Saturday, August 15, 2009

Commissions Prices and Guidelines

I am currently offering commissions. Shipping is Free!! The commissions are on character of your choice. Any character you want in any style you like, whether it is, chibi, anime, Disney, Warner Brothers etc. I am also willing to draw them in any way you request. TASTEFULL NUDITY IS OK!!! No Pornography. (Note: If you are interested in hiring me to work on a project the prices are different and you should email me to ask me about my availability. Comic and book projects take me a lot longer to complete.)

Many of these images will show up in any books or prints I make.

So here is how it works.

Quick Sketches:

Quick Sketches like what you see on my daily blog are 4 x 6 and are drawen on typing paper and sometimes colored paper. What ever character or subject you want, but I have freedom to draw things the way I want to. Nudity is ok, but I will not draw explicit art work that I feel is inappropriate.

Regular Quick sketch = $20

Quick Sketch on color paper = $25

Finished Paintings and Drawings:

Pin Up on 9 x 12 on Watercolor Paper:

Pencil Line Art = $65
Rendered Pencil= $80
Color= $100

Pin Up on 5 x 7 on Watercolor Paper:

Color= $80
Rendered Pencil= $60

Pin Up on 4 x 6 on Watercolor Paper:

Color= $60
Rendered Pencil= $40

All color work will be done in water color and acrylic. If you are interested, you can add a simple background to your commission for $50.

Art Trading Card/ Sketch Cards:

Finished full color art cards = $40
Rendered Gray Scale Art Cards= $25

These prices are on a per character basis. So if you want more than one character you can consult with me on the price adjustment .

I accept payment via PayPal and Money Order only. At least half of payment is expected up front before I will begin doing any artwork.

You will receive samples of the work as it is being completed in 2 or 3 stages:

:cookie: Rough sketch

:cookie: Layout

:cookie: Finished pencil drawing

(inks and then color if applicable).

Shipping and Handling = $5
Art work is shipped flat and reinforced so that it does not bend or get damaged in the shipping process. Insurance is included on all items. Please allow 4 - 6 weeks for delivery.

If you are unhappy about your commission and wish to change your mind midway between the completion processes you will be charged a kill fee equaling half of the original agreed upon payment. This fee covers the cost of any supplies and time invested in the art work I am doing for you.

(All art is expected to be used for your personal viewing and pleasure. Please do not reproduce or sell my work without my permission.)


Commissioned art will not be used for other profit (prints, etc.) without your explicit permission. (This applies to characters of your person design, but not to already copyrighted materials that are currently in the public eye for example marvel dc characters.); however, I will still use it for portfolio purposes.

I retain the copyright to the artwork itself. I do not claim ownership of whatever characters you are asking me to draw so if you have a personal character you want brought to life, that characters ownership remains with its creator. You may not use the commission for profit without my permission. If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to ask!

Prices may be subject to change at any time.

Who Put the Free in Freelance

I have been doing a lot of research on what it really means to be a freelance illustrator and I realized something today.

One of the books I was reading talks about how a person that becomes a freelancer in any industry , though they have to take on a great deal of responsibility, also will find themselves freed up to really do anything they have a passion for in life. whether they always wanted to sail around the world on a boat or they want to be a jazz singer in a night club. Being a freelancer can not only give you freedom to control your money, but also freedom to control every facet of your life.

I am not saying there is no work involved, but if you are doing something you love for a living is it really work.

I was thinking about my experiences over the last year. I have a lot of loose ends to tie up. Unpaid bills, everything I own in another state, wanting to get married and living with my BF, and for some reason it seems one of the biggest obstacle, funny enough, is getting back to Ohio to get my stuff. I started almost thinking I regretted that t ever happened that I moved there because I still ended up back in Missouri do to unforeseen circumstances.

But, I quickly took it back when I realized it was the first time I ever lived solely on my own work. It was really one of the first and only times I experience what it meant to have true freedom. It would have been even better had I had financial freedom but I digress.

I woke up when I wanted, I could go and come when I wanted, I got to draw all the time, I think my biggest worry was paying bills and food. So I drew some more to get what I needed. A homeless person couldn't have had a better life. I realize even though it was only 6 months of my life how much I really missed being free of the burden of a 5-9 minimum wage job where you could be easily replaced by another person willing to work the same low wages.

In the book I was reading, they spoke of a news station in this town that had the same starting pay rate since 1976 just because there were so many reporters out there wanting to work so badly, that they would work for very little pay. It is the same idea of why companies like to hire college students or kids right out of college. They know they will do anything to get to do what they love for a living. Even work for free.

Not saying I didn't love working in a studio. I really truly loved that experience. However I felt a lot of frustration when I had to get up at 5:30 A.M to get out the door and I got home around 9:00PM exhausted and hungry. I said I loved it but I never really want to live that lifestyle again. I had to stop freelancing because i spent so much time out on the road I was couldn't think straight when I was home at night. Weekends were spent in recovery from the conic pain I had in my feet from walking so much.

