All posts by swaggerless

For artists.

How to price your work without guessing.

A number of people have asked how to price their work. As artists, it’s important to understand the business side of the process, not just the creative. Below are tips on how to price your work. No more guessing!

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Factor in cost of materials.

Let’s face it, materials ain’t cheap. Factor in the cost of your materials when pricing your work. This includes equipment, permits, and anything you need to get the job done. Keep every receipt. You’ll need them come tax season.

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Time is money.

Nine-to-Fivers get paid for their time, so should you. Some artists give themselves an hourly rate or day rate. You can visit sites like What Is My Day Rate to help calculate your rate, and Glassdoor to see what the average range is for creatives in your area. And remember, the more seasoned you are, the more you can charge for your time.

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Every inch matters.

Some artists charge for the size of their pieces. Just like buildings are calculated by price per square foot, a painter may charge by price per square inch of canvas.

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Don’t forget packaging & shipping.

Unless your work is distributed digitally––and even then there could be charges––you should plan for the cost of packaging and shipping upfront. This can be worked into your total price, or can be paid by your patron or client as an additional fee. If the latter, make sure that’s agreed upon upfront.

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Combos work well.

Don’t be afraid to combine methods. If you’re a photographer, charge for time AND equipment. If you’re a muralist, charge by price per square foot AND materials. Use any combination that fits the needs of you and your business.

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Promise you’ll make a contract.

Before you start a job, write up a contract. Even if it’s just for a family member or friend, it’s important to get expectations down on paper. That way you have a guide as to what both sides expect in the transaction.

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Ask for what you want.

Remember, at the end of the day, you have the right to set the prices you want. If you’re a graphic designer and want to charge $1,000 for a logo, charge $1,000 for a logo. If you have the right audience that sees your value and professionalism, they will pay for your work.

There are many ways you can price your work. This list was just to get your wheels turning.

Keep creating!

Check out more tips from Swaggerless Studios , like how to find affordable studio space and how to earn extra money by sharing your studio.



I just booked & shared a studio. And it was amazing.

Yesterday I spent the day working out of Saymo Collective in Cleveland. Kevin was an amazing studio host. After booking on (shameless plug) I arrived at his studio with my art box and sketchpad in hand. I didn’t completely know what to expect, but as soon as I stepped in, I knew I found a special place to create. 

Kevin had my workstation all set up–a large table by the window with plenty of natural light, spray bottle and paper towels (working in charcoal gets a little messy), and a bottle of evian (fancy 😉 ).

The music was perfect for getting in the zone. We started creating…


Mark Your Calendar: Swaggerless Pop-up Art Show 2/20/16

Over a dozen underground and emerging artists from around the world will showcase their hottest work under one roof at the Swaggerless Pop-up Art Show; Saturday, February 20th 2016 at Gallery 38 in Los Angeles. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. Exhibited artwork is for sale.  See Facebook event page here>

The Swaggerless Pop-up Art Show offers buyers, collectors, and guests an eclectic mix of styles and mediums, from fine illustrations, paintings, and photography, to digital art, mixed-media, printmaking, and more. Notable artists include tapestry designer, Keith Collins, who has created custom works for Michael Jackson, LeBron James, Odell Beckham Jr, Enzo Ferrari, and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. among others, and Brooklyn creative, Christian Jackson, who has written and directed videos for A$AP Rocky, Dos Equis, and more. The pop-up will also include live music and DJ performances.

Works by:  Buenos Aires analogue and digital collage artist, Ignacio Rivas; Barcelona-based fine art illustrators and designers, David Pugliese and Jésica Cichero; San Francisco mixed media abstract artist and painter, Seren Moran; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina collage artist, Knut van Brijs; Los Angeles photographer, LA Fotografa; Brooklyn based writer, director, photographer, and illustrator, Christian Jackson; Los Angeles based optical illusion painter, Vakseen; Philadelphia based artist and designer, Billy Abstract; Los Angeles based designer tapestry artist, Keith Collins; and more.

Swaggerless Pop-up Art Show
Saturday, February 20th 2016 | 2pm-10pm.
Gallery 38:  5376 W. Adams Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016

Add to Facebook calendar> 

Sneak peek at Entusiasta Gallery’s First Art Toy

They said they were going to do it—and they did. Argentine artists and founders of Entusisasta Gallery, David Pugliese and Jésica Cichero, will release their first art toy, the pirate Milbatallas, July 11th at the MuHu Museo del Humor in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The idea for the art toy Milbatallas, meaning “thousand battles” in Spanish, popped into illustrator David Pugliese’s mind a few years ago with a sketch. Like any avid fan of collectable figures, when the opportunity arose to make an art toy, he couldn’t pass it up. After teaming up with sculptor Pablo S. Sapia, they created the first edition of 20 copies casted in resin, bringing his dream to life.

1st edition of 20 copies, hand sculpted and casted in resin.
1st edition of 20 copies.
Hand sculpted and casted in resin.



Sculpted with personality.
Sculpted with personality.

