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 art style to suit different requirements and with an aim to produce nothing less than top-end, high-quality results for my clients. Having spent years working in web and graphic design as well as 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
- Merchandise artwork for products or apparel
- Cover art for games, books, magazines, website headers or banners
- Character design- concepts and finished artwork
- Mascot characters and logos
- Manga, Anime, Comic artwork
- Design work: graphics, page layouts, posters, flyers, websites, assets
Contact me with your assignment brief and I'll get back to you shortly.
What do I mention in my brief?
Please aim to provide a detailed proposal or brief before contacting me. This will help us both figure out exactly what's needed and allow me to quote a price for your project.
I like having proposals and communication in writing in case I need to refer back, but let me know if you'd rather phone me, meet or arrange for me to work in-house.
Here are some things to consider when commissioning artwork:
- Background: Who you are. Private individual or company? What does your organization provide?
- Audience: General information about your customers or who the target audience is: age, gender, preferences, profession etc. 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/service to order a particular upgrade package by creating an eye-catching advert".
- Deliverable: What exactly do you need created? Book cover? Advert? A selection of characters in specific outfits, poses or conveying a particular theme? Art and graphic branding for your business?
- Specifications: What will the design be used for or where will it be used? Artwork size/dimensions. Format (PSD JPEG, PDF or hard copy such as on paper or a canvas). Colour scheme. What sort of style will the artwork have? Can you provide examples of existing material you would like me to use as reference?
- Time frame: Goal date to have the design/s 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. I can let you know my schedule and availability to help with this.
- Budget: Let me know if you have an idea of what you're looking to pay or a set budget. This way I can provide details of what I'm able to deliver for the amount you have to spend; such as amount of preliminary work (research or sketches), level of detail, or quantity of images I can offer. Alternatively if you'd simply like a cost for the job I can do this providing I know what you need and can work out how long it'll take.
- Other questions: Will you handle the printing aspects? Are there other staff or individuals I'll need to liaise or collaborate with? Is there anything specifically I have worked on in the past which you'd like incorporated into your design? How did you hear about me? Why did you choose to work with me?
How much do you charge?
Pricing varies depending on the type of project, it’s complexity and my availability. I need a detailed brief (see above) in order to give a quote. The following example costs give a rough guide of what I might charge.
Digital art created for companies and organisations in need of designs and artwork for products and advertising.
• 6 Simplistic Character artworks like Pokemon for a range of T-Shirts. This includes initial sketch which is then converted to a high quality, coloured version suitable for Digital Printing on T-Shirts. Licensing rights given for the works will be solely for the shirts and related advertising of the shirts. The rights last for 1 year+ the full length that the shirts are available for sale via customer’s website or outlet: £300-£600 per finished character art.
• 8 Character designs for an online game. Initial sketch then high quality, colour rendered versions for use in-game or advertising. 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: £350-£800 per finished character art.
• Advertising artwork to draw 5 celebrities in a manga style for a TV promotion or Ad campaign. Initial sketch then high quality, colour rendered versions. Full body characters which can be used individually or as a composite image. £500-£1,000 per finished character art.
• Music CD cover and back featuring a character (female holding a gun with large skull in background, full colour). Plus 1 poster design including supplied text which uses the character CD cover art: £400-£800
• Graphic Design: Advertisement Layout (for magazine ad and poster) for an independent store or service - text and photo to be supplied: Please Contact.
These prices are for digital high-resolution files. I mostly work within Photoshop so can supply files as PSDs or high-quality JPEGS or PNGs. Amendment fees may be charged in addition.
Art created for non-profit, private use for an individual.
• Commission for non-profit, private use: Character head and shoulders sketch - pencil drawing or black and white digital sketch: £30
• Commission for non-profit, private use: Character head and shoulders digitally rendered artwork: £100
• Commission for non-profit, private use: Character head and shoulders sketch - rendered with grey markers, signed and posted to customer, A3 size: £170 + postage cost.
