Home » Creativity » Art for free, part two.

Art for free, part two.

I once had a problem with ladies who were looking at my beaded jewelry. They asked how long it took to make. Because it didn’t take long, they didn’t appreciate the cost.
I’ve made jewelry for over 20 years. I know what I am doing by now. It doesn’t take long, once I have the idea in mind. But artistry and the cost of the beads (!!!) has to be factored in.
They don’t get it. They are thinking they get paid $15 an hour, and if this takes me 20 minutes to make, it shouldn’t cost $40.
I could lower my prices, but then I feel like I’m being used. I’ve heard that in Arabic countries you can buy gold jewelry for just the price of the gold. The artist gets nothing. The price is based on the type of gold and how much it weighs. Perhaps that is what people expect me to do with my beads. Just charge them the price of the beads, and nothing for the skill or the creativity.
Perhaps I should start telling people that each necklace takes three days. That would factor in the time involved in getting to the bead store, thinking up a design, trying it, and then finding out it doesn’t work the way I thought it would. Then wait a day fuming about it and rethinking it, and try again and discover what comes out.
Some pieces do take forever. Some go fast. Some never sell. Some sell very quickly. I don’t make anywhere near enough money to make a living at this, but I still don’t want to be insulted. I’d rather rip apart a design and reuse the beads than sell it at just the cost of the beads.

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2 thoughts on “Art for free, part two.

  1. I feel you. I remember reading something about Picasso and a woman recognized doodling on a napkin. When she asked for it , he charged thousands of dollars. The woman said that it took him less than 5 mins to doodle it. No, Picasso remarked that this doodle took him 20 years to get to that point. Yes so I agree with you about pricing, it shouldn’t matter how long it took to make a piece. According to Picasso it took you years to get as efficient to make such fine jewelry in 20 minutes .

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