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How much do you think your skills are worth per hour?


scorpio616
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LOL, I can;t charge by the hour, I have a base price for a certain level. I am pretty sure that it works out to something like 3 bucks an hour...sigh.

 

Now if you want me to paint your army, the price will be $163,479.56 total. That does not include the models. Conversions and freehand are extra. ...What? No takers? Thank goodness...

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Whenever I consider this question, I get a severe backlash of cognitive dissonance. I take what I make per hour at my job, multiplied by how long I spend on a miniatures, then maybe divide by half or a third because people who paint on commission are usually faster... and I arrive at a number where I say "no one in their right mind would pay that much for a single miniature!"

 

Even so, I've got a few that I'm considering getting painted by others.

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I'm obviously not a commission painter but I do know a few and they don't get paid anywhere near what they are worth. I do get angry sometimes when I see how much one of my children are willing to pay for a tattoo that takes 1/2 and hour to do and then compare that with what a master painter earns.

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As far as an hourly rate (and I don't do commissions, fyi), I would charge around $10/hr, assuming it'll take me 5-6 hours for a decent, better than table-top, but not quite show quality mini.

 

While it is less than I make at my real job, I don't want my fun hobby to be my real job. :)

 

Or do I....?

-Dave

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If you're doing commissions as a business, what matters is that your price and quality are commensurate with the market. It doesn't matter what you want to make per hour, it only matters what you can get per figure. Look at what other people painting at your level are charging; you won't get much business if you're out of line. If you can't make enough money at that price; get better, faster, or both.

 

If you're doing the work as an occasional side, price so that you're happy when you turn over the figure for cash. And never (ever) take commissions from jerks. They can't possibly pay enough to make their business worth what they pay.

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I don't charge for painting miniatures since I don't wish to turn a relaxing hobby into stressful work. Given my speed and skill level, the small amount I could earn from painting miniatures isn't worth the headaches of dealing with commissions. It is a great deal for both me and the people I paint figures for. I get to paint a variety of interesting figures without paying for them and a gamer with no interest in painting gets figures that are painted to a good tabletop standard. I can be selective about what I paint and who I paint for since there always seems to be plenty of demand for free painting and no one has ever complained.

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Whenever I consider this question, I get a severe backlash of cognitive dissonance. I take what I make per hour at my job, multiplied by how long I spend on a miniatures, then maybe divide by half or a third because people who paint on commission are usually faster... and I arrive at a number where I say "no one in their right mind would pay that much for a single miniature!"

 

Even so, I've got a few that I'm considering getting painted by others.

 

I'm the same. I don't want my hobby to be a job unless it can be a full time and once you add in health care cost, small business taxes and so on it would be cheaper to just bring Davinci back to life and have him paint your mini.

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I don't charge by the hour. The market for painting minis is very unpredictable and potential clients run the gamut from well educated and understanding of the prices involved, to completely ignorant and/or confused by the presence of cheap, pre-painted plastics, so that they believe that you are charging too much if you are charging more than $5 for a well-painted model that cost you $12 in the first place. Such a market would not bear charging by the hour, because it could mean a simple PC-type character that cost you $3 becomes a $100 painted model (a quick paintjob could easily turn into 10 hours of work). And that's not going to fly.

 

I keep abreast of what others are charging, and I do a little math, and I just try to beat what the market will bear by a smidge. One simple formula I use is about 2.5 or 3x the cost for the figure, if I am buying the model for the customer. That's a little better than tabletop quality. Something the average purchaser would think was "awesome." That's not a lot of money, really. It means I am generally charging about $20 for decent PCs on my table, or about $7 - $10 each for those cheap GW figs that come in packs of 3 or 5 for $10, using speed painting techniques (but then, I am very, very GOOD at speed painting). And guess what? There are people who walk away from my table claiming I am charging too much, or who actually stop to argue with me about it.

 

Now, when the customer provides the mini, I fudge a bit, and I fudge to my own advantage. Remember, I typically still have to clean it, base it, fix it, assemble it, whatever. So I work out what the price would be if the cost were on me, and I round it down to something reasonable, but fair to myself. Ideally, I am the one finding the models, or customers are buying what I've already prepared. That works out best for me because it helps me cover additional costs like shipping, and whatnot.

 

In the end, I charge a lot less than other people, so I carry no guilt about these things. And I also will repair for free, depending on how any damage occurred, except for shipping. So I always treat the minis like they are still "mine" even after they have gone to their new owners. Like the Zippo company.

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I've thought about soliciting a few commissions from the local rpg group, but I'm a bad capitalist. I know I'll definitely NOT get my professional rate as an IT consultant, but that's also high so people don't bug me and take their buggy computers to the Nerd Herd instead. (But I also haven't been painting for 15+ years professionally, either, as I have been in IT professionally).

 

I think I can pull off a decent enough table top mini and lately my faster minis (like Shanna) have been pretty decent. But I'd still have no idea what to charge, I'm something of a non-capitalist thanks to my years as a gypsy.

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LOL, I can;t charge by the hour, I have a base price for a certain level. I am pretty sure that it works out to something like 3 bucks an hour...sigh.

 

Now if you want me to paint your army, the price will be $163,479.56 total. That does not include the models. Conversions and freehand are extra. ...What? No takers? Thank goodness...

Sweet. Must remember to print and save this just in case I won the lottery :lol:

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