I wrote this comment on my FB but I'm gonna go ahead and post it here.
This was inspired by someone getting upset that a popular comic artist said "Go back to your 5 dollar commissions on Deviantart"
This sparked an idea here:
DA is not a great place to advertise or get commissions because the expectation and reputation for pathetically dirt cheap art is so prevalent; thus customers end up demanding art for peanuts. Plus it's ridden with the demographic of: minors or college age kids trying to save money. I mean, sure you can find clients on here but it's very rare and most of my colleague's experiences on DA being a source of monetary income have not been successful unless you are already very well established. Very rarely will you find regular clients here that will pay more than 5-20 dollars per commission here and it's true.
This is where the whole complaint of commission prices are 'too expensive' are coming from. That ends up bleeding into other places on social media, due to societal standards of art being something you can get fast/cheap/free.
Also DA's adspace is shit and you'd get better mileage by advertising on FA because FA doesn't aggressively block ads like DA does for a premium membership.
YOU CAN have success in your art it's just rare and takes hard work. You also have to MARKET yourself. I'm so tired of people defending ' I only can do cheap art cuz no one buys' "I refuse to make my prices higher! But I get no one buying otherwise!" Well either 'git guud' or 'market yourself' and put yourself out there! Don't just use DA! Don't just sit there and refuse to take critique or improve!
It takes years of hard work, getting better/improving and marketing to get to that success point or even half of it. Look, I by no means am a successful as an artist, I know it sounds weird and kinda embarrassing to admit that I'm not speaking from experience, but I have seen other artists who made decent coin and make similar statements and they do fairly well for themselves and that is AWESOME! So I understand from observation of those who are making a decent living off their art that they definitely can. Personally, I understand this site is great for getting your art out there but it should never be the only place you post.
Even I have things to learn here to become successful, I should be posting more regularly and practicing my skills much more. Always realize that you have flaws and things that are holding you back from achieving your full potential and work on them.
Better sites to advertise rather than DA is FA, twitter, Instagram and having your own website. Sometimes, it takes awhile to get to reach you need. Especially on Twitter and FA. There are good artists out there who are severely underrated and who never get bites, but once the word gets out, they do quite well! And also it's normal to get dry spells, certain times of the year there are times where people are likely to save more money like summer time due to cons. People spend more around the holidays or key holidays like Xmas and Valentines Day or New Years. Try your best to post consistently or on a regular basis as much as you can to keep people engaged! So far that has been working for me.
Addition: I realize not everyone can afford art, and there's nothing wrong with charging cheaper than others due to competition. That's different. but it shouldn't be treated as a commodity that's sold at like Walmart goods or Mcdonalds. Quite often art is treated as such. To be frank, it shouldn't.
What I'm on about is: people who complain about charging cheap but not willing to improve is something I can't sit well with?
I think the divide with cheap art/expensive art depends on how willing the cheap artists willing to stop taking commissions and start working on their craft by getting books and really hitting their nose to the grind stone to improve and the cheap artists who keep taking commissions but hate getting critique, but ask "Why is no one buying:" when the answer is:
marketing/advertising/skill/social media reach/and perseverance. Once one sees improvement with a few weeks/months of practicing the fundamentals, then rising prices makes sense! And sometimes, yes it is luck of the draw if it's not marketing but you CAN get there. Again: It takes time and work.
I noticed there are people out there unwilling to sit down and practice on the fundamentals and just keep doing commissions. Spending time on art and doodling every day is important even if you don't post it, practice.
Inspired by Vexstacy: