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  1. #1
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    Painting mini's as a business

    I'm not really sure where to start explaining myself, but here goes.

    I've been painting and playing 40k for a few years now, and I'd have to say i enjoy modeling and painting more than i like playing the actual game. This could be that i'm just bad at playing...but thats beside the point. My point is that I think i'm pretty talented for someone without much experience.

    Heres my question! Is it possible, outside of being a professional modeler, to make money by painting peoples mini's? I've painted eldar, chaos, orks, space marines, and imperial guard for my friends and they've offered to pay me, but them being my friends and all, i never wanted to charge them...i just wanted stuff to paint! Does anyone have info on how people (if anyone) normally go about doing this? or is this a bogus idea...?

    Thanks


    Talos!: http://www.librarium-online.com/gall...8/3/talos1.jpg


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  3. #2
    Senior Member DEADMARSH's Avatar
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    if were you, ask your local shop if you can put up a flyer advertising your painting service. bring in a few of your best model and put them in a case there at the store to show off, and put a little sign in there so they know you did the work. maybe come up with a unique name for your business, or an eye-catching logo you can put on the flyer and the little sign. if the folks at your shop are really nice, maybe even ask them to put flyers in the bags of the folks who buy warhammer stuff.

    if that takes off, maybe look into starting up a site where people can mail you their minis to be painted or something.
    We all carry on,
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  4. #3
    LO Zealot Gojiratoho's Avatar
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    I believe Slorak does paint minis as a business. You may want to PM him or wait until he responds to this thread.

    I've thought about doing this as well, but I have a hard time justifying cost vs time spent on the model.
    Gyauayuayuayua! Ja! Ve vill crush da little girly men in deir little girl men awrmor! Ve vill see owur enemies driven befowur us, und hear da lahmentaytions of deir wemen. Und from owur home planet, de stayte uf Califowurnia, ve vill lawunch owur mighty offensive. Even if you kill us, ve'll be bach!! Gyauayauyauyauyau!

    -Arnoldunit Schwarzenecronegger; when questioned about the impending doom he would rain down upon the heads of his doomed enemies.

  5. #4
    Son of Dorn Sanctus's Avatar
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    I do that in my spare time to help me make a few more bucks. I started and am still getting my work from the local gaming shop. I usually don't take more than one project at once because of the limited time I have to work on them.
    <(^^)> <(^^<) (>^^)> ^(^^)^ Dance Kirby! Dance!

  6. #5
    I AM CAN HAS CHEESEBURGER bonjordo's Avatar
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    i have a friend (a golden deamon winner) who is being payed to paint up someones greyknight army....
    so yes it is possible, but it would be easier to apply for a job....

  7. #6
    Thread Killer! slorak's Avatar
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    Yes I do paint for others for money. :rolleyes:

    I have heard that if you live in an area where the cost of living is rather low you can make a decent living just painting miniatures. Unfortunately I don't live in one of those areas!

    Here is how I got started. first I started selling things on eBay. I started out offering my stuff for less than I wanted for it. Once I started selling my stuff and people were leaving positive feedback - I found that I could A) start selling it for more money and garnish a positive reputation. I found sites such as Cool Mini where I could advertise when I had active auctions, and I even went so far as to set up a personal website to showcase my work.

    Here is what I have found in my research on this subject. There tends to be 2 kinds of painters for hire.

    1) The Army painter - This is a person that will be willing to paint up a lot of figures for you and do so quickly. They sacrifice quality for qantity. They also tend to be cheaper. This is mainly for the buyer that wants a whole army painted but doesn't want to spend the big bucks to get a very nice looking army. They are more interested in quick quick quick.

    2) The showcase painter - This is a person that will take the time to paint the figure to his/her best ability. It will probably take longer, they may not take huge orders (such as an army), and it will definitely cost more - but the quality is there. This is for the collector or person that has the money to invest in a quality figure/army.

    I myself tend toward the showcase painter. If I were to just churn out figures I wouldn't be satisfied with my efforts and would really enjoy doing it. I like to push myself with everything I do.

    The best way to get work is through commissioning. You set your prices and since you aren't going through a 3rd party you don't end up with fees. As for pricing do your research and find similar painters that are up to the caliber of your work. The more you charge the less work you will have. If you find yourself in need of more work lower your prices until you are at a comfortable level.

