[Ansteorra] how much is that scroll worth

letebts@earthlink.net letebts at earthlink.net
Sat Sep 1 06:25:55 PDT 1956

When I had a mall storefront for Calligraphy Heaven, there was a joke going
around about pricing work for a client:

(Calligrapher:)"You want this piece done for you, right? Well, here's my
pricing chart."
 (Show a triangle with Point A named "Good," Point B named "Fast,and Point C
named "Cheap.")
(To Client:)"You may have only two points. That means if you choose Fast and
Good, you won't get it done cheaply. If you choose Fast and Cheap, you won't
get work that's good. If you choose Cheap and Good, it won't be done fast.
Soooo, which two do you want?"  (grin hidden behind hand)

Actually, Ari is right in saying:

> The worth of your Art is determined by what the person buying it is willing to
> spend and what you feel your time and effort are worth.
> Having sold a few pieces in my time, I have learned that
> a) I always undervalue my pieces
> b) The customer always underbids
> c) the combination of A and B keep me from getting a big head about it. ;-)
> Unless you are making art to make money, just be realistic when discussing
> price with potential customers. IE. How much were your materials + time +
> talent worth.

I advise my mundane students:
1). Items that require a set format, like envelopes and place cards and
names centered on an award can have a set price for each style/"hand", since
some take longer to scribe than others. (Clients buy time as well as
Hint: Be sure to see the paper you are to scribe if the client plans to
bring it in; it may turn out to be foil or blind-embossed little roses all
over the place that will take forever to do well....and you didn't ask about
it when you quoted the price on the phone. (Oh, did that sound like the
voice of experience?)

2). To set the price for something, determine what you want to make per hour
and price the hand required for the text accordingly, counting how fast you
can do it in a professional manner. Remember, you may also have to do some
layout and sizing, with drawing and painting as well, if the commission
requires it.
Also, don't charge for researching something unless you square it with the
client first and advise them of the additional, separate price for having to
research anything.

Example of setting prices: Write out on your own envelopes names and
addresses from the phone book (You won't know these people, either, like
your client's list.), adding a city, state, and ZIP. Find out how many you
can do in fifteen minutes, a sprint speed. Multiply by four and deduct a few
since you won't work at a sprint speed for a full hour, but more like a
Do some division of the number of envelopes and the money you want to earn
per hour to find out how much to charge for each envelope.

If necessary, adjust the price to fit the clientele--Podunk Junction won't
bring the same prices as Gottrocks Villas.

I would also add to Ari's statement:
Presentation is everything. Wrap the finished piece in tissue paper and
secure it with a colored sticky-dot (gold is good). Present it to the client
as though you had the most valuable museum art in the world in that tissue.
Lay it, using both hands, before the client in a reverential manner.
Open it with great respect to demonstrate how proud you are of the work and
set the mood of the client by these actions.
How you treat the piece is how the client will initially view and value it.

Thet's m'story and I'm stickin' to it!   ;-)

PS Sorry I got so long, but this life is something I am really passionate

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