toerning Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
Omg, no, but I just read it and wrote a whole several paragraphs further in the comments haha SOMEBODY SEDATE ME!
Reply
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