Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

Tips For Commission Artists

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 27, 2014, 11:12 AM

Hello! :wave: I thought of making this small guide, based from my personal experience, to give tips to artists, mostly beginners, to be more successful at selling commissions, since seeing from my previous journal many had difficulty with it. So here are some tips to help boosting your sales.

Have your commission info somewhere visible

Possibly, people won't even know you are taking commissions or if they are open if you don't put your commission info somewhere they can see. You can do this in a journal, that I mostly recommend, since it will be showing into your watcher's inboxes and most of your watchers probably rarely visit your profile page. You could still also use the commission widget, or donation poll to write your info. You can also link to your commission info in your signature or the artist's comment of new drawings you upload.

Keep it simple

Don't add too many unnecessary rules or info. Keep it as short and simple as you can. If it's too long or complicated to read, people might get bored or find it more complicated to do than it is and will go do something else instead.

Be clear about your pricing

If you are not sure what prices you are selling your art for, people probably won't be sure if they want to buy either. Most people don't have more than a specific amount they can/want to spend and like to be sure before requesting. If you, for example, state that you charge $10/hour, you could show some examples of works with the amount of time you spent of them, so people can have something to base on.

Visual examples

This is an extremly important element. Most people are lazy and won't bother looking into your gallery for examples, and they also want to be sure of what they are going to be paying for. Most people won't buy if they are not certain of what they will be getting. For example, I've tried offering a much cheaper commission type in the past, but without any visual examples. I didn't get any sale for it, yet my other commissions with examples got many sales. As soon as I put a visual example up, people immediately started to show interest.

Look good

Don't publicly "undervalue" your art or products. Avoid saying things like "It didn't turn out as good as supposed, sorry!" "This looks terrible" "I could of have done better""my art suck". You need to be more confident or people won't be confident of buying something from you either.


I way too often see people blaming they don't get commissioned on the fact that they are not popular enough. Popularity is only one of the factors, it is a big plus yes, but it is something everyone had to work for in a way or another to reach. People complain that is it much easier for popular artists to get commissioned, they have more watchers, get more favorites, comments and attention... of course, but you know what? Popularity is not about chance. Popularity don't happen magically. I've been on deviantART for 8 years, since that time I didn't stop being active and build myself a fanbase, by working hard and improving my art. You can't get tons of potential clients overnight. It is something you will build over time. keep improving your art, be more active, and you will slowly gain more popularity.

Lower your prices

This is probably the last thing you will want to consider doing. Make sure you don't underprice yourself! Avoid selling anything lower than a price you are comfortable with, otherwise you might end up losing motivation to work on it and procrastinate too easily. Cheap products can make clients think they are not worth it but if it is sold for more expensive, people will see the product as something of higher quality.

Remember that 100 points =$1

 1 point is not one dollar. If you are selling something for 20 :points:, you are only making a profit of 20 cents. If you want to make a profit of $20, the price in points should be of 2000 :points:.

You cannot please everyone

There will always be someone to complain about your prices. Don't bother about them, most likely they have no idea what they are talking about, and see artists as slaves and expect art to be free. Be prepared to receive many criticisms, most often from people who don't agree with the way you do your things and sometimes, from people who are jealous. It might be very hard at first, especially if you already have a very low self esteem, but you will gradually build a better tolerance to it if you keep going.

Enjoy it

If you don't like to draw for others, commissions might not be for you. This is going to be much more difficult (if not impossible) to success at something you don't like doing. You will need to truly enjoy what you are doing. You need to enjoy drawing A LOT. If you do and have the time to draw everyday, your chance to succeed is much increased!

Be patient

Probably the most annoying part that most people fail at. It takes a lot of time, determination and work, more mistakes than successes, to stand out among the rest. You will often be discouraged, feel like it's not working, lose motivation. Don't give up! Persevere, try something different, gather new ideas. Try again. Rome wasn't build in a day. If you want to someday be able to sell your art for as much as all the popular and skilled artists, it is indeed possible! But you need to be very dedicated to your art, spend a lot of time drawing, trying to improve, and constantly gather new potential clients by being active and uploading a lot of art.

Add a Comment:
madartky Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you so much!  :P
Wylfen Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot for that advise!
I'll start selling my art for more Money soon. But I'm still very unsure whether It's worth going up with my prices so much.. I will Charge between 5$ (Simple Sketch) and 115$ (Full detailed drawing.)
Do you think that's reasonable?

this is some of my art:
Northern Lights by Wylfen  [DTA] Cloud Jumping by Wylfen  Christmas gift: Akirah by Wylfen Kitsu by Wylfen  [CE] Silence, Sunlight, Paradise by Wylfen
SirJiminyKickIt Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for this information, lot's of good advice.
InsaniteaPls Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I wasn't sure how to add payment to my DeviantArt, would I have to set up a link, or something else? Thank you so much for the help!
KerrySprite Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Can anybody tell me what is the actually good and decent price to have for commissions? not too high and not too low but something that is just right. 
JeiDoll Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
It always depends on the artist, there is no general "this is good/ this is bad".

What to consider when doing art is how long it takes for you to make the piece & what you are comfortable doing.
Googling local minimum wages for money per hour can help if you have no idea on the general "what people earn in life anyway".

As an example I personally would feel weird accepting 200$ from a 30 minute work, but that is just my personal thing. c:
Some professional artists are asking for that and other incredible sums too and I think that is cool also.
Rinalinsky Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very motivational and simple. Thank you!

