Sunday Mailbag

July 22nd, 2007 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: How do you figure up how much time a project will take so you know you can promise it by a certain time? By paper size? By number of people/objects? I really should start timing myself to see how long it takes to do each step of my projects before I even consider charging anybody for my time.

A: If asked how long it will take to do a particular job, my answer is always the same: “It takes as long as you’ll give me.”

Some jobs require a lot of complicated imagery like crowd scenes or lot’s of elaborate detail, and some are simpler and therefore take less time. The difference doesn’t amount to much, really. I estimate it takes 2-3 days for a full page illustration. It might take a little more if the image is very complex, or a little less if it’s something simple, but 90% fall within that range. I guess after a while you get a feel for what a job entails and what you can realistically expect as far as time frame goes.

Most jobs come with a deadline anyway, and you either accept it in that time frame or not. I’ve been asked to do artwork overnight and been given 2 months to do it. If they give me two months I’ll take two months, I just accept other jobs along the way. I also find myself doing a lot of needless noodling on a piece if I have a long deadline, whereas if the deadline is short I would work quicker. The end result has little difference really, I notice but most would not. Therefore the exact same illustration would take longer in the second instance simply because I had more time to mess around on it.

Not much of an answer, I know… but it’s that’s the way it is..

Thanks to Garrett Williams for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here! I’m running low!


Comments are closed.


Just added dates for Atlanta and London, spots still available in Dallas and Toronto!

Workshops Ad

Sherlock ad

Batman 2015 Ad

Superman 2015 Ad

%d bloggers like this: