Hey everyone, it’s time!
(And I’ll be linking this post in a couple of places so please excuse any ‘redundancies’ you may notice.)
I am now open for character commissions!!
If you’re wondering to yourself “Wait, what? Who is this guy and what’s this about art?” well, you can see some of my work going back through my Twitter history (look for @AntomasTSW - just be aware I’ve also posted other, more questionable, things on it, too, thus you may have to click through the “Caution: May contain questionable materials” flags to see it) or you can check out some of my older work at aerones.deviantart.com/gallery/ (where I also have some, um, additional questionable material set to “mature”).
Anyway, I’m posting this so that I can go “Please just read this” when I get the inevitable “Oh! Oh! Can I ask you about your [insert whatever here]?” for anyone who may be interested in commissioning me.
So here’s some things to consider before you ask me to work on a commission for you:
1: Please look at my work BEFORE you commission me.
Look, I love attention from internet strangers as much as the next guy, but to be fair, asking me for a commission, then backing out partway through because you “don’t like my style” is just a dick move that wastes the time of everyone involved. Most importantly, mine. Not yours. Because all you did was go “Hey, draw me a thing,” then sat back while I did the work and then you went “Nah, forget it” and I was all “GRRrrrrr….” and no one likes that. Especially me. I don’t like “grrr-ing.” So don’t do it, okay? Just look first.
2: I have bills.
I know, I know, surprising, right? But because of this I gotta charge money for my time. Do you do things for people that takes up the majority of your day for free? Well, besides immediate family and close personal friends? Hell, even my Grandma pays me every time she asks me to come over and help move her furniture. Granted, it’s in food, but that’s not the point.
Also, no, the pricing is not negotiable. If you call up to order a pizza and go “Can you give me the price?” and they do, and you don’t like it, do you then go “Well, can I maybe pay [insert amount of money here] less than that and still get the exact same thing I asked for?” No. You don’t. Because it doesn’t work like that.
I’ll lay out a price sheet for easy referencing later in this post, don’t worry, but think of it like a pizza menu. The more toppings you choose the more it’s gonna cost. And you may be thinking “Yeah, but, like, it’s still all just one picture! C’MON, man….” but no, it’s not. Everything that goes into making a picture is it’s own thing. And each thing takes time. Time I could be spending at a “Real Job,” instead of doing something I enjoy that’ll end up making me far less money in the long run, anyway.
Seriously, I’ll be spending days on a thing that’ll likely end up costing most people just a couple hours’ salary. For Realsies. My process includes feedback several times with the customer (which would be you), so when they can’t get back to me right away (because, honestly, you’re likely to be too busy to get back to me with feedback right away at certain points of your day, right?) I just have to sit back and wait it out, taking up more time.
Now, granted, I can work on multiple projects at the same time, but only a couple, really. Too many gets to be too cumbersome to manage. I’d spend more time trying to reassure people that “Yes, yes, I am totally working on your project RIGHT NOW” when, in fact, theirs’ was the third inquiry interrupting my work on someone else’s picture when the person contacted me because they hadn’t heard from me in a few days. And, as you may have noticed, I tend to ramble when communicating in text. And no, I won’t give you my phone number.
3: My process? It goes like this:
You send me the required info up front.
I send you a “Cool, we’re in business!” message. Or I don’t. In which case please just assume that the available slots have currently filled up. Please don’t think I’m ignoring you. But really, if I go “Hey guys, I have 3 customer slots available” and 20 people respond with “Me! Me! Oh! Pick me!” I really don’t have the time to send out 17 “Try again later” notices. Just, if you don’t hear back from me, it probably means I’m full. I still love you, but I just don’t have time for you right now.
If you are one of the lucky people fast enough to get in the queue then I make a sketch, which may be done in a couple hours, or might take a day or two, and email/DM you a small copy with “WIP” (for “work in progress”) stamped across it. These initial sketches will really just resemble stickmen with some heft to them, by the way. There won’t be much of anything resembling “details.” It’s just a way for you to see the overall pose, shape and scope of the image.