I've only ever taken requests, not commissions, so I've been a bit wobbly about pricing and arrangement for the commissions. This helped me very much.
MariandreaPF Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! This is very helpful ♥
Aunumwolf42 Featured By Owner May 26, 2015  Student General Artist
Thank you for this, i'll keep all that in mind x3
TJ-Otter Featured By Owner May 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe my info is too complicated...
Wildlife23 Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Sure, helpful
scathy-kitty Featured By Owner May 5, 2015  Student General Artist
Helpful :) Thank you!
ComanderSprings Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2015
This is very helpful! I'm thinking about opening literature commissions and I need support :aww:
Ayacchiiin Featured By Owner Edited Feb 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This help me a lot :D thank you. 

I just confused how to pricing my arts, because if I do the commission with the price I comfortable, no one wanna commission me, but if I do in cheap price, many people came and ask for commission :(

Some of them ask me to lower my price or ask for free art .____.
DesignsByTiff Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
This helped me a lot, thank you c:
Devicii Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very helpful and motivational thank you <3
DoctorMaddox Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Very  helpful! Thanks for posting this! :D
Janigmatic Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014  Student General Artist
Very well said! Thank you! :D
r-ea Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
im going to reread this to reassure myself with my commissions almost everyday uvu tysm
French-Artist Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
wOw, I'm ok with you ! I begin on the comics commissions, and it's very difficult about commissions request for me, even though I'm an illustrator known in my country (I have already worked for Vogue, Playboy, Boucheron, Dior, Elle ...)...
Thanks for your advices !
Veneboy68 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014  Student Artist
Great advice thank you 
Dragunnity Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You have no idea how much this helps, Thank you so much <3
Spigos Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I'll keep this for future reference ^-^
tomeksz Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014
Do you would like to feature my commission info in order to receive a feature :la: of your commissions in return?
KLeighE Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014   Digital Artist
Very helpful, thank you! 
When I read this~ i feel more confident,Because i use to Lower my commission prices(Alot of time's),cause i had people complain to me so much.But now you inspired me to not feel like shit!When i raise my commission prices.;w;

thank you for the advise! ^7^
thecatseyefire Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for making this :)
This is very helpful for me :3
Sharkysaur Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Kawiku, I was wondering how you advertised you MYO Nekoi contest? I'm holding a MYO Kuruxu contest and I'm not sure where I should post it to get more visibility. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.

This is the contest:
MYO Kuruxu Contest (OPEN) by Sugar-Bells
waraiigoe Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great tips! Thank you ^^
Cosmic-Anomaly Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks this helps a lot!
Tesvp Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014   Digital Artist
Thanks of the tips!
CodeGearZ Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow this helped tons! I had so many questions about commissions and this really cleared it up for me, I think once i got more free time I shall start doing commissions ^^
Mangaotakufreak Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Student General Artist
This is neat, but there's something wrong about what you stated with the points. If you go to the D.A. point page you can see that it's not 100 points= $1 but 80 points= $1 (since having $5 doesn't give you 500 points but 400).
pumpkiyn Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014
80 points=$1 is NOT the real price, that's what alot of deviants are confused about, 100 points=$1 is the actual price everyone should be going by since deviantarts point system takes out 20% of everything.
Mangaotakufreak Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Student General Artist
Someone just recently corrected me already. ^-^"
But I'm glad that people are correcting me and my bad info. I litterally had no idea that it was $1= 100 points. I've always seen people use 80 pionts= $1...
Thanks for telling me anyways! ^^
Torotix Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
If you use the commission widget dA takes 20% of what you make so most people have adapted that $1=100 points
Mangaotakufreak Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Student General Artist
Oh okay... I had no idea. Thanks for the info! ^^
sonicsis Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Student Digital Artist
thank you for these tips^^ 
jaegershark Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
the problem is sometimes the commission artist is not motivated or just too lazy to do commission requests 

like me .P."
Risika93 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Awesome Journal, great advice!
cartoonjoe2011 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
You know, I wish this had been upo when I started doing would have went a lot smoother!

Thanks for this!
Plasmy Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014
Thanks for this! It'll be very useful
Makaylafashion Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
These tips are really good! I've been thinking about opening cheap commissions for drawing practice. Is that a good idea?
PetiteBubu Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Every word you said is 100% true! I totally agree!
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey I have a question. I commissioned two artist some time ago, I paid and they confirmed my payment. Almost five months passed and they still didn't finish or give me any notice about the pieces. But I don't gave them a prompt, so what should I do? I don't want to be annoying asking them about the commissions, but what lets me confuse is that the two have a giant to-do list and keep submitting personal art, not commissions (and I'm 100% sure that there is more people in their wait list --and that I'm not the first any)
MoonsieRoll Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
As a commission artist myself, I don't think there's anything wrong about sending a reminder! You, as a commissioner, are allowed to be concerned about your commission. Since it's been 5 months ( that's quite a while!! ) and you haven't received any notice, I'm pretty sure you are allowed to ask for an update on the commission—especially since they've been submitting personal art and due to the fact that there's a waitlist ^^

Just remember to be polite! Otherwise, good luck on receiving your commission~ 
Zeryuo Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I'll do it right now :la:
MoonsieRoll Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem!!^^ Again, good luck with receiving the commission~
TzikiiWolf Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Student Filmographer
Thank you very much for posting this :) It is encouraging and helpful :D I did recently lower my prices because I never get commissioned, but I'll review them to make sure I'm happy :)
ReddyArts Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014   Digital Artist
Fantastic! I'm just about to get into commissions myself, and I found this incredibly helpful! :D
Add a Comment:

:iconkawiku: More from Kawiku

Featured in Collections

Journals - Inspirations by Draco-Hiryu-787

Know-how Commission by marimariakutsu

Journals by CatStudio7

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
July 27, 2014


27,018 (6 today)
2,031 (who?)