Ya know if I had a time machine I'd be using it right now to find out when that blasted lego order of mine would get here because it still isn't here yet. As of right now I'm on fall break at my school, which means I'm off for the next four days. Now I called lego today and gave them my tracking number, and from what I can tell my order was shipped from Connecticut on the 26th of Sept. and is currently in New Jersey. Right now I'm a little tempted to hop in my corvette and floor it all the way to New Jersey and snatch it up at the post office and run away like some evil villain. MWUAHAHAHAHA *ahem* As of now I'm not too sure what I'll be posting this weekend. I have a few ideas but haven't settled on anything as of yet. I just want my order. Guess I'll go back to playing the backlog of games I haven't finished yet.
Listening to: Ronald Jenkees "Red Lemonade Remixed"
Reading: Lego manuals
Watching: My Little Pony FiM Season 3
Drinking: Jones Soda (Green Apple)
Hi guys. Sorry for the lack of updates, but my "wonderful" teachers at school decided to go medieval on my ass this week with 4 tests and 3 papers to write up. But that's all in the past now so it's time to get back to work. Since I didn't post anything last weekend and probably not anything this weekend; because of schoolwork, I'm gonna grind through this weekend getting a little something prepared for you all this up coming thanksgiving week. What I have in mind is that my school break starts this upcoming Wednesday and runs til Sunday, so I figured I'd add something new to the gallery each day. That's five days of new lego material! This doesn't mean there is going to be little content either, oh no. Also I got my new camera last week and I am loving every minute using it (SO SHINY)! Thats all for now, have a great weekend!
Well everyone it's that time again. Time for some awesome new models and minifigures. This week I've got a revamped version of my Lightning Dragon. I've also got three new minifigures lined up for you as well. All of which bare the style of the samurai. The first minifigure is the lowest class of them all, the Ghost. The next up is the Raiden model. Lastly is Raijingeki of the Bushido class. Each one sports different traits and attributes. On a side note, you'll start seeing more minifigures like Raijingeki in the near future. I plan on using this new type of model frame as much as possible. It's given me so many more new possibilities than its predecessor. Now for next week I have five new minifigures already done. All that needs to be done is for them to be uploaded. For now check out this weeks newest models below, and as always leave a comment and drop a fav if you like. Until next weekend everyone, I bid you adieu. ^^
You're creating art. You have the passion, you have the skills. Why not make some money out of it then? It's a good idea, right? A lot of people live from creating art, and even more earn some money on the side by taking commissions. You should give it a shot!
So... How much money is your art worth?
It's a hard question to answer for those who are just starting their adventure with selling and creating art for money. Is its worth equal to the price of the materials you used? Is it equal to the value of the time you've spent on creating it? What about the emotional value you put into it? Should your education influence your prices?
No matter if art is your job, hobby or a pastime, you should never undervalue it. In this article I will try to give some tips as to how assess the value of your artwork and touch the problem of too low prices.
We're in it for the money.
Let's be honest - if you're reading this then you probably want to know how much you could earn. The more the better, right? True, but you need to be aware that majority of your clients will want the exact opposite - to pay as little as possible. Your task will be to balance the two out so your clients are happy with the price and you get your well deserved money. Let's start from the basics.
If you want to sell art and be at least a bit serious about it, you need to realize that:
You are a worker. Artists (just like tailors, carpenters or masons) provide basic products for others to admire, use or build upon. Your work is as important as anyone's else, and as such should be valued.
As a worker you commit time and energy into creation. You are basically selling your skills and hours of your life so someone can get a piece of artwork. You will need to give a monetary value to those skills and hours if you want to earn money.
In every part of the world the cost of living and work is different. The price of your time (and by extension also your art) will strongly depend on the minimum wage in your country.
I strongly believe that no matter how much experience you have or how young you are, you deserve to be paid at least the minimum wage for your honest work. Go ahead - look up the minimum wage in your country. Check how much is that per hour of work. That's the bare minimum you should take for hour of creating your work. The piece takes you more than an hour? It should cost two times as much then! Not a penny less!
If you agree and want to earn even more skip the next fragment. If you don't then stay with me for a moment longer and we'll go through all the popular arguments against it.
