Aug 022011

Conversations about pricing seem to come up a LOT in forums around the internet. There are many different formulas that can be used, and we’ll present several of them in the near future, but for now lets get the ball rolling by considering working for free.

Often new artists wonder about donating work or giving away work as a method of gaining exposure. Its certainly something to consider.

An in depth discussion will take place in the near future, but for now here’s a fun chart to help determine if you should ‘work for free’. (its not a rated ‘g’ chart, but she has a link to one that is cleaned up). While its fun and satirical, there is some truth to it and is worth considering. 🙂

Should I work for free chart

What are your thoughts? Is she on target? Have you been successful in working for free?




  2 Responses to “Pricing – the ongoing challenge”

  1. Work for free?! It seems that we are all underpaid and undervalued, that is a given, this is our life we’re talking about here isn’t it? Yes, I did, do and still will do work for free but now it is easier to do it for free, I’m retarded, I mean I’m retired from actively pursuing paying commissioned work and I can finally do it or choose not to do it. Most of my kin folk are dead and gone or not talking to me, Oh happy day that last part as they are not the nicest of folk anyway. When I was actively trying to make art for money someone was always trying to get something for nothing or next to nothing, “Can you make me a 600′ forged steel fence for the cost of material only?”. Just because they were rich and said they would tell all their friends what a smoking blacksmith I was they must have thought I was stupid just because my biceps were gigantic my brain must have been tiny. It was the same with casting or jewelry making, “Can you make a silver necklace for my daughter’s wedding for cost?”, “Can you cast these waxes in bronze for me at cost?, sometimes people think that just because you have a skill or a talent that you are an open ended charity. The same with my day job, a draftsman, “Can you draw up my house plans for me?”. Would any of you think of asking a dentist, doctor, or most any other professional to just treat you for nothing? No, but as an artist we are expected to do a freebie now an then, or almost all the time for family for no cost. Silver, and surly not gold is not free and stones that were once inexpensive are no longer so. Yes you can still fine mediocre cabs at reasonable prices but the good stuff costs. I have never been stingy in giving my creations to charities for auctions or sales, I give sets to an organization that helped battered woman get their lives back together. I don’t mind giving but what I do mind are leeches.

  2. Keeping your prices reasonable helps people not ask for things for free. I have found that giving free samples, door prizes or presents has encouraged people to buy more at craft shows and even at wholesale jewelry shows promotions do increase sales. I work in copper not gold, so I have less invested in a single piece.

    Best regards,