How much does an illustrator cost in Australia?
by Andrew Hoare · updated June 2019
It is difficult to find published rates for illustrators in Australia. One of the main reasons is that an illustration is custom designed and can take anywhere from 1 hour to 1 month and more. Illustrators can charge a flat rate, per-project rate or an hourly rate. Let's review the most common pricing for illustrators in Australia and see what is best for your project.
Hourly rates are a good choice for corporate clients or revising an existing project. The average hourly rate for an illustrator in Australia is $50 per hour. This can increase to over $100 per hour for qualified illustrators with an established brand. If you would like a Disney illustrator to work on your project, expect to pay more than a freelance illustrator. For corporate events in Sydney, illustrators will charge around $200 to $250 per hour.
The average time to sketch a cartoon can vary depending on the illustrators style and proficiency. Adding a background and revisions will increase the number of hours needed. 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 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 more 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.
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 are a corporate client and don't mind adjusting your budget along the way, an hourly rate could work for you.
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