There's a new culture online where art is cheap. By using sites like Fiverr.com or Upwork.com, you can put out a bid for an artist to do something for $5. That is not ok. I've read a ton of comments from artists, trying to see how this could work, and I have heard the complaints and sadness.
Artists spend many hours, days, months, and years doing their craft, for some it's a lifetime. My Father Inlaw has been making weird sculptures since the 60's. www.richardvanburenart.com. and the thought of someone asking to pay $5 is not respectful to the artist.
These sites offer the ability to bond with customers for $5, and then build a relationship which can lead to more business, or to upsell and add on items so that the transaction grows in value, but the comments I have read from artists describe an experience where the time and energy far out weighs the pay, and there is much concern within the dialogue that this approach devalues the art and the artist in general.
I'm guilty of participating, as I've hired artists in India and Russia to create drawings for my books, and I was careful to be respectful, to be very nice, and to try to agree on a price that worked for me and worked for them, which also included sharing the profits from book sales on Amazon. I think it's important to be respectful, and to honor the craft, and the craftsman. And, I don't think placing a bid, and getting 20 applicants, and picking one, and holding them to the assignment, without flexibility, and needing revisions and communication, I don't think that's living in reality. It just doesn't fit our culture or our economy. I have read comments from artists that are trying to take on 10 gigs at $5 to make $50 to pay their bills. That's not a good scenario.
Please don't fall into this trap, and place a bid for a graphic design of your cover for your book for $5, and then place demands on the artist, it doesn't make sense. But try to find the synergy, the win-win, the compromise that works for both you and the artist. And then give a little more, pay a bonus, be nice, be respectful, and honor that person and the talent they have developed. It's worth thousands and thousands of dollars. And perhaps you can't afford that, but they value is still there. And if you both decide on $200 for a project, please realize that you are not getting a $200 value for $200, but rather you are getting a $2,000 value or a $20,000 value for $200.
Sometimes you just can't put a value on art, it's priceless. And it's not being created by a machine, or a bot, or a droid, or a factory. It's being made by a person, and that person may have honed their skill while surviving life through the creation of art, or surfed the challenges of love through art, or maybe not, maybe they didn't. Maybe they are just fine and good with Photoshop. But chances are, they survived something through art, and believe me, it wasn't a $5 life they survived, it was far bigger than that, and they can share their art with you, and help you to build your business, and your brand, but for a fair and reasonable price.