    Now keep in mind that having less work is not a bad thing. Look at your reasons for painting for hire. I myself use it predominatly to bring in a litte extra money to pay for my hobby or various "other stuff". I don't paint as my sole income. I also have a restricted amount of time in which to paint or do other hobby stuff. I usually only want to take on a commission from time to time and whenever I am at a slow spot I will start selling on eBay again. This usually affords me with the funds I need to support my own miniature habit and allows me minimal time for myself to paint!

    Your work ethic should be everything. Don't skimp on supplies to save a few bucks. I am not the cheapest person out there but you get quality product, hard dedication, extra secure packaging, the whole 9 yards. I don't like when others skimp on me and I certainly don't skimp on them.

    Last piece of advise - advertise werever you can. I have found signatures in forums to be good, search engines, personal sites, hell I even went so far as to make t-shirts with my web address (Now I am seeming crazy and obsessive!) on them. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. It is free and builds upon your reputation.

    I hope this was a decent primer to get you started.

    Cheers,

    -Mike

    Now offering an affordable Tournament Legal Quality Commission pricing. Find out more here!

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    Wow, lots of good advice!

    Luckily, the cost of living in my area is super cheap (i pay 180$ rent!) so I think if I do this right i could support myself fairly well doing this and having another job.

    I'll probably go for being an army painter rather than a showcase painter, as I dont really consider my work to be of shocase quality..............yet!

    Theres only a couple stores in the Cleveland area, so if I advertise there I dont think i should have a hard time getting attention...

    I'll have to do some research for pricing, but you've all pointed me in the right direction so I should be able to get this underway. Thanks!!!!!

    ps: Mike...whats your website?? haha

  9. #8
    The Fallen Cheredanine's Avatar
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    OK Sorlak has given you a lot of good advice,

    Personnaly I dont charge for my painting, the pay wont match to my Salary and I rather enjoy painting, once you start doing commisions you are comminting yourself to dealines etc which is vastly different from doing it as a hobby.

    There are a number of sites that sell painting services from people, I would start at Headblasters and look at their links, you will find the going rate per hour is usually some thing around 10 pounds (about 18 dollars) but again, look at the standard of paining there.

    Sont wat to be brutal mate, but you are not their yet, you are above the average you will find in GW stores, but not at that level. I would suggest you take a look at the blending between the reds on your talos, these guys wet blend very well, never mind dry blend. For reference, look at my piccis in my gallery on this site, when I post them on their sites I tend to get rave reviews but those are the guest galleries, it would not cut it with their stuff.

    If you want to go down this route, as Sorlak and other have said, dont jump straight in, if you can do it, paint up a couple of pieces and put them on Ebay, if they sell well then you know you are getting there,

    and try the flier approach.

    I Hope it goes well
    Chered

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    Ebay is also rather acceptable place to sell models. Just remember to set the initial price at a level which will at least return your costs (ie 2x the price of the unpainted model - if it was not converted). Another thing is that you should put higher starting price on converted models.

  11. #10
    Thread Killer! slorak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_fifth_horseman
    Ebay is also rather acceptable place to sell models. Just remember to set the initial price at a level which will at least return your costs (ie 2x the price of the unpainted model - if it was not converted). Another thing is that you should put higher starting price on converted models.
    Some things to look out for when starting out on eBay:

    1) Unless you already have a well established reputation you will find it very hard to sell at the price you are willing to part with. That's not to say that it is impossible but you will see that there are countless others out there selling similar things for less.

    2) Usually the best way to start getting attention is to let a few models go at a price less than you want for them. Once they go and you get positive feedback - start slowly raising the price. Eventually you will get to a point where you will get what you want for them - but it does take time.

    3)If you set your prices too high and you don't sell you end up still paying listing fees. This is a big downside to eBay. It is a great place to get started but I find that I would much rather build up a client base and then stay clear of all the extra fees and hassles of eBay until I need to use it again.

    It was posted above that commissions can be difficult due to time constraints sent by the client. My take on this is you call the shots. Be honest and upfront, do things your way and make sure you are thourough when you bid on a project. If the person likes your way of doing business and your quality of work he/she will be willing to wait on your availability. I have never had a problem with being rushed. As a matter of fact my current work and the last had the stipulation - get it done when you get it done. Most people will realize that they will get a better end result if you don't rush things.

    To qualify the last point - I have taken the time to write up an extensive guideline on how I conduct business through commissions. I make it clear that I don't do this as a full time job, my time is limited, and I paint to a certain quality and nothing less. The more information that you give to others - the easier it is to weed out the serious from the passively curious.

    Cheers,

    -Mike

    Now offering an affordable Tournament Legal Quality Commission pricing. Find out more here!

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