The Character Consultancy

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The Artist Affiliation Programme

If you're reading this it's because you're curious about affiliating with me. Welcome! I know you're probably busy: many artists either have full workloads, jobs, or college to attend on top of their commissions, so I've underlined the main points of the affiliation plan to save you time.


Summary

When clients order from me I almost always offer to arrange for an artist to create brand new art for them to go with the product they have bought from me. I don't draw, so instead I ask the client what their art budget is and then search for an artist who offers art for that price.

In return for handing these orders on to an artist, I ask for artists to promote me to their own audiences.

I keep a spreadsheet of the details of artists whom I routinely approach, and this affiliation plan puts you on that spreadsheet.


How You Benefit

  • Around 20% of my clients want art, and I currently get around 15 orders per month. So far my clients have spent anything from $5 USD to $250 USD.
  • The clients I contact you about have already made a firm decision to pay.
  • It's my job to discuss the character's personality with my client and that includes getting a description of the character's appearance, so I invariably have a concise description of the character ready for you. This means that you will have no problem with characters lacking in detail so that you barely know what to draw, or reams upon reams of data to sift through. I've already processed the information so the commissions I bring to you will be concise yet descriptive with images available when possible.
  • I have a long history of taking commissions (I wrote stories on a commission basis for 3 years before starting TCC) and am familiar with working with many clients at a time while under time constraints, so I understand your need to work quickly, efficiently, and with minimal fuss. I will communicate with you in a fuss-free way to get the art commission done.
  • I've already discussed most of the deal with the client by the time I speak to you. From there, all you need to do is accept, refuse, or counter-propose.
  • Most of my clients who order a No Frills describe it as great fun, and many have multiple characters. If you make a commission for one client, they are likely to come back for more.
  • I regularly get orders via other routes anyway, so chances are, if you're on my affiliates spreadsheet and you recommend me to people, I'll come to you for art for clients who found me themselves.

What I Need From You

  • Complete the form at the bottom of this page. I'll get in touch to welcome you / clear up any queries and if I feel you are suitable, I'll add you to my spreadsheet.
  • You recommend me to your clients from here on outwards. Here are my recommendations as to what you can tell them about:

    - No Frills (always a good seller and likely to encourage requests for headshots and concept art)
    - Infographics (which is likely to encourage them to order around 5 pieces of art)
    - Videos (my big-ticket item which generally requires as much art as possible, ideally at least 30 images with backgrounds)

  • Tell me how you have promoted me. I record the recommendations you have made on my spreadsheet and score them according to the table below. This is so that I can make a league table that tells me which artists are recommending me the most.
  • The next time I have a client who wants to buy art, I discuss with the client what they want and what they are willing to pay. Then I check to see if any artists have recommended that person to me and if so, I offer the commission to the artist who made the recommendation.
  • If the artist says no, or if I don't know who recommended a particular client to me, I select a small number of appropriate artists from my spreadsheet and suggest them all to my client. The league table will partly affect my decision about who I recommend. If you recommend me more often than other artists then I will recommend you more often. If you never recommend me I will not recommend you.

Promotional Act

Points

Mentioning me on your profile or home page/s (with TCC logo)

5 points per profile page

Direct recommendation to a particular client

5 points

Mention me in your journal or blog (with TCC logo)
(you are welcome to put a permanent link in the header or footer of your journal or blog if your platform has this facility, to earn points per journal entry)

4 points each

Mention me in your journal or blog (without TCC logo)
(you are welcome to put a permanent link in the header or footer of your journal or blog if your platform has this facility, to earn points per journal entry)

2 points each

Mention me on your profile or home page/s (without TCC logo)

2 points per profile page

Mention me on your commission sheet / price list

2 points

Mentioning me anywher else, including but not limited to:

  • Discord / Skype / Telegram
  • Tweets (including RTs of my promotional tweets)
  • Facebook posts
  • Instagram images
  • Youtube / Twitch / podcast shout outs

1 point each


Please note that the league table is re-started on a monthly basis. This is to give newer artists a fair chance. Otherwise, if one artist earned 75 points on the league table over 6 months, then a new artist would have to promote me in many ways, many times before they could compete. This would discourage new artists from joining the programme.

Please advise me of any ways that you have promoted me so that I know how many points to add to the league table. The best way to do this is by email on @

Thank you for considering affiliating with me and I look forward to working with you!


FAQs

Chances are you have questions. Here are the questions I've been asked so far, plus my answers:

"So let me get this straight. You offer me plus several other artists to your clients, but I'd be recommending you to my clients every time since you're the only character consultant I know of. Aren't I getting the short end of the wedge?"

No, I don't believe so. This entire system is lopsided by default: I already have commissions ready to go for artists. Only some of the clients you recommend to me will end up buying from me (it's incredibly unlikely that 100% of the people you recommend to me will actually check me out, and even less than that will order from me). No one artist can guarantee me work but I can guarantee that I will have work for artists on a regular basis.

And if you still think I've got an unfair advantage, let me tell you this: psychological character profiles are virtually unknown. It took me 6 months just to work out how to explain to people what I do in a way they find easy to understand, and to tweak the service I offer so that it suits peoples' needs. Artists don't have to do that: everybody already knows what an artist is and why ordering art is fun.

"I already have a lot of clients. Why should I affiliate with you?"

I can help you refine your client list to give you more work where the client has already a) decided to pay, and b) described what they want to be drawn. A sale through me is a low-fuss, quick sale where you can get on with doing what you do best. It facilitates you to avoid wasting time managing enquiries from lower-quality potential clients who are fussy, take a long time to pay, try to beat you down on price, want lots of revisions, and all those other common commission frustrations.

