After yesterday's penguin family portrait, I felt compelled to do another penguin picture. This totally adorable trio are a little bit older and venturing away from the parents. Huddled together in a mountain of down they make a natural composition. This sketch is larger than yesterdays at 8 inches by 6 inches and was much more involved, taking around 2 hours to complete.
This sketch will be added to my shop inventory as a mounted work, which leads me on to the issue of price. I have, over the years, sold my work at a variety of fairs, markets, exhibitions and shows. I meet a lot of other artists and artisans also selling their work. I usually notice someone who has priced their work very low. Their sales pitch often involves the phrase "I don't charge for my time". This saddens me because that person will never make a living doing the thing they love.
My own system most definitely includes my time. Not only the making time but also the time needed to do everything else such as selling at shows, working on my website, dealing with customers, packaging and posting. On top of that there are expenses to include such as stall fees, gallery commission, travel, studio rent, etc. For a beginner, a lot of that can be under estimated. After many years I am used to my overheads and assuming I work 40 hours a week, I can set a price per hour.
Here is an example :-
Creation time 2 hours.
My time 2 x £10 £20
Overheads 2 x £ 4 £ 8
Materials £ 2
Gallery commission or selling costs £30
Total Cost £60
As a gallery in the UK averages a commission charge of 50% of the asking price I set my selling costs to match. When I consider stall fees, room hire, travel, post and packing, website charges, advertising etc plus the time needed, this works out slightly more than the commission, but I am more in control.
How does that amount of money sound to you? Is it it in line with what you would expect to pay? Do you have another way of working out the value of what you do? Please share your thoughts in the comments.