I know what you're thinking....
How is this year already over?
This is by far the fastest year of my life but wow, what an amazing journey it was.
Here are a few highlights:
- February, I became a registered business.
- April, I entered into my first art competition with the 2015 Wanneroo Art Awards.
- July, I was booked for commissions for the remainder of 2015.
- September, had an interview published in Americas Colored Pencil Magazine (the Autumn Student Edition).
- October, started creating in-depth tutorials for my supporting patrons via Patreon.com/sheldenefineart.
5000 Facebook Followers
500 Instagram Followers
500 Subscribers on YouTube
1008 drawing hours (Woah!)
250 video editing hours
1 1 of my own choosing
4 Patron of the month drawings
4 Subscriber of the month drawings
Total of 57 drawings!!!! (Very Proud :)
Here is a quick look at a timeline.
I am so excited to see what 2016 brings and its going to be great sharing it with all of you.
Enjoy whats left of 2015 and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Hello to all you beautiful people,
Todays blog entry is all about changing our train of thought from an injured one to a positive one.
WHEN YOU RECEIVE A NEGATIVE COMMENT:
This has happened to most of us and will probably happen again. You'll receive a negative comment and immediately you cant help but feel 'heart-broken'. You try anything to just shake that feeling but still the comment gets to you. So this is what you do...
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON CHANGING YOUR TRAIN OF THOUGHT:
What you'll need:
- A few pieces of scrap paper.
- Plenty of small pieces of pretty and colourful paper.
- A translucent container (a big one)
- A waste bin
STEP 1. Use the scrap pieces of paper for any negative comments (you'll probably only need one piece). Write the comment down and fold it or crinkle it up.
STEP 2. Use your pretty and colourful paper and write down all the positive comments your have received for your work (there might be too many so just do enough to fill up your bowl).
STEP 3. Read your negative comment. Now scrunch it up and throw it into your waste bin.
STEP 4. Take out a few of your positive comments and read them out loud.
STEP 5. Put that bowl with your art stuff and grab one whenever you need to.
YOUR TRAIN OF THOUGHT HAS CHANGED:
By merely comparing the sheer size of your positive comments compared to the negative comment/s you should already feel uplifted. That negative comment is insignificant in comparison so why let it put so much weight on your shoulders. Disposing of that negative comment is the perfect solution because thats all it deserves. It doesn't need another second of your emotions, so get rid of it.
The bowl of positivity that you have at arms length is a true reflection of your work and its value. That should be treasured and used whenever you need a little motivation to get you back into the creative mood.
Remember, instead of focusing on whats negative, appreciate whats proven to be positive in your life.
To watch the YouTube video on this topic click here. Q&A - How to deal with negative comments STEP BY STEP
Have a beautiful day everyone.
This is such a difficult problem artists face. Especially in the beginning. We question ourselves and we doubt ourselves and we jump from one conclusion to the next and it often feels like an impossible concept to get right.
Yup, you know you've been there. I dont know if we ever get this right but I will share my experience and maybe you can take something useful out of it for yourself.
Beginning things and finding your artist self.
This is for the beginner artists who have arrived at the point where people are asking you to create drawings for them. You are at the point where people are showing interest and now the question in your mind is how much do I charge?
When I started drawing and posting my work on social media I started to receive questions like:
- Do you do commissions?
- How much would you charge to draw this?
- Do you have a portfolio?
The drawings they were commenting on were just drawings I did for fun and posted to my friends and family and their friends and so on. The feedback and response started to grow more and more and I thought, why not? Lets do some drawings and get paid! Yeah, I spent hours and hours on drawings and charged between $10 and $70 for them. You might be saying "What? Is that all ?" The reason I charged very little was because I wasn't confident in my abilities yet. I didnt know how long my drawings would take and I didnt have enough experience to really charge much more than that. This wasn't a bad thing. Every artist goes thought this in the beginning, just until they gain the confidence and have generated a firm approximation of how long their work will take to complete.
My first six months of drawing I charged the following prices:
(see 2014 Jan to Jun gallery of what I drew in that time below)
Black and White (AUD)
5" x 7" = $10
8 x 12" = $15
12" x 16" = $40
16" x 20" = $60
2014 January - June Drawings (in order, first drawn to last drawn)
For the next six months (July to December) I charged the following:
(see 2014 June to December gallery of what I drew in that time below)
Black and White (AUD)
5" x 7" = $30
8 x 12" = $40
12" x 16" = $60
16" x 20" = $80
5' x 7" = $40
8" x 12" = $55
12" x 16" = $80
16" x 20" = $100
2014 July - December Drawings (in order, first drawn to last drawn)
You now have more experience, confidence and establishment.
After 12 months of drawing full time I have discovered a few useful things.
- I know roughly how long my work would take me to draw.
- I have gained experience and have improved greatly on my drawings skills.
- I have found the mediums I like most and have developed my skills in their use.
- I have developed a small following and with all that feedback I was able to find out what will keep my followers coming back.
- I finally had the confidence to officially do this full time and was ready to create a website and register myself as a business.
