The value of art is a function of:
1. What people are willing to pay for the art.
2. The cost for which you are willing to create the art.
It doesn’t matter if someone thinks $25 is too much for a colored sketch, if more people are willing to pay than you can handle, you should definitely…
i think there’s something of a distinction between “undervaluing your art” and “undervaluing your labor”
no matter how crappy you are, you are still expending time and the absolute base value of that time is minimum wage. with “real” jobs, if the quality of your labor is too poor to be worth minimum wage, your pay isnt reduced below minimum wage, you get fired
if the quality of your art is so poor that it is IMPOSSIBLE to reach minimum wage for your labor, it is time for you to fire yourself from paid work until you are good enough to make it
when you’re getting down to the matter of art that is so bad that no one is even WILLING to pay a fair labor wage for the produced, it seems like something that’d be pointless to quibble about, but low cost art of anything but the most laughably poor art imaginable does still impact the market in a non-negligible capacity
every price that is set in a public space impacts the expectations of the market. and in the market of art, where quality is much harder to pin down than the quality of, say, the construction of a chair, those prices affect not only those lateral to you in skill but those above as well
a lot of the people who are going to be buying your art are going to be non-artists or far below you in skill level, with poor ability to actually assess the relative value of artwork. for the uninitiated there’s a bar of quality that is typically set fairly low beyond which the comparitive values of art blur together. people who are not trained in art can distinguish between huge disparities in ability (we all know da vinci is better than chris chan, but can someone who’s never trained in art look between da vinci and michelangelo and be able to point out not just whos art they like more, but which one is more technically proficient?) but in the context of online freelance those outliers are typically absent, so you have a huge pool of workers who are within that range of skill where the untrained cannot accurately contrast price value individually within that group and so applies that same expected standard for pricing to groups that are NOT lateral in skill or who produce art that involves substantially more or less labor than others
people will look at it as “art”, ignorant to the individual value of your commodity, and judge it as overpriced because they a) have no concept of the degree of time an work that goes into a piece of art, and b) cannot meaningfully distinguish the art of a moderately skilled person from a 14 year old girl on deviantart who is just barely above the threshold of “impressive to someone who’s never drawn”
you obviously can’t single handedly change the expectations of the market but setting prices that low does affect the ability of people who are actually pursuing art as a professional career to be paid fairly (and also affects the expectations of artists SETTING their prices which sends a ripple up the chain of artists who COULD charge much more than they do but don’t know they can, which in turn reflects back onto the expectations of buyers, etc.) the prices you set your art at affects everybody and undercutting yourself hard as a hobbyist impacts people who are trying to work through art as an actual means of living, even if the exact price you get paid isnt meaningful to YOU
Wow my power is out and my phone is gonna die, i dont remember if this bloated rambling shitpost even had a point but im not gonna bother to proofread it bye
very good post and agreed, after I made the post and went to class I was like “also setting prices higher does raise the expectations of peoples cost and therefore make people willing to spend more??? prices aren’t made in a vaccuum??” I always have the tendency to oversimplify things haha
There have been some discussions in my blog about art pricing, and how lower prices effect the market, what what a person’s time is worth etc. What’s said here reiterates a lot of what I’ve said, but with brand new shiny word combinations that I like! A good read, thanks you guys!