If you already have a full workload, why not tell me the kind of work that gives you the best (and worst) return so I know what to approach or avoid approaching you for? The text box at the bottom fo the form is perfect for this.

"Why don't you post up your artists' names so that your clients can pick from the list? It seems unfair for me to promote you specifically but for you to offer me as just one of several options."

If I made the names of all my artist affiliates public there would be no incentive for the artist to promote me in return. If you promote me (and tell me so), I will record this (and quantify your promotion of me using a points system: 5 points for a one-to-one recommendation, 1 point for a mass-mention such as on a journal) and be more likely to suggest you to my clients in turn. Bearing in mind that I already know that the client is going to buy art and am simply pointing out to them who they can buy it from, I am offering you a more definite sale than you are offering me.

"You offer bulk art. I don't want to provide that, but I know that some other artists do. Surely that means you'll never order from me?"

Most clients prefer just one piece or quality over quantity. Surprisingly few of my clients order enough art to even consider bulk art as an option. My clients so far have either ordered simple, low-budget headshots or one or two pieces of high-quality concept art. Only one has ordered a large number of artworks for which I negotiated a bulk discount, and this was to fill a video (which generally need as many images as possible).

"My prices aren't static: I charge individually per artwork depending on various factors including complexity of the character in question, backgrounds, etc. What if I don't want to accept your order?"

My affiliates spreadsheet is organised to include the price of a full-body, unshaded picture with no background for each artist. This is so I can compare prices fairly by comparing apples with apples and gives me a rough idea of which artists to present to each client. If you charge, say, $45 for a full-body unshaded with no background but the client wants something specifically from you for $25, I'll negotiate with each of you accordingly, perhaps for just a half-body or headshot.

Although I do keep a record of artists who can offer a bulk discount, I will not ask you to work for a lower rate than you offer when you apply for affiliation.

"My style doesn't allow me to make unshaded art so I can't complete the question that asks about that. What do I do?"

Fill in how much you would charge for a full body artwork with shading - I'll keep a note that you are a more painterly type of artist. Enough clients prefer this style so your style may help you find more work with me!

"What if your clients can't afford me?"

All I can tell you is that my clients can afford a No Frills at the very least. Perhaps they can only just afford that by the skin of their teeth, or perhaps they can easily afford it plus large quantities of lavish work. It's different for every client.

Why not join as an affiliate and find out? After all, if you recommend your own previous clients to me then there's a high chance they'll be able to afford to pay a similar amount again. All I do is stimulate extra orders by getting our mutual clients excited about their characters and encouraging them to think in new an innovative ways about them, and then sending you a fuss-free commission proposal.

"What if the customer wants revisions?"

Once a client has decided to buy from you, they're more or less in your care, so it is up to you to manage the relationship from there. Some clients are happy with a first draft, some want one revision to tweak the picture as they want it, and some will tinker forever if you let them - that's the nature of commissioning.

However, I will support you in the best way I can by preparing both the client and you with all the information about each other that you need. If you sign up with me, I will ask you how many revisions you are prepared to make, and/or whether you charge for revisions, and communicate this to the client to make sure they are prepared.

"How many points do other artists manage to get?"

I intend to develop this side of the programme so that you can see live where you are on the league table, but until then I'll update this comment occasionally. As of mid-May 2019 I am affiliated with 35 artists. 20 have not promoted me at all, while 15 artists have participated in some form of promotional activity. 5 have 1 point; 2 have 2 points, 2 have 4 points, and the top 3 have 16, 13, and 9 points.



Please complete the form below. All prices to be completed in USD.

Note: All fields marked with an asterisk (*) must be filled.


What is your name *
(Whatever name you would like me to call you by)



Email address *



Gallery link*



What do you charge for a full-body, unshaded, no-background piece?*
Feel free to give a price range or approximate quote if you don't do set prices.
I won't hold you to it.

This question is my way of checking whether it's worthwhile to approach you based on the client's budget.

Painterly artists or anyone else who includes shading as an integral part of their style: please tell me your full-body, shaded, no-background price and tell me you're a painterly artist in the text box at the bottom of this form.



Do you do character design?*



Character design base charge (if applicable)*
Again, I won't hold you to this, it's meant as a guide for me so I know whether to approach you.



Can you offer a bulk discount on art?*



How much would you charge for 10 full-body, unshaded, no-background pieces?*
Once again, I won't hold you to this, it's meant as a guide for me so I know whether to approach you based on the client's budget.



How many revisions are you prepared to do?*
Hopefully we'll never need to find out, but it helps to know what your limits are where art revisions/changes are concerned.



What do you charge for revisions?*
Perhaps you charge, perhaps you don't. Again, just let me know here.



Price list*
Please provide a link to your price list.



Where can I find out whether you're open or closed for commissions?*
Where do you indicate whether you are open or closed for commissions?



Your ToS*
Please provide a link to your terms of service.




Here is my Privacy Policy if you wish to read it.


Miscellaneous Notes

I exercise quality control over who goes onto my affiliates list so not everybody will make it onto the list. This may be due to quality of work, evidence of your professionalism, and any other factors that I deem relevant.

I only use Safe For Work images on my products, so if you only draw adult material then you need not apply.

Please note that almost all of the commissions I send you will be for art that is destined to go on one of my own commissions. If I approach you with a commission as a result of the Artist Affiliation programme then I will assume that permission is given to use the art with my works if you accept the commission. You will be credited and linked back to. However, if you do not wish for your art to be used on my commissions, you need not apply.