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Make a living with Commissions (Part I) by Rotarr

I'm just curious about your thoughts when people (try to) make a living with "Furry"-Art.
Is it naive to think it could work in long terms? Do you even have experience with this maybe?
And what if the major part of Commission is Adult related? What would would "Mum and Dad" say?!

I know some Artists who DO make a living with this kind of art, and this for years already... I still don't know what's the "popular" opinion about this. I can only see it as emergency income when in need! Or additional income to a regular job.
But maybe I'm wrong?
(I don't say i want to do that now, just want to think about all the options possible atm)

Make a living with Commissions (Part I)

Rotarr

19 January 2014 at 13:41:51 MST

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  • Link

    I've seen more than a few people make it work in both the long and the short term. But much like any self-enterprising venture, it will require a fair amount of dedication, flexibility, and planning.

    • Link

      Yeah, You have to tread it like a real job, not just a hobby.

  • Link

    To be honest with you, the "furry" community is very strong and a good market for artists at the time. Kind of like those who make money off of "fan ponies" from MLP. I think it actually has to do with the clientele that you are trying to reach. Branching out is really important in my opinion but to answer the question to if I think it's silly to try and make a living off of it, no, not really. Anthros have existed and appealed to people since ancient times. I personally only do it as a side hobby.

  • Link

    Well as far as my aspirations go, I wouldn't say I'd want to make a "living" on my art
    More specifically, my real goal is to become a furry graphic novelist
    I want a career in media arts and animation, which is what I'm going to school for, but being a graphic novelist is more of an "on the side" kinda thing, ya know?
    Just sharing my thoughts

  • Link

    Naja, es kommt echt darauf an, wie groß die Nachfrage ist.
    Bei der Zeichnerin Kayla scheint es jedenfalls seit 2 Jahren gut zu funktionieren, aber sie hat auch ne derbe große Nachfrage und auch entsprechende Preise.
    Wenn man nur davon leben möchte ist immer ein Risiko mit verbunden, da die Nachfrage auch urplötzlich abnehmen kann und man dann dasteht ohne Einkommen.
    Zumindest einen Teilzeit- oder Nebenjob sollte schon noch vorhanden sein.

    • Link

      Nachfrage ist da, aber ja...mir wäre das ganz ohne festen Job wohl auch zu unsicher X_x

      • Link

        Kann ich eigentlich so unterschreiben, zumindest für den Start, denn der Weg ist hart und lang, die Konkurrenz gross. Wenn man die Monatszahlen wälzt und man Buchhaltung auf den Commis führt sieht man relativ schnell ob es sich finanziell lohnt oder man das zweite Lohnstandbein behalten sollte. Eines ist klar und viele erwähnen es bereits; Der freie Markt ist zwar sehr erfüllend - man kann auswählen an was man gerne arbeiten möchte - aber auch entsprechend hart, anstrengend und fordernd. Und wenn man mal einen taucher hat, wo grad nicht viel oder im schlimmsten Fall gar nichts läuft ist es äusserst frustrierend und beängstigend.

        Was mir in deinem Fall auffällt ist, dass du eigentlich beruflich bereits schon Branchenverwandt verwurzelt bist. Du bist Artist en Residence für einen Spieleentwickler, da ist der Sprung in das Freelance Geschäft teilzeitlich sicherlich machbar um einen guten Übergang zu schaffen. Zudem ist es halt auch so, dass du so gemeinsame Berufsressourcen und -bereiche bedienst und abdecken kannst. Allerdings spreche ich hier von allgemeinen Illustrationstätigkeiten sei es in der Spielebranche oder sonst auf dem freien Illustrationsmarkt, nicht spezifisch von Furry Kram.

        Meine Erfahrung ist halt, dass Genre & Fantasy Illustrationen (da gehört Furry Art Work auch dazu) schlichtweg nicht immer für ein regelmässiges Einkommen sorgen. Es hilft auch nicht, dass mMn die Preisdecke viel zu niedrig ist im Vergleich mit dem professionellen Illustrationsmarkt oder anderen Genres. Da heisst halt ein entsprechender Knick im regelmässigen Einkommen vieleicht auch schnell mal, dass am Schluss vom Monat entscheidene Mittel fehlen. Sobald aber Aufträge oder gar regelmässige Freelancemandate aus verwandten Industriebereiche da sind (Bücherillustration oder Videospieleentwicklung asl beispiele) sieht die Sache schon entsprechend besser aus.

        Abschliessend ziehe ich auch immer gerne den Vergleich von dem Europäischen Markt zum Amerikanischen. Convention Tradition, wo viele Artists entsprechend währen drei oder vier Tagen regelmässig Einkommen generieren haben wir hier in Europa noch nicht wirklich. Beschränkt man sich auf den Markt in seinem Sprachgebiet ist es noch karger. Es ist entsprechend hart und auch anstrengend sich zu etablieren. Hut ab vor jedem, der diesen Weg beschreiten möchte, aber Ich bin der festen Meinung es mit Arbeit in verwandten Industriebereichen oder halt mit einer regulären Teilzeitanstellung zu ergänzen.

        • Link

          Das ist mal ein wirklich wichtiger und interessanter Kommentar. Danke dafür.
          Werd ich auf jeden Fall im Hinterkopf behalten! :)

  • Link

    If you can put out a constant stream of content, it seems reasonable you can live off of Furry art. But the popular opinion is that it won't be a life of luxury and that you should seek professional work in the art industry that doesn't amount to vastly underpriced work in the community.
    People seem to treat this as, like you said, a side thing they do for extra cash and for community participation.

