Artist and Money – my thoughts

I recently had a discussion with a friend and fellow artist on Picarto’s chat, and I believe it might interest and be quite helpful to a lot of other artists out there.

He was thinking about quiting doing commission work entirely because they were not earning him enough money compared to the amount of time and effort he was putting into them, which is a very common problem among many artists.

He was complaining that even with a huge price cut, he wasn’t able to get enough commissions.

That’s when I came in to say to him, what I’m about to say to you now : NEVER CUT YOUR PRICES !!

It won’t bring you more clients!!

I don’t include in that sentence, batch prices, when someone commissions you for a huge amount of pieces and thus money, or for very regular and recurring clients who deserve a gift from time to time for their fidelity in you and your art.

What I mean is : people don’t value what’s free and what comes cheap.

It’s sad but true.

Cutting your prices won’t make good, worthy, recurring clients come to you.

So my rule is : if you already have enough clients, good, raise your prices ! It shows you’re already successful and demanded. Thus, people will have a good first impression of you and your work.

If you don’t have enough clients, RAISE YOUR PRICES !!! You’re too cheap and people think you’re doing what you do for fun only, and what you ask as payment is equivalent to a tip.

You don’t look like a pro, because you do not charge like a pro !!!

How to estimate ?

My thought is : take the minimum rate per hour in your country, double it, and multiply that by the number of hours you’re going to spend on the piece/picture/whatever you’re creating.

So, if the minimum rate per hour is $8, and you estimate the picture will take 10 hours to create :

8 X 2 X 10 = $160


Remember, you’re not selling a picture!

You’re selling :

  • SKILLS, hard learned over lengthy periods of time, often years,
  • PERSONALITY, your own flavor to life, your own approach to a commission briefing,
  • LIFESPAN, yes, creation takes a chunk of your precious time on Earth. You can always earn more money, but your lifespan won’t come back!

It’s the addition or mixture of those 3 key elements that makes the final piece and its price!!!

Your skills and personality will increase over time, while your time will decrease : no reason EVER to cut your prices down!!!

Hope you’ll find this interesting and helpful. 🙂

Please let me know in the comment section bellow 😉

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