I’ve recently gotten into listening podcasts while I work- yes I am late to the party!- and I’ve found a few really good ones about creative people, designers, artists, and just in general.
Andy J. Pizza’s Creative Pep Talk is one of my faves- I love how excited, or “jazzed” (love that!) and passionate he is about helping fellow creative peeps find our thing and shout it out to the world. (Adding to my list of dream things to chat with Andy some day, wink wink..!)
He started a movement on Instagram, #ourtimehasvalue and it really sat with me in that a common, ongoing problem or challenge in the design industry is conveying that the work we do as creative designers and artists- has value. With the ever-growing crowdsourcing and DIY design junk that’s out there, it’s tougher to show that a higher price tag isn’t just pulled out of thin air- instead it involves years of experience, skill, time, and hours and hours of work, experimenting, studying, learning, trying new things, education, and design and life experience, over the years to hone your craft and style.
Sometimes it might look easy, or a cheaper option might be alluring. Why pay $500 when you can pay $50?
Let me tell you, I’ve seen the dark side of crowdsourced/cheapy artwork. It’s not pretty. That $50 price tag will quickly morph into $550 or more when you need that artwork to actually print or be enlarged, or translated into another format to make things like tees or totebags or business cards. I’ve been given logo files from clients that they got thru said crowdsourced places, that do not print properly, and there’s no way that they ever would. Upon further investigation there are major, and basic, errors made in how they are built and that have to be corrected, incurring more cost to the client. And my favorite thing is seeing a logo that somebody paid for, appearing again and again with somebody else’s company names attached to it- cough templated artwork cough cough. Sigh.
I could go on and on. But seriously. Most designers are honest and aren’t out to rip anyone off. Our prices reflect our experience, our backgrounds, our skills, and our style. If you like, and want, our work, you’ll value it, and value working with us, as we do with you. Value is mutual too.
An extra caveat sometimes for me is that since I work from home- and I do have a dedicated office and studio space- sometimes people think that I don’t actually work full-time. Like it’s just a hobby, or something I do for fun. How could it be a job when it looks like it’s just plain fun and you make it look so easy? And they think that they don’t need to pay me because of that.
Here’s the thing though: I put in my time at studios and agencies, working with teams in larger agencies or with only one other person in smaller studios. Been there done that. I made the leap to work at home for myself on my own terms, because it keeps me sane. And I’m lucky and grateful to be able to do that every day.
And I deeply value my clients and love working with them and supporting them however I can. So along with artwork you get a real human behind your project, who cares and wants to see you do awesomely. Not somebody plugging fonts into random generic clipart templates, churning out the same stuff over and over.
Anyway. Value is valuable, to you, and to me as a designer and artist. You’re paying for a little piece of me in every project, every piece of art, every thing I make, and I love that! And I love when somebody takes that piece and runs with it, building more value into it as they go. And that’s what it’s all about!
With much love and gratitude as always,