Guide to Costing

A common question is "how much does a cartoon illustration cost?"

Unfortunately it's one of those "how long is a piece of string?" kind of questions.

Every quote for a project is treated individually and the main points that effect the price are....

The amount of detail in the cartoon.

The time it will take to produce the cartoon.

Is there a likeness or caricature involved? If so, this takes longer to produce.

Usage of the cartoon - is it for a one off t-shirt or poster, or will it be used as company branding or identity?

The time you would like to use the cartoon for.

Think of it as if you are hiring the cartoon because that, in effect, is what you will be doing. So will it be for 6months? One year? Two years....?

COPYRIGHT © is the biggest factor. If you want to buy the copyright to the cartoon design I produce for you, this will incur a larger cost. Most of the time, copyright 'buy out' is not needed, but in the case of logos, mascots and branding, it is the norm.

As a general rule, colour cartoon illustrations start at $500 and move upwards depending on the factors listed above.

Copyright is automatic to the artist (Sean Gaskin) and remains his intellectual property until it is 'bought out' (by the client) for an extra cost.

The Australian Cartoonists Association (ACA) has published an up to date guideline for (click to view) -

Branding (i.e. logos, mascots, etc.) for companies and products is seen in a different light to one-off illustrations and generally attract a higher fee.

Writing a Creative Brief

A design or creative brief is a written explanation outlining the job that you are wanting done. Here are some tips and ideas on how to write an effective brief for comissioning artwork or design. The better the communication of ideas, the better the chance of a successful end result.

Creative briefs are usually written in Word (Pages for Mac) or PDF documents, but may also be written as an email if need be. Don't be limited by these points as they are just suggestions, so here goes....


Tell me some information about your company. Be sure to include:

The name of your company or business

The nature of your business

How big is your company (i.e. how many staff are employed)


It is important to give a general overview of the job and projected income.

What is the project?

What are you expecting this art or design to achieve for your business?

Who is going to see the finished product?

Who are you trying to attract?


Exactly what artwork are you needing?

For example:

One (1) full colour character design

Three (3) full colour poses with no background

One (1) detailed illustration (A4 size) of the character driving a car in the countryside



It is best if you let me know how much you have allotted to spend on the project. This allows me the option to find an art or design solution that will fit your budget.

If there is any specific deadline that needs to be met, I will need to be informed.


It is very important that you show me images that incorporate the ideas or 'look' that you are after. Feel free to send images that I have already produced, as well as others that you may have found online. But please note that I will not copy other artists' work. I always assume that you are approaching me to create a unique piece of art or design tailored for your business.


While it is my job to bring artistic ideas to the table, it can help if you bring your initial ideas at the outset. This way we can talk about the possibilities without too much trial or error later.

Such things maybe:

Style of art or design


Positioning or posing of characters or images

Typefaces - handwritten, modern, traditional, serif, sans-serif, etc.

Overall look and feel


Please list the file format(s) you require. Generally if the work is for print, the standard formats are:



JPG (RGB colour only)

If the work is solely for a website or screen resolution, then the most common formats are:



It is always best to check with your printer or web developer to determine what the required format will be.

Well that's the basic gist of it! If you have any questions regarding the design brief process, feel free to contact me and we can chat more about it.

Deadline & Timing

I've never missed a deadline and I'm not planning to either!

If I can't get the work done on time I won't take the project on board. If your deadline is "tomorrow" and I have a free schedule, then great - bring it on! But with a realistic time frame, there is often a better outcome and everyone is happy.

Most illustrations are able to be physically drawn within a couple of days, but can be held up with revisions and approval process, that can sometimes come at an additional cost if the changes are not part of the original quoted brief.

The faster approval or revisions are decided upon, the faster the work will be done.

The timing also depends on the amount and urgency of other projects I am currently working on.

Payment Terms and Conditions


A schedule compatible with the Client's timing requirements will be established at the outset of the project.

All dates and time schedules are contingent upon prompt project commencement and timely Client's input as required.


At least 50% deposit must be paid before commencement to secure my time on the project.

For private commissions I require 100% upfront.

Final artwork(s) are delivered 'C.O.D. style' - only after final balance has been received and processed.

Direct online bank deposit is the preferred payment method.

For international online bank deposits, a SWIFT CODE will be provided.

If you cancel the project before completion, there is a 'Kill Fee' of 50% of balance owing. If more than half the work has been produced, the cost is worked out as the percentage of work completed.


Client acknowledges that Artist (Sean Gaskin) is first and sole owner of all COPYRIGHT and shall retain intellectual rights of all illustration(s) and/or Artwork(s) and Design(s).

Under International Law, copyright and intellectual property always belongs to the Artist (Sean Gaskin) unless copyright is assigned to the Client (yourself) in the form of a 'Copyright Assignment'. Copyright can be purchased if required, but usually an 'Exclusive License' is the best option.

An Exclusive License allows the Client full privileges of the Artwork in specified regions and agreed applications/purposes (i.e. television, the web, print, t-shirts, etc.) for a specific time period (i.e. two years).

All usage rights are void until full payment has been made.

The Artist (Sean Gaskin) is entitled to use all art and designs for self promotion purposes or to enter into any contest.

Reassigning of Rights: Client may not assign or transfer this License or any part thereof unless authorised in writing by the Artist (Sean Gaskin).

No modifications, changes or alterations may be made to art, design, text or any part thereof, directly or indirectly, without the Artist's (Sean Gaskin) prior written consent.

The Artist (Sean Gaskin) can sign all his cartoon commissions (like a painter signs their paintings) other than logo designs and can also include his website address in all sequential art, e.g. cartoon strips and comic books.

All orginal artwork sold is subject to 'No Reproduction Rights', meaning that if you buy an original sketch or drawing, you do not have the right to copy or reproduce the art in any way, including online or in printed matter, without the express written permission of the Artist (Sean Gaskin).


Preview sketches and finished artwork are generally delivered by email unless alternative ways have been arranged.

Artist's Copies: Client shall furnish the Artist (Sean Gaskin) with two (2) copies of the Work upon publication.


Client agrees to include a credit to the Artist (Sean Gaskin) in connection with his Work.

If you are going ahead with a project or illustration, please email me your written agreement to proceed.

Enough talk, let's do it!

Okay! You're now ready to get in touch by either clicking on 'CONTACT' at the top of this page or email me to the email address provided below and commission me to draw you something awesome! But before you do, please make sure you can supply me with the following things....

A nice creative brief. The more information I have, the easier it is for me to quote you and create the artowrk that you are after. Communication is essential, otherwise it's all guess work and will end up costing you more. If you're unfamiliar with how to do this, revert back to the pointers I've provided above for guidance in this matter.

I'll need your business details for invoicing. These are full business/trading name, the name of the person I will be communicating with, street address, phone/fax numbers, email address and website address.

Unless you are a book or magazine with an established publisher, I will require a deposit before I start the job as mentioned above. I will send you an invoice with my banking details for the amount required.

Contact Details for the Communicative


[email protected]


Mobile: +64 21 366 945


Sean Gaskin

11 Black Street

Wairoa 4108

Hawkes Bay

New Zealand

Website Building Application




© 2023 Sean Gaskin Cartoonist / All Rights Reserved

-Publishing Rates-