Wow it has already been over a month since I started this crazy freelance thing. Time is passing so quickly! Every week brings new excitement and new challenges. This week I felt especially faced with figuring out how to price myself - no easy task. It is always hard - but with illustration work it is especially hard since I am still new to offering illustration services. With design stuff (logo, poster etc) I can make pretty good guesstimates of how much time something will take me - but illustrations are so variable! So much to learn...and I know it will only take trial and error to get it right.
Something that is also hard for me is knowing that while reasonably priced in the Bay Area, I am a bit too expensive for a lot of people that want my design services. Sometimes I really wish I could drop my prices and make everyones branding dreams a reality - but then I wouldn't be able to pay rent. And in San Francisco - that takes on a special meaning - since our rents are so much higher than much of the rest of the country. The rent for my art studio is probably the same as what someone pays in Ohio for a 1-bedroom apartment!
Of course figuring out your pricing is about more than just covering your bills, it is also about figuring out your value. To discover your value you have to also factor in your years of experience, your unique skill sets, and your individual and valuable aesthetic sense. While I have only been freelancing for a short time, I have to remind myself that my experiences and skills are valuable - and that lowering my prices will also decrease my value.
SO much still to learn, but these challenges are what make life interesting. And things are about to get especially interesting as I enter my first freelance quarterly tax time this September...
Hope you have a nice weekend!