Do you value yourself?

I’m in the middle of updating my Artist’s Guide to Pricing ebook, so I’ve got “value” on the brain.

The biggest questions rattling around in my head right now have to do with understanding your own self-worth.

Do you, as an artist, truly value yourself?
What makes you feel valuable?
What makes you see the value in the work you create?
How do you go about valuing yourself?

I think it starts in little ways. Silencing the negative voice whispering in your head. Finding cheerleaders and supporters and fans. Rereading a kind note or comment someone’s left you. Little things that add up, little ways to build yourself up.

Most artists just want to feel validated. They want to feel like what they are doing matters.

Some have the ability to turn inward for validation; others need an outside source to tell them they aren’t, in fact, crazy. What I want to know is how do you find that validation for yourself?

If you’ve got some time, I’d love it if you’d share with me any thoughts or examples!



10 Responses to Do you value yourself?

  1. Wow – this can be a tough question actually. I think I value myself by honoring my inner voice. Truly taking the time to be silent, ask and then listen. It’s not always easy to hear,…sometimes you have to listen for quite awhile. I also feel validated when I hear that other’s enjoy my designs and they tell me they wear them all the time or that one of my pieces are their favorites. That’s always a ‘feel-good-booster’!! Lots to think about here, Brandi. Good post!
    Michelle Buettner recently posted All Gave Some. Some Gave All.My Profile

    • That inner voice is amazing, isn’t it? I believe we always know what’s good for us, it’s just a matter of if we’re listening or not.

      Thank you for such a thoughtful comment, Michelle!

  2. I start with having space and time in my life to practice my creative pursuits. That time to me and that space I do it in is treated as sacred. It nurtures my soul and without it I feel empty.

    I value myself by charging fairly for what I create. I will not be talked out of a price that I have give to a piece, or even one of my components. I was just expected by someone to sell them something that I sold out of over a year ago, in a style that I no longer do at a price that is no longer compatible with my worth as an artist nor the materials and supplies needed to create it. I declare myself an artist and then I make sure that what I produce is consistent with that. I think that too often I have seen people not value the creativity and ingenuity that they bring to the table with their unique skill set and experiences and way undersell what they make. I am not here to sell against big box stores and I would much rather work smarter for that higher priced sale than have to work 5 times as hard for a lesser priced sale.

    This is an interesting question, Miss Brandi, lots of angles to it. Looking forward to reading more.

    Enjoy the day.
    Erin Prais-Hintz recently posted Declaration of ContributionMy Profile

    • I think your strength and resolve as an artist is amazing, Erin. Seriously, I think more artists should read this comment about how you feel – it’s so empowering!

  3. My first reaction to your question is no I don’t. I too have been struggling with this lately as you know. I think I’m getting better and part of it lies with an ex colleague and good friend. A couple of years ago I did what everyone recommends against; I developed a website for her for free. It was a monster undertaking using technology that was new to me. It worked. A week ago she asked me about doing a rework of one part of it and I, quite upfront, said that I would have to charge her. She didn’t even flinch or argue or walk away, she took my quote and said that would be perfect. She accepted my value which has meant that I’m just beginning to do the same.
    Libby recently posted Thinking about :: swimmingMy Profile

    • You know, it’s funny how parallel our experiences are, Libby! I’ve done projects for free or for a lower price, too, mostly because it was an educational experience for me. You can read all you want, but sometimes, real life experience is the best kind of teacher.

      And similar things have happened, too, with people accepting and respecting my value. It’s incredibly validating, isn’t it?

  4. Brandi, I just finished writing my blog post for the color palette posts that I do on Tuesdays (inspired by you of course!) and remembered to come back here to comment.
    I make some pretty weird artwork. It takes time, energy, and a positive attitude. Not everybody is going to like it, or buy it, but none of that matters to me. Each piece of found paper, every pencil line, every time I dip a paintbrush into my water jar…all that is important. I feel like I am giving back to the world. Putting out all that good without the need to receive anything in return is the real mission.

    The only thing that matters is creating everyday. I am my own inspiration. Improving my craft, keeping up with my skills, making goals and actually reaching them is the only credit I need. It is what keeps me level headed and it’s the one thing in my life that makes sense. Success is measured by me and only me, one goal reached at a time. That is the only validation I need.

    • Roni, that’s awesome! And something I think a lot of artists should hear. That’s pure joy of creating right there.

      Thank you for sharing!!

  5. Quite recently my industry (knitwear design) has been discussing prices. “How can so-and-so think her pattern is worth X?” “An unknown designer should never charge over X on a pattern”

    I disagree so strongly. I took a stand on my designs and my prices are higher than the average (but not the highest by a long shot!) – they are long, labour-consuming pieces of work that require not only an artistic vision but also a mathematic brain to create and make them work. I refuse to underprice myself from the get-go on that basis alone.

    I don’t quite know if the mentality changes gears from ARTWORK to CRAFTWORK – and it may have a bit to do with my industry’s comments. Knitting is considered a craft and not an art, much as that pains me, and people don’t pay as much for a craft as they do for art. Do you think so?
    Ruth Garcia-Alcantud recently posted PaseoMy Profile

    • First off, I’m not a fan of the word “craft” unless it’s used as a verb, mainly because it’s not often said with a whole lot of respect. Knitting is totally an art form, and making patterns even more so. I can’t even comprehend what goes into making a pattern; I can’t wrap my head around it.

      Second, I think it’s awesome you stood up for yourself and your value, Ruth! I love hearing that. I think when artists start putting down other artists, it’s a sign that they are unhappy themselves. It makes me wonder if they value THEIR work at all to make negative comments about what other people do.

      My guess is maybe not. And that’s the part that really kills me… you know?