• Commission for non-profit, private use: Full body, character drawn to customer’s specifications and digitally rendered: £250
• Custom Tattoo design. For example: A woman’s face, surrounded flowers and butterflies to cover shoulder cap and outer bicep. Mainly black and grey: £250. Be aware tattooists can charge £50-£150 per hour and I imagine such a design may take 4-14 hours or actual tattoo time depending on the artist. If I can save your tattooist designing time, they may quote you a cheaper tattoo.
If you live in the south east of England and would like me to tattoo it also, please let me know. I’ve been tattooing part-time for over 10 years so would likely do the artwork far more justice than a generic walk-in tattoo studio.
For Private commissions: These are for personal use and do not include licence to use commercially.
I am able to print and post images for an additional fee.
What is the payment / work schedule?
Typically for a single illustration or short project:
- Assignment or commission is agreed
- Deposit is paid. Normally 50%
- Work begins once payment received
- 1st draft is shown to client for approval
- Optional changes are made as work continues
- Optional draft is shown to client for approval
- Final is shown to client for final approval (low-res file or watermarked with 'SAMPLE')
- Remaining payment due
- Once final payment is received, a high-resolution image without watermarks is sent
A deposit of 50% of the estimated cost/s is due upfront before work begins. For longer projects, we could disccuss alternative payment terms such as payment made in 3 or 4 stages throughout the lenght of the assignment.
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 begun.
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. Extensive revisions are rare, but may be charged at 50-100%.
How long will it take?
I will specify my availability after I receive your brief 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 single piece of character art could take between 10 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 its intended initial purpose laid out in the brief.
Certain creations 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 arrangement is suitable for 99% of the projects I work on.
The reason I don't transfer copyright (full ownership) 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 use or need the artwork.
For example, artwork is created for a book:
We agree the art to be exclusively licenced within the publishing industry in USA and European territories for 1 year (allowing the art to be used for pre-publication promo material) + so long as the book is in print. Artwork from the book can therefore potentially be used in a different industry, territory or once the books is off the shelves or no longer being printed. There is no reason for a publisher to need full ownership of the art because if it were to be used elsewhere it would not interfere or negatively affect sales of the book.
In the event you are interested in using one of my existing artworks for your products or services, I can let you know the cost for a licencing agreement.
Why should I hire you rather than someone else?
Hopefully you’ve had chance to check out my gallery, something caught your eye and you'd like something similar created? Great! If you need more convincing;
► I'm experienced. I’ve been creating artwork professionally for the last 20 years and take pride in what I do. In that time I've managed to never miss a deadline or abandoned a project and I always ensure professional, thorough communication and consideration when dealing with customers and clients.
► I can vary my styles. I've previously produced anime characters, monsters, comic book heroes, tattoo designs, book illustrations and other creations to cater for different tastes, audiences and markets. Please refer me to examples of my artworks and let me know what you like i.e. manga, animation-style colours, semi-realistic or western comic style. If not I will create artwork in a style I feel is best suited to your assignment.
► I’m only interested in delivering a high-quality, coloured, digital illustration which you'll love and I'm willing to go the extra mile to add final touches and details which other artists may not be willing or able to. I won't just provide quick sketches, tablet doodles or anything rough around the edges. Unless of course that's what you asked for.
► Character works can be given a background so they're not against a plain white backdrop. I tend to use textures, photo manipulation or digital effects for these, but If you’d like something more fancy or hand drawn, let me know. I can draw most things from a large-scale forest scene to cityscapes. Please note it will cost more as it can take many more hours to complete depending on complexity.
► I've acquired a wide range of design skills. Having spent many years working in web and graphic design; I can produce logos, layouts and web sites, as well as tattoos, drawings and digital paintings. This gives me a vast amount of knowledge about the requirements needed to be taken into consideration when working on a variety of different or unique art projects.
