This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Determining what you're worth

If you want to make money for your art, whether you're a musician, comedian, dancer, or whatever, you have to, at some point, determine what you're worth.

I was watching *Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee* recently, and during an episode someone asked Jerry if they could go watch him perform for free. Jerry smiled that smile he has and casually asked, *is that what you think I'm worth?* and it absolutely blew me away. That someone as wealthy as Jerry Sienfeld should ever have to think about that is something that I had forgotten about. Of course he does!

If you're in business, you know that prices aren't set by businesses, they're determined by what people are willing to pay. A business can put a price tag of whatever they want, but if people just laugh and walk away, well, the business get nothing. Of course, if people aren't willing to pay enough to a business to make it worth their while to sell stuff, then there will be no business.

I was fortunate to get some wise advice from my high school art teacher, who suggested to his students that whenever they got a compliment on one of their drawings, they should try to sell it. It's amazing how quickly a *like* turns into a *I don't know man, it's not worth a few potato chips to me*. So I started selling my artwork at that time. No, not for money, mostly just for the cost of the art materials, or in exchange for a favor. When I started studying Graphic Design in college, I started freelancing, and I did charge real money. I worked my way through college doing that.

So here's a thought - the next time a friend asks you to go watch their band play, don't ask if you can get in for free. You probably will, but your friend would like to know that they're worth the cover charge. Oh yeah, and buy their CD, and a T-shirt, if they have one. And if you think they're worth it.