Banchan.Art Blog

Banchan.Art Beta Launch 🎉

We're celebrating our initial Beta launch! Join us!

published

By Banchan.Art Technical Committee

We’re pleased to announce the Beta for Banchan.Art, a co-operative commissions platform that’s creating a new space for artists to sell their art with minimal risk and without being exploited by the platform they rely on. You can read more about who we are and what we want to do in our About Us page.

With this release, we’re looking to start testing and proving our platform with real commissions for the first time since we started working on it over a year and a half ago.

Who can Join? 🤔

Anyone can create an account on Banchan.Art as of today. However, if you want to be an artist and sell commissions, you will need to sign up for the beta, which will put you on a first-come-first-serve waiting list. We’ll be making our way through this list and sending artist invites over the course of the next few weeks.

If you’re especially eager to get started as an artist, you can also reach out to us on our Discord and jump the line a bit by becoming a part of our group of testers who help with bug bashes, ie intentionally trying to find bugs in the site by testing new features. The main reasons that we’re limiting invites is to make sure we can handle the load with our current resources and to hopefully limit impact of any major site-breaking bugs, ie ideally we find bugs quickly and efficiently remove them before adding the next batch of artists.

We’ll be staying in beta for as long as it takes to feel confident that our platform is stable and working well.

How much does it cost? 💸

We’re launching with a 10% flat fee on any transactions. This is the lowest we could manage to get our fees while still providing you with the full experience Banchan is meant to be, including:

  • Secure payment processing using 135+ currencies.
  • 80+ countries that artists can reside in.
  • An escrow system for trustworthy deposits.
  • A platform for advertising your commissions and managing client communication.
  • Help with disputes and chargebacks. See our Disputes policy.
  • Automatic, international VAT and Sales Tax collection (we take care of filing/remitting them for you).
  • 1099 forms for US artists, when tax time comes along.

All of our income will be directed towards paying Stripe + tax fees (roughly 60-70% of the collected fee), hosting, and other business expenses to keep the site functional. Until Banchan grows enough to be self sufficient, we won’t have any paid staff, which means we’ll be running very light. Every commission helps!

We may change these fees in the future depending on our needs, and once we’ve established our Membership system, Artist Members themselves will be able to vote on a fee structure that they believe balances their own income with the need to build out and maintain a quality platform.

If you’re curious to know more details about where the money goes, please drop by the Discord, and we’re more than happy to discuss it! We have spreadsheets 🙈.

How do I sell art? 🖼️

Art in Banchan is sold through Studios: once your account receives artist permissions, you can make as many studios as you need. Multiple studios allows you to set up different branding for your different offerings. For instance, you could have one studio that focuses on adoptables and another on illustration commissions. You can also have those in one studio. It is your choice how you would like display and organize your offerings.

You can access your studios–and create new ones–by opening up your context dropdown on the top of your side navigation:

studio dropdown for artists

Once you’ve created a studio, you can visit its Shop page and create a new Offering.

Setting up your Offerings

Offerings describe what kinds of commissions you’ll take. For example, an Offering could be an “Illustration”, an “Emote”, or a “Chibi”. Offerings are fairly flexible in how they can be set up: they can have a limited number of slots, a maximum number of (not-yet-accepted) proposals, optional add-ons that a client can select while requesting the commission, and a gallery of example images.

Once you’ve configured them and added a card image, your offerings will start showing up on the site, like so:

example offerings list

Commission Proposals

Once your offerings are set up: you are ready for proposals! You can link people to your studio or to individual offerings and announce that you have open slots on your preferred social media. Your clients will then be able to request a commission with a description of what they want, and you’ll be notified once they submit. You can see a list of your Studio’s commissions on its Commissions page (this is different from your My Commissions page, which is only for commissions you’re a client of).

The new commission will look something like this:

fresh commission

At this point, you haven’t committed to the commission yet: it’s simply a proposal/request from a potential client. You can have a conversation with your client to clarify any details, and then determine whether to accept the proposal or not by using the Commission Status dropdown:

status dropdown

If you’re limiting the number of slots in an Offering, they’re not “consumed” until you’ve “Accepted” the commission. You can also choose to reject the commission proposal altogether.

Managing Commissions

From here on out, the commission becomes a conversation between you and your client. You can ask for more details or clarifications, you can post drafts or request more references, change the line items for the commission, and otherwise manage your commission interactions all in one place. Any major changes are permanently logged in the commission timeline, which allows you to keep track of anything that changes over time.

As far as money goes, there’s two ways to invoice your client: you can request a deposit, or you can submit a final invoice.

When you request a deposit, the money the client pays does not go immediately to you: Banchan holds onto it until either the commission ends or the client decides to do an early release. With a deposit, you can be sure that a client has paid some amount towards a commission and that the payment has gone through, but the client knows their money is not disbursed yet. This escrow system is core to building trust in Banchan: clients know an artist cannot take their money without providing art, and artists know that clients can not require work without compensation. Attachments to invoices are not available to clients until payment is complete.

Example released payment

When you have a final draft ready, you can submit a Final Invoice, which will be for whatever the remaining amount is on the commission, after consideration of deposits. As soon as the client pays the final invoice, all deposits and the final payment will be released to your studio and become available for payout on your studio’s Payouts page.

Please note: Brand new studios will have a longer payout wait time before their first payout, typically around 7 days. Subsequent payouts will become available much sooner. In the future, Banchan will also support instant payouts for an additional fee.

Where do I go from here? 🔜

Explore the site! We hope Banchan.Art becomes your go-to platform for managing commissions, and if you’re a client, that you find the right artist for the art you’ve always dreamed of through our platform.

Join our Discord and tell us what you think (or use our Feedback form). If you’re on GitHub, you can also file issues or just check out our GitHub repo. Banchan is more than just a platform: we’re a community, and your participation will help us be better at what we do.