As 2012 winds down to a close, it’s time to look towards next year’s costumes and props!
I’m opening up commission inquiries for delivery during the first half of 2013. However, I am going to be speaking a bit on the nature of my request schedule, pricing and quality of work.
Firstly, I am in the extraordinarily awesome position of having a higher demand for my work than I can fulfill. Since I now need a way to determine which commissions to take on, I’ll be taking a page from two other creators I greatly respect. Like Volpin and Blind Squirrel have done this year, I’ll be making decisions according to what I personally would like to create. The reasoning for this is that as a propmaker, I do my best work when I am genuinely invested in a project; whether it’s because I am a fan of the franchise it is from, love the object’s design or enjoy the process that goes into its creation. In the interest of matching my time and skills up with projects that match my own loves, I’ve put together a list of things that interest me and that I’d love to create from.
- Marvel Comics and Movies
- Skyrim/TES Games
- Fallout Games
- Mass Effect Games
- Terry Pratchett’s Discworld
- Deus Ex Games
- Borderlands Games
- Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit
- Batman Comics, Nolan-verse and Animated
- A Game of Thrones
- The Legend of Zelda
- Final Fantasy Games, Especially IV, VI, IX, XII, XIII
- Bubblegum Crisis Hardsuits
- Breath of Fire Games
Now, if what you need isn’t on that list, does that mean I won’t make it? No way! I’m always open to new things, and if something looks interesting, I will certainly consider it. All this list is for is to show how to ensure that you get my attention.
Another bit I want to mention is on the “How much is this gonna cost?” question. Volpin recently did an excellent writeup on the topic of cost in prop commissions. I will never be able to beat mass production prices or those eBay sellers out of Hong Kong. However, I will give you the fairest price I can and absolute control of the substance and direction of your commission.
Another question I get from time to time, after I have given a quote on price, is “Can you cut some corners/use cheaper materials/have less detail to make it cheaper?” This is a very sticky question for me. Now, I costume myself, so I know all about how expensive the hobby can be, and understand how troubling it can be for just one part of a costume to take a large chunk out of the budget. I can sympathize with having a limited budget, as I always work on my own things on a shoestring budget, which is what lead me to learn how to make things myself in order to save money. However, when I put my name onto a commission, my name and reputation is now tied to that piece. If it breaks, if the paint job is less than perfect, if the details are fudged, it reflects upon my skill. While the client and I may know that the details were fudged to keep the piece within the client’s budget, and that we didn’t go with the better paint job at the request of the client, the casual viewer will see a sub-par paint job and muddy, inaccurate details. That will color their opinion on the prop’s creator and ultimately hurt my reputation. The only way I want to send props out for other costumers is if they are the best quality I could create at the time. Know that when I quote a price, it is the fairest price I can give for the quality my conscience requires and very rarely will I be able to re-quote a price lower than I originally gave. I will be spending dozens if not hundreds of hours on a piece for you, and I want to be able to look back at the end and know it was the finest work I could give.
I want to thank everyone reading this for following my work of the last year, and especially thank those who have trusted me to bring a piece of their costume to life. I hope to continue to create awesome, nerdy things in the coming year! If you’ve got something you need made, please swing on over to my Commissions Page and drop me a line!