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Author Topic: Convention Sketch Prices  (Read 5016 times)
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Rustyautoparts (Russ Otto)
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« on: 12:03 PM | Wednesday, March 09, 2011 »

A mini discussion on convention sketch prices started up over in the C Dos E Dos Dos Thread. As collecting sketches seems to be a growing pastime amongst fans, I think it would be handy to have a one stop place where sketch prices could be updated for various artists. I like to be as prepared as possible, but it's often hard to know what an artist is sketching before going to a con. My goal is to make finding out how much a commissioned piece of art costs as easy as an existing piece of original art.

To start off, I'll post how much I've paid for each of my sketches since I started collecting two years ago along with the prices I've been able to find for upcoming conventions. If you've seen a more recent, updated price, post a reply or send a PM and I can update the original post.

I'm not sure if this kind of thing is taboo or frowned upon, but I think it would be a great resource. I'm perfectly fine with taking the thread down if anyone has any problems with it. As such, I'll wait to post prices until after I get the ok from somebody with more authority.


Upcoming Conventions (C2E2)
Cliff Chiang - $120 per character - 11x14
Mahmud Asrar - $50 bust $100 full figure
Art Baltazar - $1 per character
David Petersen - $150 - 7" x 7" fully inked on 12" x 12" bristol
Yildiray Cinar - $100 - $150?

Past Conventions
Emerald City '11
Brian Hurtt - $75

Wizard Chicago '10
Bill Sienkiewicz - $100 headshot
Mike Norton - $40 full figure
Chris Burnham - $75ish? Full color full figure
Dave Losso - $3

C2E2'10
Tom Fowler - $80 full color sketch
Yildiray Cinar - $50 bust $100 full figure
Chris Samnee - $75 single character

Windy City '09
Jeff Lemire - $30
Matt Kindt - $25 or $30
Jeffrey Brown - FREE

Pat Gleason pencil bust - $80
Craig Yeung pencil bust - $10 (AWESOME deal, I'm sure it'll be more at this year's C2E2)
Jeff Lemire watercolor - $30
Mike Norton headshot w/ some color - $30
Don Kramer headshot - $30
« Last Edit: 12:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 by Rustyautoparts (Russ Otto) » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: 02:03 PM | Wednesday, March 09, 2011 »

I have no problem with you posting your info, but I honestly can't remember how much I paid for any specific sketch. I pay attention while negotiating and deciding if I'm going to go ahead with a request, but after that it's out of the old cabeza.
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« Reply #2 on: 02:03 PM | Wednesday, March 09, 2011 »

I think it's a great idea, although I do know a lot of artists adjust their prices depending on the show (size, cost or a table, travel expenses), but I can put what I paid for certain artists in the last two years:

Pat Gleason pencil bust - $80
Craig Yeung pencil bust - $10 (AWESOME deal, I'm sure it'll be more at this year's C2E2)
Jeff Lemire watercolor - $30
Mike Norton headshot w/ some color - $30
Don Kramer headshot - $30

My brother has a good routine of putting who the artist is, price paid, when, and where in light pencil on the back of the sketch.
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Rustyautoparts (Russ Otto)
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« Reply #3 on: 05:03 PM | Wednesday, March 09, 2011 »

I just updated the first article with my purchases/observations from previous conventions and turtleboy8's additions. I also have inquiries going out to several artists I'm interested in getting a sketch from and will update as those responses come in as well. I've already heard back from Mahmud Asrar and Cliff Chiang.


I think it's a great idea, although I do know a lot of artists adjust their prices depending on the show (size, cost or a table, travel expenses), but I can put what I paid for certain artists in the last two years:

Very good point. My hope is to at least get a blaapark figure for what artists charge. Knowing which convention they were sketching at really does help put the figure in perspective, though.

Quote
Craig Yeung pencil bust - $10 (AWESOME deal, I'm sure it'll be more at this year's C2E2)

I just added him to my 'Check Out' list for C2E2 Smiley.

