I've posted a handful of times on this forum; mostly for critique of the puppets I've made throughout the years. This has always been my go-to spot for any info relating to stop motion.
Times have become rather rough for my family and I in terms of finances, and I decided a great way to "put food on the table" is to utilize my skills and passion for creating puppets and selling them to fellow animators.
I'm asking if anybody might have any pointers that can guide me in the right direction. In essence, what I'd like to do is take commissions for puppets that need to be built, provide a quote and estimated ship date, and make people happy with my work. So, basically something along these lines:
"Hi, I'm an independent filmmaker and need a puppet for my project. It needs to have these features and look like this concept drawing."
"I can do that. I can have it done by this date for this price."
Any ideas? I've sold puppets on eBay successfully, so I can provide samples of my work. Thanks everyone!
Marc Spess had a puppetmaking service at his Clayanimation site for quite a while, with several puppetmakers on the books. But while the occasional job came along, it didn't provide a steady income. (About 1 a year for me.) And indie filmakers don't have much money, so it was hardly worth the effort from an earnings point of view. Often their ideas were not thought out, or they got a shock when they found a custom made puppet could cost $600 to $1200 instead of the price of a mass produced toy. So some jobs evaporated, others came along at the wrong time, when everyone was too busy. I've pretty well given up taking paid commissions for puppets. I always felt they needed to be pretty nearly perfect, however little I charged, and getting something to 90% is double the work of getting it to 80%. 95% is at least double the effort again. So they always took far longer than a similar puppet that I would be animating myself, because I can work with a few flaws and still make it look ok on screen.
That doesn't mean it isn't possible, but if I knew how to market it and make it pay I would be doing it.