How To Make Money Doing Art – The Hard Truth
As a professional blogger, I like to outsource my design work so I can focus on doing what I do best – writing and making money from my written words.
Here’s the brutal truth about artists and their industry.
I laugh whenever graphic designers quote me $350 – $500 for a basic banner or logo. And God forbid a lower price be offered by you. For they will cry about not being appreciated as though artists are special snowflakes exempted from the rules of the free market.
Usually I prefer to get my designs commissioned on Fiverr or Upwork. Look at this amazing cover of my best-selling eBook, it only cost me $5 to get it done. My local artist would be asking for $500 to create something of that quality.
Here’s some lessons and business advice for you if you’re a creative type…
1. In today’s borderless digital world, it’s not anyone’s responsibility to subsidize your cost of living just because you happen to live where you live. A good piece of work has the same inherent value whether it’s done by someone in San Francisco or Medellin, Colombia.
2. Unless your client is a Fortune 500 company, they aren’t going to give a damn about that tiny difference in quality between your $500 artwork and an Indian/Filipino’s $5 artwork. So you may think, perhaps you should brand yourself as an artist who works exclusively with the richest high-end clients. Well, guess what? The Apple’s and Walmart’s of the world already have in-house design & marketing teams to take care of these shit. What happens when you’re not good enough for the clients with deep pockets AND cannot compete in price with talented artists from developing countries? Uh oh, the marginal difference between you and the top freelancers on Fiverr isn’t going to justify a 100X premium!
3. That leaves me with only one solution for you, so listen up… Start thinking of yourself as an entrepreneur, regardless of your vocation, instead of defining yourself narrowly as an “artist”. Think out of the box, because the old ways of doing things ain’t gonna work anymore.
4. There are plenty of rich artists, so if they can do it then the problem doesn’t lie in your industry. The problem lies with you. Just like writers/athletes/musicians – there are those who can only perform their craft for “exposure”, and there are those who’re multi-millionaires doing the same damn thing.
5. FREE MARKET RULES APPLY TO EVERYONE! No, snowflakes are not exempted from these pesky capitalist principles.
How do you create enormous value such that people are happy to pay you at the level you want?
I know what I’m worth, since I charge pretty high consulting fees in exchange for helping my clients take advantage of the ongoing once-in-a-lifetime cryptocurrency gold rush. What about YOU?
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I laugh whenever graphic designers quote me $350 – $500 for a simple banner or logo. And if you dare to ask for a lower price, they will cry about not being appreciated as though artists are special snowflakes exempted from free market rules. That’s why I don’t even ask and…
— J.K. Diego (@jkdgo) April 18, 2018
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