So, I kinda did my first paid job yesterday.
But hang on, you'd say "but you've done commissions and opening table in cons those are kinda jobs too right?"
Well it's kinda different and I'll tell you why.
As I'm starting to babycrawl into "professional life", there is one thing that I keep being asked about whenever I present stuffs to people.
"How long did it took you to make?"
At first I thought it was just a random curiosity, or for people to feel better because they can probably do it faster than I did.
Well, yesterday I did a job. Not really a job, it was just my teacher in the Masters course asking if there's any student willing to help him with his work. Seeing that I'm the only one with enough proficiency of the program (AfterEffects), I volunteered. It wasn't drawing, it wasn't animating. I got a graphic provided and all I did was doing a very simple masking task and all I needed was time and patience.
Being a self-slaver I am, I got it done in a day. Teacher was satisfied, then asked for my rate. I wasn't sure how much should I ask. I was about to offer 50$ or something but I hesitated because I don't know what's the acceptable fee for that kind of job.
Then I got asked the same question again. "How many hours did it took you?" I briefly calculated and then answered "7 hours". And my teacher immediately offered 140$.
And it clicked. I was getting paid per hour.
My task was valued at 20$ per hour. That's where the number came from. If only I knew I would get paid per hour, I would take my time a bit more
(though I probably can't, knowing the other assignments are piling up).
Now how about commissions?
My most expensive piece was valued at 50$.
Which, according to this new logic, should've taken me only 2 and a half hours.
But it didn't.
It took me a month.
Well, not a whole month, since I didn't work on it all the time. But it definitely was more than 2.5 hours.
I think I got the difference between this job, and commissions. This is a lousy metaphor, but it's like growing beans.
You can grow beans out of fun, and once you get the beans, you can sell it for a fixed price. But that's just how far it goes. No matter how much time, effort and love you put into the bean, you'd still be selling it at that price. You can be extra good and make high-quality beans which would sell for more, but once you run out of it, you would need to grow another.
In the other hand, you can work by taking care of someone else's bean farm. You get paid for how long you're working there. No matter whether it makes good bean or not, or no beans at all, you'd still get paid.
I'm not complaining about commissions here, I'm not saying that it's a bad scam or something. Because truth is, it might still be the only way some of us can make money from doing what they love. The thing is, with this field of "drawing anime", the clients are mostly individuals who just want to see things drawn in your style for the fun of it. They are just like us, normal individuals with limited budget who are not ready to dish out hundreds of dollars for something as trivial as a drawing. They're not generating money from it, and if they do, it probably won't be much.
In the other hand, when you're being commissioned by companies, with bigger amount of money, who will generate money from the work, you would be paid drastically higher. I heard logo commissions are worth 4 digits. And again though, it has nothing to do with your skill, effort, or love. It's more about how big the company you work for is, and whether you're lucky enough to work for one. And unfortunately, I can't think of any reason why big companies would want "animu drawings".
Still, at least when you grow your own beans, you do it "for fun" and you would be able to proudly present it as "your own beans".
So that's just my random thought of the day, remind you that I'm still a beginner in this world, and my view will probably seem immature or noobish for some of you who has already been in the industry.
Also grammar mistakes will exist, please deal with it, it's really hard to let the fountain of thought to flow out while making sure it's grammatically perfect at the same time.
A drawing of 56 of my classmates which I don't upload here because...you know, real people and faces.db.tt/XErHkG9c
Moon Animate is still happening guys, visit them for updates.moonanimate.tumblr.com/
(also spoiler: I'm currently working on a remix of Frozen's Let it Go.)
And check out this funny Youtube video.youtu.be/FUTfzbVA_1Q
Why? Because it's my freaking graduation film that took my whole last 1 year to make.