Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
The most horrid thing to do for most artists is coming up with that infernal and dreaded demon of all...COST! How does one do it? We have all seem the formulas. Time x Materials x Overhead x 2 = Wholesale x 2 = Retail, or some such variation. This works well with production work I guess, doing no production work myself, but it falls short when it comes to one of a kind work. Even if a formula worked, I couldn't really use it anyway for a variety of reasons. First, I can't keep track of time. If I am not losing myself in a piece, falling fast into the story of the work as I make it, then I am not doing it right. If I am not having fun most of the time then why bother at all? I also work on many pieces at once, like many artists do, jumping from one piece to the next, back to the first, and maybe skipping the third and picking up the forth. I had though of purchasing a time stamp machine and having individual time cards for each work in progress. Other then the ticking driving me nuts it reminds me too much of waiting tables. Too much of the times I would go with my mom to her job as a teacher and her early morning "clocking in". Too much of WORK. When it comes down to materials I am at a loss as well. Much of my work recently uses "found" and recycled objects. How much did that laundry detergent cap cost me? What does 1" of the black prismacolor pencil really cost? How much was that birds nest? What did I pay at that garage sale, with the funky smelling basement, for that antique bakelite doll whose head I severed? None of it costs very much at all, for if it did I wouldn't have purchased it. All of formulas, the keeping track of time, material costs, overhead, x this, x that, x that other thing over there, = A Giant Migraine. And unfortunately, I really do get migraines. Go to the hospital, sit in the ER for 4 hours, pump you full of some pain medicine, throw up from pain medicine, type migraines. So I really don't need the extra stress of having to price my work using some formula that would baffle Stephen Hawking. For me pricing comes down to one question: How much is your child worth?