View Full Version : Paid Cartography - Resources

09-23-2013, 11:21 AM
How much should I charge for a map?
What can I do if a client doesn't pay?
How do I protect my rights?
Can I resign from my day job and become a full time professional Mapper?

As we have a growing number of people who are doing paid mapping commissions, I am putting together a list of links to useful information on the subject. If you are an established artist, please feel free to use this thread to tell others about your experiences, tips and lessons you have learned along the way. I know, for example that Torstan wrote a great piece about his experiences. GamerPrinter has also been very candid about his experiences as a professional mapmaker. I'll try and hunt it down their posts and link them here.

I know we already have some very useful information on the Guild, but it's spread around widely, I will try and collect it all here but please feel free to help! Just post the link below and CL's will come and do an occasional sweep to consolidate the links into this post for easy reference.

----- Threads on the Guild ------

Creative Commons Issues (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/10934-creative-commons-licensing-questions.html)
Rates for Cartography Commissions (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/10993-rates-cartography-commissions.html)
How long to sit on a project when you have lost the contract (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/11120-how-long-sit-project-when-you-have-lost-contact.html)
Finding Markets for Artistic Maps (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/12494-there-way-make-money-making-artistic-maps.html)
Handing over source files for a commission (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/12772-handing-over-source-files-commission-discussion.html)
How can anybody ask for an unpaid map? (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/10125-how-can-anybody-ask-unpaid-map.html)
Private Commissions of already Copyrighted Work - Should you accept them? (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/13697-question-private-commissions-depicting-copyright-works.html)
More Copyright Food for thought (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/13713-more-copyright-food-thought.html)
Publishing your work (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/13996-publishing-options.html)
Casting a Wider Freelancer Net (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/15673-casting-wider-freelancing-net.html)
map making cost (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/17045-map-making-question-cost.html)
Inspiring, Imitating and Copying (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/19892-inspiring-imitating-copying.html)
Hiring Cartographers (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/22832-hiring-cartographers.html)
Pressure and Productivity (http://www.cartographersguild.com/general-discussion/23151-pressure-productivity.html)

----- External Resources -----

Ralf Schemmann Interview - Kobold Quarterly (Thanks Torstan!) (http://www.koboldquarterly.com/k/article1408.php)
Sean MacDonald Interview - Kobold Quarterly (Thanks Torstan!) (http://www.koboldquarterly.com/k/article712.php)
How to Hire (Rip Off) an Artist - Kaitol (Thank Jaxilon!) (http://kaitol.com/how-to-hire-an-artist/comment-page-1/#comments)
How to Licence your Art - portersfield fine art (Thanks Jaxilion!) (http://www.porterfieldsfineart.com/howtolicenseyourart.htm)
Contracts Proposals and Invoicing - Graham 'Logo' Smith blog (Thanks RobA!) (http://imjustcreative.com/share-logo-design-contracts/2011/02/13/)
Dangers of CC Licensing - NinaPaley.com (Thanks RobA!) (http://blog.ninapaley.com/2011/05/06/the-avatars-of-vishnu/)
Useful Legal Documents for Designers - Smashing Magazine (http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/08/15/free-download-useful-legal-documents-for-designers-pdf/)
The Price of Art - Elfwood.com (Thanks Lightminder!) (http://www.elfwood.com/farp/thebusiness/priceart/priceart.html)
Protecting Yourself as a Designer - Webdesigner Depot.com


09-23-2013, 11:52 AM
Thanks for compiling this...but "The Price of Art" link appears to be dead

09-23-2013, 12:32 PM
Thanks Anomie - I've repaired it now.

09-23-2013, 01:40 PM
A couple from my bookmarks on copyright for artists:
Copyright for Artists FAQ (http://painting.about.com/od/copyrightforartistsfaq/Copyright_for_Artists_FAQ.htm)
AIGA | Copyright Basics for Graphic Designers (http://www.aiga.org/copyright-basics-for-graphic-designers/)
Copyright basics for graphic designers ? Part 1 (http://myows.com/blog/copyright-basics-for-graphic-designers-part-1/)

A nice sample "Deal Memo":
Fear Giving a Price Quote? The art of the Deal Memo - Maria Brophy*|*Maria Brophy (http://mariabrophy.com/business-of-art/fear-giving-a-price-quote-the-art-of-the-deal-memo.html)

From the same site, why NOT to do free work:
Why Artists Should (Not) Be Paid for Their Artwork - Maria Brophy*|*Maria Brophy (http://mariabrophy.com/business-of-art/why-artists-should-not-be-paid-for-their-artwork.html)

and another on working for free with some good points and counterpoints int he comments:
Working for Free | Artsy Shark (http://www.artsyshark.com/2013/05/21/working-for-free/)

-Rob A>

09-23-2013, 11:52 PM
What an excellent idea to compile all of this mapping specific and other relevant info in one place. There's a lot I haven't come across before... which makes me want to go digging in the site history for more. Rated.

Skimming through everything... The "Pressure and Productivity" link is also dead.

09-24-2013, 03:53 AM
Thanks Chashio - repaired.

11-30-2014, 04:34 AM
Was there a server move or something? Every single link to a thread here on the guild is broken, which makes me think that perhaps the way threads are organized has changed. Also, the link at kaitol.com (http://kaitol.com/how-to-hire-an-artist/comment-page-1/#comments) is also non-functional. I see a great deal o activity at times in the commissions forum, and I feel like the material listed herein would be a very good thing to get familiar with before I start trying to do commissions (also, probably need to build a portfolio, or at least finish some maps... but one thing at a time, right?)

12-08-2014, 07:06 PM
I'm not sure what's happened Tomalak. I've been away for a while and hadn't noticed the plethora of dead links. If I have time I'll use the search tool on the title phrases and update the links but the chances of that happening any time soon are pretty slim. I suggest you might want to do searches on titles that look interesting and see if you can hunt down the threads.

12-08-2014, 07:34 PM
If I understood properly, there was a problem with the module that creates URLs from the thread title. It wasn't compatible with the latest version of vBulletin, and the development had halted, so that module was removed. As a result, everything that was pointing to local human-readable URLs is now broken.

The numerical thread IDs are still valid, though, so it should be possible to script a solution that turns




I'm not sure if that's something that can, or should be, performed system-wide, but it could certainly be run on individual important items, like this thread and the index page.

12-08-2014, 07:52 PM
"plethora" includes all the tutorial links from the sticky thread (PDFs, AND the links to the original posts), as well as about 97% of the links I've found from these forums on Google. I didn't report it because I assumed it was a known issue, but if it's not, now you know :P

PS: hi again! :D

12-09-2014, 02:43 PM
Here's a link to the post where Robbie describes what's happened:


06-01-2015, 08:44 PM
many thanks for compiling! ;)

06-13-2015, 09:54 PM
Ralf Schemmann Interview - Kobold Quarterly (Thanks Torstan!)
Sean MacDonald Interview - Kobold Quarterly (Thanks Torstan!)
links are down