Art and Glass Stories

Work of Art…

still waters

Is it just me or is it possible that we all break so easily?  Today I’m ‘hiding’.

If I ask someone to paint my lounge say its £10 per hour (yeah its great value here in rural Wales) and the job takes 3 days, it’s £240 plus materials – no problem, no quibble.

As an artist, I paint a work of art, it takes the same 3 days.  I procrastinate, deliberate and ruminate over what to price it at.  I can’t charge an hourly rate like my builder? Can I?   How do I value this piece of art?  What would be the ‘market’ rate?

I look at other local artists for inspiration.  I seek out affirmation from friends and family.  I have a bond with this work.  So I think well, I’d quite like it on my own wall. So I think, “how much would I be prepared to charge to let someone else have it on their wall instead”.  I price it.  I rethink, I add a bit; I knock a bit off, I add it back on again.  I ask my artist friends.    If I worked it out hourly I feel it would be ‘unaffordable’ in the local market.  In the end I price it at what I’m prepared to lose it for.

But then a friend wants it.  A friend will ask for ‘mates rates’.  Ok, I think, this is a friend, I ‘should’ do a deal.  So I offer a super special price thinking, its part business/part gift.  Its declined. I’m dejected.  My self-esteem is crushed.   I think  “maybe my work is just not very good'”  .

Or, another scenario, someone simply says, “I’m give you £xxx for it”  I’m offended. dejected.  My self-esteem is crushed.   I think  “maybe my work is just not very good'”  .

I want to hide.  I’m embarrassed by my work. I want to be angry and offended, but I just feel like a fool…….

Is it all crafters/artists who struggle like this, or is it just me?   Are there any other professions suffering from these dilemmas?  What do you do about it?  How do you price your work?


(1) Comment

  1. Gorgeous Bernie,
    I know how you’re feeling. I’ve been here many times, not only in my recent work in crafts, but for many years as a Mentor and Coach and business speaker; I loose track of how many talks I gave for free, often with promises that this would be a “turning point in your speaking life” or begging me as they had no budget because they were a start-up / charity / new concept… and I felt worthless for so long.
    I guess what I learned was this; setting a value for my time and sticking to it is a way of confirming to my self that I AM WORTH IT. I got clients at my top rates, once I started to say no to the people who asked for discount. As soon as I put real conviction behind it, I changed how I felt about my value.
    I believe you are a very talented artist. I think your paintings are captivating, spiritual, free of “pomp” and I’d feel very proud to own a piece of your work. Which I will do. And I will pay the full price for it. Because YOU ARE WORTH IT.
    The price you asked was probably more than fair, I’d bet I’d have said “F**k off Missy and put that up by 25%” . There are plenty of people who think the price of a piece of art should be the price of a print from Athena (showing my age); why not offer her a limited edition print of the original work at a price she can afford. Original art is priceless; as are you.
    Sending love and a huge cuddle.
    Dinah xxxx

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