Artists, are you charging more than your plumber does? I think you should.
We live in a historical home, built in 1926. They didn’t have good plumbing back then….so we spend a lot on plumbers. Typically, our plumber charges about $200.00 an hour, PLUS parts. (Southern California’s not cheap!)
When I price out a small commissioned painting, (particularly surfboard paintings) many times Drew will question my quote, saying, “oh, that’s too much. Charge less. It’ll only take me about 2 hours…..” And I argue, “But I don’t want our plumber making more than you do!” Here’s my thinking, in two parts:
1.) A 2 hour painting takes more than 2 hours. You spend at least an hour talking to the client, discussing the painting. Then you spend time researching, then drawing the sketches. Then you scan & e-mail sketches, then, after the client gives their changes, you re-sketch. Then add 30 minutes to go to get the supplies, if necessary, and another 60 minutes to prep the item you’re painting. So now your small, 2 hour painting actually took over 5 hours.
2:) When it comes to art, people aren’t paying for LABOR, they are paying for UNIQUE TALENT and all the YEARS it took you to learn your techniques, build up your name, develop your skills and talent.
Unlike plumbers, who are a dime a dozen (just look in a local phone book – there are at least 50 listed in your town), there is only ONE DREW BROPHY (or only one ___________you fill in the artist’s name here).
The next time you go to price a commission, or a project, ask yourself if you are really, truly charging a fair price for yourself. Take into consideration ALL the time you put into it, including the time discussing it with the client, your research time, prep time, etc. If you aren’t sure, start keeping track of your time. Keep a sheet handy and write it down. You may be surprised to see just how much more time you are spending on a project than you realized.
For general pricing on commercial art, check out the BIBLE for pricing guidelines for artists, graphic artists, photographers: THE GRAPHIC ARTISTS GUILD HANDBOOK: PRICING AND ETHICAL GUIDELINES.
I want you to be profitable! Make sure you are charging enough!
xxoo Spunk Brophy
(Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mariabrophy)