How much should I expect to pay an artist to draw me as a cartoon?
September 6, 2020 8:00 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to hire an artist to create a little cartoon version of me that I can use for stuff, mostly for my website. A great example of what I'm looking for can be found on this colleague's website - the little dude to the right of Ben Franklin.

Definitely color and an SVG so I can resize myself for different form factors. Maybe one-two rounds of revision max. Only one pose for now, though perhaps I'd come back and pay more for a second or third pose if I wanted it later.

I have no idea what the market rate is for a job like this, and I'm terrified of looking like an asshole for offering too little money when asking around. What should I expect to pay for this?
posted by lazaruslong to Work & Money (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
There are lots of artists who offer this service on Etsy. You can browse there to get a sense of market rate.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:03 AM on September 6, 2020 [3 favorites]

Fiverr is always an option if you sort of know what you want.
posted by Ferrari328 at 8:06 AM on September 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

Seconding Etsy. You'll find people who offer this service and state their rates up-front.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:39 AM on September 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Covatar lets you select from a variety of artists.
posted by mogget at 8:54 AM on September 6, 2020 [5 favorites]

Seconding Fiverr.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:37 AM on September 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yeah Covatar has been making one for me and I have to say I like their process.
posted by jessamyn at 9:43 AM on September 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

and I'm terrified of looking like an asshole for offering too little money when asking around.

which is why it's good to know what you want (it seems that you do) and then ask for quotes.
posted by philip-random at 10:21 AM on September 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thirding Fiverr. I've got a preferred artist that does all my stuff, I choose the Premium option and tip well.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:45 AM on September 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Tumblr is also good for this, with lots of artists having specific rates for bust, half body, full, sketch, colored etc and from like fifteen bucks up.
posted by Iteki at 2:27 PM on September 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I kind of bounced off of Fiverr just due to the massive search results and inconsistent looking quality in the listings. Placed an order with Covatar. Will try them first, then give Etsy a shot if it doesn't work out. Thanks all.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:47 PM on September 6, 2020

(I recommended Fiverr above but after learning about Covatar in this thread I've now placed an order with them too. Thanks for your helpful post!)
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:09 PM on September 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Nice! Yeah, the process seemed so easy, the samples were great, and $35 bucks ($5 of which they are giving to the charity of my choice, Planned Parenthood) seems like a killer deal. I'll leave a final update here re: quality when I get the product for future searchers' reference.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:56 PM on September 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sounds like you have this settled, but for anyone else, Nitrozac charges $95 for a portrait in her classic style, and $35 for a pencil sketch version. These aren't so much caricatures as comic-book-style portraits.
posted by brianogilvie at 6:55 AM on September 7, 2020

I have paid an emerging illustrator $50 each to make a set of 6 original characters like this, for a low budget cause they believed in, and that would give them some exposure. It was low pay but not exploitative pay.

Note that likeness characters (what you’re asking for as it needs to resemble you) are “harder” than original characters.

For a single illustration at that complexity level, with 1-2 revisions (have them show you their pencil sketch and then the file before you finalize, and feel free to ask for things like “can you make the eyebrows darker?”), I would think $100 is fair and $200 is generous.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 7:13 AM on September 7, 2020

From the perspective of someone who regularly commissions artists in the furry fandom, $30 seems on the low side for this kind of work (especially for vector work with SVG as the resulting format). Depending on the artist, I'd expect to pay anywhere from $50-150 for this sort of thing, and I'd agree with those that say it's better/easier to get a quote than to go in with an offer.

The Covatar folks either have a very optimized workflow so that the artist is spending maybe half an hour to an hour per avatar, or they're underpaying. The website quotes $~35 for this work, with $5 of that going to charity, so the most any artist is getting per job is $~30 (and likely less as I'm sure there's some overhead costs that go into this as well). Note that you'll only get a 1000x1000px drawing, and definitely not an SVG from them. Note that they also restrict commercial usage of their art, which may or may not be a consideration for you.
posted by Aleyn at 3:46 PM on September 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

« Older Where can I get fresh pawpaw fruit near Chicago?   |   Smoke detector battery low Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.