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  1. #1
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    Illustrators and Money

    I've been wondering for a long time how much money the successful sci-fi illustrators make.

    Is Brom rolling in the money from the tons of work he's done?

    How is Tim Bradstreet living these days off of pretty much only doing comic book covers?

    Is Feng Zhu a teacher on the side because he likes teaching or because he has to?

    I know illustrators like Anita Kunz are making six digits but what about these illustrators whose main work comes from RPG's, CCG, and comics?


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  3. #2
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    usually professional arteests who work for companies have their wages censored to the public by afforementioned companies for legal reasons, so you prolly shouldnt expect that sort of reply.

    I think its not so much the pay that sucks, but how irregular the work is. sometimes its on, and sometimes it just aint.

    Also, if your doing it for the money, your life is gonna suck ass. If your doing what you love, youll never work a day in your entire life.

  4. #3
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    mew
    Last edited by wallychairmover; February 4th, 2004 at 04:08 PM.
    It's super happy wonderful fun time!
    www.fiddlegarden.com

  5. #4
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    form' nailed it on the head - doin' it for money just ain't gonna work.

    Its like asking how much money does a successful flm director make? George Lucas makes a truck load, Ron Howard makes alot, director of a sitcom makes a living, director of a local channel program probably doesn't make enough and has a 2nd job.

    Does:

    Successful = money

    Or is successful communicating an idea with someone else?

    Q: How long is a piece of string?
    A: Twice half its length (does the answer really have any meaning?)

  6. #5
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    3 inches if its a shoe string, otherwise 4

    6 inches if you live in belgium, and 7 if your staple diet is pizza.

  7. #6
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    I'm not saying I'm in it for the money but haven't you thought when looking at another artist, geez that guy does a lot of work, really good work, he deserves to be set. It's a little sad if you hear they have to work a second job as an accountant. I'm not saying I want to know in order for me to make a decision about MY career. If they are still living paycheck to paycheck I think it helps frame how poorly illustrators are being paid in contrast to the worth of their work. I love illustration and could have gone into a more lucrative field. I'm sure I'd paint even if I didn't have to but that doesn't mean I'm going to let some sob try to pay me in nickles and dimes on the basis of I love doing it anyways. One of the reasons employers may underpay illustrators may be because we're so open about the fact that we love doing it.

  8. #7
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    lets start a "were good at art but we hate doing it" cult in order to promote the notion of payrises for illustrators

  9. #8
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    We just need to create a beneficial stereotype that we need to be bribed to work.

  10. #9
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    i wonder if Feng Zhu and other good concept artists have their own harem of sex slaves.....I know its the first thing I'd be working on

  11. #10
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    Ingenius, maybe that's why he became a teacher. Good pool of art school girls you could give inferiority complexes and take advantage of.

  12. #11
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    ...so what the hell how much does the successful illustrator make?!! haha

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    I've found with things like this it is 50% talent and 50% 'marketing'. You could be the best illustrator in the world, but if the right people don't know about you, then you aren't going to get any work. Now the 'right people' (un)fortunately will come through networking and a proactive approach - knocking on doors, thinking of people/businesses out there that don't know that they need your services and 'getting in their face' ... in a professional way.

    A big part of it seems to be playing the field ... then their is the whole issue of compromising your 'artistic ideals' for money.... lets not go there....

  14. #13
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    It's all about "percieved value".
    Increase your percieved value and money will follow.

    Simple as Dat......
    "If one advances confidently in the direction of
    his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he
    has imagined, he will meet with a success
    unexpected in common hours."
    - H.D. Thoreau

  15. #14
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    lol yah, but....give some dollar amounts!!!

  16. #15
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    Ever hear of Thomas Kinkade, Wyland, or Aldo Luongo??

    Artists can make a shit load..only if they demand it. I know an artist that starts his prices for commissioned pieces at $20,000. And he is busy....
    "If one advances confidently in the direction of
    his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he
    has imagined, he will meet with a success
    unexpected in common hours."
    - H.D. Thoreau

  17. #16
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    I had the unique experience of meeting and sitting down with Hajime Sorayama a few years ago in San Diego. He (at the time) spoke very little english, but did have a pretty girl with him to translate. He said that his last commission he worked on was for $60k and he normally does a few a year. Not to mention the money he makes from prints and the like.

    He looked at my entire portfolio and said that I had a "unique ability to create things that have never been in reality and wished I had the same".

    I consider myself a very emotionally stable guy, but I'd be lying if that didn't bring a tear to my eye later that night.

    Phil

  18. #17
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    dude, that brings a tear to my eye, and im on the other side of the world!

  19. #18
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    I know prolly nobody looked at that threat fer a couple of month but.... hereīs my two cents worth (actually itīs two grands worth but I love givin them ).

    First of all Iīd like to say if you REALLY REALLY want a job drawing, you can get one.

