AuthorTopic: Pixelartist salary?  (Read 26822 times)

Uli

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Pixelartist salary?

on: July 03, 2006, 10:14:35 am
I wonder if a pixelartist can live from creating freelance pixel art.

Can you guys give some hints what a freelance pixelartist is getting paid?

I wonder how the salary is?

THX,

Uli

Offline Feron

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Re: Pixelartist salary?

Reply #1 on: July 03, 2006, 10:57:25 am
Well there are some folk who are highly paid and can live of freelance, I believe Nvision is a freelance designer full time.  However i doubt many people could survive, sometimes there will be a lack of work.  You can however get employed by big companies such as gameloft, who are sometimes looking for in-house artists.  They would guaratee you a fixed salary, however you must be quite talented and able to relocate.  When i do freelance work i normally work for about 20/25$ per hour, or i try and agree a fixed price for all the graphics within a project.  The rate you charge is very personal and will come down to the following:
1. How fast you work
2. Your experience
3. The quality of your work
4. How much the employer is willing to pay.

So in all its very much down to you to decide how much to charge, and only the extremely talented artists can freelance for a living.

Offline Frychiko

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Re: Pixelartist salary?

Reply #2 on: July 03, 2006, 02:50:10 pm
A salary? As a freelancer you don't get a salary.. you know that right?

I started looking seriously into freelancing since march this year,.. but only have managed to land two gigs so far.. and only about a three weeks worth of work.
During the negotiation stage, I failed to get many gigs.. for various reasons.

I did work semi fulltime hours for a couple of years doing pixel art, and the pay(not salary) was not bad.
$1857 - $2600 USD a month, depending on the hours I worked.. (roughly 20-35 hours a week).

I have seen full-time in-house positions salaries that are much higher.

If you wanna do pixel art, try getting an in-house position... you'll be better off



Congratulation this story is happy end. Thank you. - Ghost & Goblins

Offline AdamTierney

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Re: Pixelartist salary?

Reply #3 on: July 04, 2006, 04:40:01 am
I lived on pixel freelancing exclusively for about a year and a half before I got salaried, so it's possible. When I started I was making around $10/hr, by the end I made around $20. That's for the hourly stuff, though. If you get paid per chunk of art, you're rewarded for speed. Per chunk I've made (what works out to) as little as $2/hour or as much as $150+/hour. The ley to freelancing for a living is diversifying. You need to work for as many developers as possible, and never turn down a job until you're absolutely sure you have no time for it (or the pay is crap). I actually wrote down most of what I learned here:

http://www.adamtierney.com/Freelancing.doc

- Adam

Offline The Cold Mage

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Re: Pixelartist salary?

Reply #4 on: July 04, 2006, 05:04:47 am
i do a lot of freelance pixel art. my clients range from people who want sprites for a random game project to established game development companies. i'm different than most people in that i charge per frame instead of per hour. i made $1246 last month. a lot of the job opportunities i've been getting lately also offer royalties or a monthy percentage of profits over the course of the game being sold. those are nice becuause once the innitial work is done i can sit back and rake in the cash.

i wouldn't say its something i'd want to live off of though. If i wanted, i could probably jump at an in house job, but i look at this as more of a hobby that pays. i'm persuing a degree in business managment so i can own a company instead of do the grunt work. my advice to you would be to realize its a nice job to have on the side, but there are far better jobs to have.

pixel art is slowly but surley fading into obscurity. if you're good, the people who still need pixel artists will come to you. there are interesting developments in the near future that will need pixel art, but for the long haul, everything is going 3D.

in order to make any kind of liveable wage you really need to take on a lot of projects at once and that can get really exaughsting. the other problem is most employers can only pay you after all the work is done. they are usually really slow in sending out that check. to speed things up i like to do business over paypal, but even then you have to wait for the payment to clear, then you have to get the money to your bank acount which takes more time... its not as steady as i would like, but for my purposes it doesn't have to be.

Offline AdamTierney

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Re: Pixelartist salary?

Reply #5 on: July 04, 2006, 05:11:45 am
Yeah, I think the key to going from making some bucks to making a living is leaving absolutely no gaps. Take more jobs than you can handle, because some of them are going to fall through. This might make for some pretty crappy weeks, where you're working 80+ hours a week, but that's still better than working 10 hours a week. You have to overcompensate for the dry periods that might come up by keeping a steady and hefty workload coming in. If nothing else, carry every viable opportunity as far as you can. You can always regretfully decline a job if you're swamped elsewhere, but better to audition and discuss it rather than assume you won't have time for it.

