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Submitted on
April 25, 2007


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How to set up DA commission business-ed

Journal Entry: Wed Apr 25, 2007, 4:28 PM
  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: MP3
  • Drinking: tea
I think I have given enough advices to different people of the same thing I might as well write a journal about it. (So I can be lazy and just pass the link to them later.)

:rose: :rose: This journal is for starters who wants to start their own DA commissioning business. :rose: :rose:


When you have enough watchers and people interested in your art.
When you have a closely-bounded community around your work/gallery

How many is enough I won't say, because it soly depends on the community around you and your work. Some artists can live on one patron, others need to live on millions of them.

If you need more exposure, do fanart. After all, people would type and search famous series, not your name. If they do type your name, you are famous.

If you don't want to do fanart, the other option is draw the cliche-category.
Pirates are selling, draw pirates.
Angels and demons always sell

You get my drift?


1. Setting prices:
if you don't know how to set prices yet, there's a few things that can help you to determine what prices you need to go with:

-Evaluate the competition:
take a look at other artists who are doing commissions and their prices. While evaluating, be critical about your work in a skill-based manner, (forget self-esteem for a while when you want to do business.)

Is my drawing skill high enough?
Is my painting skill high enough?
What's my strength?
What's my weakness?
What can I offer that is my specialty that this other person doesn't offer?

-Hours and efford spent on your part:
how long do you need for each commission on the average, if you set the prices too low, you will discourage yourself from working, if you set it too high, you won't get customers.

I personally go by 10 dollars/hour estimation.

2. Keep things flowing

-Free trials:
Use free offers on commissions to friends or your close-nit watchers to get started. (use what you have)
Submit your commission pieces to DA for advertisement. Commission pieces title should include "Commission" to let your viewers know you do commissions. Include your commissioner's name on the describtion.

- Include an easy access to your commission related information.


1. Be clear, and make it easy to read

-Use spaces.... lots of spaces between words help for easy reading, the faster they can read your journal, the more business you may get.
If your journal is chaotic, you will get more notes of confused commissioners.

- use icons, graphic information to decorate your journal post

2. Keep a list
- Slots- the easiest way to let people know whether you are avaliable, and that you are active in business.
- Keep the contact information somewhere you can review easily.


1. Deadlines or no deadlines: most people actually don't give you a deadline, (then don't ask for one...) but if there are those who do, keep a clear account for that. Set your priority on the commissions in reaction to the urgency of your commissioners.

2. When should the client pay:

Usually the artists in illustration industry can ask for an advance after doing some sketches. Then the rest should be paid off after the work is done.

I do 50/50 portion payment with my clients, 50% advance when I showed them the sketches, 50% final after I am done. But if trust is built between me and the client, often they just pay me in full after I have shown them the sketches.

3. Payment method:
Paypal, money order, check, if you have your own shop set up you can take credit card as well.
Just go to to sign up, it's pretty easy.


If you don't want to do the job since the begining of the request, you are better off not doing it.
(ex: If you hate hentai, don't take hentai work.)

-Choose the jobs that you feel is more suitable, competitable with your personality and quality. (unless you are super desparate.)
If you choose your jobs wisely to fit both your needs, and the clients' needs, you will get good work done, your client will be happy.

While choosing for yourself and your portfolio, you will also build a brand name with your commissions... that will create a steady flow of customers for you as well.

A more detailed article at Elfwood:…


My Golden Rules:

-I don't take requests
-I will propose an art trade to ppl I wish to do art trade with, you may propose to me but with no garrentee that I would take it.
-I take commissions, ( commission is paid request) contact me through notes or e-mail
-I will offer gift art, and take gift art
-I dislike hentai, or yaoi (personal preference)
:star: FAQ
:star: Art element and principle of designs

:star: Do something about your jealousy

:star: How to get started on DA commissions business

:reading: Manga/Anime Tutorials:…

:new: Asher DA interviews:…

:w00t: Join me on collecting 1000 AnimeEyes Project!!

:w00t: How to Get my originals art sent to your door.

:iconcrazy-directors-club: - (inactive) for the love of original arts
:iconcalligraphers: -(inactive) where calligraphy gather(?)
:iconartistshospital: - (active) a place to help DA artists

Club delicated to me: :iconmayshing-fans: (although its not active now... ^^b I still appreciate it.)
Club I am in: :iconnightsfan: :iconsonic-club: :iconpainters:

Companies I work for:
:star: Warriorsoft
:star: Lime-Manga

I hang out at:

My teammates: (on Manga/website projects)
halflingrogue upload-image-here ironsonic TheComplex scribblecore ototo-hika GamerTB
Add a Comment:
ShenaniBOOM Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013

Lot's of great advice here! I looked around on the internet for a service that specifically provides "drawing/painting people in manga form" (not drawing fictional characters but drawing people who want to see themselves in manga form), but suprisingly enough, no one seems to specialize in this. So, I'm gonna do it myself :D

eloisejude Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good tutorial. I know that you need a minimum of exposure to get commissions. And it takes time. I just hope someday I'll be ready enough :)
DevilsBladeAuthor Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
This really helped. I havent really branched out very far but im starting to work on digital work which seems to be the big thing right now. I will put up options for commissions and see who drops in. Not gonna be a money maker but a little here and there is nice till i get going.
Sasuke419 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Student Artist
Your work is amazing. I have a request, could you take a look at a couple of my pictures in my gallery? I'm about to open commissions myself and it's a dream of mine to become a professional cartoonist. I would love to see what you have to think and if at all possible help decide where should I begin my commission price.
msR1MA Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
i have a question i have a paypal and want to start commissions but, i'm unsure how they work with paypal can someone please explain?
mayshing Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Professional Filmographer
give the client ur paypal email account and tell them to just send money to your account on paypal. Its that simple.
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