So, to be a "real" artist, is it all about getting paid for your work? I've done tons of art for myself, but it all just sits there (you can see some of it sitting here). It looks good, but what's it worth? What's the point?
Occasionally someone sees my work and wants me to do some art for them. I've made money on the side like that since I was a teen. I've made some decent money from single projects here and there. Just as often I get someone who's like "I'll give you a couple bucks if you can design a tattoo for me". Family thinks I should do stuff like that for them for free.
When I ask my art buds what they charge it's something like $25/hr and up, so I use their suggestion so I can "be a professional". While I like getting paid good money for my time and whatever hassle I incur, especially the older I get--I'm finding out that what I'm charging seems like too much for what I've created. What I create is good, and as professional as I can make it, but I could easily charge something lower. I enjoy creating and I appreciate the end result and that's a big part of making art for me.
Part of it is I already have a full-time job so this is just supplementary income. Maybe I'd get more work if I charged something lower. But then again, for years I'd complete someone's work, they'd ask me how much, and I'd say, "Just pay me what you think it's worth." Sometimes I'd get paid something lower than what I'd want (I guess once I had someone else's suggestion of what it was worth all of a sudden I'd come up with an amount), sometimes I'd get paid something higher than what I thought it was worth. Still, I didn't know what to charge or what the art was worth, so it seemed like an honest way for me to do things. Mostly I'm just happy to get paid.
But what's the price of being a professional? For me I'm wondering if it's not just high fees and an ego trip.