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I am an indie developer and I need some detailed artwork. How much is reasonable to pay an artist for say 20 character designs? I know it depends on the artist's skills, etc, but I am wondering what to expect so that I can budget it.


Let's say cartoon-ish art (Example - not necessarily in that level of detail but that kind of cartoony-art style). No 3-d modelling - The art will be used as still images in game and for promotional reasons. I'd provide a base sprite design for them to expand on and detail.

Also, some numbers would be nice - I like numbers. Even a range is helpful.

Like: expect to spend $x2 ~ $x1 for top-notch and $y2 ~ $y1 for decent quality.

I understand I can ask at some indie-help site but, if an artist says something like $1000 for 20 designs, I wouldn't have any idea if it's reasonable / good deal / bad idea etc.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Byte56 Nov 9 '13 at 17:05

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You can always try forming a team, and dividing the amount made. Though this usually requires trust, and at least a prototype of the game (so the artist doesnt feel the project is going nowhere) – Spooks Jan 21 '11 at 21:26
Yes that is true, unfortunately I do not know many artists. Perhaps once the game is more completed, I can post on forums to see if anyone is interested in doing the artwork. – f20k Jan 21 '11 at 21:37
I don't think this is a constructive question. There are far too many variables to give a reasonable answer. – Byte56 Oct 25 '12 at 18:03
up vote 10 down vote accepted

The DeviantArt Job Offers Forum is a place where people often request such projects from designers. You can probably find proposals with prices, but from what I can tell, they're very disparate.

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Thanks for the link. It was very helpful in giving me an estimation how much work an artist will do for what price. – f20k Jan 15 '11 at 22:08

Random art costs random money.

You can find any kind of quality and any kind of cost.

Set a budget, search for people who will do that for that budget, and among them chose the one you like most.

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Before you run out to pay for any art, see what you can find online for free that comes with a license that works for you, if nothing satisfies you I would use temporary art that is on the net until you able to come up with something.

Also, try poking around an art department at a local university or an art guild. I'm sure there might be a student dieing to get there work exposed or create something that can get them more exposure.

Ultimately, you may not have to pay much if at all if you can find the right people and prove that you wont be wasting anyones time! =)

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The internet is big, if you have any recommendations for where to look, it would help. – Error 454 Jan 15 '11 at 22:38
rudeness will get you nowhere. – o0'. Jan 17 '11 at 11:41
@Lo'oris: In the development community we try to promote a do-it-yourself approach to things. I'm sure your familiar with "You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink". While it is not my intent to insult/undermine anyones intelligence, but I have no links to provide. I would love to help but I do not know what types of media people are looking for. The main focus of this topic was "How much to pay for game art". I felt my original suggestion was a good one! =) – Bryan Harrington Jan 17 '11 at 20:51

I wanted an answer to this very question. But as the others state, Random art, Random price.

Also think about it logically, a drawing that is going to become a 3D model, a drawing that is going to be created in to a realistic person once in the game and then a Sprite (eg SNES style) are both going to cost different amounts.

If you want a ball park figure then you'll probably looking at again a different amount for the detail inside. For example if this is going to be a cartoon style character, or in the style of perfect people, or in the style of a realism. Additionally it is a different story to draw an animal, a person, an imaginary creature or combination.

Without spices you'll never get a figure. I'd suggest posting (not necessarily on here...) a more in depth request with the intention of people coming back with amounts they feel it is worth or they would draw them for you.

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