Common Q&As regarding how projects are priced, and the collaboration process
How is pricing determined - is it by hour or by project?
It's some of both. Project timing is estimated based on the client's project description and the desired sample art style(s), then compared to how long similar past projects have taken. The hourly rate is based on the Artist Guild's recommendation of $60 per hour. The final quote is a fixed bid, so once the quote is accepted the project will not go any higher (unless additional work is requested). Work is never started until a fixed bid is presented and agreed upon.
What's included in the quoted price?
The price includes all work created during the design process; sketches, mockups, any spot art of characters & scene elements, and multiple formats of the same art file for extended usage (print media, e-versions, web applications etc.). The quote includes all copyrights and ownership of all intellectual property created during the project.
What are the usual initial steps and payment arrangement?
We'll look at the project, browse/determine sample art styles & level of detail, and a quote will be sent. Once the quote is accepted, some initial rough sketch work may be presented to further focus the project (unless it's a photo retouch or anything that's fairly set in stone). At this point, an up-front payment of ½ of the total amount is made before any further work is created. Next are more rough sketching and character development, possible spot areas showing more finished characters and scene details for approval. Once approved, artwork is created (progress steps may be sent, if desired). When the project is completed, tweaked, and accepted, payment of the remaining balance of the total amount (including any additional work requested) is made and the art is uploaded and/or a hard copy optical disk or USB version is created.
Can you explain the different "cost & detail levels" shown in the Children's Book Portfolio?

Yes; the hours needed to create a Children's Book can vary considerably, mainly because a single book is, in reality, many separate art projects, one for every page! The number of elements (figures, objects, scene details) included on each page of the story, how much story text is added, and what level of art style and detail are preferred will all affect the hours needed to fill that empty page. There are three hourly ranges (based on previous book projects) to give a good starting point on cost levels. By looking closely at the samples, you can see the differences in style levels:

Level 1) Simple clean line art with nice graphic basic color fills and less detailed backgrounds.

Level 2) Added characters and scene elements; characters, elements, and backgrounds begin to gain more detail and color.

Level 3) High-Level more painterly art with no line art; a very detailed technique and richer looking scenes and characters.

How do these Children's Book cost levels price out?

Two important points to consider:

1. Stories with repeating characters or scene elements (clouds, trees, scene details) can sometimes come in below these starting quotes, because working with digital art we can often reuse faces, figures, etc. to speed up the process with no loss in quality of the final work.

2. All three cost levels include initial sketching, a rough storyboard indicating layout and text placement, and final completed pages with the finished story text in place; Front & Back cover art and design is also included at no extra charge.

That being said:

Level 1's more graphic, simplified figures and details will generally take about five (5) hours from first sketches & storyboarding to final pages- $300 per page. (+free cover art)

Level 2's increased scene and character development takes about eight (8) hours for the same sketching, storyboarding and final art & text- $480 per page. (+free cover art)

Level 3's highest level of painting and overall richness of detail comes in at the most time involvement, about 12 hours from start to finish- up to $720 per page. (+free cover art)