The reasons why you're valuable
I don't think art in general is worth all that much. Artistic skills are VERY valuable. In the country I live in the problem of undervaluing art is so far-reaching that the word "artist" itself became a colloquial name for someone who is unreasonably extravagant, silly and flippant. It's not true at all. The fact you have a good eye-hand coordination AND an imagination good enough to create anything is very valuable. Gigantic industries are based on people who create art. Can you imagine movies without someone coming up with the visuals, costumes or scenography? What about advertisements? What if all books suddenly had no illustrations? What about gaming? Fashion? Art is a very big part of many businesses and should be treated like that. Your skills are very valuable no matter what anyone else thinks!
I don't have the experience to ask for such an amount. Of course, at the very start you probably won't be able to charge as much as people who work in the industry for 10+ years now, but it doesn't mean you should work for kibble. Don't be afraid. Everyone was "just starting" at some point. Can you imagine a medical doctor, who just got his degree, working for a few cents per hour even though he's fresh on the market? A baker who sells bread for one cent a loaf because his bakery just opened? If you're just starting, then yes, your prices will probably be lower than those of people who already make art for a living. That doesn't mean you should work for less than bare minimum.
It's only a hobby.
It's actually a good argument, to be honest. If you create something for yourself in your own free time, you have the full right to sell it for as much as you want - a million dollars or a bag of chips. It's up to you. The situation changes though when someone asks you to paint something very specific just for them. From the ideological point of view you are now employed by that person and shouldn't be treated like a slave. Taking commissions usually means you won't create what you want but what others want. It means that your price includes not only the art and time you sacrifice to create it but also all the revisions, corrections and changes, which sometimes can be harder than the main task. Hobby or not, don't let anyone make you a slave.
I need to have a portfolio/commission examples first. Yes. Yes, you do. A strong portfolio is very important if you want to get into the art industry. That doesn't mean you should work for free though. A good personal illustration that you put your heart into is worth much more than a private commission of someone's OC that you struggle with. Private commissioners usually don't care if you were hired by someone before and people from the industry care (or don't care at all) only about published commercial projects you contributed to. It's better to create your portfolio with utmost care so people want to buy what you actually enjoy creating, than to lower your prices just so you can pump commissioned pieces into your gallery in hope it will help you gain new clients. It won't.
Come on. An image like that can't be worth more than a can of soda! A lot of young artists don't know the worth of their work simply because they've never worked before. Of course I'm not talking about the occasional work they might be involved in but the regular 8-9 hours a day for 5 days a week most adults have to do. The idea of the minimum wage was quite abstract to me as well before I started working. Why does a can of soda cost less than art? Because it's made in millions of copies by machines. It's not customized. It's not unique. It isn't revised while being created. It's not made specifically for one person and their needs. Any bit of personalization would make its cost to skyrocket. If you intend to sell the same piece of art in millions of copies then, of course, by all means lower its price so it reaches as many customers as possible. If you're going to get paid only once though, think about it for a moment and join us back in the next part of the article.
A price to satisfy them all
The minimum wage won't earn you much. At most it will precisely null out with the time and effort you put into your work. It's basically the price of art that could be made by anyone. Just like anyone who's any good at what they're doing, you should rise the price the more experienced you get, the more known you are, and the more work you currently have. There are artists out there who work for 5USD an hour, 10USD, 20USD or even over 100USD. It's now up to you to set your price point at which you feel the most comfortable.
Setting an hourly price might, once again, be difficult. How are you supposed to know where to start or where to stop? There are two methods to deal with it.
#1 - Start low and build up
This method is much better for young artists who are just starting their adventure with art. The idea is simple - you raise your prices as you develop your skills and build up the confidence in your art. It can cause some troubles though, so learn from my mistakes. A few years back, when I was taking my very first commissions on dA I really undervalued my art. I asked for 20USD for works that took me over 8 hours of work (2,5USD/h) which was much too little even considering how inexperienced I was and the fact I live in eastern Europe where prices are much lower. Why was it too little? First of all I came across a few traps of the too low pricing. Oddly enough the first was... the lack of clients.