The extreme opposite happened when I freelanced. I always tried to be awake and at the desk before 10.

The other day I was at the gas station and this women was in line trying to by cigarettes but her debit card was maxed and she had the guy running the card over and over and the look on his face was exactly the look I felt I had when I had to work in places I didn't want to be. That I hate these people and I hate this job and I hate my life face. I felt his pain.

I am looking forward to a new freedom but there will be some work to be done to have it. I expect to work harder than I have ever worked as an artists in my life. Hell yeah and I plan to have fun every second of it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Girl Hat 1

I thought this was interesting and I thought I would share. Been doing a lot of research on freelancing and stuff and came across this little video on the credit crisis.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

My good friends Ed Bickford also sent me this little rant after reading my blog on people taking advantage of artists.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

PVC Pipe Convention Display Tutorial

Ok as promised, here is the PVC pipe tutorial. I sketched out a drawing of how I wanted my display to look.

What you need:

5 pieces PVC Pipe (5 foot each)
4 little end cover things (slip)
2 elbows for the top (slip)
4 of the connectors shaped like a T (slip)
1 junior hack saw for cutting metal
1 cloth or curtain to create your back drop.

I decided to buy the 3/4in wide pipe but you can get it in any size you want. I chose this size cause it was lighter and easier to carry. I went to Lowe's and got it just cause it was close but I am sure any hardware store will have what you need.

I decided on what sizes I wanted and I decided 6 ft by 4 ft would be good so, using my hack saw, I cut 12 inches off of two of my 5 ft pieces of pipe.

Next, I took one of my 5 ft pieces and cut it in half. This will be used for my feet so I cut all those in half again so I had 4 pieces all together.

The two small pieces I have left over from cutting things down to 4ft will be used to extend my 5 ft pieces to 6 ft. I will put one of the 4ft bars in the center and the other will go across the top.

Here is the layout of the stand.

I attach the elbow joints and I attach the feet parts to the bottom and stand it up to see how the frame sits and if it is stable.

After that, I laid it back down and I took my red curtain and slid it on the top bar.

(Sorry the pic is so dark)

I took some time and hemmed up the bottom to make the curtain more fitted to the stand. I also took some yarn of the same color and attached it down the sides to secure the curtain as well.

So how will I hang my work you ask?

I was thinking about getting some of my prints laminated and attaching velcro to the back and then I can Velcro the art up to the curtain and not have to worry about it falling. Now, many people can see my name and art clearly when they pass my table and I can use the table space for my personal books and other pieces of my personal artwork.

God Bless,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

People WILL Take Advantage of You: part 2

I decided to bring up this topic cause I was talking to a comic and sketch card artists Nar the other day. Nar is actually a pretty big name in the Sketch card business. His personal sketch cards go for upwards of $500 - $1000 per card on eBay. His sketch cards for X men and other companies go for $2000 or more.

He said though that he had to take a break from it cause people started playing the "How much money can we make off of Nar"game and he really didn't like it. The more his cards became valuable, the more people wanted him to draw and slave over his desk to produce cards. This was something he started doing for fun cause he wanted to be in the comic industry. He told me he had to just take a break from it for a while cause it was effecting his relationships with friends and everything.

Here we have a wonderful young man that is a great artist making a name for himself and has changed the face of the sketch card industry, and people are mad at him for just doing his thing.

It made me think back to my work on the X men Archives project, I was tripping out cause I couldn't get the cards done. They wanted 100 and I only finished 36. That is when I decided to talk to my friend John Wilcox and he really shed some light on the situation. He said "Arie, you are not making enough money to be worrying about how many cards you finish". He knows guys that were making 100 dollars per card and I was making less than $10. I could sell my own cards for at least $20 a card and make way more money.

The funny thing is up to that point I was unwilling to sit and draw 100 sketch personal sketch cards but I was willing to do it for this company. It kinda put things in perspective. I could do cards for those guys and get exposure all I wanted but I wasn't going to have a paycheck big enough to pay my rent. On the other hand, I could have charged double and made enough by the end of the week to get my car fixed, and pay my rent. What was I thinking?!

That is when I realized I was putting all these people ahead of my own needs. I know they need to make a profit but so do I.

It comes down to this: We need to stand up and start refusing to put up with the BS. I remember a conversation I had with my friend Dan. He works in the animation industry and we were talking about how in the film industry writers, actors, voice actors, etc. get royalties off of the work they do on a film or a t.v. show every time it airs or every time a DVD gets sold (what do you think the writers strike was all about). This is on top of the payment they receive for being in said movie or t.v. show.

