Working with Ben
I often receive requests to work on a wide variety of commercial projects. Typically I'm hired as a digital artist to work on character art and illustration projects. I'm capable of adapting my drawing style to suit different requirments, producing nothing less than top-end, high-quality results for my clients. Having spent years working in web design, graphic design and even tattooing, I'm able to offer a wider range of creative design services. I sometimes collaborate with other professionals, enabling me to provide solutions to nearly any creative project that comes my way. This includes:
- Advertising artwork and promotional illustration
- Cover art for games, books, merch, magazines
- Character design- concepts and finished artwork
- Character Concepts - front/side/back views, accessories, facial expressions, templates, etc.
- Mascot characters and logos
- Manga, Anime, Comic artwork
- Design work: websites, graphics, page layouts, posters, flyers, Flash animation
Contact me with your assignment brief and I'll get back to you shortly.
What do I mention in my brief?
Aim to provide a detailed proposal or brief. If you have an idea of what you're looking to pay or a set budget, let me know. I like having proposals and communication in writing in case I need to refer back, but let me know if you'd rather call me, meet me or arrange for me to work in-house. Here are some things to consider when commissioning artwork:
- Background: Who you are. What your company or organization provides.
- Audience: General information about who the target audience is. This helps convey the general scope of the project and indicate the look and feel we'll go for.
- Objectives: This can be as broad as "keeping the audience informed about our company" or it can be as specific as "entice registered users of our product to order the upgrade".
- Deliverable: What is the final piece to be created? Book cover? A selection of characters? Art and graphic branding for your business?
- Specifications: How the design will be used. Finished size or file format. Colour scheme. Style and so on.
- Time frame: Goal date to have the design completed by. (Is it for a specific event or publishing deadline?). Is there a schedule you'd like us to go with? I.e. Initial concepts due. Revisions due. Final art date.
- Other questions: Will you handle the printing aspects? Are there additional services I must provide such as sub-contracting other professional to collaborate with? Is there anything I have worked on in the past which you'd like incorporated into your design? Why did you choose to work with me?
How much do you charge?
Pricing can vary massively depending on the type of project, complexity and my availability.
The following costs give you an idea of what I might charge, although this can vary massively depending on the project, my amount of interest and work load. Prices are also subject to change:
- 8 character designs for an online video game. Initial sketch then high quality, colour rendered versions. Plus up to one round of free amendments at the sketch stage. Plus exclusive rights to use the works solely for the game and advertising of the game. The rights last for full length that the game is still online and playable: £200-£400 per finished character art.
- Re-work of an existing character design or an original manga portrait for personal use with background: £70-£200. For small personal projects I understand budgets are tight, so will usually simply decline unless it looks fun and I'm not too busy.
- CD cover and back featuring a character (American comic style. Head and shoulders with an interior of a bedroom in the background), full colour. Plus poster design including supplied text, and uses the character CD cover art: £250-£500
- Web and Graphic Design: Advertisement Layout (for magazine ad and poster) for an independent store or service - text and photo to be supplied: £100-£200.
Completely bespoke 6 page brochure style info website for a small business with the aim to look more professional and appealing that all competitor’s sites: £400-£500 (subject to exact specifications) to design and construct in a web-worthy html format.
- Tattoo design of a woman's face, surrounded by swirls, feathers and flowers to cover shoulder cap and outer bicep. Mainly black and grey: £75-£175. Again, for personal requests, I understand your budget will be limited, but if I can save your tattooist designing time, they may quote you a cheaper tattoo. Be aware tattooists can charge £40-£140 per hour and I imagine such a design may take 4-14 hours or actual tattoo time depending on the artist. If the design is small and you would like me to tattoo it also, let me know! I'm relatively inexperienced as a tattooist having only tattooed 300 times or so, but would love the chance to improve if you're willing to donate some skin!
These prices are for digital high-resolution files. I mostly work within Photoshop so can supply files as PSDs or high-quality JPEGS. I am able to print and post images for an additional fee.
What is the payment / work schedule?
A deposit of 50% of the estimated costs is due upfront before work begins.
