And now I refuse to talk about next year. Thank you.
As for silent auctions! You can snag the beadwoven “AS IS TRADITION” bracelet starting at 10:00AM PST, Nov 13th, and the chocobo-drawn carriage (with chocobo!) starting at 02:00PM PST, Nov 17th! Both are one of a kind and support a great cause, so please sit back, relax, and enjoy the madness and the beauty that is Desert Bus for Hope.
So in preparing to redo my commission page, I decided to ignore all of the terror that came forth when I thought about actually timing a project. I came to the conclusion that, after having done enough of the “tiny shiny” FFXV beaded sprites, I wanted to time Luna from start to finish. Only active work. No breaks, no distractions; just the time I took to get this project done.
Spoiler: this is one hour, 60 minutes, of only work:
Let’s all join hands and explore the most boring parts of art: the bare basic, ground floor bit.
Yeah, okay, I was a little bit surprised by the result. To get from the picture above, to the picture below:
225 minutes. Or, 3 hours and 45 minutes. The beading process alone took just short of 3.5 hours. The rest was the backing process. It… didn’t seem worth adding ten seconds for the jump ring, honestly. Nor would it have actually mattered.
Now if we take into account that I live in Massachusetts, and the minimum wage is $10 an hour, she’d be priced appropriately at $37.50, right? Oh, but that’s time. Let’s talk about materials.
Beads. Tiny glass seed beads. They can be really cheap, but I don’t use those. Because those are crap, sharp-edged, too thin, and prone to shattering. I use delicas. And sure, you may say those are pretty decently inexpensive. Especially with how few get used here… but I don’t buy beads by individual portions. I buy them by the bag. And there are 13 colors here. So, tallying up the prices of all of these colors in the standard 5 gram bags, $33.39. Meaning the average price for a bag is $2.57. Not bad, ultimately… but all at once, that’s a chunk.
Yes, I am lucky that I already have 100+ bead colors, but those built up over years. And while I obviously don’t need to buy new beads for every project for that reason, I have to replace beads when they get low, before the next project. (And in cases where I’m being commissioned, I may need new colors. Some of them get alarmingly pricey, and I’m not even talking about the gold-coated ones.) This is a valid number to consider.
I use decent thread and needles, too. I mean, a pack of 20 needles is only about $3. The thread, actually about $6 a spool. Not bad at all. But still something to consider.
None of this even mentions the fact that I have been perfecting this process for about a decade. Teaching myself, doing my own product testing, perfecting techniques that both look good and are suitably strong. I deserve a raise for experience, hard work, and customer satisfaction, is what I’m saying.
Then there’s bee’s wax, support gloves and hand lotion, all necessary elements of the process, though I suppose I’m willing to let those slide for the moment. Design fees and demos, I will not let slide, but those are discussed with commissioners on a case by case basis.
Now. Now. I certainly don’t expect to be charging an epic amount for tiny shiny Luna up there. In fact, I’ve priced her at… $40. Much, much less than I should.
Why? Because I’m only taking into account time, barely taking into account materials, and not at all taking into account living. This will pay for my time, partially replacing my materials, and nothing else. I am a working artist. This is not my own personal hobby.
And yet she sits there at $40. And right now, I’m okay with that. This time. She’s my first run at this pattern. Now I know what I’m doing. But making another one on commission? Yes, that will be more. Not an insane amount more. But all commissioned pieces will be priced higher to account for, as stated, time, materials, and experience. And, perhaps increasingly, something like a living wage.Bottom line: I still really want to be in reach of my fellow shiny-loving geeks… but not at my own expense. Yeah? Yeah.
Friendly reminder that Patreon patrons get weekly progress shots and sneak peeks at the things they actually enormously help me to buy for future insane projects. I'm pretty sure they'll be able to tell you exactly how much insanity is going into the horsebird this year.