Monday, March 25, 2013

Pricing My Services

I may have mentioned that I'm a custom painter. I look forward to the rare occasions when I get to paint a mural. It doesn't happen often, but when it does I am like a giddy child.

I love to paint. I am fortunate to get paid to do it.

Recently, a client inquired about a mural in her young sons room. She wants a jungle theme. I went over and talked to her. Gave her some sketches. Drew a floor plan of the room and noted where she wanted each element.

On the main wall, with no windows or doors, she wants a complete mural, edge to edge. The wall is about 9 feet by 9 feet. Not huge, but not small either.  In another corner she wants a recreation of a funky tree I did on another mural. In yet another corner she wants a jungle tree with a monkey in it. These are the layouts I came up with.

Beach front view. Water and sky with cliffs.

Funky tree

My problem in doing these is how much do I charge? These are the only projects I get to price out myself. Because I run the show on these. No one else I work with can really do these. I am a fine line artistic painter. But how much is my time and talent worth?

For this mural I decided to charge what I am normally billed out at on large projects. $35.00 an hour. It's a relatively simple project, so I estimate it will take me 40 hours of painting. That works out to be $1400.00. Now that doesn't sound high to me. But what if it does to the clients? They can afford it. Just trust me on that. But just because a client is well off doesn't mean they are going to be okay with your price.

On the other hand...

There is another VERY GOOD mural painter in our area. His work is all over the city. He recently did a 9x9 foot mural and charged $12,000.00 for it. Yes twelve thousand! I could never see charging that much to paint a wall. I wouldn't be so high on myself to think my talent is worth that. It's exorbitant as far as I'm concerned. But his work is EVERYWHERE. So other people don't think it's too high, obviously.

Whats the middle ground? What is a fair price that a private home owner might be willing to pay? Help me out here please!

The tree she wants duplicated. 

Before I could even get this up and ready to comment on, the client changed her mind. Or her son did rather. He now wants fat head cars. Whatever the hell those are. They are ordering some kind of sticker to put on the wall. Seriously bummed now.

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