► I'm principled and honest. Perhaps a quality often overlooked? Indeed I'm trying to sell myself here, but I won't ever lie about what I'm able to do. In the event it's not possible to deliver a project to a certain specification or within a certain time limit, I'll let you know up-front or as soon as possible and want to be fair. If you can be upfront, honest and fair with me in return, then together we've got the potential to create something really awesome.
► Lastly, I would like to thank you for considering me for your request. With so many great artists out there online I’m happy to know you are a fan of my work and I look forward to delivering a unique piece of artwork to meet, if not exceed your expectations.
Thank you - Ben
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.
Myke Gray,Music Producer, Shades of Gray
The moment I saw Ben Krefta’s work I knew he was an exceptional artist. I was overjoyed when he agreed to do a commission for me. He told me a precise date that he would be able to carry out the work and he kept to that exact timeframe. There was constant communication throughout the process and he was open to any suggestion I made and adapted the work accordingly with zero fuss. He provided me with a fantastic piece of art with an incredibly professional service! On a scale of 1-10 anything other than a 10 would be criminal.
Martin Rhodes-Schofield,Publisher & Director of Red Bird
We had a request from one of our US publishing clients to create a manga-themed unicorn colouring book. We trawled through possible illustrators and luckily found Ben. He created some sample pages very quickly, which was great. He and our in-house studio then devised a schedule for the 90 illustrations needed to make up the book whilst taking in to account Red Bird special effects (glow in the dark pages) we’d later apply at the printing stage. The schedule was tight with batches of art every 3 weeks from start to finish, Ben came up trumps with concepts and delivery on time. He is great to work with and Red Bird Publishing is looking forward to be working with him again soon. I would recommend Ben to others, very pleasant, easy to get on with and adaptable even when the publisher wanted changes.
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.. 🙂
Heli Palmunen,Private Commission
Working with Ben was a pleasure and his works are amazing. He does exactly what you want and his prices are very reasonable. Just wanted to say- make an order and you'll get something fantastic! He can draw semi-realistic works, manga-styles, designs and other amazing stuff!
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.
Cédric O.,Private Commission
I just received the commission and the result is really amazing ! In fact, I asked him to do a portrait/bust from a very minimal drawing. I just wanted to get a drawing with his very own style so I let him choose how to do it 🙂 I love to be surprised by talented artists with a great creative sense 🙂 Everything is so perfect: hair, face, body, pose, colors, etc... 🙂 Thanks again a lot for your great work 🙂
He created my vision instantly and made the required changes in record time. I highly recommend him for your project needs. He is very reasonable and communicates effectively to create exactly what your vision is. Have no doubts about using him for your projects, his expertise and professionalism are first class. I will definitely use him again for future projects. A+ freelancer!!!”
Martin McGarry,Managing Director, Naughty Knickers
Dude they're awesome!! Well done. Thanks for that - And I'll be 100% giving you kudos where its deserved! The designs are great and I expect more to follow!
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
Thereasa Carpenter,Private Commission
I was after a specific artist to compose a drawing of the comic book villain Harley Quinn for a weight lifting belt. The drawing was to be embroidered on a Pioneer Custom made power-lifting belt. I was aware that my request was a small project and by no means did Ben make me feel like it was not worthy of his time or skill. Ben’s work is truly beautiful and he met all my expectations and beyond with his talent and his professionalism. All my emails were answered promptly and his suggestions on changes or inclusions to the drawing were welcomed and accepted, the man knows his work! I would highly recommend Ben for any projects and his expertise are worth every cent and I note that he is incredibly reasonably priced.
I just received my drawing and I had to right away leave a comment. Your work is very professional and definitely worth the price. The pencil work and the textures look unbelievable up close! I would definitely hire you again in the future. 😀
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.
Rusty Everhart,Private Commission
I just commissioned this guy recently and I am so happy! Not only was I very impressed with the results, I was amazed at how quickly he completed it! If you are looking for someone to commission, you should definitely give him a try!