Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Myth #9g Artists are flakes

Myth Nine: Artists are flakes
No where is this myth more apparent then when it comes to artists and money. When artists first begin to price their work there is a tendency to either price way too low, too high or apologize for having to charge money for their work. Jewelry artist and shop owner, Nikole Sarvay, admits, “I’m still shocked when people buy a piece of my jewelry. I definitely struggle with putting a monetary value on my creativity.”

I can remember finding myself in this exact same position many years ago, when I was just beginning to sell my paintings. The way I figured it, my paintings should sell for the amount that my friends could afford and so $35 seemed like a good price. Since most of my friends were artists, it made sense that I should put an extremely low price on them. It never occurred to me that there were people out in the world who had much more money than my friends, who could actually afford to pay whatever price I put on my work.

This difficulty in pricing came directly from the idea that my artwork was still an extension of my self esteem. I was young. I lacked confidence in my work. I had never taken an art class and so I didn’t think my artwork was worth very much. This was my attempt to be logical about my prices. When someone bought a painting, I was just grateful that someone was interested in giving me money for something that took very little effort on my part to create. It never even occurred to me that I should recoup the additional investment I had in the framing or my time.

Nikole Sarvay is a self-taught jewelry designer who forges with metal and hammer.using semi-precious stones, glass, sterling silver, brass and unique findings in her jewelry. Having spent the majority of her professional career in the social work field, Nikole Sarvay began creating jewelry as an emotional release from the demands of her stressful work environment. After a major life transition in late 2006, her creative process evolved into a moving meditation - a practice in approaching her life in an entirely different way. Nikole lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, two cats, and their Bernese mountain beagle, Rilo. Visit Nikole’s blog at

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