Friday, March 29, 2013

How to Set Your Rates as an Artist

When you work and get paid on a freelance basis, you are offering your services for less because you also spend less on your overhead expenses. But you shouldn't sell your talents short, either, lest you come out on the losing end.

Balance remains to be the key in pricing your services competitively. But before you set your rates, remember the two standard procedures in freelancing:

  • Ask for a flat rate.
  • Compute the equivalent of 40 to 50 percent of the estimated total amount you plan to charge your client for the project, and that will serve as your down payment.

Now, in general, freelance artists and illustrators earn more than their writer counterparts because art materials can be costly and are easily disposed. An artist or illustrator must look for several ways to obtain art supplies without putting a huge dent on his budget.

Among local illustrators and cartoonists, charging Php1,500.00 to Php1,800.00 for a portrait that measures 9" x 13" is the norm. If the client wants a full-blown artwork, a single portrait can fetch as much as Php3,000.00-3,500.00.

So with these figures in mind, ask yourself, how many days can you satisfactorily complete a portrait or a caricature drawing? Turn-over rates are not as fast in jobs in illustration, but you need to pace yourself according to your clients' demands.

It would be good to set a monthly quota for yourself. But this could only be done after you have determined the minimum amount you want to earn every month. 

Your monthly income from freelancing must cover the following:
  • Your overhead expenses (this is particularly crucial if you're renting office space)
  • Meals and transportation fare (if you don't have a home office)
  • Stationery and envelopes where you can have your letterhead done professionally
  • Bills (electricity, telephone, your internet service provider, etc.)
  • Tuition fee for art workshops 
Stay tuned as I discuss other aspects of freelance illustrating in my next few articles. 

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