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How long do you take?

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How long do you take?

Post by Kathy on Thu 2 Sep - 20:20

It seems to me that I am very slow in completing one cartoon. It can take me 3 or 4 days, from thinking it up, roughs, and finally creating in Illustrator. I work full time so I know that slows me way down since I only have a couple hours a day to work on my cartoons. So that means that it could take me up to 8 hours for one cartoon! Sounds too slow to me. How long does it take you?
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by LeahG on Thu 2 Sep - 20:37

Cor it could be anything from a few minutes to a few days depending on what I am doing.

Client cartoons take a while as I tend to do a LOT of drafts!

My own toons though drawn for my own pleasure may take as little as 30mins (and it shows!!!!) as I generally don't do any drafts. I make one drawing and that is it.
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by inkthomson on Fri 3 Sep - 16:13

The concept takes as long as it takes for me, which is a drag. If I sit down to write, I can knock of 5 solid ideas in about 8 hours, or longer, depending. The art is 2-3hrs.

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Re: How long do you take?

Post by Kathy on Fri 3 Sep - 17:37

OK, I'm way too slow LOL! But I think I'll get faster with practice (I hope!)

I don't think I have a clear idea of how long it would take me if I had the luxury of being well rested and just concentrating on my work, either. I'm always working on my cartoons when I'm tired (after working all day, or at 5:30 in the morning before getting ready for work). And there's always laundry to do, phones ringing, dogs to let out, dogs to let in, dogs to let out again (one is very old, she needs a couple trips out to finish her business.) There, I've made my excuses why it takes me longer. Now I can go happily on my way, secure in my delusions Laughing
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by Simon Lake on Fri 3 Sep - 18:52

I'm the same as you Eileen. You can say we may be perfectionists but for me it has to be right. I will spend the same time as you. The normal delivery time for most jobs on the Freelance sites is pretty reasonable (3-5 days) and at the end of the day you want to make it as good as you can.

It's a good question but you can only really know when you are given a deadline for a specific project yourself that you can truly gauge your ability. You will certainly find that most clients will respect that you have taken some time over something than a half hearted effort done in 5 minutes and it's your time that are paying for after all.
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by Kathy on Fri 3 Sep - 19:38

Simon, I think perfectionist is correct. Even things I do for fun, I'll spend time on them or I won't like the results. I just spent a week drawing some pictures for a coworker's daughter to color. Just four line drawings in Illustrator (pretty cute, I think!) but I went through my normal process.

I do believe that the more I draw, the faster I will get. I continueto learn from each cartoon. Still a long way to go before I'd want to try for client work.
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by inkthomson on Fri 3 Sep - 19:46

You got that right Eileen. I took ages before, and not that long ago. I have the big and lucky luxury of spending about 5-6 hrs a day on the cartoons with very little in the way of distraction. The more I do it the quicker it flows. And Simon is bang on. Clients would rather wait for a couple of days for quality work as opposed to getting worthless stuff immediately. Good luck!

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Re: How long do you take?

Post by Simon Lake on Fri 3 Sep - 19:49

You are closer than me if you are outputting vector- based images. That's where the demand is. I can't do it yet. Don't ever think of yourself as slow Miss Dover......maybe just slightly timeously challenged? Question
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by Kathy on Wed 8 Sep - 14:26

LOL! Ok, where does a timeously challenged cartoonist with a day job find a patient client?!
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by Simon Lake on Wed 8 Sep - 14:56

When making bids on the Freelance sites you get to stipulate how long you will take to complete a project when stating how much you are going to charge. As I mentioned before, if a provider says they are going to take a day then in my mind, this would scare most employers off. If they are in a hurry for the project to be completed, they will normally say this at the outset and I normally avoid these. I know you are not quiet ready to take the plunge, but it is worth you knowing this and having something to work for by building up your portfolio.
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by Kathy on Wed 8 Sep - 22:09

Thank you, Simon, I greatly appreciate that. I don't have the confidence yet to bid on a project but it's always helpful to have some insight into how it all works. Smile
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by RussCartoons on Thu 9 Sep - 10:31

Good points, Simon,Inky and Leah.
I've found that most of the people or organisations who post projects for bidding haven't got a clue !
And Eileen,I remember the days well when I was getting up at silly-o'clock in the morning to draw, going to the day job, coming home, eating, then drawing 'til the world went all bleary....awful time ! But if this is the kinda thing you want to do, you've got to do it. You've got to keep a roof over your head, so until the cartoons start paying, it's the drudgery of the day job, sadly.
Hang in there though ! If you're serious enough to put yourself through all this, then you're serious enough to make it your main income !

The main question of the thread is how long does it take....

Personally, I think you have to be not only a perfectionist ( to satisfy your own soul ), but quick aswell ( to satisfy your client and your bank manager)

We on this forum could debate endlessly about the beauty of a brush stroke, the brilliance of complimentary colours and the structure of a well-told joke.....but in the cold world outside...the cold world that has the money we'd like to earn....these details are immaterial.
A client, for instance, wants a caricature....he's seen my work, wants one and we agree a price and what he'd like to see. He sends me the photo's to work on and as far as he's concerned it's done.
That's where MY troubles begin !
I know he won't care about composition ( how the hell do I fit a bi-plane into this ??? etc ), he won't care how many years practice it takes to figure out what parts of a face to exaggerate, he won't care how important line-weight is and he certainly won't lose any sleep about how to use layers in photoshop to apply the colours !
I'm quick though. From photo to finished artwork, I never take more than a days work. This is just a matter of practicality for me- I've got a daily rate in my head that I need to earn to pay the bills- and i charge according to that daily rate. It's a case of balancing what I need to survive, how much a client is willing to pay and then fitting it into a reasonable timescale.
It's the only way to pick your jobs.

It's not doom and gloom though !
The more practice you put in at the "drugery" stage of your career, the quicker you'll be when you turn pro....and then, should you take the plunge- you're not tied up and tired from a day job, you can draw and think when you want, you ( God forbid ) get your social life back and you'll also find that you become much more focused on the work.
It's something to aim for.




Last edited by RussCartoons on Thu 9 Sep - 10:43; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : additional name reference)
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by Kathy on Thu 9 Sep - 14:45

Thank you so much for that, Russ! Very interesting indeed.

Get up at silly o'clock to draw? Check.
Stay up till the world is blurry? Check.
Toss in drawing (or napping!) in my car during lunch break.
And finally, what really got my attention, you mentioned fitting a biplane into the drawing - I work for a company that manufacture them!!! Too coincidental, it must be an omen. Shocked Very Happy
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by RussCartoons on Thu 9 Sep - 20:54

Lol !
Sheer luck, I assure you !
Although, just in case, I may try out my new found psychic powers on the national lottery...
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by Kathy on Thu 9 Sep - 21:54

Pick some numbers for me to try over here, while you're at it. I could quit my day job and just draw cartoons if I won...oh, what a lovely dream!
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by Simon Lake on Fri 10 Sep - 2:16

7 49 33 26 38 5
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by Kathy on Fri 10 Sep - 14:32

Simon, I'll play these numbers and let you know if you're psychic (or maybe just psychotic!) Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Re: How long do you take?

Post by Simon Lake on Fri 10 Sep - 14:34

Lol. Suspect
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