Pricing for Freelance Illustration

Pricing for Freelance Illustration - student project

Some of the valuable lessons that this course taught me are: 

1. The MINIMUM I should be charging for my work is $25 / hour.
When I first started taking on commissions, I am embarrassed to say I was taking $15 for something that would take me around 2-3 hours. That's not even minimum wage! I have been slowly raising my prices to be more competitive rates & I find myself even more motivated to take on these projects. I am grateful for the projects that I wasn't paid much for because they gave me a door into the projects that I have now, but if time travel were a thing - I absolutely would go back and tell myself my work was worth WAY more. Currently I charge $50 for pet portraits that often take me 3-4 hours to do, so I will be adjusting this as well. If the client's budget is less than what I charge, I will create a more simplistic piece that takes me less time so that I do not negotiate my value to their budget, but give them what they can afford.

2. Knowing the questions to ask:
"Whats the project? How much time will it take to complete? What am I putting in that will take away from other things that I enjoy doing? What kind of client will I be working with? Will this project be good for exposure / portfolio / resume building? Is this a relationship builder or one stop shop?"

This helps me immensely because I, like the teacher mentioned, am a 'Yes' person who agrees to be a part of any project thrown my way. Often this lands me in an unmotivated / procrastinating state when I take on things that I don't actually *want* to be doing or things that aren't challenging me or even things that I am volunteering for that are "great for exposure" but not great for my wallet. 

3. Understanding the Importance of Having Competitive Pricing: 
Not only am I often underselling my own value / work, but by doing this I am underselling my colleagues' and fellow artists' work. This was an incredibly important lesson for me because I often am trying to do more for others & put my own value on hold- but when I realized the harm that is caused by underselling work to others, I immediately knew I needed to raise my own prices. 


I gained a lot of information beyond these three points from this course. I appreciate the lesson structure and quality of this class and look forward to implementing the lessons into my work!