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what price for your time?

updated wed 7 feb 01

 

CINDI ANDERSON on sun 4 feb 01


Ah, such an excellent question. For you career artists, you probably can't
comprehend how much this question runs through the minds of people with
non-creative jobs, in technology for example. All I ever talk about with my
friends is how miserable we are, but how do we walk away? Or more accurately, when
do we walk away? That is the "for how long" part of your question. But it is much
easier to walk away from $10 an hour than $100 or more...

The price that I would give up is about $135 per hour. Of course after taxes
that's down to about $50. After medical bills from being stressed out, even less.
After housing even less. But it doesn't include the chance to strike it rich in
stock options. Of course in reality that "chance" that keeps everyone going full
throttle rarely comes true. But when it happens to someone else that could have
been you, you never forget. It is a question I battle every day. Keep going and
save $ so I am forever free, or stop now and do what I love. I myself have chosen
to quit, but I have to ween away. For the last year I have been weened to half of
that wage, but primarily due to illness. Without the illness, and some tragedies
thrown in for good measure, I probably could not have come this far. How much
willpower will I have to continue my weening? Sometimes I actually start to think
about diving back into hell. Hearing from the doctor who became a lawyer who
became a potter helps me. Seeing how much you folks love what you do helps me.
But I have often wondered the very question you asked. Maybe you would give it up
for what I have. Or maybe you would laugh in my face.

Cindi

priddy on sun 4 feb 01


pricing is hard. Lately I have been working on a Top Secret Project that=
has
taken me away form throwing and making. I am about done with it for a wh=
ile,
but now I want to sculpt. So I will sculpt. But you still have to pay t=
he
bills. =


Michealangelo painted ceilings to pay for his indulgent passion to sculpt=
=2E I
will paint, for money. Whatever, if it was good enough for him...

Here is the question: If someone offered you a job where you could not p=
ot,
but instead do something that you enjoy equally well, how much would they=
have
to pay you to get you to do it? $10 per hour, $15, $20, $25??

And how long could you do it?



still respectfully submitted,
elizabeth priddy, as is

priddy-clay@usa.net
http://www.angelfire.com/nc/clayworkshop

____________________________________________________________________
Get free email and a permanent address at http://www.netaddress.com/?N=3D=
1

Snail Scott on sun 4 feb 01


At 01:16 PM 2/4/01 EST, you wrote:

>
>Here is the question: If someone offered you a job where you could not pot,
>but instead do something that you enjoy equally well, how much would they
have
>to pay you to get you to do it? $10 per hour, $15, $20, $25??

>still respectfully submitted,
>elizabeth priddy, as is



If I enjoyed it just as much? About the same as I
earn from sculpture, I suppose. That would be illegal,
though, since it would be below minimum wage!

-Snail

CINDI ANDERSON on mon 5 feb 01


I think you have answered the question for you. You do what you do with such
conviction that you would never trade it in. I confess I find that hard to believe
though. If someone offered you $1 million not to be a potter for a week, you would
not take it? Then as the joke goes "we've already established what you are, now we
are just determining the price." After all, how much good could you do in the
world with $1 million. But perhaps I am too practical and not idealistic. It
reminds me of about 15 years ago when Neil Diamond turned down $10 million or more
for the rights to play "Forever in Blue Jeans" on a Levi's commercial. I got his
point about commercialism and supported his right to do whatever he wanted, but
personally would have taken the money and donated it to charity.

Also I am curious that someone can be so firm in their convictions, as you put it.
I am sure this exists, in artists, in people that adopt handicapped children or
work with abused children. People clearly are not in this that type of work for
the money. However, seems like there are hundreds of things I can do and find
interesting and valuable, and the older I get the more I find. I am somewhat
jealous of the person for whom there is only one thing period.

Cindi Anderson
Fremont, CA

dayton j grant wrote:

> to start out with, the word 'if' is quite a stretch ....i mean, i have
> an all encompassing attachment to what i 'am' in this incarnation this
> does not mean i have less respect for what i 'am not',but people have
> gotten really thrown off track by considering what they could be 'if'they
> were not what they are .... like "what if you were a bird ,how much would
> you charge to be a bird ,and how long do you think you could keep it up
> .? i for one am an artist and i do not like to wonder what would happen
> 'if' i ceased to be myself.....what if someone said to you" if you could
> overlook your moral and religeous convictions for a while , how much
> would you charge for this , and how long do you think you could keep it
> up before you burst into flames ? i do not think of this work as some new
> age therapy for bored people but as a serious and holy sacrifice to the
> essence of humanity ,i accept and defend my position as a custodian of
> 'dirt 'and 'fire'and if i am to receive enrichment it will come through
> 'dirt'and 'fire'... i am aghast, to ask an artist what 'if' you were
> doing other work for money ...is like saying' if you were a slave ,how
> would you handle that .... or 'if' you were a prostitute,how much would
> you charge ....i am a folk artist and i realise that its not that serious
> for alot of people ,im not really upset but i just wanted to point out
> that some people may take offense to any inferrence that they are not
> firm in their convictions and chosen patterns of behaviour..as for me my
> time is not for sale ... i give it away when i think its for good
> cause,otherwise it belongs to me and my hallucinations

