Ian Coate
Artist / Illustrator Rates & Conditions

Artwork painting itselfA few words on artists / illustrators.
Not many stop to think what’s involved in being an artist / illustrator. And why should you; it’s not your business. You simply want an original artwork to hang on your wall or help sell your product for the cheapest price possible. As to pricing, well you’ve probably been down to your local supermarket and seen how much a painting sells for, right! And you’ve got a pretty good gauge on how long an artwork should take – you’ve seen those performance artists whip up a finished artwork in less than five minutes. So your original artwork should only take a few hours at most, right?

As an artist / illustrator, I find that it helps to inform clients on the realities of our industry. Those artworks selling at the supermarkets usually are not originals but are mass-produced art pumped out overseas where poor artists are paid cents per hour. As to the time factor, those talented performance artists may blow our minds by finishing an artwork within minutes, but we often forget how long they have practiced behind closed doors to get that one repeated artwork perfected for their performance.

Artist painting self portraitTruth is producing an original artwork for a client is a creative process that is usually time consuming.  Just like you, we artists / illustrators hope to be paid a fair hourly rate. We are trades people just like plumbers and carpenters. When working out our rates we have to factor in our business expenses, administration and marketing, plus pay our taxes. Furthermore, we don’t get paid holidays, sick days or long service. 

Artist / illustrators are not trying to cheat anyone. Nor are we getting rich at your expense. Usually the rates we are charging are just enough to keep the lights on and put a bit into our Super. The successful artists that I know don’t have fancy cars or yachts – they charge just enough to stay in business so they can keep working in the industry they’re passionate about.

Artist and Happy ClientHow much do I charge?
Charge is in direct relation to your requirements, time spent on project and materials used. However, as a general gauge I charge $70 an hour (as stated above – there are many overheads in being a full-time artist / illustrator).  This rate keeps the lights on and allows me to continue producing creative artworks. However, on big commissions or special jobs I am certainly happy to negotiate the rate.

How much time will it take?
Stick Figure and Statue The time it takes to complete an artwork is seldom dictated by the physical size of the artwork but by the detail (the devil is always in the detail). If you want a stickman drawn, I can knock that out in seconds. If you are commissioning a detailed oil painting or elaborate illustration this will obviously take longer; especially if there’s added research or a photo shoot. But as stated: if the commission is very time consuming I am happy to negotiate the hourly rate. (If you want a stick man I am happy to give you a second-rate quote – sorry, terrible pun).

Artist and GalleryCopyright and Intellectual Property:
What a can of worms this is! Unless there is a contract to the contrary, the artist / illustrator always keeps the intellectual property to their creation.  When you commission an illustrator to do an artwork you are paying for a license to use that image for a certain purpose – much like when buying software for your computer.  For further information on this misunderstood topic please visit Illustrators Australia.

Illustrators Australia Website
Illustratorsaustralia.com is an excellent resource for artist / illustrator and those thinking of commissioning one.  It has outstanding advice on what to expect when commissioning an illustrator, standard practices, an illustrator ‘code of conduct’ and helpful info on artists’ and clients’ rights.
Yes, there are other illustrators on the Illustrators Australia website displaying their portfolios.  No, I don’t mind if you choose to go with one of these talented people.  My hope is you find a local illustrator whose style best fits your needs.  Furthermore, when you commission a local Australian artist it’s a win for our industry.

If you wish to contact me with further enquires, please send me an e-mail: PRESS HERE.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For those interested in publishing and commissioning book illustrations, the following rate structure is taken from the 'Australian Society of Authors' website: www.asauthors.org.

FYI - Australian Society of Authors Recommended Book Illustration Rates

Roughs
Roughs
Black and white $65
Colour $95
Finished Black and White Illustration
Finished Coloured Illustration
Quarter page or chapter head $215
Quarter page or chapter head $300
Half page $340
Half page $475
Full Page $455
Full Page $675
Double Page Spread $575
Double Page Spread $900
Cover $1300

These rates are based on A4 projects. For 'one-off' or single illustration paid on a flat fee without royalties add 20 percent... Rates can be increased on detail required, research and conceptual input required. The rates are exclusive of GST. (Check ASA Rates and Conditions. www.asauthors.org).