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New Year's Resolutions!

I only have two.  One is to finish up my old commissions for good.  The other is to make more animations.  And the best way to see that happen is to start selling them!  Let me warn ahead of time, though.  This isn't cheap or easy.  Even a very short animation (a half second loop) can take a lot of time to get right.  However, for what will take time to get right, the animations come out looking great.  To understand the cost, let me explain what it involves.  It involves a storyboarding process, keyframing, tweening, and if it goes that far, inking and coloring.  That's at least a minimum of 2 rough sketches and 6 fully-colored images.  And those 6 images have to be synchronized with one another and edited for errors and fluid motion.  It's no walk in the park, which is why so few people do them, especially Traditional animation.  What's the damage?  Well, let's crunch the numbers.  If I were paid $10 an hour and it takes me about 30 hours to finish an animation, that's $300.  If I were paid by the frame, and charged $20 a completed frame, that's still $120 for a half second of animation.  In both of those cases I'm underselling myself, and that's assuming everything flows perfectly.  It's not exactly a big bang for your buck, or my time, no matter how you slice it.  So what can we do?  Well, I'm going to offer up different levels for animation.  Storyboard, sketch, cleanup, ink, and color.  Obviously, each one adds more time and thus more cost.  And the end result for any quality animation is definitely worth a lot more than a still example of the same.  If you feel it's worth the money, we can negotiate.  But be prepared for some undesirable numbers.  And you may walk away unhappy, because I need to eat and stay warm.  If you want to pay my bills for the entire month I'll gladly devote 12 hours of nearly every day of that month to animating for you (which is still a lot better than any standard employer gets out of their most devoted employees).  That'll be $1,700.

Alternatively, I'm also going to try to sell Slavimation days.  That's an entire 12 hour period where I animate as much as I can for the buyer for a flat cost.  I haven't yet decided how much I'm going to charge for that, but chances are it'll be a gamble for the buyer, so keep that in mind.  But for that a buyer can probably get a reasonably fun rough sketch animation that could be surprisingly long.  Again, if everything flows nicely.

What I'm going to do over the next few days is finish up at least two old commissions, take care of at least one sketchmission day for this week, and spend some time finishing up an old animation or two to both gauge the time it takes and give examples for what someone can expect if they buy one.

I'm also going to start selling extra things.  I'll be selling Slavestream days.  I will still be having two Sketchmission days a week, but if someone buys a Slavestream I will schedule it around the sketchmission streams.  That way the people who want to only buy an hour or two or only want to buy a single image can still do so.  Slavestreams will be 12 hours of time for the buyer with one or two breaks inbetween for me to rest, stretch and eat.  But the stream will end when the full 12 hours of drawing time is up.  In that time I'll do whatever art the buyer asks provided it doesn't violate the will not draw list.  This can include sketching roughs, inking past images, even coloring and shading if they want the time spent on that.  If the buyer wants me to ink or color another artist's work, they'll have to get permission from the original artist beforehand.  I'm not going to go ask for it, and it will eat into their time if I have to wait for them to get permission.  Anything that isn't finished that they want finished by the end of the slavestream will require them to pay for it.  Even if I was in the middle of it.  Most likely by purchasing more time, but they'll have to wait until later for it to happen unless I'm feeling really good at the end of the stream.

