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Thread: Artists being ripped off

  1. #11
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Los Angeles, CA


    Spot on, GP. Although if I didn't already have a relationship with you, I doubt I'd work without a percentage up front. Not that I do any freelancing at all at this point.

    Anyway, there's this convention that you never tell someone how much money you make. A lot of folk believe that you keep it a secret in order to prevent others from undercutting your price and to reduce jealousy. The reality is that it serves to tilt the negotiation in favor of the client/employer. The artists don't know how much to charge, but the clients surely do know how much the art is worth. The only thing they don't know is just how low the artist is willing to go; thus the tactic of letting the artist quote a price. If you want the Guild to serve as a resource for helping cartographers set fair prices and make sure nobody is being taken advantage of, then something as simple as a suggested rate card could do the job. No enforcement necessary; only liberate the information.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  2. #12
    Publisher Gamerprinter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Ottawa, IL, USA


    Though I've never needed to if I really wanted a particular artist and they agreed to the final price, but wanted some kind of assurances, I would send them to the DA pages of the artists I have hired as references to prove my reliability in paying, but I would not pay upfront. Because for me paying you half upfront for a $100 commission, that's like 10% of my total budget and I can't afford to lose that to someone that takes the money and does not finish the job. Its not a live and learn issue, its about survival as a business proposition. If they can't trust me, I go find another artist, because others are willing. That's how the world works.

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  3. #13
      tilt is offline
    Community Leader Facebook Connected tilt's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Trelleborg, Sweden
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    I'll just chime in here too.. not about the articles, nuff said there, but I'd like to add to what I feel the guild can do for us. As Ravs said the name Guild sort of suggests we should have a common price scheme to work from - but then again a guild would normally charge a percentage or set fee for membership as well and then help people who got in trouble with their clients or the really "cool" guilds - people who just got in trouble
    I believe that if the guild should go further than where we are now - a happy go lucky share alike help each other community (which is really nice) - then it should be with some price quotes that our members could work from and perhaps clients could look to (and thus know what is expected) - a sort of base-price. Then the really good artist could always ask more (as in all other fields).
    A dangerous path would be adding LoneW's suggestion of a "black-list" since we could easily get in trouble with lawyers - cause we would never know who was in the right. At a forum that I'm running we delete those threads at once - just to be safe

    And by the way - I agree with GP on his sentiment, in the rpg-business the money are small and we can't afford to pay up front most of the time. I'd personally prefer to pay a fixed amount if I hire someone for something - but some projects might be helped into existence by making percentage deals with other participants - then if you loose - they loose and if you win - they win
    I wrote a long text about taking commisions - but nothing about setting the price - but I would say that I've touched upon a lot of the problems you can get into (seen from the artists side of things). There will always be people who wants to cheat you - that can't be helped - but in my experience, most people are honest (to a degree*lol*).
    regs tilt
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