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July 2010
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pricing pet portraits

Re: [ArtCareerExperts] Pricing pet portraits
Stephen Filarsky
My reply to recent posts on our Art Career Experts forum!

I don’t advocate pricing by time and materials, price is so much a part of the perceived value of art and that has to be taken into account. But if you decide to go that way you need to take into account all expenses and time.. You need to know how much it costs to pay someone $10 an hour…..
First, if you are figuring it takes me so long at such a price per hour and materials are this much, you are pricing the cost of manufacturing. So double that for the final price. (This is what you would give to a gallery etc to market, advertise and sell your work.) If you are doing this, you will need to get paid.
Second. Your overhead; studio rent, utilities, heat and ac phone and internet. (Even if your studio is in your house, you will be spending money to light and heat and cool it when working there which you wouldn’t if you weren out working somewhere else) equipment depreciation. You will have to replace that computer, those brushes. Upgrade software  Vehicle, cost of use and insurance etc. Insurance, health insurance. No one has offered me free insurance yet. PO Box rent. the list goes on. Paper for the printer, postage and envelopes.
Time, how much time is spent working but not creating, Bookwork, research, picking up supplies. Delivering work. If you are doing commissions, you can include meeting the client under marketing markup, but time photographing clients, sorting photos, time spent cleaning your studio. Janitors get paid too. Answering phone calls. etc etc.
Don’t forget the days that you get sick or can’t work…You need to bring in enough when you are working to cover when you can’t.
Back in the 1980′s when I had a sign business, I took a workshop on the business end and we went through the overhead costs and figured them to an hourly basis… eye opening experience. And that was before all the computers and printers and cnc routers and vinyl cutters, just brushes and paint and plywood.
So 10 hours at the easel with a twenty five dollar canvas and ten dollars of paint doesn’t add up to the price of creating your piece of artwork

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