It has been an interesting couple of months since the Plymouth Art Weekender and my first open studio event. That weekend left me filled with enthusiasm and I was ready to go.......then came the reality of working out how to make this all work and fit around family life! Its funny, when I was working a 'normal' job, I got up, made sure the kids were up and organised, went to work - swapping hats from 'Mum' to 'receptionist' somewhere over Laira Bridge. Worked until it was time to leave, drove home, swapping hats again and switching off from work as I did so. Now, working for myself, there is no swapping of hats or switching off it seems. Just lots of juggling, apologising, and random teas whilst desperately trying to concentrate whilst your eldest is earnestly chattering away to you! There is no switching off now, emails, organising dates, advertising and replying to social media all seem to clamour for my attention and seem to wait for no one. We live in an ever increasingly instant world. My world, however, is not instant - it all takes time. From the first sketched idea for a piece of work to get to the final piece, there are so many hours in between, this doesn't even include the hours it takes to dry and fire each piece. Working out how much to charge for my work has always been hard for me because of this, deciding on how much to 'pay' myself even harder. I had a couple of conversations with friends recently about it, both of whom are self-employed. Both of whom believe I should be charging more........ One is a consultant, instantly if you were looking to employ them you are of the understanding it comes with a certain price tag. The second is an outdoor educationist - again certain price tag. Me, a ceramicist, works with clay, still very much seen as a hobby. Something that is done for fun, in your spare time - very different price tag, unless of course, you are someone like Grayson Perry or Keith Brymer Jones (pottery throw down fame) It all made me really stop and think, what is my worth?
I love what I do and that I get to do it every day, I love seeing people enjoy themselves when they come for a workshop and take home something precious to them. You can't put a price on that, that is my worth. I have now worked out an hourly rate for teaching and delivering workshop sessions that I am happy with.................Grayson Perry I am not, but we all need to start somewhere!