What is the Value of Custom Artwork?
“THAT’S OUTRAGEOUS!” That was his response to my answer of, “$59.00.” when asked how much I charge for an 8×10. My friend was interested in having photographs taken of his son. I gave him the session fee and let him know I do not provide digital files. His response had me wondering why he felt $59 was “outrageous?” He has a full sleeve of tattoos – custom artwork for which he was willing to invest thousands of dollars and countless hours. This artwork caused him physical pain, required aftercare, and cannot easily be updated. Yet he balked at paying $59 for an 8×10 that has been carefully planned, created, edited, color corrected, sent to a professional lab, inspected, hand matted, packaged and delivered. It was because I didn’t create value for him, so the number 59 was meaningless.
Having a handful of scattered tattoos myself, I know the cost and the value of having beautiful artwork permanently etched into the skin. Tattoo artists invest in a machine, have had training, are artistic, and have sanitary and health standards to consider. They buy needles, ink and sanitation equipment, and create a rendition of anything you can imagine when they put the needle to your skin. Not to mention the time they put into each creation! Tattoo artistry is amazing. It is infinitely more valuable than being handed a stack of temporary tattoos that you will probably apply once or twice, and then forget about until you clean out the drawer you threw them in.
A photographer invests in a machine (camera), has had training, is artistic, buys SD cards, back-up batteries, lenses, and other equipment to use with their machine; creates a rendition of what their clients love most to permanently display on their walls with love and pride. Displaying the photographic artwork created for you is infinitely more valuable than digital files on a USB drive, from which one or two have been printed, and the rest forgotten about until you clean out the drawer that you threw the USB in. Displaying personalized artwork in your house makes it a home.
When you invest in a tattoo, it’s not just the ink and needle you are paying for. Similarly, when you purchase a portrait it’s not just the ink and paper. Anyone can make a $4ish print at a big box store. Anyone can draw on themselves with a permanent marker. There is so much more value to custom artwork than this. Hanging a beautifully crafted portrait in your home is effectively tattooing your wall. If you would like more information on tattoos for you home, please complete the contact form found on your page of interest. I’d be delighted to create a custom plan for your portraits.