Believe it or not, too low prices scare people away! Would you buy a car for 50USD? Of course you would if you saw and tested it first. Otherwise it would sound a bit too good to be true, right? The same is with art. Some prices either feel fishy or imply that there's something wrong with the art itself. People think that for such a low price you might be adding some costs later on, send them only a small version or gods know what else!
The other problem were returning clients. After buying art from me some came back for more after a while. As a growing artist I raised my prices since then and my clients felt cheated on. I got into a few very unpleasant situations trying to explain to my ignorant clients that since the last time they've commissioned me I got much better and offered a product of higher quality. Few listened but a lot of them publicly complained... and scared away potential clients.
Another problem you might encounter is too slow price growth or even stagnation. It's a very serious issue for those who feel insecure about their art. Do yourself a favor - set your price at a level you think is fair... and then add a few bucks. I'm serious. Go on, add those few dollars more because you're worth that much. In our efforts to be fair we usually overestimate how fast we work and don't realize how many revisions some clients want. Too low price might really come back and bite you in the ass if you're not careful enough.
If you add a buck or two with every commission batch then you'll soon reach a level you're satisfied with. If you're lucky enough you'll be able to charge even more once you find your place in the market and create yourself a niche to draw clients from.
#2 - Start high and don't give a fuck
This method works good with those who are experienced in creating art but never tried selling their works. If you already have a distinctive style, a unique technique or great ideas just slap a big price on your art. If you advertise enough there are going to be people out there who will want to buy it from you. It often requires a lot of confidence, patience and an outgoing personality but can bring incredible profits and prestige. Not for those in need of fast money. If the plan doesn't work, lowering the prices might not work immediately... or work like a charm if you plan it right! It's definitely a high risk - high reward strategy.
I AM STILL LOST
Don't worry. We all are. If you're still not sure as to how to price your art, then do some research.
Lurk around a bit and check price lists of other people that are at your level of work. Use it as a guideline. Beware of the underpricing artists though! Remember not to go below the minimum wage and check twice to make sure you didn't stumble upon someone who's undervaluing themselves! Also remember to check if they're from the same continent as you are, having in mind that somewhere else in the world prices might be much lower.
Check how much time a given piece takes you. It will make pricing it a bit easier.
Structure your prices. Check what takes you a significant amount of time to create and make it a step in your pricing ladder.
And if you're still not confident about your art... then just keep practicing! Invest the time others use for advertising their commissions and creating art for others into developing your skills.
The practice of lowering the price to ridiculous levels in hope of getting clients is not only a very wrong approach that hurts you - the artist who decides to work for less - but also all the artists that come after you and do the exact same thing. Imagine this: artist A is new to the market and decides to check someone's price list. To get clients A makes his prices lower than that. Another artist appears - B. B checks A's price list and makes their prices even lower than that. Do you see where this is going? It causes a never-ending spiral of lowering prices that for some is very hard to escape from even after their skills get better and they gain more experience. This is the very reason a lot of artists live on the verge of poverty.
It gets worse though. A much more serious problem arises because of offering too low prices - people believing that art has little to no worth. At some point the idea of working for kibble starts to spread among the clients who then force other artists to work for as little too. The drop in the monetary value also diminishes the cultural value of art. Paintings become worth as little as doodles on napkins, sculptures are treated as a waste of space used only as a pigeon toilet, papercraft is nothing more than a pastime for kids.
Don't allow anyone to dictate the worth of your work. If you are someone who enjoys art but isn't a creator, appreciate the young artist and give them a tip. Those few bucks more and a few nice words make a big difference.
Russian politicians really like trying to associate cultural elements that they personally don’t like with things that are universally frowned upon, in the hope that the latter poisons the former in the public's view. During the lead up to the Winter Olympics in February, for example, while large gentlemen with flails were beating the sh*t out of small, female protesters, Putin seemed to make a great effort to always mention homosexuals and paedophiles in the same sentence, as though the two were somehow linked. I’m not suggesting that politicians elsewhere in the world don’t pull the same trick in order to rally a hysterical mob in their favour, but the Russians do it with all the subtlety of a brick.
