For Example: Christmas is always a booming consumer market. Summer is always a booming selling market. Halloween is always a creative market with consumers looking for skilled artists. Easter is a down market because its neither gift giving nor gift buying. It does however bring holiday profits for buyers if gaia does an interesting event. Valintine's Day is a Booming market. You'll always find a customer looking for a couples commission or love related theme.
Also think about your current competition. Is your Picasso that amazing?
Example: Your daily consumer IS competition. They demand quality vs PRICE. Someone once said, "Be fast or be dependable" and thats what pricing is all about. Either low prices and high speed so you can make your next USD/Gold or ungodly high prices for a ultra detailed colored, shaded, and alive looking peice of art. I said ALIVE because most artists stick to flat one-perspective art that doesn't look like it can pop out at you (even if the quality is high) with a slap. The Old school Art shop. You see them around often. Get them pumping with activity or quick active response time and they will be more popular than YOU. New Kid on the Block: Often the new kid on the block actually gets more attention than they realize.... Its just that new kids tend to bring in something new to the table where you personally couldn't provide. Prices, skill, unique art style, perspective, DELIVERY SPEED. One hitter Quitter: These guys are the worst kind of competition. This type of competition opens a short time shop and make a big scene, get their cash/points, and leave you with a consumer that no longer has the funds to buy from you then close down their business with no intention of opening up again.
Consumer types: The OC commissioner: Usually strict in what details matter and hard to get enough information unless further questioning. EVERYWHERE, just find a local RP thread/active chat group and support their OC needs and the normal customers will follow the fame. The Reference Master: Easy peasey, you get a something to reference to. A highly descriptive written blog or a picture. The artist's job isn't to satisfy them but rather to surprise them with something they wish they had thought of themselves since they already provided you an example of what they DID think of. Be creative even if the request is strict. The Avatar: Tektek/Avatars makesit easy... REALLY EASY. Create a body, draw the clothes, and the customer is happy enough to pay. The artist's job is to make these come back for more either by Quality or Delivery Speed because this group will remember the best artist on the list and recommission then when they've edited their avatar. Try doing interactive poses. The NITPICK: Everything you have done has already been criticized and you are now the lucky seller of something that has met the standards this group of consumer has set. The artist's job is to repeat your past successes and to learn to deal with potential constraining commissions that a consumer has made for you without cutting corners on the quality your shop already displays. NOT THE MOST FUN CONSUMER. The Hippie: I admit I'm a hippie when it comes to my choice of art once I've picked out a shop with convenient prices that fits my cheap budget and artists that make me go "Woah man, I think my character is winking at me". This consumer group will always give you an order, a few details that can either be extremely specific or justifiable vague and let the artist draw however they please. The artist's job in this case is to BE CREATIVE AS POSSIBLE. Surprise them to make them cry, make them scared, make them feel emotion, make them feel pain, make them see the WORLD that the artist can only see. A hippie consumer doesn't care how you get the job done and is willing to cooperate with the artists because they lack funds or trust your skills. (I personally request that people take their time, do their best, and challenge themselves with something I never would have thought of and have a long list of artists who can) They Crybaby: They want it NOW if not YESTERDAY. Probably the richest consumer (Yea, I'm rich) and will pay any ransom the artist is charging because they have the good'ol cash for it. They paid good money so its best to let this consumer know your deadlines and contact information if you need to keep them updated with what's being produced. The Bulk Buyer: BB's are probably the best way to make a large deal from one customer who doesn't want to spend weeks waiting on the next commission slot to open or looking for more than one artist. Usually this consumer type already has loyal qualities that the artists may want to culture into coming back. A BB thinks about two things. Quality and Quantity. Supply their quantity FIRST then ensure quality in order to keep a BB loyal. The Perv of American Pie: This is rather obvious. Pervy, sexual, or alluring commissions. The artist's job is to pick a sexy pose and roll with the punches. Please, stop with the ultra D-Sized thighs and the generic F-cup. This consumer usually wants their character posed in something that makes them think of physically appealing. The artist can cheat by mixing up body types by changing up the body from slim waist, muscular tone, short legs and elongated stomach, a pronounced neck versus an appealing one and should do that to surprise their customers. If its wrong the artist just made themselves a nice screen saver to look at later.