The official presentation of the art toy will be on July 11th 2015 at 4.30 pm at the MuHu Museo del Humor, placed in the old Münich brewery’s building at  Av. de los Italianos 851, Puerto Madero, C.A.B.A., Buenos Aires, Argentina. Event guests include illustrator Jeremias Janikow and renowned comic artist, Enrique Alcatena. For those not in Argentina, the pirate Milbatallas is available by e-mail orders at

So, what can we learn from this? 1. Kidrobot is not the only art toy on the planet. 2. More importantly, don’t just dream it—do it.

For more information about the art toy Milbatallas, please visit

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Fill In The SADLIBS: Exclusive Track Leak [LISTEN]

It’s rare you see one name in the credits for composing, writing, recording, mixing & mastering a project; it’s even rarer to hear all these components done well. SADLIBS is the fourth official album created entirely by Lucid Optics, from playing instruments and writing lyrics to mastering every decibel. The album is centered around a theme of equivalent exchange, or the idea that gaining something means you will lose something else of equal value. In this case, fulfilling the goal of touring took priority over a strenuous personal life. The beats match the bittersweet feel but musicianship is more prevalent than before. Along with recording bass guitar for the first time, Lucid implements more structure and tempo changes blending elements of Hip Hop, Indie, Folk, and Punk.

Below is the first full track leaked off the album:

The tour


 The tour that led up to forging a family, touring again, finishing the album, and starting Inkiscape was a month-long escapade across the US in Knowmadic’s 2-door sedan. Lucid was accompanied by Airospace, Knowmadic, and freelance-photographer Zach Avila. It was booked entirely by themselves and they successfully played over ten shows in six states. They played in taverns and dive bars, formed new friendships, woke up on strange floors, and drove ten hours to do it all over again. With the success of the Drop Everything And Live tour, Optics immediately began booking the next. It would be mostly the same crew on the Day x Day tour, this time joined by Cauzndefx on a similar route in half the time. It was an arduous mission, and most nights after performing were spent driving between 10 and 22 hours to the next city they played.


The shows have been going so well that round 3 is around the corner. All Dreams End / Day x Day II launches 5/29, beginning in San Jose, CA and goes as far as Colorado. If you see gaps in their tour route and want to see them play in your city make sure to contact

5/29 – San Jose, CA @ Kev’s House

5/30 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Trunk Space

6/5 – Colorado Springs, CO  @ Flux Capacitor

6/7 – Boise, ID @ Tom Grainey’s

6/12 – Los Angeles @ White Oak Cheers

To hear more from Lucid Optics, find him on Facebook, Twitter,YouTubeBandcamp, and Bigcartel.

SADLIBS by Lucid Optics releases 4/20


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When “Bad Thang$” sound good: New Music From Mula Kkhan [Listen]

A message came in from Mula Kkhan, a 23 year old hip-hop artist from the west side of Indianapolis. He is part of a local rap association called See The World Collective. This group of rappers promote not only local music and good vibes, but also share their inspiring stories and philosophies with people that hear their music. The song “Bad Thang$” is derived from the artist’s personal experience and battles he faced over the past year. It is a true testimony of where he was to where he is going.



 To hear more music from Mula Kkhan, find him on IG, Twitter, and Soundcloud.
Special thanks to Mula Kkhan for sharing.


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Rhys Langston and The Chocolate Davis Sessions Volume I [Listen]

A message came in from L.A. rapper/producer Rhys Langston. He wanted to share his latest album, “The Chocolate Davis Sessions Volume I”– sounds delicious.

Rhys Langston is a rapper/producer from Los Angeles, CA.  His instrumental work ranges from dark, electronic and bass-heavy compositions to crunchy golden-era-esque drums with simple but layered sample work.   Lyrically merging a certain West Coast eccentricity and boom-bap-influenced percussive poetics, in some ways he is stylistically transient, a reflection of his residence on both east and west coasts— and also perhaps, of his (mostly) unconscious fracturing of racial preconceptions by means of the racially ambiguous person through which he transmits his breed of hip hop.  His dense verses span his personal experiences and convictions through lenses of racial politics, trans-atlantic history, social alienation, and the occasional off-kilter name drop.  Langston’s live performances see energy surged renditions of his songs with the occasional insert of an epigram poem. 

Visual art and writing have always been constant means of expression for him.  In addition to his music he continues to paint (often designing the artwork for his own albums) and write short stories and what he coins “pre-post-racial poems” (non sequiturs that he randomly blurts out during his performances).  

His latest project, The Chocolate Davis Sessions Volume I, released in October of 2014, stars the regulars of Langstónia, Tercero Washington, Resident Harebrain, Calculus Johnson and Muckraker Jones in a series of audio short films.  It sees Rhys Langston’s first official collaboration, one with Netherlands based producer Papppa, who provides 5 out of 8 of the instrumentals (the other 3 being Langston’s own compositions).  Throughout, Rhys Langston’s deconstructionist lyricism is grounded in and shaped by the soft-focus aesthetic of the instrumentals.  Furthermore, short and concise in tracks and album length, Chocolate Davis draws from a literary tradition of epigram poems and challenges the listener to define what constitutes a “full length” release.  

To hear more music from Rhys Langston, find him on Bandcamp, Twitter, and Facebook.

Special thanks to Rhys for sharing.


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