Suppose I want to pay someone to draw one or more mathematical/scientific diagrams for a paper or book using TikZ, Asymptote, PSTricks, Sketch, MetaPost, or another TeX-friendly system. Preferably, I should be able to make small changes myself, and possibly even use the commissioned code as a learning tool.

What options are available? What sort of costs are considered reasonable?

Motivation: For one thing, it might be useful to refer people to this question when they ask "draw-it-for-me" types of questions.

Important note: Answers should describe an existing service or advertisement, or else give evidence that no such service exists. This question is not intended to solicit bids (or, for that matter, as a place for advertisement, unless you happen to already offer such a service).

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    Just my observation: I don't think you need this service. :-) :D – Paul Gessler Jun 29 '14 at 1:26
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    Not entirely sure this is on topic... Maybe there should be somewhere for people to describe projects and solicit bids... or for people to advertise their services... Completely agree with @PaulGessler's comment but perhaps you are in need of cash yourself ;)? – cfr Jun 29 '14 at 1:28
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    Regarding places to advertise services: tug.org/consultants.html – Paul Gessler Jun 29 '14 at 1:29
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    Maybe this question is better addressed in META? – Mario S. E. Jun 29 '14 at 1:40
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    But it is not really about the site either, is it? – cfr Jun 29 '14 at 1:51

There are two resources for this that I am aware of, both provided by the TeX Users Group (TUG).

The first is their TeX Consulting and Production Services page. There, numerous organizations/individuals have listed themselves as providers of TeX-related services. There is a nominal fee due to TUG in order to be placed on the list. While none of the listings are specific to illustration work, several of the listings indicate graphic/design capabilities and/or graphic designers on staff.

The second is the tug-consult mailing list hosted by TUG. The list archives show no messages from the past few years, so it seems to be not active lately. But previous messages included RFQ-type messages and other discussion. This could be a possibility to get in touch with somebody, even though it's not been active for several years.

And an aside about the question 'not' asked: Is it remotely possible for someone to make a living doing this?

I'm just getting started on a similar endeavor myself. I never planned for it to be my entire living, so I don't know if that's possible. But if it is (and of course this depends on what your personal definition of a living is), I think it would be difficult. I haven't found enough people needing these types of services to create a full-time workload. Of course, I haven't tried that hard, either (yet). I suppose it would be possible, though. My advice is: start small, do good quality work, and slowly build your network of clients. Don't limit yourself to working with just authors during the writing process or just publishers at the final compositing phase—mix and match to even out the workload. Working with individual authors can be slow-going and possibly change-intensive. Working with publishers, you'll get lots of work in big chunks and they usually want everything done yesterday. Every so often, evaluate your situation to see if 'quitting the day job' might make sense for you.

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