Animators, however, make their weekly paycheck and when the show ends that is it. When an animated film is produced we do way more work than the voice actors but we don't get royalties for our efforts. you don't have a cartoon without the artists but we get the short end of the stick.

When you think about it, when was the last time you heard of a strike in the arts industry? There was one in animation back in the 30's at the Walt Disney company, but no one talks about that.

The problem is most artists, including myself, don't know there true worth. They have the attitude that they just want to draw cause they love it, but we gotta wake up people cause everyone else is looking at this as a business and not as a chance to draw for a living like they always wanted to. We can't take that "I love drawing so much that I would do this for free" attitude now, the economy is just way too bad.

We can't wait until we are on the street begging for food to realize someone else is making money on our creations and we aren't. I never made it to the 3rd year at Joe Kubert's School and I was angry cause of the way things ended but I was listening to a pod cast on success the other day and it made a lot of since. They were interviewing him about his career and he was talking about how back in the day when he started drawing comics the publishers were selling the books for 10 cents and the artists didn't have to have any experience. They just had to be excited about telling a story and they were selling all this art to the companies and all these ideas and creating all these characters but not asking for ownership of what they were creating. It didn't cross there minds that someday Superman and Batman would be household names and very few people stepped up to the plate and said I will do this for you but I want to own the rights to my work. He was saying how they made those choices from the start and many of them have never received anything else and have come to the ends of there lives with nothing. He said that is why he opened a school and started teaching to pass this great legacy on to his kids and students.

The point I am making here is we have to watch our backs and take care of ourselves as artists. it is extremely important cause other people that are benefiting from our work will chew us up and spit us out. There is art every where we go and if it were not for us, most things would not come into existence. We would still be sitting on logs and cooking our food on campfires. Houses, chairs and computers would be jumbled messes of wood, plastic, and wire if an artist didn't design it and put it in a pretty package. Some one out there had the idea to carve some wood and put a thin piece of carbon in the center of it and called it a pencil and I bet whoever the creator was died a very rich man.

God bless,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

People WILL Take Advantage of You Part 1

So the other day I get this email saying Blah blah blah We are a company that specializes in Branding artists and advertising there work and printing there book and we saw your work and we love your stuff, would you be interested in doing some work for us? I am thinking to myself, ok this sounds interesting I will email them back. These people must have sent out a lot of these emails cause they asked me to send some samples after I answered the email.

So I felt kinda funny and I think it was that feeling you get when you know something is very wrong. So instead of sending attachments I sent them to my online gallery and they replied saying sorry we can't see all the images you sent because they don't all show up can you send attachments.

I started asking questions and they were replying hurry up and send us the attachments we are going to be starting some great advertisement campaigns next week and we will need you to sign a contract so we can start branding your name. The contract, they said was for a year and they would have exclusive rights to all my pin up work and they would put out books and stuff.

I start looking for these guys online cause that is big talk for a company I never heard of. I find a Myspace page and a unfinished website but no real information on these people. If you are hiring artists and contracting them, you better have a properly finished website. I started asking them if they have any already finished books or samples of what they have been doing with other artists and they just replied "hey we need you to decide right away cause it is Friday and we will be out of the office this weekend and all this stuff if happening next week, so can you send us samples so we can send out the contract."

I am thinking to myself man they want me to send samples and sign a contract awfully bad. I don't even know who these people are or what they do. I have never seen them at a comic convention and they don't have any solid evidence online showcasing there artwork.

The reason I am bringing this up is this. I get a lot of these emails. I use to really get a lot of them when I was at Kubert school. People wanting me to work on this BIG project they had coming up and PLEASE design the characters for there new lip gloss campaign that is going to be in Walmart but, they never want to PAY UP!

I have taken a SHOW ME THE MONEY attitude about these things cause there are people out there that are looking for young artists that are good but don't want to pay them what there artwork is worth.

They want to benefit from your skill that you spent $60,000 on to get from going to school but they don't want to pay you enough to live on. There was one guy that my niece actually sent my way. She worked as a telemarketer for a long time and she gets this call one day and ended up chatting with the guy who runs a t-shirt business down in Louisiana and was looking for artists that were in school, looking to make some extra money. JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE IN SCHOOL DOES NOT MAKE YOUR ART WORTHLESS!!!! Anyway, so she gives him my phone number and I talk to him. He is COMPLAINING, "yeah there was this artist I had designing t-shirts for me and I paid him $50 for the designs and I made a few thousand off the shirts and he came back and actually asked me for more money?" Then he complained about how he hated working with him cause he wanted more money after he had already been paid.

Ok young artists. 50 DOLLARS IS SLAVE WAGES! YOU CAN"T PAY YOUR CAR PAYMENT WITH 50 DOLLARS. If you are in school and some one asks you to use your talents to design something that they will make a lot of money on, DON'T DO IT!! I can't even pay my student loan with $50 dollars. This guy gets mad cause the artist felt he was getting taken advantage of.