    With comics and animation though, you can keep doing a ton of furry art and reach all sorts of audiences, so that might be a thing to keep in mind. Ian Jay is publishing a bunch of cool material that is pretty furry-ish, so you could talk to him if you're interested in going that direction!

    • Link

      Thanks for the tipp! I will check it out for sure...I'm just a n00b with comics sadly XD (time to change that!)

  • Link

    Depending on who it is...it'll either work or not work. Most of the artist I've seen who claim their only income is art and that art is their job, don't treat it like a job. That's my only beef with it. I think if it's treated as a job, then it could def. work.

  • Link

    I've seen many artists try and do it - some are able to do it successfully. Not being an artist myself, I don't know the juicy details. However, I think there are some common elements to the artists that are able to do it successfully:

    1. Be predictable. Do your streams or commissions on a timetable or set schedule so people can find you regularly
    2. Do it like a job, not a hobby. That means decide your going to stream or offer X commissions on a regular basis. Not just do what you feel like doing. Not saying that things can't happen or change, but see #3.
    3. COMMUNICATE! Let people know what you're doing, when and why. If you miss a week, it's often not a problem for many but you have to let people know.
    4. Offer ways to boost your income. For example, let people upgrade images after you've drawn them, do auctions when demand is there. Try and make some of your art special to command higher prices (like 2-character adult as an example).

    Finally, if you have the time and the motivation, give it a try :-) No harm done in trying!

    • Link

      Thanks for your useful hints :) I sure would tread it like a job. All or nothing, i don't like halfassed jobs XD
      Big problem for me are streams, since my system can't handle me painting and streaming at the same time... Maybe i can fix that sometimes X_x
      Besides that, as i said - all or nothing. I'm currently working fulltime at a gaming company. And it's really hard to make Commissions besides my regular job in my little freetime. So I would have to change my regular job setting to be able to offer commissions. That's why i'm a little bit unsure about this.

      • Link

        Yeah, I understand.

        What I see pretty often is furry artists try to do commissions in their "free time" and it's SO easy to get backed up. Or maybe they just need the money and take on more than they should. I don't think it's malicious, but I think it's easy to do because I've seen several good artists I work with have it happen. Then once they get backed up, they have trouble delivering, people get pissed, word gets around and it gets ugly. That's the whole reason I suggested streaming as a way to avoid that. However, traditional commissions are good if you can manage your time well and can fit in a little time here and there to get things done.

        I think streaming is a good way to consistently make good money. Commissions can be as well, but as a commissioner, it is more difficult to sell me on a $200 commission I may get in a month (or two, or three or ....) than it is a $50 commission I get in a couple hours.

        But, yes you'd have to figure things like a computer upgrade and adjusting your time to be able to do art when there is a big enough audience out there to support you. But like I said, you might want to try and figure out a way to just test the waters, see how things go before jumping in with both feet, yes?

      • Link

        Yeah, I understand.

        What I see pretty often is furry artists try to do commissions in their "free time" and it's SO easy to get backed up. Or maybe they just need the money and take on more than they should. I don't think it's malicious, but I think it's easy to do because I've seen several good artists I work with have it happen. Then once they get backed up, they have trouble delivering, people get pissed, word gets around and it gets ugly. That's the whole reason I suggested streaming as a way to avoid that. However, traditional commissions are good if you can manage your time well and can fit in a little time here and there to get things done.

        I think streaming is a good way to consistently make good money. Commissions can be as well, but as a commissioner, it is more difficult to sell me on a $200 commission I may get in a month (or two, or three or ....) than it is a $50 commission I get in a couple hours.

        But, yes you'd have to figure things like a computer upgrade and adjusting your time to be able to do art when there is a big enough audience out there to support you. But like I said, you might want to try and figure out a way to just test the waters, see how things go before jumping in with both feet, yes?

      • Link

        The big question is: Do you like your current job? Is it something stable? Does it pay well?
        Personally, I wouldn't risk to loose a job to become independant. I live in Belgium, where, with social laws and things, artists aren't very well considered.
        A possibility is there, still: if it's possible, begin with a part-time job, saving 2 days a week for commissions and artwork for example. And then, if it's working fine, go on.
        But I think, with your skills, you can expand from furry art to good fantasy art with more interesting concepts. But hey, furry smut pays I guess...

        • Link

          Yes, I made a plan like this and will give it a try. My current job is actually quite good, so it would be stupid to give it up just like that. I will reduce my hours and then see how it goes :)

  • Link

    Personally, I would also like to make living on a hobby because this way I wouldn't need to actually "work" ever. :D

    A serious answer: as long as someone is paying for the stuff you draw, you can get enough money to have a more or less stable life. If you work together with Wolfy, you can have a more stable (and slightly better) life. People like art, and will always need it. Art is one of the few ting the humanity can be proud of.
    You have to draw adult stuff/porn - as long as you comfortable with it - I don't see any problem, it's just art. It only depends on your parents if they also can accept it but it's good to have a clean portfolio too, and it also helps if you want a better paid art related job.
    If you actually want to live on your art then you need (probably already have) a "commissioner base" that you can expect to pay for you, more or less regularly. Then try to get new people. If I may say something about a third artist here: Shysiren has become more popular when she started to stream often. Being an artist as good as you are is sometimes a bit intimidating for the regular people, it helps if you are easy to reach and I think streams are perfect for this.
    I hope my opinion helped, at least a bit.

