Category Archives: career

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.



Life’s Not About A Job– It’s About Purpose

Have you ever really sat down to think about your life, your purpose, your “element”, and then realize that frankly, your job or career path is not in-line with any of them? Maybe it’s okay to step back and re-evaluate your current situation. Where else can life take you if you realize that we’re more than just a fancy position title and puffed resume– we’re beings, with a purpose.



Trouble finding your passion? Here’s a little Monday Motivation

“If you don’t have an obvious passion, follow your curiosity.”– Elizabeth Gilbert

Remember, it’s okay not to know what your one true passion is right this second. Take some time to follow your curiosity– it may just lead you to your passion.

Listen to author Elizabeth Gilbert’s story on creativity and passion on TED Radio Hour.

Happy Monday.

If You’re Graduating, You’ll Need One of These: Limited Edition ‘Hire Me’ Decal

Commencement season is here, and if you are one of the lucky graduates, you may want to grab one of our limited edition ‘Hire Me’ decals while you  still can. Remember to take a pic with your  ‘Hire Me’ cap and  IG: @Swaggerless with the hashtag #HireMe to share your accomplishments on the site. 2014 Get HIRED! 

Limited edition ‘Hire Me’ mortarboard decal

Get Hired. Grab a decal here

How To Make It On National TV– Drama Free

It was spring 2009 and I was graduating. Another commencement, aka the start of something new. I needed a way to stand out from the sea of other graduates dawned from head to toe in academic regalia. (We paid 100K some odd dollars for this ensemble—you’re damn right I’m trying to stand out.) Continue reading How To Make It On National TV– Drama Free

The Simple Trick to Upgrading Your Resume Bullet Points

(Via The Muse)

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Lazlo Block (a.k.a., the guy in charge of all hiring at Google), explains that the real key to making your resume’s bullet points work in your favor is to give your accomplishments context and explain exactly how you achieved them.

The key…is to frame your strengths as: ‘I accomplished X, relative to Y, by doing Z.’ Most people would write a resume like this: ‘Wrote editorials for The New York Times.’ Better would be to say: ‘Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of 6 by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.’ Most people don’t put the right content on their resumes.