I’ve said this a hundred times. Other artists have said this. People who aren’t even artists but care about others being able to support themselves from their work have said this. This is my job where I make my full time living. My prices are the way they are for a reason. And even if it weren’t my full time job I am performing a specialized skill producing luxury goods that takes time, money, and years to perfect. I deserve to be compensated for that work even if the money doesn’t go to basic survival necessities.
My products may be out of your price range, which is okay. That just means you aren’t my target market. But that doesn’t mean they are overpriced. And that doesn’t make it okay to walk around telling others what they should charge. There are a hundred resources on why artists price the way they do out there, please read the following and take some time to educate yourself:
- This is a “simple” forumla for pricing. It does not include any specifics and simply includes “expenses” as a lump category.
- Here is a post from Magweno which does a good job of summing up all the “hidden” costs in crafting. It also includes a discussion on whether the perceived value of art should be taken into consideration. It doesn’t even take into account sales, self employment, or income taxes. 15% of my income alone goes to self employment tax. 15-30% (depending on how much I made that year) will go to income tax.
- Another blog post from Mill Girl who writes further on what goes into pricing, arts and crafts as a luxury item, what you support when you purchase handmade, and who/what you harm when you devalue handmade.
- A tumblr post which highlights the pitfalls of people who undervalue art and their negative impact on the entire art community. This includes both artists undervaluing themselves and clients undervaluing artists.
- Here’s an article on pricing as a freelancer and industry standards. For the record I consider myself under the category “Someone with a few years of experience and a good portfolio: $50 - $85+/hr.” I can promise I am charging nowhere near $50 an hour, and close to $25 since I supplement my income with “passive income” from pattern sales.
And that is just a few of the resources out there available. I sincerely hope you will read them and stop spreading negative attitudes on pricing.
I love this. Thank you for putting this all together. This gives a really good insight into why we price things the way we do.
remember - 90% of artists on tumblr are GROSSLY undercharging what they should be vs industry professional freelance prices (which can be several hundred for an illustration or two).
If you don’t like the INCREDIBLY cheap and reasonable prices of artists on tumblr, even if you view them as expensive because they are out of your price range, you have no reason to comment to put artists down and compromise their lifestyle, career and expenses.
Let’s be real, in a time before the internet people didn’t have more adventures and make more meaningful connections. They watched TV and listened to CDs. Before that they listened to records and read magazines. Before that they listened to the radio and read bad dime novels. Before that they embroidered or some shit.
People have been staying inside and ignoring other people for as long as there have been buildings.