Q: What are your rates?
A: My 2020 freelance rate is $35/hour. Complicated, detailed paintings (like a book cover) usually take 10-20 hours, so please budget accordingly.
(^That’s 90% of what I get asked. Below is everything else!)
Q: Who is Heather Landry?
A: That’s me, the artist behind Sandpaperdaisy Art. When I’m not making the digital and traditional art, crafts, and comics on this site, I’m either raising my kids, fulfilling commissions and freelance contracts, or working 40 hours a week as a graphic artist. I also run Sandpaperdaisy Art and maintain all sites and social media connected with it.
Q: What is Sandpaperdaisy Art?
A: Sandpaperdaisy Art is Heather Landry’s artist handle. I use the i.d. “sandpaperdaisy” on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, deviantART, tumblr, you name it. Sandpaperdaisy Art also helps to unite work that I created under my maiden name with my current work, and pull together the widely varied artistic projects I’ve created, from crafts on Etsy to comic books at Comixology and IndyPlanet.
Q: What’s up with the name “Sandpaperdaisy?”
A: I made it up sometime around 1990. I’ve always enjoyed poetry and word games, and I was putting random words together because I thought they sounded nice and the name stuck. I also liked the idea of the inversion of what would normally be a sweet and somewhat over-used scene, that of a boy plucking daisy petals and saying “she loves me, she loves me not.” With a sandpaper daisy, the scenario becomes a lot more hazardous! That boy had better be serious about getting his answer…the same way I’m serious about every piece of art I make (and frequently destroy my own fingers doing it).
Q: Why don’t you have limited editions for most of your prints?
A: I go into it in-depth here, but basically I believe art should be for everyone. I can’t put an arbitrary number on how many people get to own a certain piece. Art is not just for the privileged few who can afford a limited giclee print, and I have no interest in creating art that will be prized primarily as an investment to be resold. Rather, I want people who feel stirred by my work to have no trouble obtaining it as a print, book cover, comic, or other widely enjoyed item that touches as many people as possible.
The exceptions are 1) a special promotion such as my successful Kickstarter “make 100” campaign, which required creating a limited edition, and 2) when a client commissions art and specifically needs it to be limited or one-of-a-kind. This generally factors into the cost of the commission.
Q: Are you open for commission?
A: I’m pretty darn busy right now, so there is a chance I may not be able to take your commission. If this happens, don’t despair. I frequently run flash deals where I do cheap commissions for a short time. I always announce these on social media.
Q: Is there anything you will not draw?
A: I have no trouble with adult situations (within reason) or people who would like a nice picture of their furry persona. This is not a judgmental place. However, if a concept involves sexualization of children, hate speech, sexually explicit or non-consensual scenarios, it is unlikely I am the artist for you. And, as stated above, if I know that a particular IP holder does not allow fan art, I will not accept a commission involving that IP. All requests will be treated professionally and I’ll let you know immediately and refer you to an appropriate colleague (if possible) if I cannot accept a particular commission.
Q: What are your commission rates?
A: Same as my 2020 freelance rate, $35 an hour. My commission sheets on social media frequently feature flat rates. These are still based off my $35 an hour rate though! Every flat rate is calculated from how quickly I have historically completed a given kind of art with a given degree of complexity. You can also luck out sometimes and get a cheaper drawing if I’m having a sale.
Q: How do you designate a project as a commission or freelance work?
A: When a private individual asks me to make a piece of art or an object for their personal enjoyment, I define this as a commission. When a company, business, or organization asks me to create a piece of art that may be used and reproduced by them for business or commercial purposes, this is freelance work.
Q: What types of projects merit a contract?
A: Any freelance project requires a contract. Commissions may require a contract based upon price and how many considerations are involved.
Q: Why do you use contracts?
A: Simply put, to clearly outline when the art is due, how much it costs, when payment is due, and what the patron or client will be receiving. With a contract, both parties are protected: the patron or client is protected against not receiving his art (or getting it late), and the artist is protected from not receiving their compensation. If you are a client, you definitely need the protection of a contract! I’ve spoken to a few people who paid an artist and then did not receive their art, or did not receive it on time. They had no recourse, because there wasn’t a contract. I felt horrible for them!
If I’m doing a small commission job for you and I don’t mention a contract, but you want one, never hesitate to ask for one. I will always be happy to back up my accountability and extend you the protection you deserve.
Q: How can I contact you?
A: You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact me through Facebook.
Q: What are your long term goals?
A: The following are projects I am currently working on:
- Converting my solo shows to eBooks
- Comic one-shot collection: The Ocean
- Novel: The Cradle of the Worm
- Graphic Novel: Dog Street
- Children’s Book (watercolors): [secret title]
- Graphic Novel: [secret title]
- Children’s Book (papercraft): [secret title]
These are long-term projects running concurrently with my convention and show schedule and serving my recurring clients.
Q: Where do you get your source images for photo-manipulations, photographic textures, digital collage, and so on?
A: I use a combination of my personal snapshots, public domain images, and stock images.
Snapshots are taken with my cheap phone using a free camera app. For public domain images, I use Google’s search filters to look for works licensed for re-use without attribution, then check each image individually to see what permissions I actually have. These public domain images are usually from the 1800s, or Wikimedia images that have been released to the public. My favorite website to find great stock images from is deviantart. Just search “stock” and the element you’re looking for. Make sure to read all stock artists’ journals, descriptions, etc carefully before using anything they created to ensure you correctly attribute and/or compensate them. Recently I’ve been using unsplash and Wikimedia commons a lot too.
Above all, do NOT just do an image search and hope for the best. Even if you want to use an image for reference and will not be collaging it into your piece as an art element, I still think it’s best to snap your own quick pose photo or refine your search for public domain photos. There’s so many great image resources available for free or cheap, it doesn’t make sense to use something else.
Q: What programs do you use?
A: Photoshop for the initial work, things like experimenting with composition and any photo-manipulation or positioning. Then I open the file in Paint Tool SAI and do the bulk of drawing and painting. Lastly, I put it back into Photoshop to optimize the picture and do further adjustments and variations. I go back and forth between the two programs many times for each piece. I also use Manga Studio for comic page formatting and their 3D models and extensive screentone and brush library. My tablet is a Wacom Intuous Pen CTL480.
I’ve heard good things about ArtRage and Clip Studio Paint (Manga Studio’s newest version), so I may be utilizing these in the near future as well.