Value – A thinking out-loud post

It’s a subject that I, actually, tend to avoid. I’ve been thinking about it recently, though. What value do I place on my time and skills? Sure, I’ve put a price-tag on it but does that speak to confidence and pride? Does it show that I value the time I have put into making something, not just that one item but everything that led up to it? Or is it saying the opposite?

Behind the scenes I have a spreadsheet that I use to calculate what most costs are for each painting (labor and supplies) and the price for each painting. It’s a simple form, mainly there to keep prices consistent and let me know what I have spent (roughly) on each painting.

Would you be surprised to learn that I valued my time at only $15 an hour? Of course, when I set up the sheet that was a $5 raise from my hourly job. You know what, though? I’m worth more than that, my time is worth more than that, to me. So, I gave myself another raise. I allowed myself to think that I have value, that my time means something. I’m never getting any of it back, lets be honest.

This also meant that I needed to re-examine what final value I put on my paintings. Is what I will get back worth what I put into it? Not just the cost of supplies and labor, but everything else. The time I took from other things, other people, to create that painting. Everything that I learned along the way to put it all together on canvas. Again, I found that the price-tag I had placed on my art didn’t reflect MY value for it. Again, an adjustment was needed.

Now older paintings will still have to older price-tag. They didn’t benefit from all the experience that came after when they were finished. New paintings, though? Yes, there will be a price increase. Because they have value to me.