Recently on one of the local forums someone used the word “mercenary.” It got me thinking about soldiers of fortune and how there are mercenaries in just about every profession; folks that do their jobs just for the money and not for the love of their craft.
Some people start their career in their craft with a sincere, earnest and honest intent, but somewhere along the way they move over to the dark side. Those that start their careers on the dark side usually don’t last long. The gougers usually get their comeuppance or at least we can always hope they will.
The particular focus of my thoughts on mercenaries goes to local artists. I am close to several artists. I have a great deal of local art in my home. Some was purchased and some was given to me in friendship. I only have art from artist I like personally. I love the art of Auntie L, Kicki, and a few other potters, sculptures and glass artists. Their art is all over my place.
Their prices are reasonable and affordable, even to other artists. That is the key to a proper price structure. Henry Ford paid his employees a wage that would guarantee that his products could be purchased by the people that made his product. Art should be priced so that it can be purchased by other practitioners.
I don’t care how good the art may be; if the artist is a schmuck I don’t want their work in my life. There is one local mercenary schmuck that when I saw the price of some of his prints I found that I stopped breathing for a while hoping that my eye had unintentionally added an extra digit or two. It reminded me of the old comics of the two kids with lemonade stands next to one another. One stand had the price set at 5 cents and the other kid had the price set at $100. The caption read, “But all I need to sell is one glass.”
Is it any wonder this mercenary is always crying poverty, tries to trade his art for goods and services at a major mark-up and tries to hold fund raisers when his financial endeavors are blown away? He would be so far ahead had he been reasonable all along.