I donated two of my Zentangle inspired pieces to a fund raiser. The draw was made last night. The woman who won them was thrilled, but they were eagerly coveted by others.

Some of the people who wanted them are friends and I will gladly make copies of some of my digital work and they can find frames etc.

One of the people said she'd be willing to pay "a small amount" for the prints.

I don't normally sell my art, and I find the offer of "a small amount" insulting. To me it devalues my work and implies that my skill is not valued either.

Knowing her, "a small amount" would likely be $10 for a piece that might have taken a week to complete.

This is how I see it. If i "gift" the prints, I still know what they are worth and I get a good feeling from knowing that someone is enjoying them. If I SOLD them for $10, I would have none of that good feeling and after paying so little for them, the lady in question would think nothing of tossing them in the recycle bin.

What do you think about this?

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I give away almost everything I do including what I donate to our school's Clothes for Kids charity. Our school counselor receives donations for them and I win either way knowing that someone is happy because of my work. It's hard for me to place a dollar value on my work and it would make me sick to think something I worked on so hard would be tossed in the trash by anyone other than me.

A woman at our church said to me the other day, "You just can't get paid for crafts."  What I had done I didn't consider "crafts."  I asked her why since she wouldn't have gone to work for all those years she put in for anything less than she should have gotten.  She looked at me rather surprised and I told her that if people want something of quality, they better expect to pay for it.  As a designer, I put time into everything I do.  I have had to pay for an education and I didn't expect to get anything from my instructors handed to me for free.  When we work for "token" payment, we encourage the idea that our work isn't worth paying for.  I know I have trouble pricing things...I always have.  I had it brought to my attention just last week that when I produce artwork, I am using skills and should be paid a fair wage.  I will give what I like to give, but token payments are not acceptable.


There are some very good posts on this forum under 'Art Business' that talk about pricing your artwork.  Dallas Nyberg has some especially good advice for artists.  Personally, I would never accept a token payment for my art and would feel the same as you, that the offer was insulting.  If you feel that her offer even needed an acknowledgement you could say that you do have some of your prints available for sale at $XX price or that your original work is for sale at $XX price, let her make the choice.  Not everyone is going to like our art or think that it has as much value as we do, but when you set a value on your art you will feel better in the end.

Just my two cents.

Margaret - First of all, I would like to say how kind and generous it is of you to donate your work to a charitable event. I, too, would have been insulted by the comment of the small payment. Those who do not create works of any type of art with their hands do not understand the time, thought, commitment and love that goes into the work that an artist produces, no matter how big or small, simple or detailed. Therefore, I am almost certain that it was said without any type of inconsideration or malice.If I had been in your shoes, I think I would have said something like, " I do not like the thought of selling my work, but I would be honored to print you out a copy of the piece that you admired. I only ask that if the time comes when you tire of it, please pass it on to someone or donate it to an organization so that others may also enjoy it."  There sure is some great advice on these forums, so I am certain you will find the answer that you are looking for!

As a side note: My daughter and I regularly do oil paintings and donate them so they can be auctioned off for various church-sponsored ministries, and it used to be a little difficult to let go of the ones that I became attached to, lol. (As silly as this may sound, it is slightly akin to growing a lovely plant from a seed, or raising a puppy through its weening period and then giving them away - it hurts a little to see it go)! But, after seeing the joy on the faces of the people who received the paintings, those feelings quickly dissipated. I wish you all the luck with your creations and hope that everything is going well with you. 

aint it funny how they all want something for nothing.or they let ur foot in the door if u give away this or that...when i here great pic..i say its for  sale....usual question..how much..my response is im taking offers,..naturally they will low bid witha  smile from me..saying surly this worth more than that..u trying to sell it to make money or r u buying this yourself?..been in sales for 30 years..always answer a question  with a question,,example.."if i let u have that for this price..would u take it?" then shut up..next one speaks looses..wink...over my younger years i id give away art..in my old age i aint giving away diddly unless its to one of my children or grandchildren..all the rest will have to pull out the checkbooks or i move on...wink

Thanks for all the replies!

What I draw on my iPad takes MORE skill than anything I've drawn on paper. Because besides knowing how and what to draw, you need to know about the computer, the software, the printer etc. and it don't "copy" anything. I want everything to be one of a kind.

People should pay. They don't pay the plumber for "fixing" the tap, they pay him for "knowing how".

I've backed off dealing with the token payment person. I will donate more in future and she can buy tickets :)



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