  • Link

    My following hasn't taken off like it has with more popular artists, but I will tell you I have paid my rent and bills on more than one occasion with commission money. I have a part time job to stabilize myself financially, but honestly, if I didn't offer commissions, I'm not sure I'd be able to support myself.

    So to answer your question plainly, yes it is practical and possible, especially since there is always a demand for gifted artists, even if that demand isn't always incredibly high. But I warn you it does take a lot of dedication and an ability to effectively communicate and work with the public. It takes a fair deal of organization as well, depending on how you as an individual work.

    • Link

      Thanks for sharing your experiences on the topic :)

  • Link

    I make an OK living off just furart, though I'd love to branch out into more fantasy and character development later on and even comics.
    I actually was the only income for my family of four for 3 years. First 2 years was harsh yes. This last year into this year (4 years total, 2 being full time freelance) I have actually made more money than I ever have with any low income based job I've worked all my life(being paid 7.50usd)
    It is a sustainable job if A. You live in an area that is lower living costs and B. you manage your self well enough.

    You actually have to work a normal schedule, managing your time and commissions just like a job would. So you have to be your own boss/employee
    You have to manage your income well enough as well.
    You have to market yourself well too. Don't give up! Good customer service is also a big factor.
    Know tax laws in your area! This is important! Seek accountant advice if necessary.

    I've managed to work 5-6 days a week, 5 hours or so a day with the current way i work and turn out a livable income enough to support most bills one might have ect. For a family of four it is harder, a lot harder. But for say an individual to make what I do, they could easily live off of it.

  • Link

    I'm hoping to make a living with furry art. From what I see with it, once you find the perfect nitch within it you are made in the shade.

  • Link

    My thoughts on that are simple, because i thought about that a long time already: It is possible and viable, but if you make art your work, what will your hobby and relaxation be?

    • Link

      I can separate "drawing for fun" and "drawing for work" very well. I do this all my life already... Problem is just...we also should do sports XD And drawing all day isn't THAT healthy.
      I should get a hobby. srly.

      • Link

        Yeah I can see that, splitting DRAWING in drawing for work and drawing for fun- can take a lot of time in the end, that is needed for other tasks maybe? Either way, I think its a decision that has to be well planned and tought, i dont think should someone freelance just like that- I believe you would need some sort of established clientbase already- i know that from my father who is a freelancing producer with own music studio- he creates and balances dvd-blueray and audiotapes for concerts and musicians. The problem is, he works 12-16 hours a day. He can NOT afford to turn any client down, because they could always find someone who is available and cheaper- so basically he is in working mode 24/7 because someone COULD come up to his doorstep and ask something, wich they will likely never do again if you are not available. It can kill free time, social life and everything else, until you are famous/skilled/asked enough to be able to afford to turn people down.

        so there is the costefficiency/quality thing, and if you play wrong, you may end up stranded.

        then again, you are poular, people want art from you, and the fandom consistently grows. in the end you can only try- chances are it could go wrong, then again chances are you do just fine, seeing from ho appreciated your stuff is i honestly dont think you would have much trouble getting along- but i would consider expanding your market, not only into furry art, but general art- you never know who you meet, and its always good to have several supporting pillars in your plans and expenses

  • Link

    The one thing holding me back from attempting to make my primary income on my art is that in my area I have to do my taxes on my self-employed jobs. I want to be able to pay rent, car insurance/car payments, credit cards, etc. without the IRS up my butt. I have to give the government about 30-40% of my income and quarterly payments throughout the year if I'm self-employed, and I know I would lose business if I raised my prices by 30-40%. And let's face it....artists are underpayed in this fandom :/

    It's much easier for me to find a part time job with decent pay and do art on the side for pocket cash.

    I think if you're going to make a living off of art you should branch out and utilize sites such as redbubble.com, etc. make business cards, promote promote promote. Also keep in mind that business may not be steady. You may find that you have less business during a certain period of the year and you must prepare for that. Be over-friendly(you seem very friendly already!) so people keep their interest when you're closed for commissions

  • Link

    Art has been my primary source of income for about 3 years. I make just under minimum wage where I am but that's still enough to support myself since I also have a cheap living situation. Most of my income I get to spend on stuff for myself. :)

  • Link

    I've lived on my art for 15 years now. I've had jobs but found them to be more work and energy-sapping than they're worth. With art, I can work 5-10 hours a day, then take however many days off I need or want. I also have more time to use my energy on homesteading, my pets, gardening, swimming, going to the beach, and taking random road-trips :) I don't think I can imagine life without having that freedom and time to put into my passions. At this point I'm so spoiled that the very thought of putting in 8+ hours a day in a job I have no passion for makes me feel sick. I have been considering going to school just for the fun/education of it, but this is how I prefer to live, and I make more than enough to pay for my own home and the bills and food for myself, my family and pets :) But it's not a job I would recommend to someone who isn't good at saving money and using it as efficiently as possible. I've built up a decent savings as well on my job (or as some would put it, "job", even though it sure as hell is a job just like anything else!) :)

  • Link

    It can be done as long as someone has a steady fanbase of people willing to commission them. The only thing I would warn someone about is, be careful about getting burnt out. It happened to me after 3 years of living off of commissions and I struggled very badly with it, stopping making art completely until just recently I managed to get back into it. Art can change how you feel about it once it's your job and not just your hobby. Just make sure it doesn't put out your passion for art. =)

  • Link

    BNe consistent, be excellent, and be pleasant to customers to a point, and you should be able to make a small living at it. The only person I know who actually got rich from Furry art, started sexyfur.com,a paid furry porn site of superior quality art. It can happen, you just have to approach it in a business like, fashion.. Cultivate your fans and keep up a consistent and frequent communication with them. It's similar to makeing a living as a web comic artist.. Being consistend and good quality over the long haul.