- Deposit is paid
- Work begins once payment received
- 1st draft is shown to client for approval
- Optional changes are made as work continues
- Optional 2nd draft is shown to client for approval
- Final is shown to client for final approval (low-res file watermarked with 'SAMPLE')
- Remaining payment due
- Once final payment is received, a high-resolution image without watermarks is sent
What if I need to ask for amendments?
Throughout the design process, alterations may be required. If I supply an initial sketch and the client requests small amendments such as "make hair longer" or "make eyes smaller" this is considered part and parcel of the job. However if extensive changes or entirely re-worked designs are needed, which go beyond the original agreed upon scope of the project, or were not specified at the start, additional fees will be charged.
I want to give clients exactly what they want and I'm sure my clients appreciate all art and design tasks can take a great deal of time and effort. Therefore it's important to make sure I will be compensated in the event a project takes longer than initially expected due to changes or new requirements made after the work has began.
I expect you would have checked out some of my previous illustrations and designs and will have an idea of how I tackle a brief. Also I like to get a good understanding of what's required before even picking up a pencil to help prevent any problems after work has commenced.
How long will it take?
I will specify my availability after I recieve your breif and give you an idea how long your project will likely take or if it's possible to complete it within a set deadline.
A piece of character art could take between 5 and 50 hours to complete depending on the level of finish, amount of initial sketches and detail. I usually produce detailed, crisp, smooth, digital artwork suitable for large-scale print which can take far longer than a sketchy, rough or simplified drawing. The considerations and small touches I add in order to turn a good piece of work into a great piece of work can be what takes the most time, but is always well worth it.
What about copyright?
There is an understanding that the work I produce for individuals and companies is to be used for it's intended initial purpose laid out in the brief.
Certain works may require a licensing/usage contract. This allows the work to be used in a commercial way under certain conditions. This contract will stipulate usage terms and is not a transfer of ownership, property or copyright. This arrangment is suitable for 99% of the projects I work on. The reason I don't transfer copyright is that my work mostly just gets used for a specific purpose and term, then is no longer required or used. If I were to transfer copyright, the work potentially ends up in limbo should the company cease trading or they no longer need the artwork.
Many professional illustrators often charge more for the licensing than the time they invest in creating the artwork itself. I encourage any illustrator capable of producing a quality product to consider their licensing conditions and fee.
Sam Kennedy,Senior Campaigns Advisor, Save the Children
Hi Ben, Thank you again for your recent work for us. You understood the brief and delivered it as agreed- The balance was about right in terms of caricature and hagiography. They do look funny but not insulting to them. Given the nervousness of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was good they were not too stupid-looking. The quality of work was very high and we're very pleased with it. You responded to all feedback and helped us understand design choices you had made and the impact of any changes on the delivery of the project. In addition, we think the price was good value and when it became clear that more work was involved than initially anticipated we were happy to pay a bit more. The team here are really pleased with the pick-up. As my director put it to us at the end of last week, your designs really helped this story break out from technical coverage to Buzzfeed Japan type territory. Best wishes, Sam
Matt Smith,Senior Editor, Arcturus Publishing Ltd.
It has been an absolute pleasure working with you on the various projects over the last year. I wanted to pass on my thanks for your professionalism and the sheer quality of your work - it has made my job all the easier and more pleasurable.
Andy Matthews,Private Commission
Ben, I'm speechless, it looks fantastic thanks very much... can't wait to get it and wrap it for her to receive and I know she'll love it too... Can't thank you enough and I am dead jealous of your talent.
Scott Hodson,Managing Director, OFS
Working with Ben is always a pleasure. He takes a great deal of pride in his work and is always looking for new and effective ways to present our clients with a unique design solution they’ll love. Ben works closely with our in-house team of designers and programmers. Our team have benefited working with him due to his dependability and commitment into making sure that final products meet both his and our own high quality standards. With a friendly, pleasant demeanour and “can-do” attitude Ben can always be relied upon to deliver within set deadlines, thus gaining a high level of trust and value from the OFS team. I highly recommend him to any organization looking for a talented, hard-working, reliable and trustworthy individual.
Well what can I say mate, excellent job.. We all absolutely love your drawings.!!! Totally spot on and capture Klints older features and look fantastic with the new.. Excellent job fella.. 🙂