How much do you charge?
It depends on the number and complexity of the picture(s), the number of revisions, and the rights you buy.
Fee = productions cost + usage(licensing) fee
The production cost varies, but it is based on the hours I spend & materials/techniques I use for the specific project.
For example, a simple black and white line drawing might take less hours than a full-color watercolor painting. Thought it really depends on the projects and client's needs as something simple can be a result of many sketches and revisions. For this reason, it is important to discuss the project in details as much as possible in our initial meeting/consultation to save our time (and your money) later!
What is Licensing?
Hiring an illustrator doesn't mean that you will own the work and will be able to use it for whatever you want. In most cases, it means you are buying specific rights to use the illustration, which is called licensing.
The illustrator/artist is granting you rights to use the artwork for specific project/purpose/usage for a specific period of time, in specific geographical locations. Usually, wider the usage and regions, and longer the period of time of the contract, higher the fee.
The licensing fee is paid in 2 ways: by royalties or a flat-fee.
Flow of the work
It is helpful if you understand the basic flow of work when working with an illustrator.
An example of a typical work flow:
You will pick a sketch for me to work towards the final image. When it is mostly done, I will submit the image for you to revise. If you need me to make changes(called a revision), this is your chance to do so. I do the initial revision for free of charge, but after that, an hourly rate may apply. In short, more revisions, higher the fee! Please take this into consideration, especially if your budget is limited.
It is also crucial that you respond to my questions in a timely manner if we have a tight deadline.
Then, I make the changes and deliver the final file(s) to you. And now you can use it for the specific project!
Please allow yourself adequate timeframe, especially if you need me to create a new work or make changes in the pre-existing works.
Creating an image can take longer than you think, especially if you have not worked with an artist/illustrator before.
Once we start on the project, but you decide to cancel it for your reasons—beyond my control—cancellation fees may apply.
The fee is naturally lower in the earlier stages (e.g. during the initial sketch stage), than later, e.g. after the final art is completed. Please keep in mind that you might still have to pay up to 100% of the total fee if the art has been completed.