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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 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.
Commissions (and art in general) can be difficult and scary, and there 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. 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 and primarily service western users 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 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!).
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.
If you are doing branding/design work for someone, I recommend this thread by Seol on her process.
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 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.
Below are some Twitter accounts 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 Twitter 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.
|@ArtistRTweeters||Bot||Mention, Hashtag #music or #digitalart||Yes|
|@RespectfulSharer||Human||Mention||Yes (use TW)|
Should you have issues, questions, suggestions, or need more help just let me know!