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Fair Market Price

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Aug. 20, 2018

We are creators and as creative types, we sometimes reach a level with our skills that people are willing to spend money to own an original piece of work by us. If you are anything like me, then clientele is limited to family and friends and monetary charges are thrown out the window because it is done as a favor or gifts. In all honesty, I have a very difficult time pricing my original work because the amount of time that goes into completing a creative project far exceeds the market price of what someone is willing to pay compared to the minimum wage earnings per hour for a full day of work.

That being said, I was sitting at a store working on a creative project when a complete stranger asked me about the project I was working on. We ended up getting in a conversation and then she mentioned how she had four nieces that she would love to give them a handmade gift that I was making, so she asked me how much I charged for my project. At first, I was going to say that my items were not for sale, but then I decided to look into the fair market price of charging for handmade items with a profit in mind.

I found these formulas online that were meant to calculate a fair market price:

-Cost of Supplies + $10 per Hour Time Spent = Price A.
-Cost of Supplies x 3 = Price B.
-Price A + Price B divided by 2 (to get the average between these two prices) = Price C.
-Compare Price C to your Market Research and adjust accordingly.

After I send the suggested price quote that included the cost of supplies along with the amount of time spent, I felt good that I did not low ball the cost of the time spent working on the project. If a person is not willing to pay for the amount of time spent on the project, they are not truly valuing your time as a creator and it would be unwise to invest time into a project for someone who does not respect your time.

I am sure art commissions have a similar pay scale because the cost of time spent working on the project makes up for a large percentage of the project. No matter what, never undervalue your original work. Your time and creative talent is a commodity that is valued!

What's Quacking?
Do you have any original art to contribute to our stock image database, announcements, community projects, ideas, news, or milestones to report? Please leave general comments below or send a PQ to kawaiidaigakusei. Email me at kawaiidaigakusei(at)gmail(dot)com.



RobertRVeith at 2:43PM, Aug. 20, 2018

I spent years between aspiring to draw comics as a child and actually drawing something them in the profession of graphic design. So, when you said $10 an hour, it made me sad. Is that all that art is worth these days? My going rate for professional graphics is $75/hr. I'll negotiate for big jobs. But that's pro work: designing a book, art direction, corporate identity. To me, fine art should be worth more than commercial art. You might say that with prices like that, few people will want to pay. Fair enough. My response would be that if you value your own work, you find other people who value it as well. Clients who pay $45 an hour treat you exponentially better than clients who pay $10 an hour. And you can work fewer hours for the same amount of money.

Avart at 2:14PM, Aug. 20, 2018

I have a client who frequently ask for a theme for the logo of his mark. I charge him US$5 per hour. I usually make the illustration in about 3-4 hours. But... I hate to put aside my comic to make this kind of commissions.

Banes at 10:29AM, Aug. 20, 2018

I sold a short story once, and it was pretty darn exciting! For some reason I didn't pursue it further, the investigating of markets and submitting. Do these formulas make sense to y'all? Ten bucks an hour would be okay for me, as an amateur artist, but it's kind of a low wage. Almost a "favour" rate if you were doing work for a friend or relative (it depends on different variables I guess...)

usedbooks at 9:59AM, Aug. 20, 2018

Someone wanting to buy my "art" is very unlikely. I have sold a couple books. I know I don't charge what I put into them, but it's nice that someone found them worth paying for. (As a child, I thought I would be able to be a professional author and go live as a recluse in Maine. XD Nope.)

bravo1102 at 9:37AM, Aug. 20, 2018

I used to build models on commission. It sucked all the fun out of the hobby. Now I sell stuff to make room but don't care what I get for it. I used to sell pencil portraits but it killed my hand and wrist. And I still have piles of plaster Christmas decorations I painted.

Jason Moon at 8:48AM, Aug. 20, 2018

I use to sell my art back in high school to classmates. I once had a teacher buy an art piece

KimLuster at 6:22AM, Aug. 20, 2018

I've been asked to do work and get paid! My problem is I have many time constraints already, so to make it worth it for me, I'd have to charge a good bit more than 'fair market', and of course I'm not good enough for anyone to pay that much haha!!

KAM at 4:45AM, Aug. 20, 2018

"we sometimes reach a level with our skills that people are willing to spend money to own an original piece of work by us." I probably won't reach that level till I'm dead.

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