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I’ve noticed some digital artists out there who just kind of guess when choosing the dimensions of their artwork. Trying to understand ppi, dpi, print dimensions, and resolution can send you down a rabbit hole of complexity likely to break your brain.
If you are creating an image only for the web, it is really up to you how big you want to make it. The only relevant dimensions are the pixels. Print size and pixels per inch are of no consequence. A 1920x1080 300ppi image will be the same as a 1920x1080 600ppi image. Your screen only cares about pixel dimensions.
If you plan to print your image, that is where things can get complicated.
Here is the simple version…
First you need to determine the maximum size that your work may be printed. Here are the most commonly used sizes for poster prints.
Now you need to know the brand of printer that will be used. Typically it will be Epson, HP, or Canon.
For Epson printers…
- Input the width and height.
- Input a resolution of 360 pixels per inch.
For Canon, HP, and most other printers…
- Input the width and height.
- Input a resolution of 300 pixels per inch.
So let’s say you are in photoshop and you want your art to be printed at 11” x 17” on an Epson printer. This is how you should create your document.
If you do not know how your work will be printed, I recommend erring on the side of “too big.” If you end up having to enlarge your work, it could result in some quality loss.
The ONLY thing I will add to this is that if it is for print, you want to change the color mode from RGB to CMYK! RGB is web colors only and it won’t end up printing as vibrant as you want it to. =)
-Cuckoo-Project-Week-Five / Stilnest, Germany #PAPER ART
Germany’s Stilnest enlisted six artists from around the world to play a part in designing 3D printed”conjoint remake of the traditional German cuckoo clock in synch with the Zeitgest of the 21st century.”
Without ever meeting each other, the artists from Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, UK, and Mexico each agreed on a specific piece of the clock that they would digitally draw.
Each designer sent to Stilnest the specific piece of the clock that they created and with a 3D printer Stilnest printed and assembled them into a traditional German Cuckoo Clock.
im not even an artist and these prices are hurting my feelings
This is what I have to dig through every time I look for new jobs to apply for.
For non-artists, let’s give you a little perspective.
For me, an illustration takes a bare minimum of 6 hours. Mind you, that’s JUST the drawing part. Not the research, or the communications, or gathering information. Just drawing.
That’s if it’s a simple illustration.
My art deco or more detailed stuff can take 20+ hours each.
Even simple, cartoony things still take at least 3 hours.
Let’s go with the second one. 2 illustrations for $25. Figuring 6 hours each. 12 hours total, for JUST the drawings. That’s approximately $2.08/hour.
Asking these prices is an insult. But what’s even more hurtful is there are people out there that will take these jobs. Which only encourages rates like this to be acceptable. And there are people who will try to say these are just what you have to do to get started.
I believed that. So my first coloring gigs were just $10/page. The day someone offered me $25/page for just flatting work, I realized just how wrong I’d been. I’m still not making the rates I’d like, but now I refuse anything below $25/page. Because there is value in my time.
In any standardized industry, even ones that pay piece rate over hourly, these numbers are criminal.
Do your fellow artists a favor. Never accept jobs like these. There are others that pay legitimate rates. Or at least closer to legitimate.
Such baby bullshit. Don’t even get out of bed for these rates.
If you are an artist who wants to make money off their art, I highly suggest you buy The Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook. It goes in depth about copyright issues and even contains contract and model release templates. The 2013 book *I believe* states the average professional charges $72 an hour. This article calculated that to make a 40k annual salary you would need to charge about $60 per hour.
After graduating from Art Center in 2012, I think I asked for somewhere between $35-45 an hour and got laughed at by multiple big name clients, which was infuriating, sadly expected, and terrifying with over $100K worth of student loans staring me in the face. If they tell you it will be “great exposure” that’s a red flag. Ask yourself how their exposure can compare to your Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr and Facebook pages combined?
And when you do get a decent paying gig, PROTECT YOURSELF. You have the right to negotiate and revise a contract. Do not start a job until you have a contract signed. If they don’t provide you with one, MAKE ONE. And make sure you have your bases covered. You can specify in a contract that maybe two revisions are included in your cost, and if they ask you to revise the piece more than twice, they will have to pay extra. In terms of payment schedule, I usually do the 50/50 Method (50% before, 50% after) or the 3/3/3 Method (1/3 before, 1/3 in the middle, 1/3 after all work has been received). Both of those are pretty standard in the industry, as they guarantee you will get compensated for your time, even if the job goes bad.
Remember you have a skill, and you have spent time honing that skill and you deserve to be adequately paid for that time and effort. You will have clients dismiss you because, honest to God they think, “Well, I could do that if I wanted. Hell, my five year old does it now.” No they can’t, because they didn’t, they don’t, they won’t and they probably never will. And good luck hiring a five year old. They can’t keep a fucking deadline.
And in a last ditch effort they’ll say, “But that drawing only took you an hour!” Son, that drawing took me 20. fucking. years.
Artist: Lex Wilson
His Behance page is so inspiring (and envy-inducing.)