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Table of Contents
Resources Repository | Creator Help | Buyer Help | Inspiration | Networking
There’s a lot of information out there to help you practice and learn more. The Discord link in this section will take you to a Discord server channel where there is a plethora of information to scroll and search through, from specific drawing tips to Vtuber resources to programs and tools—just to name a few! Just use Discord’s search function and search for:
in: 👍・resources [thing you wanna search]
without the [brackets] — you do not need to complete setting up an account to view so please check it out! Just enter the required information and the account will destroy itself a few days later if you do not complete setup. The channel is updated with more resources frequently.
Thank you to Twirl for hosting and allowing this public channel to be shared here. Of course this Discord channel, and by extension this page, are not the be-all end-all for resources. Various links on this page lead to other creators or pages that may contain even more information to assist you.
For another (larger) index of guides and resources, I recommend this site by Faf.
Should you find any dead tweets or links, here or elsewhere, try and see if a copy is saved on https://archive.org/web/.
Commissions (and art in general) can be difficult and scary, and there are various approaches and situations for anyone to want to or have to open commissions. Below are some tips for starting, doing, or preparing for commissions and related topics. Please note that many of these links are jumping off points, with either more links in their threads or helpful phrasing for you to research more on your own. Many of the creators linked on this page may be willing to answer additional questions, too! Most of this can also be found (with even more resources) in the aforementioned Discord channel.
If you need some tips on creating a Terms of Service (ToS), I recommend this thread by Jess.
If you need to request a DMCA take down, K3lly created a template for Discord and Twitch which can be expanded for use on other platforms. Some sites will also have their own processes to report copyrighted/stolen works.
If you have a little over two hours of your life to spare and would like a great explanation on the full rounded facts of that three letter “web the third” acronym, this video by Dan does a great job listing all the facts and cons. There’s no bias to be found here, there just are no factually grounded pros to the cons.
If you use PayPal* and are looking for some help on creating an invoice, I recommend this thread by Sam.
* Another note on PayPal, it is against their Terms of Service to impose the fees onto the payee. Factor the fees into your base commission price instead of tacking them onto the price or mentioning it.
If you are in North America (Stripe is slowly expanding to many markets worldwide! See next paragraph) you may want to try using Stripe Invoicing. They take all major credit cards and their card reader works internationally if you travel between the US and Canada. Unlike PayPal, Stripe is intended to process payments directly to bank accounts so they do not hold onto funds. Like with PayPal (use PayPal Business if you don’t already!), you’ll want to update your privacy settings as noted by Fuwa.
If you are looking for another alternative that supports more countries (there are still limitations) you can look into Wise (formerly Transferwise). There is a wonderful guide by Kira and ARS with account and use tips.
For a list of some pros and cons for Stripe, Wise, Skrill, and Payoneer check this thread by Tsuru.
If you are unsure how to price your works start low and work your way up. Creative work is heavily influenced by supply and demand, where higher demand incurs higher prices. For a very gritty overview of how to calculate freelance and project work, check this thread by Tom. There’s a nice video on pricing by Nadiaxel that is more focused on art commissions (she also has a video on commissions in general too!).
In a similar vein, you may also wish to try and calculate your pricing based on how long it takes you to complete a given piece of work on average. Bluebell recommends using a time tracker to do this more accurately. Some people will base the cost off their local minimum wage. You will want to make changes to these estimations based on the given clients commission, such as if it has more details to the design or if you will be drawing a piece of it (i.e. armor, weapons, etc) for the first time. (Thanks Rocku!)
If you are interested in better figuring out freelance pricing and keeping a safe living, there is a calculator available to help you do just that (with a reply to a thread with more explanation on each bit). There is also another, newer, calculator available to help with fees, insurance, and tax estimation for hourly rates.
If you are doing branding/design work for someone, I recommend this thread by Seol on her process.
Seol also has a thread on various parts of the commissioning process, such as: terms of work, payment plans, company clients, interacting with other artists, and more.
If you are curious on specific drawing processes (hair, frills, etc), program setup (brush settings, etc), or other creative guides try searching in the Discord channel listed at the top of the page.
If you are curious what buyers may look for to find trust in commissioning an artist, you can check out the responses to Raemi’s tweet for some ideas.
For information on how to market and expand your outreach on Twitter, check out these tips from Zenith.
If you often hear or default to saying “practice” for how to get better at art, Hyan has a short thread on how to expand on that.
If you are looking into creating or working on a 3D model at any point in the process, Mistyskye has a repository of tutorials and workflows she has compiled.
If you are more into music commissions, Tofie has a thread on common terminology and details that can assist you and clients.
Artistree.io is a commission service that, like VGen below, offer a streamlined commission process (includes on-platform messaging, unlike VGen at time of writing). Like Ko-fi and VGen, they allow you to accept Stripe or PayPal. Additional fees for the site are put to the buyer instead of the artist. More info can be found on their FAQ and in this video by Nadiaxel. Artistree also offers a comparison to Ko-fi’s commission feature.
