Last May, I posted a blog entry which outlined all of the details of commissioning a portrait of a pet. I’ve found that so many people are reluctant to ask about pricing for fear that it will be too high and they’ll be embarrassed about having to say, “I can’t afford that right now.” On the other side of that coin, so many artists are afraid of revealing their prices because they fear that it will turn people off or that other artists will adopt their rates and practices. That’s a lot of fear going around for no reason.
To address the first part, I’d love to have an office full of Drew Struzan originals, but I can’t afford the $100,000+ that each one of those costs. There’s no shame in that. Many years ago, Drew himself had little money, but now, people are willing to pay that amount for his work. And there’s only one original. To address the second part, I decided to post my rates for commissions because time is money. I don’t want to waste my time playing negotiating games only to find out the client isn’t willing to go ahead just yet. I also don’t want to make it awkward for potential clients or waste their time, either. As for copying rates, I can freely admit that this came about because I recently saw another artist’s pet portrait commission work and was asked for advice by a friend of hers about pricing. Her work was stunning and I thought, “yes, she deserves to charge that fee.” Then again, so do I and I never want to be seen as the cheaper alternative. I ended up learning more from her. And because our styles and mediums are very different, I wouldn’t consider her competition.
Also, I’ve become very busy lately. I’m currently working on three different commissions, with one pending. In addition to my editorial cartoon and illustration work, I’ve kind of swamped. In the art world, that often signals that it’s time to raise the rates, so I’m doing that. With my upcoming booth at the Calgary Expo, I expect even more pet portrait commission inquiries and I want to be prepared in advance of that. In the interest of pulling back the curtain, I posted some standard commission information in May and it has worked very well. Having something to link to for client inquiries saves everybody a lot of time.
This short post is a segue to that post, one that outlines what I need in order to allow me to deliver the best possible portrait I can, and the prices have been updated. All rates currently quoted to existing clients or ones who’ve already made recent inquiries still stand. Here’s the link to the NEW pet portrait commission post.