Thursday, August 1, 2019

How to Price Your Art -- a guide for all indie creators by Tom Bancroft

The Bancroft Bros Animation Podcast has been on fire the past few episodes. In episode #124 (July 1, 2019) Tom Bancroft answers listener questions. Tom is a long time professional artist, from his animation career at Disney to his current role as an instructor and Artist in Residence at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN.

In  Podcast episode #124, Tom goes into a deep dive into "How to Price Your Art" from the 41:27 min. mark to 58:09.

Wow -- what a goldmine of information he shares here! His guidelines are are geared for artists early in their careers. However, all artists/independent contractors will benefit from incorporating his thoughtful tips into their pricing strategies.

Here's the link for the episode:

And a quick breakdown of some of the points Tom covers:

1) Learn the difference between Commission work and Free Lance jobs. (44:10)

2) How to avoid undercharging for your work

3) Why you should charge a flat rate and not hourly. 
Artists tend to underestimate how long a job will take and how much work is involved. A free lance job (designing a logo; illustrating a book etc) will have a  beginning, middle and end. This implies a business relationship that will need a type of contract to clarify expectations and payments tied to delivery dates. These steps in the process are important. It's best if the artist dictates the business plan to achieve these steps. Tom goes into detail about what sorts of questions artists need to ask -- and answers they need to get from the client -- PRIOR to determining the artist's rate for the job.

4) Artists need to ask questions before they start giving answers. 
Clients will want to know how much a job costs and when you can deliver the final product. How can an artist answer those questions without first determining the client's expectations? It's often up to the artist to break down the steps the job will take to meet the client's needs. When the artist is in the driver's seat asking the client questions about the job, they can avoid pitfalls for both parties. 

5) Your first meeting with a client should NOT end with your commitment to take the job. 
The first meeting is time to discuss your working process, the steps involved, client deadlines that need to be met, points at which the client will need to approve the work before proceeding to next phase, and when delivery of certain steps will trigger payment by the client. End the meeting with an offer to send a follow-up proposal outlining all these points discussed in the meeting. 

Covering all the points Tom shares in this valuable episode will help artists do a better job negotiating rates to get an appropriate level of compensation.

Stuart Ng Books is a long-time sponsor of this podcast. See June 2019 blog post on episode #123 "Designing Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse with Shinyoon Kim and Jihyun Park" here:

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