Thursday, January 28, 2010

How much is that pod in the window? Caution: a bit of a Rant!

Something I have frequently encountered is artists asking what they should charge for a piece and alternatively, the potential art purchasers confusion with what one (me, perhaps) charges for a piece. Please, allow me to give you the low-down, the 411, the skinny, the scoop, if you will.

I will spare you the whole "I am creating every moment" thing. While I am, I cannot possibly calculate that time and charge for it, although that would be nice...okay, I digress...Here we go:
Large pods I am working on:
Each pod: 20 hours each labour (this is the hands on the wool making-Yes, I kept track)
20 hours x $20 (an arbitrary hourly rate)
= $400
+ $50 materials
x 2 (I multiply x2 because the galleries I deal with take 50%) = $900
= I must price at $900 per pod minimum.
now add...
GST and PST ($72 + $45.00)= total cost for each pods retail: $1,017
What I get paid: $450- minus materials and hanging device and time to install ($40)= $360 (my $20 an hour is now $18. Add in prep time and you can do the math)

Make sense? So $1,017.50 retail= $360 to artist...Next time someone scoffs at the price of art, enlighten them, and next time you think of charging less for a piece of art, consider the cost to the market for one of a kind felted work....
This rant: Free of charge ;o)

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flying fish said...

Great rant! I'm working on pricing for some felt and seed bead pieces. I hate this part of the process, as much as I want to keep my work affordable, I can't! The beading time is too long.

Andrea Graham-Artist said...

Beading is very slow. I often see people who embroider extraordinary things and charge a pittance because it is a "hobby". Then people wonder why professional artists charge so much. I'm on your team, FF.

cedar said...

I agree, great rant, and much needed for all of us to read. I find lots of people undersell their work which of course makes art that is priced as you price, seem tooo much. We support all artists by valuing the time and energy it takes to do our work and pricing it accordingly. I myself would rather give me work away, and often do, instead of underselling my I appreciated your comments, you sound sane to me lol

Ginga Squid said...

Rant away! I so agree with you. Trying to justify retail price to someone - and sometimes even to myself. It sucks.

Sweetpea said...

That was a GREAT rant, and please, for the record, DON'T STOP ranting - you do it very well. And I truly mean that as a compliment!

This is a very important issue. Thank you for bringing it forward about hand work.

Maria Dent said...

And so you should. I get really annoyed when people look at your work see the price and then screw there noses up at it. Iv started to tell people how long it takes and process as they have no idea.

May be a few more of us need to rant!!

Pam de Groot said...

I'm sooo with you. I hate th equestion how long did it take you because that also doesnt tell the whole story. I tell them "it took me a lifetime."

Tracy said...

Oh yes, love the rant and am thankful for it! You must be in a very wise place because I hung on each and every word....feelilng what you had to say was very important to hear. Your words are percolating...

Andrea Graham-Artist said...

The 20 hours hands-on for each pod took 40 hours if I include tours to the kitchen and tossing the ball for the dog and all the stuff that has to come in between that makes the creating possible. I have found this is sometimes my process, somtimes it is not. If you go back in my blog before I started the big pods I was feeling very unfocused and had to struggle through. Look forward to tea soon..

Anonymous said...

:) Nice rant.
and the weird thing is, if you sell your pieces for less, no one will ever think your work is any good.
and also the only reason you only need 20 hours for a pod is the fact that you spend all these years before learning and studying and √°rgh... you got me started..

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