  • Link

    If you treat art like a job, you can make a living with it. But treat it like a job. it's WORK. It will take a lot of your time, and you'll have to make sure you set some solid rules for yourself. People failing at any self-employment and freelance work are usually the ones working for peanuts. The moment you're settling for less than you should, you get even less than you deserve.

    "Furry" art or not makes no difference - you just have to, once again, treat it like a job if you want to make a living.

    • Link

      I'm actually doing art for a living - at a gaming company. But being an employed artist is quite different then the freelance approach. Of course it's secure, but also stiff and you are more like a maschine doing your daily workload and that's it. it basically means stable income - for less freedom.

      • Link

        My point is that freelancers also have to discipline themselves into having a daily workload, or it's not going to sustain you. :)

  • Link

    Okay don't worry about the content you draw when you're making a living off it. Many professionals outside furry land draw for porn sites or do erotic illustrations. Only worry about it when it bothers YOU personally, if it doesn't bother you... Then it's okay!
    I don't see people as professional furry artists but artists that happen to also make money in the furry community. It's good to have clients from a wide range of interest pools as well as keeping your own work fresh. Doing this like all self employment takes motivation and control. Setting hours, setting days off, keeping paper work, filing your receipts... etc
    I have to say being self employed I get LESS days off than I did for regular employment.
    There are a number of illustrator market books out there that have good advice in them about how to set up your business. Just because it's furry content doesn't mean an artist should be treated less professionally or paid less than a non furry content :)

    • Link

      Thank you very much for this comment. I have to admit that it's programmed in my brain that if i draw something that I enjoy, It's automaticaly less worthy and not "professional" - I really hate that thinking and i'm working to get rid of it.

      • Link

        You're welcome! :)
        That's a very common hang up for artists to have when they start treating art as a job. I think because of art classes/schools we mix up learning skills by drawing subjects that are unpleasant for us with what we'll do professionally. Most work you get hired for will be what you excel at, if you excel at it chances are it's something you enjoy drawing! Understanding that element will make you have less guilt about it. :)

  • Link

    I think a lot of it depends on your living expenses versus your amount of demand for your art, as well as how FAST you can produce said art. I can live /comfortably/ on $250 per week. (comfortably meaning i can easily pay the bills and buy groceries, and if i save what's left over every week I can save for some nice things). My demand and prices are now at a level where I can get at LEAST minimum wage for my country, which is $15 per hour. But if I work hard, I can make about $20 per hour. So, for me, I only need to do the equivalent of about 12 hours a week on furry art. Just one large full detail image with a crazy high detailed background is a weeks worth of pay for me, and because of this, I can spend the entire week on 1 image if I want. Or I can do timed 3hour speedpaints, and if I did 2 3hr speedpaints a day over 2 days, I'm already there. I am a very fast artist nowadays, at least with speedpaints. But even when I feel I am going slow, many people are like "omg you're so fast, it'd take me an hour just to get that far ;D;" So if I worked hard enough for 3-4 days a week, I could easily make more than my minimum budget of $250 and feel like I'm rich! RICH!!! (if you call $400-$500 pw rich XD)

    I think the thing with the furry fandom is, it's HARD to charge minimum wage for your art, especially if you're a slower artist than me. That's where DEMAND comes in. If you can only charge $30 for something that takes you 6 hours, you might as well go work at McDonalds. If you can charge $60 for something that takes you 6 hours, then if that's close to minimum wage you're doin OKAY. Probably as an "emergency income" or "side income" thing. But if you can charge $100 for something that takes you 6 hours, then you're all good! You could probably work it as a part or full time job, at least until you could raise your prices or find a higher paying job.

    Also, I don't think adult work matters too much, although I can understand the "parents" thing. I think THAT depends on whether you're still living at home or not. Some people can be making money off their furry art at home, but their parents are still in their ear about "get a real job! Stop with your silly drawings!". My parents don't care. Heck, I hadn't even started drawing porn until 2 days ago XD I did some "sexy nude pinup" type stuff though, and my mum just called it "risque" XD But I wasn't living at home anymore when I /started/ furry art. My mums side of the family is very art-orientated, and my mum knows working art as my job has been my dream career since I was 6, and she's done everything she can to help make it happen. So for me, drawing furry porn isn't an issue! But yeah I do know how for some people, especially those still at home, would have issues with that. The way I introduced my parents to anthro though was basically to show them some nice G rated more "fantasy" type images, like from goldenwolf and dark natasha, and say "i do stuff like this. and y'know, werewolves, looney toons and disney type stuff. There's a big market for it and people want to pay me to draw their animal characters!" and when relating it to something they know and like, it helps make it less creepy XD

    Sooo if you're someone looking to make a living off anthro art, I think you've probably got the demand to put the right prices up, I think it just kind of depends on the speed you can draw at/how many drawings you need to do per week to survive. Calculate all your weekly/monthly expenses, then add a hundred or so dollars on top of that, and see what it comes to. If you can EASILY pump out enough commissions per week/month to meet that minimum, then you should be able to :3 (at least until you found a better job, if that's what you want). If you'd have to work 60 hours a week to meet your minimum, don't do it! You'll wreck your wrist like I did. If it takes you that many hours a week, raise your prices so you can lower your work hours :3 You want your hours to try and work out to be an average full time job, or less. long periods of time with art can do a lot of damage to your wrist (and back!) so you also need to make sure you take plenty of breaks and a full lunch break every day! :3

    Errr I hope my novel wall of text has been helpful? XD

    • Link

      It is very helpful :) Thank you for your insight!

