Graphic Artists Guild

So what exactly are fair rates? This is the million-dollar question. It’s very difficult to get a straight answer, and everyone will give you a different one. Here are page rates as determined by the Graphic Artists Guild from a few years back:

  • Writers (plot and script) $75-120
  • Painted art $150- 350
  • Layouts/Breakdowns $35-100
  • Penciled Art $55-200
  • Background art $10-25
  • Ink Art $45-150
  • Lettering $18-35
  • Lettering on overlay $20-35
  • Coloring art $75-150
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Those are some pretty wide ranges, but it gives you an idea. Depending on your abilities, some employers may offer more, some may offer less. If you’re new to professional illustrating, these rates may be a little bit lower for the first few years as you gain experience. After looking at these, I feel that my rates are actually rather low in a lot of cases, but they do fluctuate a lot. I take different variables into account before submitting a quote: the time frame involved, the complexity of the art, what style of coloring is needed (digital vs watercolor), who keeps the original art, what my other commitments are at the time of production, and anything else that may be a factor. Don’t forget that communication can eat up a lot of time, too. Sending emails, making phone calls, creating invoices – these things will eat up your time faster than you can imagine! Sometimes my rates are higher, sometimes they are lower. But I always quote what is fair to me based on the needs of the project. And see, writers should be getting paid a fair wage, too. But that’s a story for another time…

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Arguments can be made against these numbers based on the quality of an artist’s work, but I’m talking about high-quality, professional type work here. I see too many employers wanting professional quality work but are not willing to pay for it, or I see artists not knowing what their own work is actually worth. It’s time we artists put an end to this. We need to stick together and insist on FAIR rates. netvideogirls

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Sure, some potential employers will probably pass on you, but that’s a risk that we all must take otherwise the profession will continue to be taken advantage of. So let’s band together and start charging fair wages. Start charging what your time and your work is worth. Remember that your skills and talents should be compensated the same as any other profession. If you know an artist who isn’t charging enough, give ‘em a heads-up. Let’s educate one another and help spread the word. We can make a difference, but we have to work together at models