Saturday, July 25, 2015


I've often thought that if I charged just a dollar an hour for my time spent making a doll, I probably wouldn't have a one that would cost less than $100.  That price wouldn't include the cost of fabric, threads, trims, glue, paint, clay, etc.  Clay is the most expensive product I buy, and then, I use it only for the finish layer.  I make the primary clay myself.  Chop sticks are cheaper than dowels and I have two huge storage bins full of fabric, most   of which was given to me.  So, as a rule, I don't have to put out a lot of money per doll.  I DO have to put in a lot of hours.

Which leads directly to the question of how much can I reasonably charge for a doll?  They are often imperfect - with crooked noses  and ears that don't match.  And my sewing skills are  sometimes downright embarrassing - but the finished costume looks good - if one doesn't go snooping  under skirts or tugging at shoulder seams.  I don't use molds and make my own patterns.  Time consuming tasks, to be sure.

So what is the "rule of thumb" these days for pricing one's creative work?   We've all heard of the starving artist.  I think that artists "starve" because the average person never stops to think that artists have mortages, car payments and bills like everyone else.  They seem to think that because the work looks so effortless and fun, it must be a hobby and of little value.  They're wrong, of course.  A good artist, like a good doctor, will spend her/his life learning - new techniques, new equipment, or just something that grabs their curiosity.   It's all relevant, it all has value.  It's worth the price you put on it.