      Also made me think about my situation from a different perspective. I already have a job where i draw all day. And the payment is very good. I don't live on minimum vage and I just don't know if i could handle the stress to loose this security.
      But on the other hand...I really want to draw what i LIKE to draw too! (At my work i have to work in a style i don't like on content i don't really like...and it drains my energy) So...I think i will try to take it slow and just split my working hours and give the anthro-art a try :) It can't hurt.

      Other thing is...You really have "your thing" in the fandom. It's beautiful anthro-art. People come to you to commission that. I on the other hand don't really have my own "genre" or something i'm known for. I have to watch out so i don't end up doing something i don't like in the end again. (It's good and bad to be flexible ._.)

      Anyway...just some thought i had after reading your post ^_^
      Thank you again for the comment! Much to think about...nods

      • Link

        Yeah that's the thing about being a professional paid artist, if it's not furry art you're doing or you don't get hired by your dream company (say, you really like drawing high fantasy but you can't get hired by Blizzard) it can be a boring and hard job, being forced to draw stuff you don't really like/want to do. I do get commissions like that from furries sometimes, just the content or the character aren't really my thing. So, in a way I feel very lucky to get a pretty good amount of money for my furry work which I enjoy drawing. I suppose that's the "artist dream" though, not just being paid for your work, but also being paid to draw what you LOVE.

        Still, it's great that you have a good paying art job, despite the content not really being what you enjoy :) But yeah, it'd be cool if you could do some furry art on the side ^^ Security in a job/with money is very important though. So I guess be sure to keep that in mind and just see how you go slowly getting into more furry work ^^ Good luck! You deserve to have lots of money thrown at you!!

  • Link

    I think whether people perceive an Artist for any medium boils down in how they perceive you as a person. Take two people who are into ceramics, one is a really terrible and unlikeable person they'll likely look down on them and say "They can only do ceramics!" while someone who's really approachable and friendly is more likely to be held in better esteem, even if they also only do ceramics people wouldn't hold it against them, some may even believe given their skill and personal talents (Like not offending people) shows they could do anything they set their mind to.

    Personally, I think you as an illustrator fall into the latter category and can do anything related to what you've learned to do, and if it's furry art I'd like to imagine the community would support you; not just by liking your artwork, but financially too. (Speaking of which I need to write down people's prices, as I want art. o3o )

    • Link

      That's a good point i didn't think about yet. Thanks for your input :D

  • Link

    I think like any other career, it requires a lot of hard work and dedication if one wants to 'make it'. The artists that I see who are able to support themselves (and even a family) entirely off of their art are ones that have worked very hard at developing both their artistic skills and the business-side of being a commissioned artist.

    If a person can make a living doing something that they find enjoyable, then I wish them all the success in the world.

  • Link

    In general. And I see you have a bunch of comments here already. Freelancing means No benefits and No vacations. It -is- possible, but it means working almost every day, and that's pretty normal for the life style. The most difficult part, at least for me, is friends and family often have a hard time understanding why you can't make it to that birthday party or don't have time to hang out or play a game with them or what have you.

    It takes a lot of fortitude, but it's totally possible.
    I don't recommend it however.
    It's very stressful, and because you don't have job benefits when accidents happen, like say an injury, the cost can be astronomical and has to come directly out of your pocket. You also lose the safety net of regular income, (though my fiance makes up for this by working a second job) so if any little thing happens to the car or a computer it can hit you harder than it would someone else. It's very feast & famine. You're either doing well, or you are at rock bottom. And it moves along in a sort of roller coaster.

    That said, it really goes back to that top bit. You never stop working and there are no weekends. (not saying you don't find time off sometimes, it just isn't often) It's really easy to get burnt out when you work all the time.

    Much luck!

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      Your points are my biggest problem with the whole thing. I am very dedicated when it comes to my job. And if i would work freelance, i could NEVER EVER relax. I would constantly think about work... So i would need a very good plan to not burn out fast. I thought of keeping a regular job with less hours and set specific days for commission work or something like that.
      Good (and bad) thing is that in austria it's required to have a insurance. Positive site is that if something bad happens, you are save and will not drown in hospital bills - bad thing is that you have another costly monthly thing to pay besides food, tax, rent and other bills.
      I guess it all comes down to good planing if I really want to step into this kind of business (again...I worked as a graphic designer like this for some time, so i know it's super stressfull! But clients in that field are very shitty...you can really run after them for the money they owe you -_-)

      But anyway - thank you very much for your input ^_^

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        You're welcome! I think you sound pretty level headed and realistic about it so I'm sure you'll be fine whatever you do! <3

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    Uffz, schwierige Frage, weil irgendwie ziemlich viel zusammen kommt, das man irgendwie bedenken müsste. Ich für meinen Teil betreibs nur um quasi mein 'Taschengeld' ein bissl aufzumotzen, damit Cons/sonstige Dinge, die ich haben will nicht so sehr ins Geld gehen und ich (da ich noch studiere und daher auch noch Geld von meinen Eltern bekomm) meinen Eltern damit weniger auf der Tasche liege bzw. sie nicht um Geld anschnorren muss (das hasse ich xD)

    -> Man muss berühmt/bekannt genug sein, um gewisse Preise verlangen zu dürfen und sich sicher sein zu können, dass immer genügend Leute bereit wären, das zu zahlen (gehen wir mal von einem NettoEinkommen von 1400€ bei einem normalen Job aus, inklusive Versicherung, Pension, etc. wären das im Selbstständigen Bereich sehr viele Commissions, die man zeichnen müsste, da ja dann Versichung und so dazukommen) - ich weiß von einem Freund, der Selbstständig ist, der immer wieder Zahlungsprobleme hat und auch schon an der Privatinsolvenz vorbeigschlittert ist.