It was also time to put my prices up as my skills improved. With all the things I had learned in the last twelve months it was easier to establish a price.
With this knowledge of time I tried to establish some sort of hourly rate. I decided that I would take the median rate of my hours per size and multiply them by $8 per hour. That is how I got to my prices for the first 5 months of 2015.
Approximate black and white drawing times as per sizes:
5" x 7" = Between 10 - 15 hours
8" x 12" = Between of 16 - 21 hours
12" x 16" = Between of 23 - 27 hours
16" x 20" = Between of 33 - 37 hours
Example: The price for 5" x 7" = $100
Median of 10 and 15 = 12.5
12.5 x $8p/hr = $100 fixed price for a 5" x 7" drawing.
Final Prices for 2015 Jan - May:
Black and White (AUD)
5" x 7" = $100
8 x 12" = $150
12" x 16" = $200
16" x 20" = $280
5' x 7" = $150
8" x 12" = $200
12" x 16" = $340
16" x 20" = $480
(For all current prices see the Prices tab and for all 2015 drawings see my Gallery)
You know your capabilities, your worth and how to conquer your future.
After 15 months of drawing commissions, developing my skills, growing a following and getting booked up for the rest of 2015, I felt like my prices could go up once again. I mean I was booked for the entire year! I knew that by the end of the year I would of gained a massive amount of experience and my skills would of improved even more and we all know that we would like to be paid more than $8 an hour.. So I pushed my prices up to an average of $12 an hour and I was still getting bookings.
Now that I am at the end of 2015 I know my worth. I have a large portfolio and its clear to me that there has been a great improvement in skills, accomplishments and demand. I have also managed to gain more than 5000 followers on Facebook and 500 subscribers on YouTube.
When you reach this phase you should be able to price your work without a problem.
Keep in mind that I was able to do this in as little as two years because I have done it full time. For many of you this is not possible because you still need to work to sustain your lifestyle. That means reaching this phase could take a lot longer so don't feel despondent if it doesn't happen in as little as two years.
Time is experienced differently for every artist :)
I bid all my current and future artist friends reading this a good day from Australia and may you accomplish everything you dream you would.
To view the YouTube video discussing this click: Q&A How to price your art commissions
I know, I know...
I haven't entered a post into my blog for ages. But I'm back...
WHEN ASKED TO DRAW FOR FREE.
At some point as an artist you will be asked to do art for free, especially if you do custom commissions. People have many different ways of asking this and many of them have these beautiful or sometimes sad stories behind them. They tell you this story and your heart starts to melt and you can tell that they really want an art piece from you. This does make it very difficult for an artist to say no because you don't want that person to feel despondent or saddened due to a subtle rejection. These people admire your work and your followers mean everything to you so how can you make them understand that you just cannot do art work for free especially if it is what you are trying to do for a living?
IS IT OKAY TO ASK FOR FREE ART?
A dear artist friend of mine said something very true. She said that the general public would never ask a musician to compose and produce music pro bono, nor would they ask a writer to write an autobiography for free. So why is it okay to ask a Fine Artist to draw or create for free.
I personally think that the general public don't often see art as a means to make a living but instead see art as only a hobby. I think this is why it is easy for someone to just ask an artist to create for free because subconsciously they don't think of art as more than a hobby.
UNDERSTAND WHAT IS BEING ASKED OF THE ARTIST.
So, when someone asks you to create for free, don't get upset because they probably don't quite understand exactly what they are asking from you. This is where it is up to you as an artist to give them a clearer understanding of what they are asking.
The most common size drawings that I create are 12" x 16" and on average these drawings take me between 20 and 40 hours to complete depending on the complexity. So lets say, as an example, someone asks me to create a drawing that I know will take me 26 hours to complete. We all know that most people work 8 - 10 hours per day. By asking me to draw for free is like me asking you to go to work for three days without getting paid. Not very fair is it? If you take the time to explain this to the individual who asked for free work you are not rejecting them but merely giving them an understanding of what they are truly asking from you. You will find that they will understand, and in their minds they are probably saying "Oh, I didn't think of it that way." You will still have a supporting follower and you wont have to feel bad for saying no.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CREATE FOR FREE?
Followers are most important to artists. If you have many followers who support your work and show admiration and affection for your work why not surprise them with something for encouraging and supporting your work? Do a monthly give-away or nominate someone for a free custom drawing. Give them an opportunity for discounts and rewards. This is when doing free work is wonderful and rewarding to the artist and the followers.
I like to create a weekly YouTube video where I answer the questions asked by my followers. On Patreon (www.patreon.com/sheldenefineart) I reward my supporters with in-depth tutorials, advise, free custom drawings and gifts in the post. On Periscope (@sheldenefineart) I draw live and answer any questions in real time. These are examples of when an artist should do work for free because both parties are receiving what is beneficial to them.
Long story short, it is okay to do art for free but it is not okay to be asked to do art for free.
Here's my YouTube video talking about this question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfihy-zTI-8
Thats all from me today.
Have a beautiful day.