STVC on mon 5 feb 01


Cindi and all,

This is longish, and kind of a soft-core rant.

Here's another take on the values discussion. I worked as a hospice nurse
(RN) for some years, before high tech and programming. Many I cared for
were wealthy, and many were poor. Whether rich or poor, those who spent
most of their lives doing something they loved, who nurtured family
relations and friendships, and felt they really contributed something seemed
to have the easiest time.

I won't argue that money will expand the menu, and can contribute to your
ability to control how your time is spent. The million dollars for a week
away from pottery scenario is not plausible enough to add weight to this
discussion, IMHO. And I find it hard to believe that if someone pumped a
million into your bank account, you'd promptly trot it over to your favorite
charity.

Recently, I said goodbye to my high tech job partly as a result of the
dotcom melt down. Surprisingly, though I had the potential to make the
millions, I felt a great relief! Ahhhh! The great weight of stone is
lifted. I can breathe again! I have no intention of going back to anything
like that again for any amount of money. It was different as one of the
first twenty something employees before financing and stock options. We
were all in it for a healthy mixture of motives. Making money doing
something we enjoyed was high on the list.

When big VC money started to flow in, the greed and power mongers quickly
followed, and the job became very much like what I originally came to the
company to escape. Many of us from the original crew were marginalized and
disillusioned--stuck in cubicles and regimented (picture Ben Hur rowing in
the galley--"Ramming speed!), unhappy even though we had/have options. We
would have discussions like this one. I was planning on leaving when half
vested. Equity alone did not turn out to be worth it. When the intrinsic
pleasure was gone, it was over for me.

If you find a way, no matter what the financial rewards, to spend the lion's
share of your time doing something you love, being with people you care for
and who care for you, you've got it made. End of story. If you can strike
it rich and still hold on to that--and that's far from a given--more power
to you. If you lose it, you're lost, and you may not be able to buy it for
any price.

More often than not, potters/clay artists seem more content with their lives
than most. Maybe that's just my perception, but I think there's something
to it. You pretty much have to love it to do it. ALL studies done to
measure reported contentment against "wages" suggest once your income
increases beyond middle class the probability of happiness declines.
Explain this to me. I think it has to do with what's on your mind most of
the time.

As for me, I'm going for broke for my art. If I have to ditch the house and
property, so be it. If I have to keep some kind of transition job for a
while, fine. There's value and there's Value. I can do this. I can't NOT
do this, believe me I've tried. Even my kids will be better off a little
poorer with a happy dad, than living in a big house with lots of toys,
seldom seeing their unhappy dad.

Steven Van Cleave
Vista, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: Ceramic Arts Discussion List [mailto:CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG]On
Behalf Of CINDI ANDERSON
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2001 7:59 PM
To: CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG
Subject: Re: what price for your time?


I think you have answered the question for you. You do what you do with
such
conviction that you would never trade it in. I confess I find that hard to
believe
though. If someone offered you $1 million not to be a potter for a week,
you would
not take it? Then as the joke goes "we've already established what you are,
now we
are just determining the price." After all, how much good could you do in
the
world with $1 million. But perhaps I am too practical and not idealistic.
It
reminds me of about 15 years ago when Neil Diamond turned down $10 million
or more
for the rights to play "Forever in Blue Jeans" on a Levi's commercial. I
got his
point about commercialism and supported his right to do whatever he wanted,
but
personally would have taken the money and donated it to charity.

Also I am curious that someone can be so firm in their convictions, as you
put it.
I am sure this exists, in artists, in people that adopt handicapped children
or
work with abused children. People clearly are not in this that type of work
for
the money. However, seems like there are hundreds of things I can do and
find
interesting and valuable, and the older I get the more I find. I am
somewhat
jealous of the person for whom there is only one thing period.