Types of Art Sellers: Try to understand business better so that you can improve profit. The Job hunter: Busy with life. AFK (Away from keyboard). Has a worthwhile art display/salary but will sell at least 8 art commissions a month worth waiting for. College Prep: Has the same priorities as Job Hunter but generally has an order deadline and a limited open commission limit. The Pizzaman: Speedy delivery. Usually has a long list of costumer's waiting and does NOT disappoint. Has either an endless commission request or 3 slot limit and a reserve. Consumer's favorite. The connoisseur: Prices 20 USD and Up towards 400+ USD. Has an issue keeping consumers loyal due to financial limitations of consumers however does not have issues making money. Warning consumers WILL cringe if you do not have skill worth paying for and will skip the artists who do not have chat response time, interest, or consistently active thread with a good customer list. Transactions usually tend to be delicate and consumer/artists trust limited to the amount of cash on hand or demand in artist's skill. This kind of seller can paint a mountain scene in 8 different colors from regular "blue blue" however once that's been proven they will find their customers easily. The Flee Market: Has a set price on the high end of fair and caters to the mass market. Gets repeat customers or new customers as long as the shop is actively bumped. Willing to negotiate prices and consistent in completing work. Skill ranges from low to upper medium depending on commissioner and commission. Activity in your own shop is key to your shop's survival. 3 to 6 open commission slots. The Free-Bee: Only accepts interesting art worth spending time on. A hobbyist or self-improvement activist. Usually has an affiliation to their own personal shop. Private commissions are accepted. Works on their own terms. Skill can range from doodling to high-end OH I WANT YOU. Dependable: This artist is always there when you need them and if not they will always be there when you come back. On point, always quoting people, making sure their customers like their commissions before they finish their sketches into a final draft, and nothing short of a mid-life crisis can stop them from finishing your art. Skill levels range from medium to High Quality. The prices are just Perfect for a consumer of at least 8 USD to 40USD max. 3 or 4 open commission slots. The Hobo: Usually doesn't know the price market and ends up overworked due to overload in smart consumers looking for cheaper art ordering from them. Gets frustrated often and ends up overpricing their art in result of what they think their demand wants. Sorry, no saving you because there is no advice for this. Just don't give up and you'll be able to do a good job eventually on the market.
Honestly I think your journals is a humorous one, kind of pidgeon holing them. Obviously not every artist or commissioner falls into a category so easily, but there are valid truths in there that I thought were funny because of me seeing them before.
I actually made it pretty easy for an artist to see themselves in one or more category if they wanted to be that way but I needed to make it easy for someone to understand that they fall under a role based on their lifestyles. Granted the journal IS incomplete but my sense of humor is twisted. Especially with The Hobo since I actually have a solution to fixing the issue. The answer is simple, "Bump up the prices periodically by a dollar or two and see if newer customers still arrive until you reach a comfortable salary where your old customers still agree to the quality of your art with your prices. It will slow down the orders just enough where you are able to handle them and also have a steady consumer base."
If you can pass around my journal I'd appreciate the advertising. So thank you for your time in reading.
I read through your journal, but I tend to disagree with how you portray "the connoisseur" aka the higher end pricing. I know a lot of artists with their prices starting at $90, going up to $400+ who have large demand and don't have any difficulty finding customers. I tend to believe that what you charge is what you get out of your customers. When your art is top-notch and you charge accordingly ($30/hour) you tend to get mature commissioners who are way more willing to value you and your time, as someone who charges way lower ($1/hour) is obviously not valuing their time/art and the customer tends to treat them as such.
I literally will not buy art from people who charge less than $10 because I do not support that kind of undervaluing. I know a lot of people who feel the same way. I feel like this "art economy" journal is catered toward the people who buy art that is under minimum wage, which I don't feel has any grounds to be considered an "art economy" as it doesn't even follow the bare minimum for what people should be given for their efforts.