In Australia the average hourly rate for a freelance illustrator is $50 per hour. This can increase to $100+ per hour for qualified illustrators with an established brand. Hourly rates are a good choice for smaller projects or revising an existing project. The average time to sketch a standard cartoon is 3-4 hours. However, the background detail, revisions and finishing can push out the timeline. The risk of an hourly rate is that you won't know how much the total project will cost.
With a flat rate or per-project rate you will know exactly how much the project will cost from the beginning. This is great for budgeting larger projects and will also help to avoid surprises due to revisions or course correction. The illustrator should clearly outline how many revisions are included in the price and the cost for additional revisions (if needed). Typically you should expect 2-3 revisions included in the price.
Feedback and revisions are an important part of the design process and ensures that the artwork is exactly what the client is looking for. Professional illustrators will include the number of revisions in a contract, scope of work and/or invoice. This will help keep the project on-track and moving forwards.
There is a difference between major and minor revisions. Minor revisions are relatively quick and easy, such as changing colour, text, size and position. A major revision will require redrawing part, or all of the artwork. The best time to request revisions is during the sketching stage. Once the artwork is coloured it is difficult to make changes.
The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) publishes information on recommended rates of pay for writers and illustrators. This information helps negotiate and benchmark their work. A full colour page is listed at $675. In reality, many Australian illustrators charge less than the published rates due to competition from overseas and large freelance companies.
Both flat and hourly rates have their place in Australia. If you want to know the actual cost of the project upfront, go with an illustrator who offers a flat rate. If you have a smaller project and don't mind adjusting your budget along the way, an hourly rate could work for you. If you want to know more please give us a call.
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