Ahaha as soon as I increased the commission price because I was taking more time on the art and also improved in skill, and the number of commissions I get drastically dropped. I guess that means I still need to train more and get better at art XD
I've always assumed there were others like me, who are afraid they won't get commissions at all if they raise their prices too much. I've been told I undercharge but..gosh I need the money so bad sometimes, I don't want to kill my chances of making some by making people think I charge too much.
I am clueless at charging anyways, woah.. ;-;
And like said, I've kinda been taking what I can get.
There is a similar problem in the cgi industry as well.. not just with graphic design and illustrations. I'm sure you're aware of this too being an animator!
Free lance 3D animators, modelers, etc. are often hurting their own industry by offering small sums of money to clients. This leads the rest of the world to believe that they can refuse business with the artists that are actually offering more realistic prices (which tend to be more expensive of course). That in turn, makes it that much harder for free lancers to make a living and earn money -_-
For my first ever freelance job awhile back, I did a small demo animation for a client (for free) and he liked it and wanted to continue doing business. He wanted me to make short animations, that were longer than the demo, more well made, etc. Since it was my first free lance gig I offered to do the first animation for 100$, and barely heard from him again..
To this day still not sure if that was too much or too little to be offering, but the client seemed to think it was too much
It comes down to the fact that people who don't sculpt/draw/paint/artz don't know what it takes to create something specific in their particular field, so potential customers lowball and the artists have no choice but to work at low prices. My friends who draw well don't know why sculptors charge $200 to sculpt a Barbie-sized head and my friends who sculpt well don't know why artists charge $200 to draw something
There are other reasons too of course. For example, a kid who can't work legally might be happy to make good sculptures for $20. They have fun sculpting, it's good practice, and they make money they couldn't make otherwise, so they're happy.
I've been slowly raising my prices because really, for all the time and effort I spend on commissions, I have felt like I was severely undercharging myself for my work. Not only are you drawing the piece, you are also working with the client, spending hours/days sending e-mails back and forth, etc....and THEN drawing the art. Commissions really can be labor intensive, and artists need to price themselves fairly.
But it's always so disheartening when you give someone a price quote and after that you never hear from them again it really makes me wonder what kind of price they were expecting.
DeviantArt's user demographic seems to have more teenagers or young adults than anything. Your average teenager won't even think about paying $50 for a commission, let alone $300. My cheapest commission is $3 and my most expensive is $11 and I still can barely get a commission. Such is the world.