SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Hourly rate and character rights

Discussion started on


Hello fellow Illustrators, question for you-

A friend liked the drawings on my website and asked me to pitch her online-content company a character and premise for use in e-cards and animated video projects. The company boss liked my character and wants to move forward.

But I'm at a loss for how to charge - for character rights, licensing, billable hours vs flat fee, etc.

Anyone have any experience with this? The Graphic Artist's Guide Pricing Book is woefully out-of-date for online property.

Seeing as the character could theoretically be used in several mediums (e-cards, video, physical greeting cards, etc), retaining character rights to my advantage is important.

Thanks for any information you may have!
- Joey

#1 - May 02, 2013, 12:06 AM

I draw stuff for chocolates.
Poster Plus
Joey, I've been a professional illustrator going on 35 years and I still struggle with pricing.

I usually quote a flat fee - based on usage. So you have to ask the company their plans for the image. What it will be used on, how many people will see it, if it will be used on a product or as a logo. If it's local, national, or international. Also their time frame for delivery and the proposed budget.

The GAGPEGs comes out every two years, there is a new one in the pipeline now. Some book stores and libraries may carry the most recent one. I find their pricing biased to NYC and way out of whack for my area of the country, but the information on usage and rights is top-notch as well as their sample contracts. Even if you can't use the pricing guides, those entries will definitely help with knowing what to expect as a professional.

There are some web sites explaining how to come up with your billable hours if you do a google search, you can browse them until you find one that works for you.
#2 - May 02, 2013, 05:55 AM
Animal Totem Mandala 2016
The Story Circle 2016 (PiƱata)
Color and Conjure 2017 (Llewellyn)

Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region arkansas
Hi Joey, I've found this post by Jessica Hische on "The Dark Art of Pricing" helpful for considering those options in the past:

In considering an hourly rate, be sure to factor in that you'll have to charge more than someone would receive as an in-house artist -- you'll be using your own supplies, equipment, providing benefits, etc.
A MINIMUM recommendation for the development of new work would be $50-75 per hour, and that still would be not include the licensing rates.

For art licensing info and rates, I'd highly recommend Joan Beiriger's blog.  It has been very helpful to me as I've gone independent as a product designer:

Hope this helps, and good luck!

- Tanja
#3 - May 02, 2013, 07:58 AM


Thank you both for the information!
#4 - May 06, 2013, 11:49 PM


0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.