    Second, it still can be a shitty job you can hate and get payed crap at the same time, but itīs a start. My skills are not really good but I managed to snatch one just by beeing persistent. It pays average to a normal pixeldragger job in an advertising agency.

    And third, even if we do love our work, thatīs no excuse fer paying us shit. If the reason fer beeing paid well is that you hate yer job, thatīs insane. "So youīre completly unsatisfied and hate every minute in this company? Have a hell of a raise!"
    "You do good work and like it? Start bringing money if you wanna keep your job!"

    Good work needs to be payed good. If everybody in our bizz wouldnīt be so eager to work fer shit, then more of us would get payed better. But unfortunately thereīs always a scraper out there who works under value of his/her own work.
    A tutor once said to me: "Let your mind go!" and it didnīt come back.

    Wolf@WorK aka Sketchbook

    my Heavy Industrie, Military and Steampunk References/Textures (updated Oct 2012)

  20. #19
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    Based on the replies I usually read when this topic is discussed, and from dealing on an everyday basis with freelance work, it makes me mad when someone says you should be grateful for doing what you love to do, even if you're not getting paid a lot...wouldn't it be better to do what you love to do, AND get paid well?

    I used to think like that, and a lot of my friends who are also artists too,...but in the last year I started getting involved with licensing my work, and writing contracts for every piece of artwork I do. I am very proud of my work, I have gained a lot of experience over the years, along with my school education and dealing with different clients on a daily basis not to take all of that into consideration when it comes to charging for my artwork. I enjoy every minute when I am creating a new piece, but this doesn't mean I'm going to give it away just so I can see it printed on a product of merchandise.

    I don't have a lot of work because I chose not to, I would rather not do the work than do it for less than what I think I should earn for it. I turn down a lot of work because the client does not want to pay what I think my work is worth, and the bad thing about this is that I know he will find someone that will do the work with the same quality, for a lot less than what I am asking for because that artist has no idea how much his/her work is worth.

    Because we usually see it as a hobby instead of a business we end up giving our work away, but the companies looking for our work don't...they see it as a big time business, they pay you for your artwork a price that when you break it down to the hours you worked on it, it's a pretty good hourly rate, but what you don't know is that they are going to multiply that invsestment over and over!...

    Like Mattelder said: "50% Talent, 50% Marketing" enjoy the best that you can creating your own artwork and your ideas, but learn the business side of Illustration. There is a lot of money to be made!, why shouldn't we get what we deserve...
    Last edited by sepulveda; April 17th, 2004 at 04:50 AM.

  21. #20
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    i have to jump on this because it hasnt been said, if you wanted to, you could be a millionair in the game industry, because its and industry where you can elarn all the key players in a matter of months and if ur smart enough to get with an upcoming studio that will raise the bar in gaming like say epic did with unreal, u will be rich and set forever. other than that, i know you can still make a shit load as a concept artist but its mainly contract work and its rare unless ur like all the other talented art center grads that seem to steal all the film related work but yeah.... salaries are prolly up to and under 100k, but i know epic will give christmas bonuses of 200k and thats for the low end guys so...imagine, plus learn th industry, some companies will through more money around like the french than others..research
    Nathan Campbells 3 steps to drawing like a pro, 1. Sketch 2. shade. 3. highlights and ur done

  22. #21
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    If you really want to go for the money you should become a manga artist in Japan. (impossible I know ) I read in an interview that the popular manga artists make millions a year. They also have a kind of popstar/idol kind of image there ( which is why Masamune Shirow and Hiroaka Samura never appear in public or photos)
    Life is study

  23. #22
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    So, an artist CAN make 250 K a year, that right? Great.

    What where the corner and milestones again? Hmh, lezsee.....

    Decide that you get payed for your work.
    Love your work/ hate your work
    Ask for twice more money than you think its worth and donīt seddle down for anything below half of it, period!!! (Important!)
    Know your skill, increase your skill.
    Find your own style.
    Choose your field of business, comercial Illustration, concepts, animation.
    Get to know how this business is worked.


    Yīknow, itīd be awfully nice of the more set down artist would share some information about his/hers area of bizz, please

    {joke}Like lists of gamecompanies artdirectors here on the site (we donīt have īem, have we?). Stalk your artdirector! Get in his face!{/joke}

    Like, fer instance, the entertainment bizz has more to it than film, video and games. Donīt ferget leisure ans attraction parks, travelling shows. Thereīs work too fer artists. Concept and execution. Ever painted a wall?

    Really folks, I think the "twice more" strategy should be mandatory for everybody. Itīs like a universal law that everybody should be aware of. It requieres that one has a good idea of its on work worth, though. Makes me wanna ask fer a thread were on could get ratings from other members. In the same moment the idea kinda sucks. hm.
    A tutor once said to me: "Let your mind go!" and it didnīt come back.

    Wolf@WorK aka Sketchbook

    my Heavy Industrie, Military and Steampunk References/Textures (updated Oct 2012)

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