    -> man muss wohl auch der Typ dazu sein. Ich kann halt da nur von mir aus ausgehen, dass es mir z.B schwer fällt, zu zeichnen wenn ich gerade absolut nicht in der Laune bin, weil es dann wirklich nix wird. Aber das ist wohl eher mein Problem g Dennoch würde es mir ziemlich im Weg stehen, sollte ich sagen wollen, ich würde davon leben wollen

    -> Wie schon bereits iwo weiter oben erwähnt - die Akzeptanz deines Umfeldes. Ich glaube, wenn man es einmal soweit geschafft hat, dann gehts. Das ist beispielsweise auch noch so ein Punkt, der bei mir ein Problem ist, dass wenn ich Freunden sage, ich kann mich gerade nicht mit ihnen treffen, weil ich arbeiten muss...dann würde sogar ein Job bei McDoof mehr angesehen werden, als die Tatsache, dass ich zeichne. Bei meinen Eltern hats doch 2-3 Jahre gedauert, bis sie gesehen haben, dass sich damit wirklich Geld machen lässt. In meinem Fall vielleicht noch nicht so viel, aber ich konnte zumindest mal mit stolz geschwollener Brust heimkommen und sagen "Hey, ich hab 250€ bekommen." :) Wenn es irgendwie nicht so richtig akzeptiert wird von Menschen, die einem wichtig sind, kann das irgendwie auch ein demotivierender Fakt sein.

    Alles in allem ist man da dann aber denke ich doch besser dran, wenn man Künstler sein will, sich einen ordentlich bezahlten Job zu holen, bei dem es sich wirklich auszahlt, denn selbst wenn man 100€ für eine Commission zahlt, ist es proportional gesehen zu dem, was man geliefert bekommt, immer noch viel zu wenig. auch wenn im Furry-Fandom schon ordentlich viel dafür gezahlt wird. Auf Animexx z.B gibts Leute, die für eine A4 Copic Commission 20€ verlangen und immer noch gesagt bekommen, dass sie zu teuer sind, da kommts einem dann schon hoch o,o

    So, und nun sorry für den deutschen Post, aber ich hab grade nicht das Hirn, alles auf Englsich zu schreiben xD weiter Aktions- und Ruhepotenziale von Nervenzellen lernen geht

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      Ein Paar Punkte sind in meinem Fall gar nicht mehr so relevant:

      -> Ich kann immer zeichnen - wenn ich MUSS. Ich kann auch sehr gut zwischen "Zeichnen aus Spaß" und "Zeichnen weil ARBEIT" unterscheiden. Wenn ich schlechte Laune hab geht das Zeichnen zum Spaß halt gar nicht. Aber Arbeiten muss man halt einfach rechtzeitig abgeben, ob man will oder nicht.
      Es ist sogar so, dass ich mich manchmal sogar überstresse und gar nicht mehr abschalten kann und mich mit Arbeit von 'anderen' Problemen ablenke. Aber ja. Wie du sagtest. Das ist halt einfach Typenabhängig XD

      -> Akzeptanz meines Umfelds ist für mich auch eher weniger das Problem. Ich verdiene mein Geld schon mein ganzes Leben mit Grafiken. Und mein Umfeld hat das auch nie in Frage gestellt. Nur bei Porn wird sichs wohl aufhören. Aber in meinem Fall hat meine Familie auch kein Interesse daran zu sehen was ich ihnen nicht zeigen will. Aber wenn das Haupteinkommen nur durch Porn generiert wird, könnte es früher oder später schon rauskommen XDD

      Die anderen Aufgeführten Probleme sind in der Tat auch relevant für mich. Ich frage mich halt ob es überhaupt möglich ist auf dauer von Furry-Commissions zu leben. Und ich glaube nicht, dass das der beste Weg ist. Nebenbei noch was auf zu bauen ist sicher nicht doof XD Sagen wir mal so. Allein schon weil die Bürokratie für Freiberufler in Österreich absolut abscheulich ist. Uh. Das hatte ich schon ein Jahr so. Ganz schön ärgerlich c,c

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    Huhu,

    interessante Frage. Diese Überlegung hat mich in letzter Zeit oft beschäftigt, einfach aus der Notwendigkeit heraus und ich muss wirklich sagen, dass der Verkauf von Bildern für mich nur eine Übergangslösung und/oder eine Aufbesserung des Taschengeldes wäre. Ich kenne Leute, die selbstständig ihr Geld verdienen (nicht unbedingt mit Furry Art, eher allgemein als Künstler oder auch als Techniker) und wie oft diese Leute alleine im letzten Jahr so unglaublichlich dreist beschissen wurden, hat mich wirklich erschreckt. Nicht nur von irgendwelchen Firmen oder Einzelpersonen, die was sparen wollten, sondern auch von Leuten, mit denen man zehn Jahre lang fest angestellt zusammengearbeitet hat. Leute, mit denen man eine Firma aus den Boden gestampft hat. Und sobald man es kann, werden die Anwälte rausgekramt, um selbst ein bisschen Geld einzubehalten.
    Für mich persönlich hoffe ich daher sehr, dass ich eine feste Stelle als 2D Artist irgendwo finde und wenns für Spiele wie "Barbies Ponyhof" sein muss oder die zigste Kopie von Farmville. Denn alleine würde ich wirklich untergehen. (Nicht zuletzt auch wegen einem gewissen Mangel an Disziplin hust.)

