I went up north this weekend to visit with friends and as a bonus perk I got to meet a super adorable little horse who I think is going to get romantically acquainted with my filly Shylah in a couple of years. He's a black and white medicine hat Gypsy horse and I think they would have a stunning baby, so some number of years down the road when I start thinking about adding another horse to the herd...might be something to think about. And of course I'm going to have to draw him when he gets older and turns into a studmuffin.
One thing about spending six hours alone in a car is that when I'm not singing along (um, probably not in tune) to the radio it gives me a lot of time to think. Perhaps this is why I like driving alone, I like thinking, and lately I'm thinking "how am I going to do this." And ultimately it comes down to money, and several things come to mind.
1) I can't survive on the income that I've had. I can't survive on the current prices that I charge. While I may, at times, cover time spent on the final drawing, it does not cover anything else (sketching, correspondence, research, scanning, photography costs, copyright registration cost, etc). So on a small piece there is essentially no profit. And as a freelancer, I don't have perks that normal job entails, like retirement for example! Solution: raise prices.
2) How many people out there are doing what I do? How many poultry artists are out there? A few.. Specializing in realism? Even fewer? I don't have a problem with saying I'm really good at what I do, and it's my extremely biased opinion that I'm probably the best at what I do. Translation: raise prices.
This not being snobby, this is not screwing the customer, this is business and making a living. Artists tend to have this phrase that goes something like this: "you can never cover the time you put into a piece." What a crock. You have to cover your time, you can't afford not to. If you were working any other job you'd cover all your hours (and even get overtime, hey nobody pays me for staying up half the night to get something done on time!). Think about some other professional... you think they're just going to give their time away because they enjoy the work? I don't think so.
The numbers only look high until you realize what goes into it, and all the things the artist has to do. Art doesn't just happen on its own without a huge amount of work and often some rather large expenses.
So here's the scoop: prices will be going up very significantly in early 2007, because my time and my work is worth it and I'm not going to undersell anymore. If you are looking for the best poultry art you can find, it's right here. :-)
Until the new prices are up I will continue to use the prices that are published on my main website, and a signed contract will lock you in at those prices regardless of how much things may change. So if you've been thinking of getting some custom art done it's in your best interest to book it by January!! ;-)
And there you have it. The plan is in motion.