Quote
My brother has a good routine of putting who the artist is, price paid, when, and where in light pencil on the back of the sketch.

Good idea! I'm also thinking of putting together a personal spreadsheet to keep track of my new sketches.
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« Reply #4 on: 11:03 PM | Wednesday, March 09, 2011 »

I also know Billy Tucci asks between $40-60,  I think for a bust sketch but I'm not 100% because he did a solid for me and did a full figure because I kept missing him at shows and he felt he owed me something grand
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« Reply #5 on: 11:03 PM | Wednesday, March 09, 2011 »

I've been in touch with Yildiray Cinar as I email him every now and then to say "keep up the great work" on the Legion title.  He quoted me with a range of $100-150 at C2E2.
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Rustyautoparts (Russ Otto)
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« Reply #6 on: 12:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

I've been in touch with Yildiray Cinar as I email him every now and then to say "keep up the great work" on the Legion title.  He quoted me with a range of $100-150 at C2E2.

He was charging $50 for bust and $100 full figure last year, but that was before he started that beautiful work on LoSH. I'm really glad I got mine last year. I love his sequential work, but I think his sketches look even better.
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« Reply #7 on: 06:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

He was charging $50 for bust and $100 full figure last year, but that was before he started that beautiful work on LoSH. I'm really glad I got mine last year. I love his sequential work, but I think his sketches look even better.

I got a quickie free sketch from him last year at the DC booth and it's awesome.  I'm hoping I can get one from him this year.  I know that it's a bit pricey, but it'll be awesome.  A few months back I bought an uninked page from LoSH #2 and his pencils are incredible.  I know that one of his sketches would be worth it, even if it does take up 1/3 of my con budget.
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« Reply #8 on: 09:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

This is something I struggle with. My first big con was DragonCon in the mid-90s. At that con, I got free sketches from Matt Wagner, Brian Stelfreeze, Howard Porter, Georges Jeanty, David Mack, Cully Hamner and Adam Hughs. All of these were done in a small hardcover sketch book. I stopped reading comics shortly after that con. Once Starman and Transmet ended, I chilled on comics.

Getting back into comics a few years ago, I was honestly shocked at how much con sketches now cost. I think that con sketches, as I think of them, are a thing of the past. Most artists are now producing finished art pieces and calling these con sketches. I am picking up a Ben Templesmith Baroness at Planet Comicon. It cost $200 and is a black and white ink painting on gray art paper. I figured this was worth it because this will be a framed piece. I also wanted to support Templesmith because I love his art and he does free con sketches.
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« Reply #9 on: 09:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

This is something I struggle with. My first big con was DragonCon in the mid-90s. At that con, I got free sketches from Matt Wagner, Brian Stelfreeze, Howard Porter, Georges Jeanty, David Mack, Cully Hamner and Adam Hughs. All of these were done in a small hardcover sketch book. I stopped reading comics shortly after that con. Once Starman and Transmet ended, I chilled on comics.

Getting back into comics a few years ago, I was honestly shocked at how much con sketches now cost. I think that con sketches, as I think of them, are a thing of the past. Most artists are now producing finished art pieces and calling these con sketches. I am picking up a Ben Templesmith Baroness at Planet Comicon. It cost $200 and is a black and white ink painting on gray art paper. I figured this was worth it because this will be a framed piece. I also wanted to support Templesmith because I love his art and he does free con sketches.

You're certainly right that things have changed, not the least of which was the eBay effect.  It used to be, even in the 90s, perceived that artists were sketching for their fans to have a keepsake, and nothing more. The idea that these sketches would have resale value was a foreign thought to most. And then eBay came along, and THEN the speculators moved in, rolling up tons of cheap sketches at cons and then flipping them as OA for many multiples of what they paid.