Cindi Anderson
Fremont, CA

dayton j grant wrote:

> to start out with, the word 'if' is quite a stretch ....i mean, i have
> an all encompassing attachment to what i 'am' in this incarnation this
> does not mean i have less respect for what i 'am not',but people have
> gotten really thrown off track by considering what they could be 'if'they
> were not what they are .... like "what if you were a bird ,how much would
> you charge to be a bird ,and how long do you think you could keep it up
> .? i for one am an artist and i do not like to wonder what would happen
> 'if' i ceased to be myself.....what if someone said to you" if you could
> overlook your moral and religeous convictions for a while , how much
> would you charge for this , and how long do you think you could keep it
> up before you burst into flames ? i do not think of this work as some new
> age therapy for bored people but as a serious and holy sacrifice to the
> essence of humanity ,i accept and defend my position as a custodian of
> 'dirt 'and 'fire'and if i am to receive enrichment it will come through
> 'dirt'and 'fire'... i am aghast, to ask an artist what 'if' you were
> doing other work for money ...is like saying' if you were a slave ,how
> would you handle that .... or 'if' you were a prostitute,how much would
> you charge ....i am a folk artist and i realise that its not that serious
> for alot of people ,im not really upset but i just wanted to point out
> that some people may take offense to any inferrence that they are not
> firm in their convictions and chosen patterns of behaviour..as for me my
> time is not for sale ... i give it away when i think its for good
> cause,otherwise it belongs to me and my hallucinations

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Martin Howard on mon 5 feb 01


Over here in UK, we have had the argument for some time about a national
minimum wage. It is now enshrined in law, but still many people who do
excellent jobs are paid just that and no more (and sometimes even less).

In Quaker meetings we have had the discussion "How much to pay the cleaner,
or whoever cuts the grass? etc" That has got quite heated at times :-)

Personally I do not think anyone is worth less that 5 per hour, whatever
they are doing.
And no one really earns or is worth more that 50 per hour. Anything less
that 5 or more than 50 is just plain immoral in my book. So that puts all
lawyers on the wrong side for a start. Of course, these are personal and
flexible figures. We are all different, but our basic needs during most of
our lifetimes are not.

If we look at the top rates paid to bankers, business people, chairpersons
etc we find quite ludicrous sums creamed off businesses to attract 'the
right person' etc. While others starve and sleep on the streets. That cannot
be right in a civilised society.

So where do potters fit in? Again, it depends if we need to earn a living or
are retired; what is the going rate in our area? so we do not undercut a
good potting friend down the road; how much we want to trade locally or
nationally? what kind of market we want to encourage.

Being retired, I go for a low price, but do not undercut my local friend
(who needs to earn a living). I encourage the local people and do not intend
to sell nationally. My ware is all for daily use :- cat bowls, human bowls,
jugs, teapots, mugs, local dishes for local restaurateurs etc.

But I would not criticise those who go for the purely artistic market,
except if they are using an excessive amount of fuel and causing more global
warming.

Rant over. Thanks for reading if you got this far.

Martin Howard
Webb's Cottage Pottery
Woolpits Road, Great Saling
BRAINTREE, Essex CM7 5DZ
England
martin@webbscottage.co.uk
Have you seen http://www.thefriend.org
Download The Friend, the weekly Quaker Newspaper,
3 days before it is published.
That's Quick for Quakers.

dayton j grant on mon 5 feb 01


to start out with, the word 'if' is quite a stretch ....i mean, i have
an all encompassing attachment to what i 'am' in this incarnation this
does not mean i have less respect for what i 'am not',but people have
gotten really thrown off track by considering what they could be 'if'they
were not what they are .... like "what if you were a bird ,how much would
you charge to be a bird ,and how long do you think you could keep it up
..? i for one am an artist and i do not like to wonder what would happen
'if' i ceased to be myself.....what if someone said to you" if you could
overlook your moral and religeous convictions for a while , how much
would you charge for this , and how long do you think you could keep it
up before you burst into flames ? i do not think of this work as some new
age therapy for bored people but as a serious and holy sacrifice to the
essence of humanity ,i accept and defend my position as a custodian of
'dirt 'and 'fire'and if i am to receive enrichment it will come through
'dirt'and 'fire'... i am aghast, to ask an artist what 'if' you were
doing other work for money ...is like saying' if you were a slave ,how
would you handle that .... or 'if' you were a prostitute,how much would
you charge ....i am a folk artist and i realise that its not that serious
for alot of people ,im not really upset but i just wanted to point out
that some people may take offense to any inferrence that they are not
firm in their convictions and chosen patterns of behaviour..as for me my
time is not for sale ... i give it away when i think its for good
cause,otherwise it belongs to me and my hallucinations
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