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  1. #1
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    Question for the Experienced

    I've been asked to bid on a gig creating illustrations for a children's book but it's my first time doing this particular type of work and I'm not sure what would be a reasonable rate.

    Specs are:
    Digital illustrations 2400x2400 px
    Full Color

    Style Reference: Renee Magritte
    http://www.atara.net/magritte/60s/song_of_love.html
    http://www.atara.net/magritte/60s/blank-check.html
    http://www.atara.net/magritte/50s/personal-values.html

    Obviously not everyone would bid the same rate; time is more valuable to some than others. I'm looking for what would generally be considered a reasonable per-image rate. Or even tips on how I should go about coming up with my own rate. I don't want to ask for too much, but I gotta eat and pay rent, too.

    Any advice from experienced pros would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    bgStudios American Phill
    msnm: fivepiece@hotmail
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  3. #2
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    typically, pay varies depending on usage.
    if this is a one-time usage, mass market;
    i would guess (its only a guess)...

    cover: $1500 - $2500
    interior page: $500
    spot: $250

    but it really depends on the client.
    if your client has money, they'll pay more.
    if they dont, they wont.
    the same work will fetch different prices depending on the client.

    your job is to scope them out!
    find out what they can spend.

    if all else fails,
    dont be afraid to ask what their budget is!
    they will give you a range of what they are allowed to pay.
    they dont want you to know this range, because they hope you will undersell yourself.
    so dont!
    shoot high!
    if you overshoot they will say "sorry, the most we can pay is xxx"
    and you could say:
    "typically,i dont except commissions for less than xxx, but the project interests me. so...."

    {edit!!!}
    i just noticed you were talking about the whole book.
    thats a little different.
    usually they pay less, but offer royalties.
    i cant really say....
    sorry.

    - Dan Dos Santos
    www.dandossantos.com
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  4. #3
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    i'm not experienced in this particular field, but illustrating children's books is something that I'd like to get into one day.

    You should also remember that illustrating a whole book will take a lot of time. I believe it usually takes anywhere between 6 months and a year, sometimes even more. There are multiple stages in the development of the work, just like any other illo. field, so keep in mind that this job should pay what you think you should make over a period of 6 months - or a years time. And it also comes down to how fast you can work and how much you think your're worth an hour, month, year. Just remember that this is unlike any other job, where it only takes a week and you're done, you'll need to really plan ahead.

    I don't know if that helps any.
    -jason

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  5. #4
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    You didn't mention who your client was. If it's a legitimate publisher who is asking you to do this, it is acceptable to ask what the budget for this type of job will be.

    If it's some guy who wants to write a children's book start running. Authors as a general rule don't get to pick the illustrator the publisher does that. Everybody and their dog on this planet thinks they can write a childrens book and they usually want you to illustrate it for nothing. The majority of these deals will be from people with big dreams, empty pockets, and bull crap promises.

    Sorry to but in on this thread, but every time I here about children's illustrations I get nervous.

    (Insert stupid, pointless, and offensive signature here)
    www.wayofthegeek.com My web comic full of stupid geekiness.
    www.carterillustration.com My website filled with freelancing EVIL.
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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSillustration
    typically, pay varies depending on usage.
    if this is a one-time usage, mass market;
    i would guess (its only a guess)...

    cover: $1500 - $2500
    interior page: $500
    spot: $250

    .

    Well, they pay well in your country, man ! In France, it's the same number, but in Franc (1$ = 6 franc...)

    ____________

    = W A N D E R E R =
    C O M I C B O O K A R T I S T

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSillustration
    cover: $1500 - $2500
    interior page: $500
    spot: $250
    Holy shit...I'm cheap...that's all I'll say. I'm so damn cheap dirt is worth more.

    ********************************
    There are 3 sides to every story. Yours, mine and THE TRUTH.
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  8. #7
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    PM or e-mail EYEWOO, he does illustrations for Children's books, and has an agent, I believe.

    ~M

    Change is Inevitable, Growth is Optional
    I am The Choosen One!
    Jason sez: Draw more from Life!

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  9. #8
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    You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for the info. Don't sweat it, DS, the numbers still help. And thanks for the words of caution Mr.Pale, the arrangement involves payment after each image so i won't be getting stuck with:

    "sorry, the publisher wants a different artist"
    "sorry, the book won't sell so you'll get 10% of nothing"

    I'm acquainted with the author (not "a friend of", just acquainted).

    Jason - it's true traditional painting is very time consuming, but this will be digital which for me will be much quicker

    Note: PLEASE spare me any blasts about how digital art can be just as complex and time consuming etc., I believe all quality work takes time.

    Madster - I will definitely throw Eyewoo a PM, thanks for the tip

    Again, I realize there are a LOT of variables that can come into play with this scenario so I understand that any dollar figures suggested will be a "best guess given the available info" and that's cool. I just have no idea what would even be considered ballpark. Anyone else??

    bgStudios American Phill
    msnm: fivepiece@hotmail
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  10. #9
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    Last call for words (and numbers) of wisdom.... Anyone?

    bgStudios American Phill
    msnm: fivepiece@hotmail
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  11. #10
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    Do people know you

    If this is your style, it shouldn't be too much of a problem, (how many pages are needed ?) It looks like a very open freeflowing style. Also, everything is worth as much as somebody is willing to pay for an individual item. alResearch , how many others can do what you can do ?(don't mention this to the client) rarity/scarcity increases value. Also, if this childrens book ends up selling, or atleast ends up being seen by publishing companies More people people will know your name as an artist(This is a good thing ). (chances are if you were asked to do this, you're worth something, however ones greed can be their undoing.)

    ~Mr_S_14
    "Mens greatest fear is success"

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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pale
    If it's some guy who wants to write a children's book start running. Authors as a general rule don't get to pick the illustrator the publisher does that. Everybody and their dog on this planet thinks they can write a childrens book and they usually want you to illustrate it for nothing. The majority of these deals will be from people with big dreams, empty pockets, and bull crap promises.
    There's no reason not to take a project like this if the author is willing to pay a fair wage. If the payment is conditional on the author finding a publisher, then you should turn & run.

    Long-term projects like this should have a 2 or 3-part payment schedule attached to it. Typically you would receive 1/3 of the total up front, another third when the drawings are approved and the final third on delivery of the finished art. Never take on a long-term project with nothing up front.

    Mark Hannon
    Art Direction & Design
    Online Portfolio
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  13. #12
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    Whats a Spot?

    "As you may have noticed, Im not all here my self..."

    Give me some love! JARheads SKETCHBOOK of DOOM!
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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JARhead
    Whats a Spot?
    A spot illustration is generally any art, color or B/W that floats free on the page without rectangular borders to contain it. A lot of the entries you see in the sketchbook section could be considered spot illustrations.

    Mark Hannon
    Art Direction & Design
    Online Portfolio
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