Another example. I worked for a women at this little company in NJ, lets call it STINKY KIDS DRAWINGS cause I don't want to say any names and get in trouble. Basically we were working for 8 dollars an hour to clean up art for her that was drawn by little kids to put on greeting cards. Now THAT was slave labor. I had to sit there and smell white out all day and on top of that she was intimidated by me for whatever reason and we later found out she didn't like black people but she needed help so bad she hired me anyway. One day her sister calls on the phone. Her office was not really an office it was just a big room she rented to do the production work with some tables and desks and stuff. She puts her on speaker phone and her sister is talking to her about some art work that the woman wants her to do for her for a new series of cards with flowers on them. She had spoke to the sister about how much to charge for the work previously and the sister wasn't sure but today she had a good idea. The sister proceeds to tell her that she bought a book called Pricing and Ethical Guidelines Handbook.

(If you ever want to see what your work is really worth this is a great book to own so go get one NOW!)

So she tells her according to this book this is how much she will be charging her for doing the paintings for these flowers. The woman that OWNS the company and CLAIMS to make MILLIONS OF DOLLARS every year gets belligerent. She starts cursing her sister out saying I am not paying you that much money cause some stupid book says that is how much I should pay you and all this stuff and starts screaming at her sister about wanting FAIR PAYMENT. A few days later her sister calls back after they hadn't been talking to each other for the whole time cause of this argument and she gives in and tells her she is right and family members shouldn't discuss money and she will do the artwork for free. FREE!!! Artwork that will be the center piece on the cards the women will be selling! She is going to do it for FREE!!!

This is why I don't like to do crap for family cause they want to go out and pay somebody else all this money for doing what they want done but they want you to do it for FREE!! ARTISTS DESERVE BETTER! WE DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER! DON"T LET PEOPLE BULLY YOU INTO WORKING YOUR ASS OFF FOR NOTHING. YOU CAN NOT PAY YOUR STUDENT LOAN WITH FREE ARTWORK!!

All these things make me angry. I have one more thing to talk about then I will let you all get on with your day: The comics industry. Ever see those ads asking for artists to work on comics for no pay or pay on the back end or even saying that This will get you exposure. DON'T DO IT!!! Why because first off, It Won't get you exposure unless it is Marvel, DC comics or some other size decent company that is willing to pay you what you are worth. Second, getting paid on the back end is working for free. Chances are that no one will buy their crappy book and they won't sell enough copies to actually pay you enough money to pay a month's rent. Third, why would you draw a comic for someone for free. You can draw a comic for yourself for free. I am not talking about that comic you did with your college buddies either, I am talking about those classified ads you see Myspace or even deviant art saying they are looking for artists to work on there comic and it is unpaid.

You are wasting your precious time on those projects....time that could be used more productively on your own mini comics or stuff to go on a table at a comic convention.

More on this later.

God bless,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Getting Things Together

So one of the other things I did over the weekend was I went to Lowes and I bought some PVC Pipe. I think it cost me all of $15 bucks to get the supplies for it and I used my business account. I looked everywhere online for a tutorial on how to build a PVC Pipe Display and was unable to find one so I decided that I will just figure it out along the way and I will take pictures as I go along and show you guys how I am going to do this.

This display will be used at my convention to show my prints and posters. It is easier to get attention to your table if you have your art work nicely displayed. You'll have a cool tutorial to look forward to in a few days or so. I will keep you posted.

On the other end of things, I am anticipating my coming last few days of work so this weekend I am starting back on commissions. As an added bonus, I went to hang out with some friends at Latte Land and we all worked on our individual illustration projects or drew for fun for most of the day. They were there all day but I was there from like 1 - 5 p.m.

The group is called Drawing Frenzy and we get together and have a good time but we have to be working on something. We can't just sit around and talk about nothing. So that is even cooler because I can focus a bit. I completed the sketches for 2 Princess Leia cards that were commissioned from me and I will be coloring these soon as well. You can see one now and I will share the other one later on.

So before I go, here are a couple of pics from Drawing Frenzy. If you are in the Kansas City Area you should come out and draw. We do this every Sunday starting at 11:00 A.M.

God bless,

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mo-Kan Convention and News

So. I have made plans to get a table at a convention MO-KAN Comics Conspiracy. The convention will be on august 29th and 30th. I have to go cause I haven't been able to go to many conventions this year. Also I will Be selling prints very soon. They will be Sketch Card Prints and shipping will be free.

Just a heads up on one more thing. My "Pin Ups For You Pleasure" sketchbook will be complete soon if anyone is interested in that as well. I will start taking pre-orders soon.

Arie's Sketch Dump