I wait for you to get back to me with a “Niiiice. So far so good” or else a “Hey, is it okay if you change this aspect of it to something more like this other idea?” at which point I roll my eyes at you because you already told me once you wanted it the way I drew it the first time you silly customer, you. But then I’ll go ahead and draw up another sketch, stamp “WIP” on it, send it to you, then wait for you to get back to me again and finally saying “Ohhh this is all I ever dreamed of, you super-sexy Mr. Sexy Artist-Man *swoon*”
I flesh out the sketch with all those details, then send you a small copy with “WIP” stamped across it.
I sit on my butt waiting for you to get back to me with your approval. If you disapprove of it again I shuffle you to the bottom of the pile, but you’re still in the queue. It just means you require more maintenance, and thus I’ll get to you when I have more one-on-one time, rather than coddle you while also trying to work for other customers.
I go ahead and “Ink” the image (meaning I give it those crisp, black outlines) and send you another small copy stamped with a “WIP” which you are now starting to see behind your eyelids every time you close your eyes. However, at this point, I’m just being courteous. You don’t have to send me back any approvals anymore. Unless you want to. I DO like being showered with approval, after all. But it’s not required.
I color it with “Flats” (meaning, quite literally, I color inside the lines, but with no shading or highlights) and send you a small copy with, as you likely guessed, “WIP” stamped across it.
I finally add all that shading and highlighting!! YAY it’s done! ...So I send you a small copy with “WIP” stamped on it.
You send me money. ( This is my favorite step! )
Once I have received the money, and not just your assurances that it’s on the way, I email you two .jpeg files. One titled [Somethingsomething]CS.jpeg Which is a nice-sized “Hey look what I got from that Mr. Sexy Artist-Man dude I’m providing links to get in contact with” postable image. It’s measurements are a supersexy 9”x12” at 100dpi. The other is a behemoth-sized monstrosity named [Somethingsomething]CB.jpeg measuring in at 9”x12” at 600dpi (this is easily expanded to Poster-Size at any reputable Print Shop in case you wanna take it somewhere to be printed in Poster-Size… It’s up to you. It’s completely yours now to do whatever you want to with it.) The CS and CB are just my way of differentiating “Colored Small” and “Colored Big”. That’s really all there is to it.
4. Images I will NOT do:
Porn. - I keep all the smut I draw to myself, under my mattress, where no one else can get off to it. If you wanna woo me and pay for my dinner a few times just so you can hop in my bed with me and look at my porn stash, well, I’m game. But barring that, don’t ask me to show it to you. Now, assuming you’ve looked at some of my other work you know I have zero issues with nudity. But, having said that, I don’t do that on commissions because, honestly, I don’t wanna get into an argument over “Why are her breasts not the GINORMOUS DDD’s I want them to be?!?” or “No! No! I said a 20” cock as big around as a 2-liter soda bottle! Why are you not making my throb-tastic raging boner the way I want you to?!?” Will I draw some side-boob, or cheeky butt peeks? Sure. But if you’re looking for full-on Sexity in your pics you might have better luck with someone else doing the work for you.
-ISMs. - No Racist, Sexist, Homophobic, Transphobic, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Military-Status, Etc. Etc. Etc. images. I do this so people can enjoy looking at the characters they’ve created. Not so they can take pleasure in depictions of other people’s pain/struggles/adversities.
Gore/Dismemberments. - These are characters in video games. I know. And sometimes things get a bit graphic with the graphics… But please. No. Just no. Can your character have a pic with them in a bit of blood spatter? Fine, fine, okay… I suppose so. Maybe even a small cut or two. But I’m not making a still image from a Tarantino movie for you. Try to keep your requests at least a little bit tasteful.
…..I can’t think of a 4. right off the top of my head. - But I reserve the right to roll my eyes and go “Duuuuuuuude, jus-just stop, okay? I’m not gonna do that” at my own discretion.
Oh! I thought of a 4.! Face Characters! If you wanna include them for reference, fine, that’s great. But I can get in trouble for making money off of other Real Life people’s likenesses, so please don’t complain that I won’t draw your Chris Evans’ seminude you desperately wanted (you know who you are, you Chris Evans fetishists…).
5. My Pricing. Here we go with what you really wanna know (all prices are in $US).
Also, I use Paypal, despite its’ founder being a … Well, I have so many choice words I could use, but I won’t. Because I’m not a douchebag like he is. But, yeah, it seems to be the easiest method for most people, so I stick with it.
