AuthorTopic: How would I gauge paid work values?  (Read 1334 times)

Offline Marscaleb

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How would I gauge paid work values?

on: May 18, 2018, 09:47:35 pm
So long story short, I'm thinking about hiring someone to do some pixel art for a project.  If I do, it will be a few months away, but for right now I'm trying to gauge how much it could cost me so I can determine if this would be practical or not;  I'm trying to determine if this project is something I should be spending time on, or if I should move to something else.

I know there is no single absolute way to judge these things; artists charge different rates, work faster or slower than others, and each project is different.  But I'm hoping to grasp something that can put me in the ballpark.
I don't want to post a job offer only to wind up saying that I don't like any of the offers.  I also don't want to get some good offers but tell them that I'll contact them in a couple months, maybe if things work out.  Besides, the rules for the paid section on this forum clearly state that I as the employer need to state information about the rates I am offering, so clearly it would be against the rules for me to post a description of the work and then ask for bids.

On the forum for posting paid work it offered a rate of $15 to $50 an hour depending on the experience/skill of the artist.  But this doesn't really say much by itself.  How much is one hour of work?  How long would it take to create a given piece?

Now by contrast, when I see people offer commissions on Deviant Art, they offer samples and say "a drawing like this starts at X amount, and if you want to add X content it will cost extra."  And sometimes the artist is very specific about the extras and sometimes they are not, but it still gives me a base point I can extrapolate from.
A system like that would be helpful.

But as it is, I just have no idea what kind of work I could expect for my money.  I could put aside a couple hundred dollars, and then say I'd pay $35 an hour, but how much art does six hours get me?  I simply don't know what I can expect.

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: How would I gauge paid work values?

Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 06:40:23 am
Projects usually got budgets and different quality needs to be fulfilled.
And artists got very individual styles and rates and what money gets you is very differently, bc one artist might be super quick at one task, but slow at another.
Best is to approach artists whose style/stuff you like with a very specific offer.

You can say to an artist "i got amount x to spend on the task, is it possible, do you have time?"
Of course if it's per asset base you need to know exactly what you need beforehand which is quite some work to write down.
Also if you say you pay amount x for a "tileset" but don't specify the complexity it cannot be judged by the artist.

So if you work within a certain budget you need to make the graphical specs, (monetary) restrictions, desired quality and payment clear beforehand.

With this approach and the answers you get, you usually can find out if someone is interested or not in doing it.
If you don't get any answers at all after a longer period, probably your expectations are to high for what you offer.
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Offline eishiya

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Re: How would I gauge paid work values?

Reply #2 on: May 21, 2018, 05:18:13 pm
To expand on Cyangmou's post:
In practice, artists usually charge per asset or per batch, so that the price is clear up front to both parties, but they use their desired hourly rate and the expected time to completion to calculate that price. However, more experienced artists will still generally have higher prices than less-experienced artists even despite usually being faster, because the art they produce is higher quality and because they're more versatile.

If you can't provide a well-defined end to the work or if you're very inconsistent about what you want, making it difficult to estimate time to completion, then expect to pay an hourly rate. Some artists also charge hourly for revisions, as those are difficult to estimate because they depend on the client. It is in your best interest to lay out what you want very clearly and completely, provide visual examples, etc, so that the artist can figure out what exactly you want and create it right the first time.


Seconding Cyangmou about approaching artists with an offer. Artists hate giving quotes.
Since it sounds like you're trying to figure out what your budget should be in the first place, then approach artists with your full asset list and information about your desired style (visual examples always help), and ask them for estimates for various parts of it. After you get an estimate, you could even ask them how they calculated it (just make sure it's clear that you're just curious and don't intend to debate their prices), so that you get an idea of how much work those assets are. As you work with more artists over your career, you'll find yourself being able to do this about as well as artists are, and you'll be able to budget early.

I mentioned asking artists for quotes on various parts of your asset list because many artists can't do everything, or lack the confidence to tackle it all. Artists will often quote higher prices for things they're not comfortable with, because they expect to need more time to get it right. Letting them quote things separately and allowing them to not do some parts of the work will get you the best deal for the work they can do well. For the remaining work, you can hire another artist, or even ask the same artist again after they've finished their part of the work, they might feel more confident about it by then, because they'll have a better idea of what you and your desires are like.

Offline Marscaleb

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Re: How would I gauge paid work values?

Reply #3 on: May 21, 2018, 06:45:42 pm
Thank you for the responses.