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  1. #1

    How do you advertise your commissions?

    It seems that many artists have trouble selling commissions of arts, crafts, etc ... even if they price things fairly, undersell themselves, and/or have amazing art skills! Yet there are so many successful artists who sell frequently.

    I'm curious to hear tactics of advertising and more of how to sell!

    (Also hope this is in the right forum...)

  2. #2
    Heretic! FlynnCoyote's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Western Sydney
    Unfortunately for some it doesn't matter what you do. I have tried links in my sigs, using trade sections of forums, Even offering deals like half price or two for one and I get no luck.

    Most of the people who regularly commission artists tend to have their favourite artists who they usually go to, so for the most part it is a matter of making sure people are aware of you then in whatever way you can, somehow outshining the competition.
    * * *
    We'll find a reason, or else realize that we don't need one.

  3. #3
    What sort of tactics would you think outshine the competition? Fair prices, style, something else? c:

    If I were to buy a commission, I'd probably purchase a sketch or flat color. I think they look amazing plus they're a bit cheaper. Style doesn't matter to me (I just love seeing art of my characters!), but I do care if things have good anatomy. That's just me :'D

  4. #4
    D: I'm not really sure, myself. I opened commissions for the first time ever on DA about 2 weeks ago. I joined all the groups I could, advertised all I could, made forum threads, and answered forum threads too. Still, nobody's commissioned me. My prices (based on what I've seen on here, DA, and FA) and definitely fair too. So, I found as many other art community sites as I could. All you can really do is put yourself out there, and hope and wait for somebody to be interested. I'm in the process of making a separate art tumblr too.

    I think it's just a matter of a lack of buyers. I however, opened commissions because I need all the spare money I can get. My boyfriend and I were forced to move from our old apartment to somewhere that's (literally) double the rent. :/

  5. #5
    @landiekate I guess the timing is important, too. It's the holiday season and people are spending their money elsewhere.

    I hope that you can get commissions, though! Don't give up c:

  6. #6
    Senior Mayhem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Texas then Florida
    I dont.
    Ive used everything but it basically comes down to popularity.

    We did use FA advertisements once and that helped. I guess because it was seen so often that brought people in.

    Its all about timing and luck really, or knowing a popular person to sponsor you

  7. #7
    Premium User QT Melon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    This is a difficult topic. Well, honestly it is rather easy to talk about, but the answers aren't always something people want to hear.

    You need to post artwork, and post frequently. I think of it like this, if a store looks like it doesn't produce much clothing or it looks like it will always be in low stock, I wouldn't shop there. So being a productive artist is very important. Posting more and creating more artwork gives you more visibility and it also shows you can handle commissions. If you are taking months to produce artwork, it can scare away people.

    Gain a following, know your audience then worry about selling. People are very quick to jump into commissions because they are excited or in dire need of money. The problem is when you do so you increase the numbers of artists a person can choose from. Without having some kind of integrity for what you do, it just becomes another set of cheap labor and the more expendable you become. This is difficult for people to accept. As a customer one who looks more desperate may create the following situations

    1. Cheaper work which may be a win for the customer but if you are spending a lot of time trying to please the customer and not getting paid it creates more problems and stress.
    2. Looking desperate can turn customers off. Beggars cannot be choosers. You may want that great customer to work with, but you may end up with a horrible one that will exploit you. So you need to be careful and cautious as to how you present yourself.
    3. Gaining watches is not always gaining customers. There are many people who will tell you they can't afford a commission, but a watch costs nothing. if 1 out of 10 of those watchers can afford a commission, you need to learn who they are. Your art may attract followers but that group may not have income to spend. So be aware.

    Here is another difficult thing to let people know. Some people are simply not good enough to commission. This increases as more artists come and join in trying to earn commissions. This allows buyers to be picky. So there are benefits to holding back and improving your artwork and gaining more following within a year than posting 20 works getting 100 followers and expecting people to commission you. This is a difficult topic because yes there are artists that may be of lesser quality getting work and obviously this is subjective. However many of them may have had a longer presence online. Some may just cater to certain fetishes. Some may have great personalities that encourage people to buy.

    When it comes down to it, you can't look like you aren't doing what you love. You should be enjoying artwork, and if it looks like you are more worried about money, it is harder for those to respect you and want to buy from you. You don't show a love for what you like doing.

    Not creating drama is another difficult topic. If you come off controversial or show very strong views that can offend people, word can get out quickly and tarnish chances of people buying your work. It can be rather difficult in social media where it's easy to express an opinion about a group of people but the less neutral you look, the more you alienate people from buying work. If there are many artists selling, it makes buyers more choosy.

    I generally don't have difficulty of getting commissions, but I generally don't have time due to my work to take in more. I usually limit it down to coloring work (also due to my injury) but I try to keep things neutral when advertising, keep positive and network. Posting artwork always helps.

  8. #8
    In my opinion and experience the best thing to do is just keep trying and trying

    Some take the route of doing free art so they get more people following them and interested, then as soon as they have a lot of people in their fanbase they begin to do commissions. It really depends I guess.

    It's really difficult to get people interested when you aren't drawing things that are nsfw or fetishy

  9. #9
    Regular autogatos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posting regularly (and in as many different places as you can) helps. As does having low prices, but that's not something I personally recommend. I'm not a fan of the trend of artists charging less than minimum wage for their work.

    I personally try to keep my prices as reasonable as I can while still making sure I'm getting compensated adequately for my time. And I do see artists with fairly "high" (imo: actually sensible) prices that actually still get a lot of commission volume. It's just a matter of keeping at it until you become more well-known. And obviously treating the customers you do get well (giving them quality work, reasonable turnaround times, friendly communication, etc).

  10. #10
    Senior Ratte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Minot, North Dakota
    My luck comes and goes. My luckiest was probably when I got involved with a group local to where I go to school, sometime in November 2012 when Midwest Furfest was going to happen. I got two people interested in badges and other art and that was pretty sweet. Other times, though, I go through a really long dry spell of nothing. I have posted journals and links in submissions as well as putting links in my signature on an old forum and posting to even more sites than I do already, but rarely did any of those work. Most of my commissioners are repeats, but that's sorta nice since I know what they expect of me by then.

    As of now, an overwhelming majority of my commissioners have come from FA. Only two have ever come from any other site (one from IB and another from Tumblr, when I used it). I've been on dA for ~3 years now and never gotten any interest other than people wanting to get me involved in a contest or people asking if I accept point commissions.

    What I can say is, don't price your work too low. For example, if you ever see a car selling for, say, $500, chances are the first thing that comes to mind is "what's wrong with it to get that kind of price?" Price stuff according to the quality you put out and the effort you put into it. I actually got more commissions with my current prices than I did when my prices were quite a bit lower.

    I have also gotten some interest when people plug. Some people will, some people won't. If you're nice, someone might be willing to. Helps get your name out a little more, especially (from what I've seen) in a time of need.

    Otherwise, simply keep doing your best and post fairly frequently. Be nice, communicate well, maybe do an occasional freebie if you'd like. From my experience, a lot of is is simply keep on keeping on.



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