Fall Fairy

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Many choose not to discuss pricing on their websites. I'm not that different. I won't list any exact prices here, but will explain my basic approach.

There are several reasons for not getting too specific. For starters, pricing considerations are constantly subject to change, and any change requires vigilant updating of the site. Conversely, the basic principles covered here remain constant.

There are basically two methods that that can be used charging for illustration. One is an hourly fee, the other is a flat piece rate (a given dollar amount for a given piece of illustration). Each has a particular purpose, and I try to use the one that the situation calls for.

If it's clear enough what the final artwork needs to be, then I am comfortable charging a flat rate. Establishing this flat rate is a matter of negotiation. For example, it may be decided that a given illustration will cost $1,000. Either the client has told me they have a budget for $1,000 and I have agreed to do the illustration for that amount, or I've told the client that I would require $1,000 to do that illustration and the client has agreed to pay that amount. When working from a flat rate, I have to be careful about spending too much time on changes or revisions. I'll either negotiate for a higher rate to cover multiple revisions or will specifically call for limits on the number of changes I'll be required to make.

That is why I say that it needs to be “clear enough” what the final artwork needs to be. There are good ways to ensure that the needs and expectations of both the client and myself are satisfied in any arrangement. The flat rate will be influenced by the size, complexity, and finish quality of the art, as well as the time frame and deadline.

The flat rate is the preferred method for most clients, but since I do a fair amount of work that is developmental and conceptual, I also use the hourly rate. My hourly rate varies greatly and is again, negotiable.

The hourly rate approach is useful when I am providing visual development and exploratory sketches. In these projects no one knows upfront where the best solutions may lie and, therefore, can't forecast if it will take a few sketches or many to realize the potential and vision of an idea. These projects tend to involve a process of revisions before things fall into place. I know this may sound like a potential black hole of endless expenses, but most of the truly grand projects that I have been involved in have required a phase of this sort of creative development.

Often, after a little time has been invested in the exploratory phase, we can settle into a flat rate without any problem.

At any rate, my intentions are to please my clients, and I'm willing to discuss whichever methods will best serve their needs.