In what I’m assuming is less an effort to protect the fragile psyche of Russia’s youth and more an attempt to thwart another dastardly Western concept (namely fun) from taking root: members of the Public Chamber want the government to curb Halloween celebrations, stating that horror-themed parties “induce low feelings” and “turn into orgies”. Halloween is “ideologically and culturally alien to the Russian way of life” and “extremists can use such holidays for criminal purposes.” “Russian officials should promote national holidays and celebrations instead ofimported ones."
What kind of alternative to Halloween is offered by Russia? Well, October 31st is the “Day of the detention centres and prisons workers”.
The chief thing I take from this latest gem of Russian political totalitarian bat-sh*ttery is how conflicting the ramblings actually are. I’ve, regrettably, never attended an orgy, but I doubt that it would induce “low feelings”, or that “low feelings” would go on to incite an orgy.
On the 18th of September, Scotland may break from the UK. As a resident of these isles, I can tell you that the general atmosphere surrounding the vote is a bit…..”meh”. This is kind of alarming. It’s a big f**king deal for both sides of the border and people should be paying a little more attention, especially up in Scotland, since it’s they who will determine what transpires.
My opinion on the matter is that unity brings strength, but people have a right to decide their own future and if the Scots feel they’re better off going solo then they should vote “Yes”. However, I feel that those behind the calls for independence (the same people who will hold power with a “yes” vote) are playing on an opportunity presented to them by the economic downturn between 2008 and now. It’s made their sales pitch much more enticing to those whose finances were shaken over the last 6 years by evil forces in London (naturally, they don’t mention that all corners of Britain suffered, just as most of the Western world). They’re telling people that breaking from the UK will lead to greater prosperity for all North of the border.
And if you just give that Nigerian banker your credit card details, he’ll give you $1,000,000.
Never trust a politician, especially one who says the future is paved with gold (but only if you give him power).
Hey guys. It's me. Remember me? Yay cool! I'm still job hunting and it's wearing me out and I'm just gonna ask you for a little favour to keep your fingers crossed for me! I sent out a ton of applications and everything's still in for me and I JUST WANT A JOB. As soon as possible! A nice one with decent payment. Doesn't have to be millions. I just wanna get by. Move into my own little flat and all. Make a nice and safe little living for a while. Is that too much to ask? It can't be too much to ask!
So please! Send me some good vibes and/or thoughts, pray for me... whatever it is that you want to do! I really just need some spiritual help of some sort since my own spirit has been pretty low over the past weeks and my mind is going crazy again due to all that future anxiety I once again have to deal with.
I also took a little job at a clothing store in the city! Nothing to make a living off, oh no, but still. It keeps me busy for at least a few days per week, it's super fun and I think I'm pretty good at it... so if nothing helps I could maybe get hired full-time by them for a start...? That would be cool, too.
Please, guys. Please. Help me lift my spirits again!
Finally got my new art program. Wouldn't work. Messed with it and messed with it. Finally works. Yay! Had it four days. FOUR DAYS! On the fourth day last night... the powercord to my computer died. I just can't win... eh... I've got a medical payment due tomorrow so I can't afford to get a new one till next payday... So no computer till further notice. So gonna be no news from me till next month. Atleast I have internet on my phone.
EDIT: Bought a Duracell powercord. Poured my tip jar in one of those coin counters to get money for it. This works far better than the old one. This one doesn't seem to get hot at all. So yay! Art again.
I AM! I AM ALIVE! STILL ALIVE! Still no commissions, though. While I could REALLY use the money, I don't feel like drawing AT ALL these days. Even with my internship being over I still have no motivation and it suuuuucks. I better get out of this slump pretty soon, meh. I miss making art, I miss my characters, I miss it all!
I'm also job hunting again. Hooray. So done with internships, you have no idea. It's about time for a REAL job. One that gets paid properly. I have plans for the future, guys. I NEED SOME MONEY FOR MY PLANS.
Still happy with the BF! My personal life has been really amazing since the start of 2014 and I hope it'll continue being amazing. For now though, I'm looking forward to this Summer. Oh yeah, I do!
How have YOU been, guys? Tell me, I'd love to hear!