Commissions FAQ

Due to recent difficulties with commissioned art and payment, I’ve decided to draft up a simple FAQ and customer agreement policy to protect all members involved in these sorts of transactions. You were most likely linked here by Visceral Creations© for you to read the rules for commissioning artwork as well as formally accepting the terms and conditions of the exchange. Your artwork request will not be considered until the FAQ has been read and understood, as well as the terms and rules acknowledged and accepted.

MY JOB AS A GRAPHIC DESIGNER is to interpret your ideas and thoughts into physical, tangible media due to your inability. Just like how I can’t perform a (successful) liver transplant (and subsequently hire a surgeon), you come to me because you can’t create the art that you want. As long as you remember this, you will be well off. My job is to act as the mediator between your brain and a canvas. So for me to be able to make artwork that you like, you’ll have to follow these seriously simple rules. There may be a lot of text, but I’m covering all of my bases and answering all questions I’ve ever been asked.

1.) Requests

Sending a request for artwork where the only design request is for the artist to “make it look cool/badass/awesome/sweet/insert adjective here” will almost ALWAYS be ignored/declined. There are a myriad of difficulties with these sorts of requests, as I cannot anticipate what the customer’s opinion of cool/badass/awesome/sweet will be, therefore, there is no guarantee that you will like the product in which I have spent time on creating. Part of being an artist and selling my work is the value of time. If I spend 30 hours fine tuning your artwork and meticulously detailing everything on it for the customer to be “meh” about it is a waste of my time, and I end up being unpaid. Even if it means I have a piece of artwork I can sell, there’s no guarantee anyone will buy it, and it’s an unnecessary effort that can be circumvented by knowing what you want.

1A.) Know What You Want

This is simple. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT IN YOUR ART. Imagine if you went to a car dealership. You’ve seen that the dealership sells Mercedes’, Porches, and Bugattis. Knowing this, you walk into the dealership and hand the salesman $20,000, and ask him to bring you a random car. He brings you a 1991 Chevy Nova. You are at fault here, because you made no specifications, so you cannot claim you don’t like it. And then you’re out 20K. Be smart.

When you request art, I know that you can’t do art, otherwise you’d never message an artist. So I know you’re not very competent. Not a bad thing. So with this in mind, I ENCOURAGE you to send your own personal sketches, mockups, and ideas for the art. I’m exceptionally competent at reading these designs, and it proves to be extremely beneficial to the end product, as it will remain more accurate to your initial idea.

2.) Time Sensitive Graphics

My style of artwork takes time, what you don’t see in the finished product are the hundreds of revisions and even total start-overs that the art undergoes. I spend a lot of time working on the art to make it as accurate and close to your design requirements as possible. With that being said, time is an issue. If you feel you are going to need commissioned artwork (album covers, flyers, book covers, general graphics) where the subject matter is TIME SENSITIVE, you MUST contact me with at least 3 months of notice. You cannot contact me with one week of notice for artwork without expecting a rise in price. The closer your release date is to the day you’ve contact me for art, the higher your price will be, as it is a severe pain to put everything on the back burner because you didn’t think about what your album requires.

3.) Communication Skills

While I understand that the internet is a tool that reaches every corner of the globe, my language skills are a tool that is NOT that far reaching. The only other language I speak is Spanish (and my high school Spanish teacher would be thoroughly embarrassed to hear how fractured it is.)

This means if you are from a country where your native tongue is NOT English (or English is NOT your first language) than PLEASE take extra care to articulate your sentences, be as concise as possible. I will work with you to the best of my ability, but I CANNOT read/speak/comprehend Swahili, Yiddish, or Sudanese. Please do your best. If you have to use Google Translate, I’ll be happy to help you.

4.) Plagiarism

The fact that this has to be included in the FAQ is disturbing, but regardless. Do NOT ask me to Photoshop another bands logo out of their album art and replace it with yours. This includes ANY and EVERY form of graphics.

4A.) Concept Plagiarism

The line in concept plagiarism is EXTREMELY nebulous. There are no set guidelines with who can own ideas in this respect. Music these days have a very obvious use of concept plagiarism, but because it’s artistic expression, it’s more difficult to pursue legally. This also applies to art. Concept plagiarism means you take ideas from one piece of art/artist and use the same methods and sources to recreate a similar piece. For an example, think of the never ending mask debate between Slipknot and Mushroomhead. Even if one band did it first, the other band isn’t necessarily COPYING their work, but taking a very concentrated inspiration from it. Now this, on the surface, does not sound terribly unethical, but there are extents to this realm of work in which you CANNOT go. This rule is dictated solely by myself and is completely at my discretion whether or not I want to commit to your art based on this alone.

5.) Pricing/Payment

-PRICING-

There is no set rate for art. I like negotiating, and understand the plight of being an independent musician, so I know how much it helps to have someone not break the bank. That doesn’t mean I’m going to just comp you art, either. I calculate anticipated hours vs. difficulty and content. Simply put, asking me to design double gatefold art with a 32 page book is going to cost you more than a 8.5×11′ flyer.

Here are casual rates for artwork based on previous buyers:
Standard Digital Album Art (No CD insert, CD design, etc) – $90-450
Full Album Design (CD insert, CD Design) – $180-600
Clothing Graphics – $50-150 (Front and back included)
Digital Graphics (Promotional designs, logo designs, website artwork) $50-500 (Depending on amount)
Flyers – $10-40

Other less common mediums are available as well. Prices are not set in stone, these can often be negotiated, and are subject to change at my discretion.

-PAYMENT METHODS-

Because of numerous difficulties with the USPS, I’ve decided to forego any written checks. I now try to use Paypal exclusively (though occasionally I will accept wire transfers.)

Money can be sent to visceralcreationsdesign@gmail.com via PayPal. You will NOT receive your final artwork until these conditions are met:

The first payment installment (usually half or 33%) is sent prior to work as a guarantee.
The second half payment is sent in FULL within 30 days of agreed upon completion.

You will be able to study/review the artwork at a limited resolution (less than 800×800px at 72 DPI) with a watermark applied over top as a security measure to ensure it can’t be stolen.

Commissions FAQ

Visceral Creations

Kent, United States

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

This is the Commissions FAQ. These are the rules which should be followed when requesting and paying for commissioned art.

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