And I'll be selling custom Zazzle items.  Such as hats, shirts, and even coffee mugs.  The purpose of this is to streamline the process for the buyer so all they have to concern themselves with is paying for the product and naming a theme or mood for it.  I'll make an image for them that fits the dimensions of the item they wish to buy so that it looks nice, go through the process of creating the item on Zazzle for them, and send the end product to their address.  I'll charge $20 for my work done, plus the cost of the Zazzle fees.  It won't be cheap (On average about $53 for a basic screen-printed hat), but it'll be worth it for a custom-designed product.  All through the process I'll discuss with them what their options are and how much they can expect to spend.  Alternatively I can just make the image for them and they can take it to Zazzle at their leisure and make the item themself.  Just be aware, the best quality on a Zazzle product requires certain dimensions and even sometimes certain settings on the website to come through well.  For example, in order for light colors to show up on a black baseball cap, they'll have to buy it as an embroidery, and that becomes very expensive.  It's a one-time cost, so they can make as many hats as they want after it's converted, but the fee is a big one that increases with the complexity of the image.  Myself, I'm going to make an embroidered hat with Weaselgrease on it.  It'll cost me an arm and a leg (The conversion for the embroidery format will be close to $50 before I'm even buying the hat), but it'll be worth it.

When you consider it, lots of people buy badges to wear to conventions all the time, but a nice hat or a full-printed shirt with a nice image of their avatar on it would definitely stand out.

Let me know what you guys think!
Viewed: 73 times
Added: 7 years ago
7 years ago
My thoughts generally: it's important to balance out the folks who have the money to throw for your time and the folks who can only do it occasionally. So slavestreaming, animation, that's all cool, but a day a week dedicated to the folks who more just want the hour or the sketch, is cool.

I think what we realized most of all as we tried to accomodate folks for the sketchmissions is: we didn't want folks to cut in line, so to speak, but some people's schedules made it harder to get in line for the commissions. The line forms early and often only the first five or so really get done in a day. ... What WG and I've pretty much agreed is, we don't want anyone to feel left out. The line still forms, but if for some reason you cannot get in line early, we'd still like to put aside some time for your work, as we're able to. We'd also like to give slight preference for new customers to old one... partly as it's important to have a valued customer base, and partly because we know some folks are more able to get multiple commissions.

We value both kinds, the repeat customers and the newcomers. We want to make sure we satisfy you both. =)

I will also throw out I am toying with the idea of doing commissioned stories (with accompanying sketches by WG) if there's a market for that. But I need to figure out the pricing some. And I've even toyed with the idea of auctioning off the opportunity to have someone's original character put into the world (rights to such character remain with them, but within the story, char would be used for writing/plot exposition... whether short term or long term, depends on how well it works out. What I'd be selling is short-term, with longer-term on a permission basis). And such purchase would allow the original character a few actions within the world (within reason, I don't want to disrupt the canon flow of the story.)... and person chooses the actions, I'll dictate the consequences based upon the char's personality.

Such is the idea. Would also like a weigh-in on those.
7 years ago
when finances are looking better around here, i'll concider commishioning you. but i'm playing catch-up on bills for the next month or two looks like. i'll keep you posted on it tho
7 years ago
I will say right away, I love the idea of getting a potential custom coffee mug with your art on it! <3 It could just be so epic, I could get like, a lineup of favorites or something cutesy (Since obviously adult material is skeptic with companies to put on things.) But I would definitely dive for something like that.

As far as the animation bit goes, while I do love the idea of it, I can tell it might get a little stressful now and then, but I also know how you are with things, so you'll manage it as necessary. Obviously I'm a touch giddy for such a thing though, even though if I were to get something, my commission funds would be shot, but it would be well worth it I think. I've already pondered a couple things and just, man the list is endless! Such a terrible temptation.

But yeah, you'll have to see how it goes, personally, as I said, I'm game for it, though it would take some time and experimenting if you let it launch. Best of luck with this idea, and oh golly that coffee mug thing just sounds too fun, haha. X3
7 years ago
Wow, quite a bit of interesting stuff to try for here! I don't think I could ever reasonably afford any kind of animated thing tho - I don't like spending more than $50 at one time on any artist, really - but I applaud your giving it a try! It may help inspire whatever price model I try to do for animated work, if I ever decide to get onto that wagon. XD

Heh, man, all of these things make me think I should step up my efforts to earn more money so I could reasonably partake of your labor! XD If I were REALLY crazy I'd offer an animation trade. XD
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