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Offline nvision

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Re: Pixelartist salary?

Reply #6 on: July 04, 2006, 02:04:47 pm
Adam is completely right...  With freelancing in almost any industry, you're going to have periods of feast and famine.  When work is available, it's usually quite plentiful, and at that point it's best to accept as many jobs as you think you can handle.  I've had times when I've gone almost two months without work, and if I haven't saved up a good chunk form previous jobs, my wife ends up paying for everything (and that tends to make her a little irritable :P ).  You can start to burn out, working such heavy loads, but after you finish a big run like that, you can usually afford to take a little time off.  As Frychiko mentioned, working in-house is much better for your stress level than freelancing.  I live in the middle of nowhere, so freelancing is the best option for me, now.

In way of pricing, I tend to keep my rates between $20-$30/hr, depending on the client.  Having a static rate is rather foolish, because a lot of your work is going to come from independent developers, and often their budgets are very limited.  On the other hand, if you get a job from a larger developer/publisher, they can usually afford more, and will ask more from you in return, so you don't want to sell yourself short.

You can get salaried positions, if you're willing to relocate, or happen to live nearby to a development studio.  Again, pay can vary, depending on the size of the studio.  If you're looking for in-house pixel art work, I'd say your best locations for looking are in the SF area, in California, or in Great Britain.  Lots of little studios seem to be popping up there (along with some larger ones) and you might get lucky.

sonic_reaper

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Re: Pixelartist salary?

Reply #7 on: July 04, 2006, 09:07:19 pm
Since when is Calgary the middle of nowhere?

Anyway, God damn you are some expensive ass artists!  The last job I held was about a freaking year long and the pay was only $11.50 an hour.  I did however get royalties and there was a compensation program (for every hour that I worked I got pay on top of the hourly wage); still ... $20 an hour ... you guys are just psyching this guy out.

It's RARELY like that.  If you're an extremely consistent artist; I would say yes.  But if you're just starting out or are a little on the lazy side, I doubt you'll be hitting up that amount of cash any time soon.

My recommendation is that, if you're interested in art, persue something else.  Take digital imagery/graphic design or illustration and find a job in those fields instead.  The pixel art scene is somewhat of a depressing one.  And the jobs that are available are fickle and thin.

Offline nvision

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Re: Pixelartist salary?

Reply #8 on: July 04, 2006, 09:48:38 pm
Since when is Calgary the middle of nowhere?

Okotoks is the middle of nowhere...about 1/2 hr from Calgary.  We have a big rock in the middle of a field, and a Wal-mart.  Aside form that, Calgary has the worst per-capita investment in the arts of any major Canadian city, and creative jobs are rather scant.

Anyways, a professor once said to me "You're only worth what you can negotiate."  If you feel your skill are only worth $11.50/hr, than that's all people are going to offer you.  If you think your skills afford you a better wage, then ask for it.  When a client hires you, they aren't just paying for your time, they're paying for the experience and investment that you've put into your talent.  Whether that comes in the form of post-secondary education, work experience in your field, or whatever, you have to define what you think your services are worth.

sonic_reaper

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Re: Pixelartist salary?

Reply #9 on: July 04, 2006, 10:27:07 pm
I understand that.  But you've had a lot of experience and are more than qualified.  In some cases you should probably be getting more than $20 an hour.

I was just saying that you may be filling some unknowing newb's brain with delusions of grandeur when obviously a new comer shouldn't realistically expect that much compensation.

And the reason I took the job was because I was taking a year off and saving money for school.  Pixel work for a living is another matter entirely.  I would never pixel for a living; it's not reliable enough.  My last job for example, the employer was located in Europe and they sent out payments bi-weekly, however, because of their location, and because Canadian banks blow big junk, it took about a month for that to arrive.  Sometimes longer.  I kept wondering if they were ripping me off from time to time.  Luckily they didn't but that fluctuating payment arrival was hella annoying.

And I'm sure Okotoks is much better than Saskatoon.  Now this town is the middle of nowhere for sure.