Artists caught wind of that and a) wanted to put an end to the arbitrage and b) realized they were selling themselves short.  I think the other thing is that artists began to realize that it's not economical to go to shows as a rule, and needed to defray their costs somehow.

It's a 100% logical evolution though, because there's so much slack demand and limited supply.  A "name" artist can physically only draw so many sketches in a weekend, and most see their request lists fill up within an hour or two of the start of the con.  So that means that for every person that says, "too rich for my blood", there are still tons of people willing to pay the higher prices.

Even though I'm known for spending some $$$ on comics and art, I do draw the line. I've never paid more than $100 for a commission, and generally limit it to $50 at cons unless its someone I truly covet AND I've seen examples of their con sketches before and they look great. The fact someone paid $3,451 at Emerald City for an Adam Hughes commission baffled me more than a megamillionaire paying $1.1 million for Amazing Fantasy #15.

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« Reply #10 on: 09:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

I got a quickie free sketch from him last year at the DC booth and it's awesome.  I'm hoping I can get one from him this year.  I know that it's a bit pricey, but it'll be awesome.  A few months back I bought an uninked page from LoSH #2 and his pencils are incredible.  I know that one of his sketches would be worth it, even if it does take up 1/3 of my con budget.

Definitely. I've thought about buying a page from him as well, but haven't bit the bullet yet. I think something gets lost from his pencils when inked.
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« Reply #11 on: 10:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

Get in where you fit in. 

The new mantra of convention sketches.

I've never spent more than $100 on a commission until this year.  He publishes the pricing on this site, so I'm not talking outta school, but I had to have me a sketch from Mahmud.  And those are $200.  But have you seen them?   Hearts

I'm gonna do something fun at C2E2 with quickie sketches.  I'm gonna make a checkerboard pattern on a piece of 11x17 paper and have artists do very quick sketches on a theme.  Probably Batman univerese just because people won't really need reference.  Even superstars if they're willing to lend 5 minutes could do a 2x3 inch head sketch of Batman.  Got this idea from others - looks fun as hell.  Gonna do another one at SuperShow - but with Agents of Atlas theme.
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« Reply #12 on: 10:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

Even though I'm known for spending some $$$ on comics and art, I do draw the line. I've never paid more than $100 for a commission, and generally limit it to $50 at cons unless its someone I truly covet AND I've seen examples of their con sketches before and they look great. The fact someone paid $3,451 at Emerald City for an Adam Hughes commission baffled me more than a megamillionaire paying $1.1 million for Amazing Fantasy #15.

I'm of the same general opinion (though I have paid more than $100 on one or 2 occasions for some sketches that looked really solid from artists that I really wanted).

In general, for con sketches, I like to stay in to $30-60 range, and it has to be someone I REALLY like to move into that $70-100 range.

No disrespect meant, but while I can understand Adam Hughes commanding big bucks, I frequently see relatively unknown artists with pretty stellar prices ($100+) posted.   As long as someone is willing to pay those rates, I guess it works Ok for them.
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« Reply #13 on: 10:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

I'm gonna do something fun at C2E2 with quickie sketches.  I'm gonna make a checkerboard pattern on a piece of 11x17 paper and have artists do very quick sketches on a theme.  Probably Batman univerese just because people won't really need reference.  Even superstars if they're willing to lend 5 minutes could do a 2x3 inch head sketch of Batman.  Got this idea from others - looks fun as hell.  Gonna do another one at SuperShow - but with Agents of Atlas theme.

That is a great idea.

I have gotten a few sketches, but if I'm honest I sort of regret them now. Not because the work isn't great, but because I don't want to frame and hang them all up. Space is an issue, and I really wish I could go back in time and put them all in a sketch book. I would start a book now, but I don't go to enough conventions/events to justify it.

I can't remember what I've paid for everything, but I tend to like to stay on the cheaper side of things (sub $30) from unknown artists.
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« Reply #14 on: 10:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

Here's a tip: some guys will do freebies at at their artist alley tables if you happen to be around their table at the last half hour of the show.

