Blog Labor is NOT free for crafts

Labor is NOT free for crafts

04/13/2022


I want to write about charging for your arts and crafts because again this week someone in a random group shared that "Labor is always free for crafts" and it absolutely gets my blood boiling. 

As artists (yes crafters are artists too) we spend hours and hours practicing and perfecting our craft. We invest in the materials and tools needed to do what we do. And we spend more and more hours practicing and perfecting our craft - and even after 10,000 hours, we continue to be our own worst critics!

If you can't invest in our finished product - we're good with that but for $%^&* stop telling people no one will pay that price. It's utter BS. Artists deserve to be paid for their amazing skills and talents and the time they invest into their craft. We deserve to make a living and it doesn't need to be working for someone else.

I am the first one to admit that I struggled to price my art accordingly for a long time and I will also tell you that people tell me I undercharge for some of my work. Here's the trouble, people that are venturing into their craft, asking what they "should" charge, will always encounter people who are not willing to pay the price you deserve to be paid for YOUR talent, time, and materials. If you are going to ask people, ask people that understand where you are and can give you the advice and support you need. 

It's unfortunate that we still live in a time where our work as artists isn't seen as valuable as let's say a bookkeeper, handyman, or cashier. I mean, in most cases on different marketplaces, I can't categorize my work properly as wood-burning doesn't quite fall under woodworking or fine art.  But as artists + crafters we have to support those that are venturing into this world, we have to speak out against the notion that "Labor is always free for crafts" because until more of us have this conversation and bring it up, there will always be people who will not value our work. 

And if you are an artist that is just venturing into the world of selling your creations there are some things to keep in mind: 

  1. Not everyone will appreciate your talent and time and won't pay for your creation
  2. Do some research to see what other people charge 
  3. Don't aim to be cheaper than your competition you won't make more sales just because you're cheaper 
  4. Charge what you are worth and deserve and that means don't undercharge 
  5. Have your prices the same (online, in-person, in a shop or gallery) 
  6. If you are serious about making this a business - take the emotions out of it when selling (not when creating)
  7. Be confident in your skills and the results of creating your craft
  8. Stand by your price - you're not a flea market or an auction where haggling is a thing 
  9. Work on your mindset to fully believe that you can make a living with your craft
  10. Surround yourself with like-minded people - it can be challenging in the arts and crafts world because we are slowly getting out of the competition and realizing there is enough for everyone in this world   

So now, if you've read this far you may be wondering how to price your creations because you deserve to pay yourself a reasonable hourly wage, add the cost of materials and make that your asking price. You can go as low as the federal minimum wage of $7.25 and end up as high as what the US Dept. of Labor lists as the average hourly wage for a fine artist as $24.58. Find that spot that makes you just a little bit uncomfortable - if you're too comfortable you may be undercharging!

For example, if materials cost $50, you take 5 hours to make the art, and you pay yourself $20 an hour to make it, then you price the art at $150 ($20 X 5 hours + $50 cost of materials).

There is no standard of pricing or a secret formula - and as far as the people in this world - recognize that not everyone is your ideal customer but there are 7.753 billion people in the world - which means that your ideal customer is out there and you can make a living and you do not have to give away for free! 


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Rebel Handmade is a Website that supports Handmade Artisans Worldwide! Every Week we offer new Featured Shops and Shout Outs, Challenges, and more! The goal is to help support Handmade Artisans and share their creations with the world! We Love to promote Handmade! In addition to promoting Handmade Artisans, we have added an Artist Directory to our site. 

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