So You Want To Order A Commission

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(A guide by Umbramatic, who is unhealthily obsessed with people drawing his characters and thus totally authorized to write this shut up)

So, you have a character, or two, or several dozen. You want to make that character or characters more than just words in your writing. The various character creation games across the Internet don't quite cut it in that regard, they have limits and can only approximate, and most of them are for humans or humanoids anyway, leaving Pokemon and such out of the picture. You're not sure you can draw them yourself to your satisfaction either. And you've got money to spare.

Well good news! There are plenty of people out on the internet who will gladly draw your characters if you throw money at them! However, there are some important things you should know when doing so, and here's a list of 'em:

Step 1: Get a PayPal account, if you don't already have one

PayPal is a service that allows for online money transfers of various sorts, and the vast majority of commission artists use it for payments since there aren't very many other viable ways to send money directly to individual people. Just set up the account at PayPal's website with at least one credit or debit card registered and you should be good to go.

Step 2: Find an artist

Next is finding an artist; what artist you'll want will depend largely on what sort of commission you want, the artist's pricing methods (usually posted on a special sheet on their Tumblr/deviantart/etc. or provided upon contacting them), and your budget. Note some artists offer special discounts for certain sorts of commissions, so keep an eye out for those!

Additionally, make sure they're trustworthy - if you see a lot of people on their Deviantart account or something complaining about hearing zilch back after the commission payment or something like that, steer clear!

Step 3: Get your references ready

Once you've found the artist you want, get loads of reference pictures! Pre-existing pictures of the character(s) are ideal - including those whipped up in those creation games or your own crude doodles - but if you don't have or don't want to use that get as many reference pics of as many aspects of the character or characters you're getting drawn as you can! Artists have a much easier time working off references, and some will charge extra if they don't have sufficient ones! On the other hand, many will charge extra for complex designs or features like armor, cybernetics, etc, so be mindful of that as well.

This page can be helpful when it comes to references, particularly if you're commissioning someone else's character.

Step 4: Contact the artist, hash things out, and pay for your commission

Once you've got the references together, contact your artist of choice via email (or whatever else they'd prefer being contacted by, like Deviantart Notes) and ask them if they're open for commissions, if so give them your reference pics and instructions for drawing your characters, see if they have any questions or such, and pay them once everything's worked out. Be sure to be clear about your descriptions and polite to your artist!

Step 5: Be patient!

Commission turnout times vary depending on both the artist and their schedule - and can vary from a few days to a few months! Regardless, be patient - if they're reputable, they've already done work on your commission or have it in line, so just wait and you'll get something! And feel free to ask for an occasional update, but constant pestering is just rude. Do note even skilled amateur artists often have longer turnaround times than professionals due to non-art obligations in their life.

Step 6: Work with, not against the artist

Eventually, you'll get anywhere from an initial sketch to the whole shebang depending on the artist; it's easily possible there will be errors of some sort either way. If so, don't worry! Most reputable artists are open to corrections in the process, so be polite and tell them what needs fixing; they should get to it in due time.

Step 7: When it's done show it off - and thank the artist!

Once your commission has been satisfactorily completed, congratulations! Feel free to show it off to everyone - but be sure to credit the artist and link back to their Tumblr/DA for that purpose - and if they post it those places leave a fave/like plus a comment/reblog showing your appreciation, if you can!

WAAPT Approved™ Commission Artists

These artists have all done commission work for WAAPTers before and are known to be trustworthy and give good results, so give them a look!

(Some links/additional notes pending.)

Additional Notes: Commission sheet

Additional Notes: Currently running a $10 comission drive to help pay bills; details/queue regularly updated on Tumblr.

Additional Notes: Comission form.

  • gabbystuff/overlordkyogre (Tumblr)

Additional Notes: Commission sheet

Additional Notes: Commission sheet

  • sapphireluna (DA)

Additional Notes: Commission sheet (Look for a bit at the last .gif o3o)

Additional Notes: Commission info

Additional Notes: Comission sheet

Additional Notes: Commission sheet (note: does NOT send Paypal invoice up front, so don't panic if you don't hear back for a bit after reference/instruction dump)

Additional notes: Commission sheet

Additional notes: Comission sheet; more comfortable doing humans and such than Pokemon but will still do them if given enough references.

  • consuelodoodles [link pending]
  • Others?

RP Resident Commission Artists

These commission artists are members of WAAPT! Please ask them about details any RP-friendly way.

  • Daydre
  • Phazya
  • EchoingSilence
  • Others?