Hughes, Terry Dodson and Aaron Lopresti have done this.

This is a Dodson freebie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patloika/5396895054/in/set-72157625801958465/

I got a free commission from Pete Woods (normally charges 50) because my piece was the last thing he drew at ECCC 2010.

Here's how that looked: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patloika/5396275469/in/set-72157625801958465/
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« Reply #15 on: 10:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

Get in where you fit in. 

The new mantra of convention sketches.

I've never spent more than $100 on a commission until this year.  He publishes the pricing on this site, so I'm not talking outta school, but I had to have me a sketch from Mahmud.  And those are $200.  But have you seen them?   Hearts

I'm gonna do something fun at C2E2 with quickie sketches.  I'm gonna make a checkerboard pattern on a piece of 11x17 paper and have artists do very quick sketches on a theme.  Probably Batman univerese just because people won't really need reference.  Even superstars if they're willing to lend 5 minutes could do a 2x3 inch head sketch of Batman.  Got this idea from others - looks fun as hell.  Gonna do another one at SuperShow - but with Agents of Atlas theme.

Mahmud's sketches are, as you noted, fully rendered commissions and well worth the money. But to me it's become a bit of a fun game to discover the new artists who are making their first go arounds in the con circuit, and getting stuff from them BEFORE they blow up.

I've managed to lock down sketches and/or pages from the likes of Mahmud, Declan Shalvey, Gabriel Hardman, Ryan Stegman, Tim Seeley, Freddie Williams, Jamal Igle and many others for a fraction of what they now charge as standard rates. And as my friends, I'm happy to see them prosper, but I'm also happy to have some art from them BEFORE they realized how much they're worth. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: 11:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

I would be mad if I paid a lot for one, but I actually prefer the looser less complete sketches some artists give. Stan Sakai is a guy who does really loose quick doodles for fans. For some reason something like that, or the 4 lines Tim Sale gives you to represent Batman, are more appealing to me than the more finished pieces people can get.
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« Reply #17 on: 11:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

I would be mad if I paid a lot for one, but I actually prefer the looser less complete sketches some artists give. Stan Sakai is a guy who does really loose quick doodles for fans. For some reason something like that, or the 4 lines Tim Sale gives you to represent Batman, are more appealing to me than the more finished pieces people can get.

The trick I have is how to broach getting a "quickie" rough sketch versus a fully detailed one. I haven't figured out that move yet...the "hey, mind if you sketch something in this real quick?" M.O. I'm envious of those of you who have that move down, because it can yield awesome and inexpensive art.
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« Reply #18 on: 11:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

This isn't sketches but it does pertain to comic art.

Don't overlook prints. I met Tony Moore last night at a signing at a comic shop in Cincinnati. He was selling prints for 10 bucks a pop. I picked up two absolutely gorgeous 11x17ish autographed Fear Agent prints. A bargain at twice the price!

Now they're not the truly original art that sketches and commissions are, but that doesn't mean they look any less beautiful on my walls!

Just something to keep in mind
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« Reply #19 on: 11:03 AM | Thursday, March 10, 2011 »

This isn't sketches but it does pertain to comic art.

Don't overlook prints. I met Tony Moore last night at a signing at a comic shop in Cincinnati. He was selling prints for 10 bucks a pop. I picked up two absolutely gorgeous 11x17ish autographed Fear Agent prints. A bargain at twice the price!

Now they're not the truly original art that sketches and commissions are, but that doesn't mean they look any less beautiful on my walls!

Just something to keep in mind

You are right, there are some great posters available at cons. I know at last C2E2, Burnham had an amazing Groot/Rocket Raccoon print (I tried to buy the original from him but it was already spoken for) and Dustin Nguyen had some AWESOME prints, too.

But my only reservation is that $10 seems like the lighter side of things. A lot of them seem to be in the $25-$50 range and, for that, I'm back to preferring an original piece.
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