Many people and arts organisations recommend that artists assign themselves an hourly wage and then consider the total time it took to make the work to reach an artists fee; the idea being that if you add your cumulative hourly wage to the material costs you will find a price. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that depending on where you’re at in your career and your education, the time it will take you to make something can vary greatly.
It may take a first year BA student 35 hours to make a work, whereas an MA student, recent graduate or established artist it may take a considerably less time to make a similar work. Should the BA student charge more for their work than the graduate because it took them longer, or should an established artist charge more because they are more experienced? Remember that charging an hourly wage can make prices based on an hourly rate prohibitively expensive for some collectors, while it could undermine the value of other artists work.
While there may be some situations where charging an hourly rate may be appropriate – such as working in education or public programmes – it should not be considered a catch-all methodology of charging or pricing work.
© Medeia Cohan-Petrolino