    Ich denke, um Erfolg zu haben, besonders in einem kreativen Bereich, vor dem kaum jemand wirklich angemessen Respekt hat, muss man in erster Linie der Typ dafür sein. (Oder auf gut deutsch "Eier haben".) Man muss sich durchsetzen können, einen harten Magen haben, braucht auch ein gewisses Startkapital als Grundlage und enorm viel Selbstdisziplin. Er muss sich auch selbst gut vermarkten können; es reicht da nicht einfach nur gut zu sein mit dem was man tut. Natürlich hat das im Bereich Furryart nochmal eine andere Größenordnung als als Illustrator für Bücher, Artist für Spiele, also Dienstleister für die richtig großen Firmen. Im Fandom besteht deine Zielgruppe in erster Linie aus Privatpersonen, die sich atemberaubende Bilder in die Wohnung hängen wollen von einer Welt, die sie im realen Leben so nicht finden werden. Einer Welt der Fantasie. Seien es nun große epische Bilder oder einfach 1000 Versionen seiner Fursona, weil man selbst eben nicht so zeichnen kann, wie man es gerne hätte. Oder auch Porn, auch das gehört dazu (auch wenn ich persönlich mir das jetzt nicht an die Wände pappen würde. Und wenn jemand ausschließlich das zeichnet, frage ich mich dann doch gelegentlich, ob er daran noch Spaß hat, aber das ist seine Sache.)

    An dieser Zielgruppe sehe ich aber auch eine gewisse Schwierigkeit was die Ansprüche angeht. Wenn du keinen Namen hast, bist du erstmal gar nichts, egal wie gut oder schlecht du arbeitest. Wenn du keinen semirealistischen oder realistischen Stil anstrebst oder etwas ähnliches, sondern dich mehr auf "niedlich" spezialisierst, hast du es auch schon ein bisschen schwerer (zumindest ist das bisher so mein Eindruck gewesen.)
    Und wenn du gut bist, einen kleinen Kreis von Bewunderern hast und man einen Fuß in die größeren Preisklassen setzen will mit mehr als 2 Euro Stundenlohn, muss man gegen Leute wie Alector Fencer, Dark Natasha und wie sie alle heißen ankommen. Das ist ein extrem harter Konkurrenzkampf.

    Natürlich hat man das auch im professionellen Bereich in der Spielebranche, aber da sind die Bedürfnisse meiner Meinung nach unterschiedlicher. Furs zeichnen nicht unbedingt oft für kleine Kinder oder eher nüchterneres für gestresste Manager und Gelegenheitsspieler. Oder einfach nur eine Tonne Buttons pro Woche. Epische coole Bilder als Concept Art, anatomisch stimmige Entwürfe für Charaktere und so weiter sind natürlich auch gefragt, aber es ist eine Kategorie von vielen und letztendlich kommt es da meiner Meinung nach mehr auf den Stil an und was zu dem Spiel passt. Zudem spielt man da mit Firmenkapital, nicht mit dem eigenen und wenn man was in einer epischen gottgleichen Liga möchte, hilfts da nicht eben mal einen Monat nur von Tütensuppe zu leben, um das Geld für eine Commission zu haben.
    (Zumindest möchte ich gerne daran glauben, um nicht als Langzeitarbeitsloser zu enden, aber das ist eine andere Geschichte. :D )

    Ok, ich glaub der Beitrag ist lang genug. xD

    Persönliches Fazit: Man kann als reiner Furry Artist überleben. Die besten können sogar gut leben und sich auch mal was gönnen. Aber der Weg dahin ist enorm steinig und verlangt sehr viele Opfer, von denen man sich vorher lange überlegen muss, ob man bereit ist, diese Opfer zu bringen.

    LG, Sirana

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    Ist natürlich ne gute Frage wie gut das geht. Ich kenne nur eine Person näher, die vom Zeichnen ihren Lebensunterhalt verdient. und sie als Comiczeichnerin bei nem Verlag, hat es teilweise echt schwer. Gut als slebstsändige hast du natürlich keine Deadline in den meisten Fällen.
    Du könntest natürlich auch versuchen nach und nach von festangestellt auf Selbständig umsteigen, auch wenn das ne große Doppelbelastung wäre am Anfang. Aber gönnen würde ich es dir definitiv. Dabei musst du dich ja nicht mal auf die Furry Community beschränken..

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    I am attempting to do so, but after working for several years as a full-time artist I'm quickly being burned out and now searching for other sources of income. Especially since being self-employed there are no sick days nor benefits. So unless your prices make it a little more relaxed to take on monthly work it is a rough road.
    Though I do not do any adult artwork, I still get by okay. But if you did do adult artwork as a full-time artist I think it would be easier since it's in such high demand and can fetch some good prices.

    To those that are able to live comfortably being an artist full-time I highly respect them. It's not an easy job.

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    I actually relied on it for about 5 or 6 months, and my own experience was kinda terrible, but I can chalk it up to a few things that I wish I knew at the time.

    Roommates/friends/family/whatever will never take you seriously. Ever. I mean, unless you are literally rolling in money from it, most friends who refer to your job wont talk about it as seriously as others. My roommates would tell people 'oh she does some internet thing', and never give me the space or privacy during 'work' time, which is a red flag right there that they didn't respect what I was trying to do.

