Edit 4: Thank you all for taking the time to read my little journal. I am no longer going to be replying to any more comments though, but feel free to discuss among yourselves and reply to other people's comments.
Edit 3: Hi everyone, thank you so much for reading. I appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions. On the other hand, please understand I cannot help with pricing. That is up to your own discretion.
Edit 2: This letter only addresses the issue on a basic level. It does not go into much depth and I don't have any intention on following up with much more depth given that everyone's individual situation may differ. This is just MY opinion. Take it like an editorial.
Edit: Feel free to link this journal if you need to.
Disclaimer: This is my view from my experience. THIS IS AN OPINION PIECE. I cannot emphasize this enough. It's my opinion on the situation. It is not 100% generalized but only to serve as an example. You are not expected to agree with any of this. If you comment, keep your comments reasonable and courteous. There's no need to say anything uncivil.
Introduction & Rationale:
On dA, there are a range of artists from different backgrounds and different ages. Due to the diversity of dA, I've seen many ranges of prices for commissions, some of them go from 50 cents to 2000 USD. Especially with the adoptables communities coming into prominence, prices for designs can get higher than 500 USD.
Now here is where there is a little disagreement between those who buy art and those are the suppliers. Let me clarify first of all that art is a luxury product. It is not a necessity, so its prices can fluctuate and be outrageous at times. Unlike necessities that maintain a regular market, art is a little less stable, and it's demand curve looks NOTHING like that of the necessities. (Please understand I've only taken one course in microeconomics in undergraduate school and do not ask me what the curves look like because I do not remember. I have textbooks for references, but there are more qualified people to talk about this with.) There are even luxury taxes in the US which can explain to how society views luxuries vs something you need like toilet paper.
As an art community, we appreciate art, and sometimes will want custom work for ourselves or to buy an adoptable. What I have been finding a little less tolerable is when people complain about the price of art. Let me remind you that we are a capitalistic society and many artists will try to get the most out of their time. No one is denying you something you need, it's just something you would like to have, but maybe not willing to pay that much.
That is perfectly alright to feel like you wouldn't pay x amount of dollars for an adoptable. I know very few artists that would force you to buy the adoptable nor would they force others. When someone pays triple digits for an adoptable during an auction, they do it of their own free will, so please refrain from saying something about the price. Yes it might be outrageous in your mind, and yes you might wish it was lower so you could buy it, but again, you can enjoy the art without owning it. None of these artists are charging you to look at their work, so there's no need to treat them differently just because someone wants to pay x amount for their work.Cost of being an artist:
It's really not that easy to make it as an artist, as many who have tried will know. That's why we're called "Starving artists." For those who are interested in how not to be one, please look at this journal meisan.deviantart.com/journal/…
As an artist, the income is unsteady but our bills are steady, so I'm going to break down what costs actually look like in case you feel the need to say artists charge too much.EXAMPLE OF MONTHLY EXPENSES:
These are just estimates given my own experiences (these numbers may not be accurate or applicable to everyone):
-Rent: 800-2100 USD (depends on location, my friend's studio apartment in Manhatten does cost 2100 USD a month)
-Utilities: 100+ USD (depends on climate & electricity use)
-Food: 200-400 USD
-Internet: 35+ USD
-Phone: 40+ USD (and I don't have a smart phone)
-Social: 20+ a month (I don't socialize much)
-Insurance: Varied (depends if your day job covers it and what insurances you are paying for: car, renters, house, health, dental)
-Medical expenses: Varied (depends on individual, I pay 2100 a month)
So the range can be 1095 USD minimum a month to 6060 USD a month depending on your needs. I personally do not go out and socialize, do not have cable, do not have a smart phone, yet I am on the higher end of the scale because I have a whopping medical bill.
Now let's say I need 4000 USD a month. Remember that taxes take about 20% of your income (at least in the US), so that means I would need to make 5000 USd a month in order to even be able to cover my basic needs. At a typical job where I would work a 40 hr week for 4 weeks a month, I would need to make 31.25 USD an hour to meet my minimum requirements.
Given that I usually only sell one doll a month on average for an average of 300 USD for 20 hrs of work, I couldn't even do it. If I sold something for 300 USD, I would be making under 15 USD an hour because you have to consider overhead costs and material costs.
Let's compare the values: less than 15 USD an hour vs the 31.25 USD I would need to live...hmm.. and then to have someone comment on my prices. Can you see how this would hurt a little when someone doesn't appreciate that you sacrificed your income to do something you love.?
Now not everyone may be making as much (or as little) as me, but for those who say artists shouldn't be expecting minimum wage for whatever reason, please look at that sacrifice! That's HALF. HALF I tell you. I could be spending that time at my day job, but instead this is HALF of what I need. This is a labor of love, so please don't disrespect the sacrifice.
I hope this will help you contextualize what prices mean, and what people need to survive.
1)Costs a lot to be a human being if you are an independent adult
2)Some artists are barely charging enough to get by
3)Please respect their time, enjoy their art, BUT DON'T leave comment on their prices if they don't ask for it.
Because saying this once wasn't enough: Please read all the edits & disclaimers before commenting.