Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sort of bad news

Sleepless near Seattle came back once after the previous post but did not leave a comment. I think I have scared my new reader away.

Okay, that's not the sort of bad news.

The sort of bad news is that I was hoping to make an art sale before Christmas, but yesterday I learned that the person I was hoping to sell the art to is declaring bankruptcy or something. So I guess that I won't be selling anything to her.

I have written about trying to sell my art before. It just doesn't seem to work out. Not that I really want to sell most of it. Most of it I made for me (or specifically as a gift for a friend) and if I like it I want to keep it. If something went wrong with it and I don't like it, then probably no one else would want it either.

Once in a while someone will ask about buying something, and if it is something that I wouldn't mind parting with or something that I think I can mostly duplicate, I tell them how much I want for it. (That is, if I've kept up with time and expense and such to even answer the question I tell them how much I want for it. Otherwise, I have to do some math and get back to them.) I have to figure how much I spent on supplies, and then I have to figure how many hours I actually spent working on the thing, etc.... So if I've spent twenty dollars on supplies on something that it took me twelve hours to make, then I'm going to say maybe a hundred and fifty dollars. And that's only if I'm sure that I can make another one, or if it is something I can live without. If it is something that I really like and I don't think I can make another one, I won't sell it. But at this point I probably won't sell it anyway, because the person wanting to buy was probably thinking less than fifty. Less than fifty is not going to happen unless I really don't like the piece, and I can't picture anyone offering to buy a piece that I really don't like.

The hundred and fifty dollar price tag tends to shock some people. So either that person has never bought from an artist before, or else the person bought from an art student who just had to sell stuff either to get back the money for the supplies to pay for the next semester's supplies, or else the student has accumulated so much artwork that he has to start selling stuff at a huge discount just to get rid of it to make room for the next semester's stuff.

Non-artists just have no concept of what goes into making art. Either they don't have a clue how much art supplies cost, or they think that you make the art really fast and won't charge that much more than the cost of the art supplies. Or they think that since you are an artist that you enjoy making the art and that you shouldn't charge that much for your time.

This is a bit baffling. I don't think that they expect this of people doing other kinds of work. I'm sure that mechanics like cars, but most people don't expect mechanics to work all day to fix a car and then just charge ten or twenty dollars above the cost of the parts.

If someone is taking an art class and spending 150 hours a semester working on art projects, that's 150 hours that they didn't have to do other things, like getting a job. But, still, people wanting to by art don't get it that the art student would rather give all that hard work to his mother or donate it to charity rather than sell it at a price that would work out to a dollar an hour.

Anyway, it looks like I won't be selling that vase before Christmas. Which means that I've been working on the new leaf vase for no reason. And now the professor seems a bit unhappy that I am in the lab working on the thing anyway. The class I'm officially in ended a month ago, and all that we are supposed to be doing now is drying, firing, and glazing. Except for that, we're supposed to be done, and here I had started a new piece.

So, I wasted about fifteen hours on a piece that I really didn't need to make right now. And I didn't get it done in time for this semester's high fire anyway. And that and a few other things were distracting me when I maybe could have been out looking for a temp job or something.

It kind of sucks.

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