Basic Simple Character on Simple Background. - $60.
“Action” Character on Simple Background - $70.
Additional Simple Characters - $20 each.
Additional “Action” Characters - $30 each
Scenic Background - Add $30.
6. So you’ve read this far and decided “Sure, I have some spare cash to burn so let me place an order with you. What do you, Mr. Sexy Artist-Man, need from me?”
Well, here’s a list:
Your Name. Sadly, I mean your REAL name, not your character name, because, well, I gotta make sure the person sending me your money is you, and not that other customer on my list pretending to be you on accident.
Your character name(s). It’s nice to know what to call these people I’m drawing.
Screenshots of your character. 1 full-body. 1 headshot. And not thumbnails, please. Feel free to crop, but I still need decent sizes to look at. Also, if you could, please have them wearing the outfit you want them to be wearing when I draw them.
A description of what you want. How many characters? Do you want them in “Action” poses, or just smiling for the digital paintbrush? Do you want them in a particular setting?
If you have a Twitter account it’s just much faster to DM you a “WIP” for quick feedback, rather than waiting until you decide - after you get home, make dinner, eat said dinner, put the kids to bed, catch up on the TV you missed because the kids refused to just lay down and go to sleep, and then FINALLY sit down at your computer - to look at your personal email. So if you have one, a name to send “WIP”s to would be helpful.
Your patience. Yes, Art is Magickal… But not THAT kind of Magickal. It takes time. If you don’t hear from me for a day or two, I apologize, but I’m busy trying to make progress on your picture. (Yes, yours! And yours only! Would I cheat on you with another customer? I mean, yeah, ignore all that stuff I said earlier about having other customers. I’m here just for you, baby.) If, however, I don’t get in contact with you with something after, say, 4 days, well, please call 911 and tell them “Some anonymous Mr. Sexy Artist-Man I commissioned online hasn’t gotten back to me! I think he’s trapped in a basement slowly starving to death because he fell down a flight of stairs and broke his spleen after saving those poor puppies in the burning building that collapsed on him! HELP HIM!”
7. A few additional pieces of info:
You do not have to pay anything upfront. You get in contact with me, then hope I get back in contact with you. I go through all the “WIP”s and THEN you send me money. After the payment clears I email you the final non-”WIP” images.
When finished, the image is yours. You can post it wherever you want to. You can print it out and sell copies, even. I was paid for my work and now the product is yours. Just please remember to give me credit when people ask “Hey where did you get that super-sexy incredibly awesome picture of your character from?” Oh! I also retain the right to use the image for promotional purposes, but I will never sell your image to anyone else. I’ll go “Yeah, I made this for a person. Is something like this what you would be interested in?” but I promise to only take your money for your idea.
I do NOT keep a list of names to move up into queues as spots open up. Sometimes you have the money for a project right then, but sometimes you don’t, and I do not want to suddenly email you 2 months from now and go “I have a spot open! I’m drawing your picture right now!” Nope. I will make a post saying how many spots I have open on Twitter and do those pictures. When they’re all done I will make a new post saying how many I’ll take on. Just keep watching for posted openings and try again to get in the new queue.
For the RPers: I’ll be signing my RL name to the image, but please feel free to show all your friends and say “Antomas painted this for me! Watch his Tweets for openings so he can paint you, too!” ...Preferably in ALL CAPS in every #Global room you belong to. Often.
My Real Life name is Ric Rastoskey. Yes, my first name is really “Richard” and my last name translates from Croatian to “Son of an Oak Tree.” My parents did not know the etymology of my last name when they inadvertently named me “Dick Hardwood.” It really does explain a lot, though, doesn’t it?
My email is, strangely enough, firstname.lastname@example.org which is the best way to get in touch with me initially. Please, use that. It has a timeline on it WAY more accurate than Twitter’s, making it easier for me to tell who got in my queues first, so asking me on Twitter is just gonna cause mass confusion and hysteria. Y’know, like everything else posted on Twitter. Also, please headline the email you send me as “Art Commission” so I know it’s not spam. Also, that’s the account you’ll be sending money to through Paypal.
Thank you for showing an interest in my work, and I hope to hear from you soon,