Commercial Illustration FAQ

How much do you charge for a commercial illustration?


My rates mainly depend on the complexity of the image.

There’s a major difference in work hours between illustrating a single character in front of a simple background vs. multiple figures on a complex background and everything in between.

The second biggest factor in determining the price are the usage rights the author wants to acquire. If you just want to use the image as a book cover, it’s cheaper than if you want to acquire additional rights for merchandise etc. Please see the question below for more information on usage rights.

Please keep in mind I put a lot of love, time, effort, research, and experience into each project. If you already have a strict budget in mind, let me know when you contact me and I can see if we can work something out.

For a very rough ballpark- a full colour bookcover, single character with a simple background, title text and layout included, with limited usage rights, would start at $750.




What kind of info do I need to include in my inquiry?


In order to be able to evaluate if the project is the right fit for me I will need from you: • a short description of what your novel is about • a general idea of what you’d want on the cover • a deadline for completion • how and for what you intend to use the illustration • optional: your budget




Do you work with a contract?


Yes! This makes the commissioning process as smooth as possible and it ensures that everybody is on the same page from the start.




What are usage rights?


When hiring an illustrator it is important to understand that the author does not buy the copyright of the work itself but a license to use the illustration, e.g. as cover art. That means that the author does not have unlimited rights to a cover art merely because he/she commissioned the piece. The license usually applies only for the specific project that the artwork is being created for and can come with restrictions like length of time, medium, size, format, location of use, and more. Big companies usually will want to buy and own all copyrights to the image created and they pay accordingly. For most projects you, as the author, don’t need anything like full ownership of copyrights and can save a lot of money by only buying the usage rights that you really need. Most authors only need the rights to use the image as a book cover for digital e-book publications, physically printed books and additional use for online promotion. If you need to acquire further rights, please tell me so I can accommodate this in my offer.




What does the process look like?


If we agree on content, budget and timeframe I send out my standard art agreement - a contract to keep both sides on the same page. I’ll ask for 50% of the money upfront. After we nail down the cover concept in written form I’ll create a colored sketch for your approval. After receiving the sketch you can then request revisions. These will be limited to minor changes that don’t contain new conceptual input. Please keep in mind that I’m an illustrator, not a visual development artist. I accept a flat fee for painting my take on your initial image description and that includes a little bit of creative freedom. If your project necessitates multiple or unlimited revisions I’m happy to offer you an hourly rate. After the sketch approval I’ll complete the painting and send a low resolution version to you. You can then request minor tweaks once again. Ideally, at this stage, no changes should be required. I try to stay as close to the sketch as possible while painting, so most issues should have been already resolved at the sketch stage. I’ll invoice the remaining 50% after your approval of the final painting. Once I can confirm payment I’ll send you the high resolution file.




Do you do layout as well?


Yes. I was a graphic designer for 10 years before switching to art full time, and I'd be happy to assist with layout and title text.




How long does it take you to complete an illustration?





Have more questions?


I'd be happy to answer them for you! Please email me at Limerry@outlook.com.





COMMISSION FAQ

What does the process look like?


• DETAILS - You provide me with the details of the commission. Please read the 'Details' section of the FAQ.

• PAYMENT - After agreeing to take the commission, I’ll ask for 50% deposit if the order is over $200, or full payment if it is under $200.
• SKETCH - Usually within 48 hours I will send a sketch for your approval. Major changes will need to be taken care of at this stage. Please read the 'Revisions' section of the FAQ. If your project needs multiple or unlimited revisions I’m happy to offer you an hourly rate. • COLOUR - After the sketch approval I’ll complete the painting. Minor changes only at this stage, major changes may cost extra. • DELIVERY - Where applicable I’ll invoice the remaining 50% once the final painting has been approved. When payment has been completed I’ll send the high resolution file.




How long does it take to complete a commission?


Most commissions are completed between 3 and 7 days. This varies depending on my workload, and how complicated the piece is. Group pieces will take longer. You will generally receive a sketch for approval within 48 hours from the time of purchase.

I give you an estimation of turnaround time when you place an order.




Have more questions?


I'd be happy to answer them for you! Please email me at Limerry@outlook.com.




How detailed do my descriptions need to be?


I'm very flexible on the amount of description required. I've had anything from one-line descriptions, to multi page documents that even describe their eyelashes, and everything in between. Its really up to whether you have a specific look in mind for your character, or would like to give me creative freedom. Mood boards and reference images are always super appreciated!
At the very least I would need-

•Race
•Class
•Age
•Skin and hair colour
•Personality (helps me figure out a pose/expression to inject lots of personality into the piece)


Extra things that would be very useful include-

• Body type (tall, short, ripped, skinny, busty, muscular, frail)
• Distinguishing features (freckles, scars, birthmarks, tattoos)
• Clothing/armor/Weapons/specific spells
• Any other important physical features
• Brief backstory - Either the full story or just a short summary to give me an idea of who the character is.




What can I use the commission for?


These are private commissions, which means they are for private use only. You are free to share the artwork online on social media (but please tag me!) or use it in your streams. However you may not use this work for selling merchandise or for publishing. That falls under freelance work and is priced differently, as it requires the purchase of rights to publish/reproduce/print for sale. If you are looking to hire me for freelance work (i.e. book covers) please email me to discuss rates.




What is your revision policy?


I operate on a 'reasonable request' policy. Big changes need to be taken care of at the sketch stage.

I put a lot of care and attention to detail in following the description provided, and I don't get many requests for changes. I don't mind making changes as long as they are reasonable and limited to 2-3 rounds of revisions. If you require large or many changes after the colour stage there may be an additional charge.

If your project needs multiple or unlimited revisions I’m happy to offer you an hourly rate.

Examples of big changes: Changing the pose, changing the entire outfit, redrawing the face. Examples of small changes: Color changes, expression, small outfit details like adding buttons