VGen.co is a commission service that offers a more complete commission order flow that allows for easy listing, explanation, and processing of any commissions you may offer. Synical offers a thread explaining the entire commission process for VGen. They allow splitting of payments and also support PayPal and Stripe (which also offers Apple/Google Pay). Stripe is what backs the VGen Wallet, which due to transfer fees has a minimum withdraw of $50 (bank transfers take 1-7 business days). The platform fees are taken out of the commission cost, so price your services appropriately. You can find more information in their help desk.
There are even more services listed on this page hosted by Faf with short descriptions for each.
If you use PayPal in Canada and often deal with clients that use USD (taking in USD or not), look into the conversion and fees you encounter as it may be claimable on your taxes.
If you want a website to share your commission information and social links easily, check out Carrd. The free tier offers a lot of helpful tools and settings to get your information out there quickly and simply.
Many artists have found success in using Trello to organise, publicise (or privately track) commission queues and information. Everyone has a different process that works for them (even using the aforementioned Carrd). Public process lists also help astute commissioners check the status themselves before thinking to ask directly.
If you use Adobe, consider an alternative. Beware their cancellation fees.
Are you or do you know a commissioner that isn’t sure how to request a commission? Here are a few tips to help the artist out for the best experience of everyone involved. If you would prefer a more visual explanation with more information on certain terms (YCH, TOS, etc), rendering definitions (lineart, flat, cell, etc), art types (icon, chibi, halfbody, etc), please check out this thread by Toby.
- Read the artists Terms of Service! Save everyone time and confirm the rules and restrictions the artist has laid out alongside their general estimate for how long it could take for completion. Most of these are really short, unlike many others we’re used to.
- Provide examples and references. Even a stick-person doodle can go the extra mile in helping the artist bring your vision to life. References do more than paragraphs of text.
- Mood boards (collages) are also very helpful; take a bunch of random images/artworks and slap them into a document to help convey what you are looking for.
- Keep to the artists style that you are commissioning, you’re asking for their art style after all.
- Know that if you’re nervous and anxious about asking for art, the artist is probably just as, if not more anxious. Be professional, no need to feel intimidated (easier said than done, right?).
There is a nice post on commission etiquette by viralremix — however I’d like to summarise and amend to it below.
- Respect that the artist has their own life to live (time off, other work, living).
- Be polite and respectful in general, artists are not obligated to kowtow to you. They’re human, too.
- If you have a deadline, bring that up first and foremost. If an artist says they’ll get back to you by some time, wait for that time to pass before asking for an update. If no time was given, wait at least 3 to 4 weeks before reaching out to them. Don’t nag.
- Do not haggle prices. If the price is too much for you, there are many other artists out there with open commissions. Not sure where to find such posts? Check the bot list at the bottom of this page.
- Know what you want before you commission someone. Many artists limit the amount of corrections and changes you can request in their ToS.
- If issues arise or you suddenly cannot pay for the commission, talk things over with the artist before submitting disputes and refund requests. Like with all things in life, most things can be resolved simply by talking with the person.
- Tip your artist fairly.
It can be hard to find new artists and styles. Unfortunately this section won’t direct you to some easy-to-filter page to help you find new inspiration, but there are several Twitter lists full of active artists posting and RT’ing other art every day. Each list is updated daily, randomly, unsorted. If your Twitter client supports filtering by media (i.e.
Tweetbot, Tweetdeck, etc.) these lists are much nicer to scroll through. Warning: lists may contain NSFW.
If you are on Bluesky, here are some feeds you can follow to find more artists and see open commissions. (You can create your own custom feeds via SkyFeed.) I’ve also created a feed that’s a manual curation of artists using Bluesky, just like the Twitter lists above but it filters to just the image posts by default!
For feeds on Bluesky (which are automatic), share your open commissions via #commissions or #artcommissions for better reach (if you find a popular commission feed using another hashtag, try them as well!).
For better reach on Mastodon/Fediverse, it’s possible for anyone to follow hashtags so they show up in their timeline automatically. The popular tags are #commissionsopen or #opencommissions across many instances.
Below are some Twitter accounts (and a Fediverse account) to help you share your posts! Many Discord servers also have #promo channels where you can share your posts, too. Be mindful of the text words you use in posts, as bots are looking for any combination of c0mmision words in your post. They can’t easily scan images for text, though (food for thought). There is also this sheet from FanEventsHub of various commission accounts as well as zine and event accounts.
|OFFLINE (as of Feb 2024)
|OFFLINE (as of Nov 2022)
|OFFLINE (as of May 2018)
|OFFLINE (as of Feb 2022)
|Mention, Hashtag #music or #digitalart
|Yes (use TW)
|OFFLINE (as of May 2016)
Should you have issues, questions, suggestions, or need more help just let me know!