    Secondly, a hiccup in workflow (injuries, surprises, you got drunk and used your tablet for a dinner plate) means pretty much a dry spell in money, unless you have some kind of backup. No guaranteed paycheck, even if you make out a big plan.

    Lastly, slowly, art becomes work, and a lot of people I've spoken to about the subject held that the biggest in the 'problem' section. Not to say that art isn't a lot of hard work now, but when it comes down to finishing some picture you absolutely hate and have been working on for far too long for the amount of money quoted and there's 4 more to go before the week's up but its the only thing between you and making rent -- stress rises and you can quickly come to resent what you're doing.

    Also, heh, it's hard to explain to your parents for sure xD I never actually showed mine. 'I MAKE INTERNET GRAPHICS. SHHH.'

    (at the end of the day though, do what you love, work through the suck, and make something for yourself <3)

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    I get most of my commissions from furries, so for me it seems to be the most stable way of having a income at all on just art related stuff, specially here in Norway where I get very little commissions. :/ Just my personal experience.

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    As someone who is making a living off her art, I can say that while it's possible, it's definitely not everyone. I don't think that whether or not it being adult should be the first question. It's a lot more based off your discipline. This is a self employment gig, meaning that you HAVE to be organized and have a schedule to make it through. I have two calendars with information of what I need to do during each week, a Trello account for public access to my commission goals, and a list of personal goals. This is not easy work.

    You also need to based how much you make vs. your cost of living. Right now I'm more than comfortable with what I'm doing, but I also live with other people, which makes my rent insanely cheap. Kad and I want to move, so our art plans have been expanding (we have a art site that's going!) in order to keep up with the demand that will come of living on our own. There's also insurance that we have to pay for, student loans, and because we are self employed, we have to figure out taxes.

    As for adult though, it makes it easier as sex always sells :P It's a good thing I find that part fun otherwise I'd have to find another angle to sell my work. If you want to work and not draw adult materials, all the power to you! Just don't you dare judge me for choosing to add that in my portfolio.

    And my parents fully endorse my wanting to do this for a living. They've always known I wanted to draw for a living and supported me no matter what. Same with friends. Majority of my close friends are not part of this community but fully support what I'm doing. I refuse to be friends with people who think otherwise. I'm not going to live my life in shame

    Major tips I have learned though:

    • ALWAYS talk to your commissioners. Majority of people on Artists Beware are there because they ignored your commissioners. Most of the time they are happy to wait a little longer than they anticipated, but you HAVE to be honest with them.
    • Don't do anything for free or really cheap. I started on FA with dollar sketches to get my name out there, and boy did that start drama. It doesn't matter how little you charge, people will always complain. And I have completely given up on raffles. There will always be that one person to bitch about how unfair it is to always lose. I deal with this already in my profession, I might as well get paid >:[
    • Your attitude means everything. If you don't take it seriously as a job, you lose a lot of respect. If you shit on your commissioners, word's gonna get out! I have lost my temper time to time absolutely, but overall I strive to be professional about what I do and open for communication. If someone has a problem with me, I try to work it out. -ORGANIZE. You don't have a boss telling you what to do that day. You're the boss. You need to set a plan otherwise you will overwhelm yourself
    • Don't do something you don't enjoy. There's a reason I have a list of things I won't do :D There are other artists that will do fetishes that I won't touch. Your self protection is included in this part. Don't ever do something that you are uncomfortable with. You may get some grumps but overall people will respect your right to say no to an idea. But also be polite in doing so haha
    • Learn how to price your commissions. I've been slowly raising my prices alongside with the demand I have with my work. If you get a lot of bites at once, it may be time to raise those prices up! If no one is biting, take a step back and figure out why.
    • Not everyone is cut out for this. I have been drawing for yeaaaars. I am still learning but am completely confident in what I offer. If I wasn't, I wouldn't be doing this as a living

    I can probably keep going but I'll have to sit and figure out how to portray it better. I hope some of this helps. Feel free to ask questions :V

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      Ugh, so many grammar mistakes XD Next time I'll have to type it up on Word first

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    I've been making a living off adult commissions for about 2-3 years now, and it's been a wonderful experience and has forced me to become better at art in a good way!
    There are many cons and pros about making your hobby your job. Something that's incredibly fun as a hobby can turn.. Not so fun when it becomes your job. For some people it may ruin the fun you once had. I know it did a few times for me.
    It puts a lot more pressure on you when you make it your full time job. As you have to be really serious and professional about it. Any slacking can result in horrible consequences with customers. Something you'd want to make sure you do is make time to draw for yourself. As once you start it as a job, there will be less time drawing just for the sake of it.

    I remember when I first began, I would be relieved when I would get to put down the pen and do something else. This was a horrible feeling for me, as drawing has been the main part of my life for as long as I can remember.
    Things are much better now though. The more you learn, the easier certain things get. But then you realise that art is a never ending learning process!
    It can be really frustrating at times, but I wouldn't trade it in for any other job in the world. Being able to do something I love is a like a dream.
    Something to be wary of is that the income doesn't tend to be steady. You may have more money one month than the last. But the better you get, and the better your service is, the more customers will come to you. And then it gets much easier to get what you need each month.
    At the moment I'm living in a difficult place with my parents and my health issues. So I'm not in the most inspiring moment of my life. I believe your surroundings have MUCH to do with quality of art you can produce. And quality of mind! Me and my fiance will be moving out once we've saved up, and moving to a quieter area. As I believe relaxtion will play a big role in how I can organize my work flow!
    Sorry for the wall of text Rotarr! If you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them for you :)