How do we name a fair price?

Over or under $250?


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Hey guys!

Quick question: how much should I ask for a brand new DOT approved half helmet airbrushed as an exact replica of one I've already done? If you have not been throught my galleries, check out the helmet gallery. That helmet took me so long. I imagine remaking it would be a lot less time, but still. It's on the more detailed side. I don't know what to charge the guy. He wants the same thing, just his size, on a new motorcycle helmet.

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Remember, when pricing your work...some of the value comes from the time you have spent building up your skill set. I would be charging over 250 if it were me.

Btw...cool design, I really like the theme and a nice touch with the guidestones in there! Motorcyclists can be considered temporary citizens, falls in nicely with guidestones agenda :p
 
I've done a lot of helmets and one thing to consider is unless the customer has lots of disposable dosh they are not prepared (in general) to spend £400 on a $150 helmet. (unless you have a "World Class" name)
I would ask "how much are you looking at spending?" and see what the customer values your work at and how much you are prepared to work for and go from there.
Hope this give you food for thought.
Marty
 
The million dollar question :p

As stated above it will generaly come down to what is someone willing to pay (especialy when you haven't made a name for yourself yet) and do you want to paint it for that amount.

The rule of thumb used by most is cost of materials + hours involved x what you want to earn. You'll soon see this will often amount to figures people are not willing to pay :D. It's nearly impossible to give a straight answer as value of money varries per country, market conditions varry etc etc.

One piece of advice, don't paint too cheap. It might be tempting as we generaly paint because we like to do it and every bit of cash is a bit of cash. Once you get a reputation of being cheap though it is hard to get rid of it, and you will not get away (unless you are a big name) with charging $10 for a job and increasing that to $100 a year later as you see the amount of work increasing.

When you do it on the cheap make sure the custommer knows it is a one off job because you just like doing it and tell them what it realy would cost normaly just incase someone else asks them what it has cost them
 
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Ps. I love that paint job, if you are going to sell it though make sure the finish (only talking about the bottom rim here which is messy) is flawless. When people pay a lot of money for a paint job they will (and should) expect it to be "perfect". When selling stuff it is also your reputation that is on the line and you can paint the most marvelous artwork, people will only notice the bad things when the finish is not "up to standards"
 
Ps. I love that paint job, if you are going to sell it though make sure the finish (only talking about the bottom rim here which is messy) is flawless. When people pay a lot of money for a paint job they will (and should) expect it to be "perfect". When selling stuff it is also your reputation that is on the line and you can paint the most marvelous artwork, people will only notice the bad things when the finish is not "up to standards"
That is so true, if you do a big job, say a tail gate, people stand back and say wow! but you do a helmet and people pick it up and scrutinise everything!
 
Btw...cool design, I really like the theme and a nice touch with the guidestones in there! Motorcyclists can be considered temporary citizens, falls in nicely with guidestones agenda [emoji14]


I'm so glad someone caught that!
 
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Thank you! Everyone left a serious and helpful comment. I really appreciate this guys. I feel like I have come to the right place, finally, to get some help from people who have expertise! I really appreciate those who have the ability and willingness to pick out something like the overspray on the trim! I will be replacing the trim with a different material that is slightly wider. I don't like the rubber. It looks sloppy even when it doesn't have paint on it.

I do see what you guys mean. I have but a small group of friends who know my work. I have no business charging the same as an experienced artist, especially since in the beginning, the time it takes is half painting, half fixing mistakes. I imagine at my current (snail-slow) level, this replica would take me around 20 hrs. Let's say I pay myself what I make a my full time job brush touching chips and scratches (puke): $15/hr. It's a fair wage. This helmet would be about $300 in labor alone. Add the cost of the helmet and materials and it would be about $400.

Even $400 for a helmet would be a gouge in my pocketbook. Ouch.
 
I really love the use of the muted colors on this thing, it really sets the mood.

As haasje said, the edge is a bit rough, the only other suggestion I would give is to use some freehand shields to give some hard edges in places. It looks like everything is soft, the use of some hard lines can really give a lot of depth and change of focus. Small changes can really make the painting pop.

As mentioned pricing is very subjective and based on the buyer. Another factor is whether you are doing just the painting or adding the clear coat as well.
 
People will pay what its worth to them, I don't think $400 is unfair, some may pay double that, its the market you aim at. take several of them to a Bike Rally, plenty of money normally flowing at them and the right kind of crowd for such, have no doubt such designs would sell well and at a premium, nice work.
 
Thank you RebelAir. I have been thinking about getting into a bike rally or three. I go to them myself just to look. SO much fun! I don't have a bike myself. If I did land a booth at a show, should I bring items for sale? Or just as display? I've run plenty of booths, so I understand the benefits of being able to move product at a place where people bring money and drink beer.

I am curious about something. I was thinking about painting my brother's bike for material cost only and then asking him to let me show it at shows or events as part of my gallery. Is this something any of you have done? If so, what sort of problems did you encounter?

Gosh you guys are great. I'm learning more here in the last few days than I have in hours of reading and videos!
 
Thank you very much, jagardn, for the advice. I agree with you. It looks soft. I'm a little intimidated by hard edges. I don't know how much is too much. I'll try the freehand stencils like you said and see what happens. Good eye! Can I ask what muted means? Is it like low color saturation? I was aiming for a dirty toxic air look where the sun doesn't shine through the pollution sort of feel. Ew.
 
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Thank you very much, jagardn, for the advice. I agree with you. It looks soft. I'm a little intimidated by hard edges. I don't know how much is too much. I'll try the freehand stencils like you said and see what happens. Good eye! Can I ask what muted means? Is it like low color saturation? I was aiming for a dirty toxic air look where the sun doesn't shine through the pollution sort of feel. Ew.

Yes, that's exactly what I meant by muted. To much color saturation would have not made the painting so dark and evil looking.

Sharp edges are really only needed on the focal points. Try cutting pieces of printer paper with an X-Acto blade to mimic your targeted focal points, I do this with every painting. Use of the paper allows for a little but of under spray, making the line a hard edge, but not uber hard like masking it.
 
I live in a poor community. I charge $150 a hemlet. Yes, thats a cheap price but if I want to have business, I have to charge less....depending on where you live ($$ wise), is how I base my prices. I live in a tourist area.....so when they want something, of course I charge more, cause their "cabins", are their 2nd and 3rd houses
 
It must be mental torture for you guys doing this work to sell... I can respect the work that goes into anything and everything we do, no matter how good we are. I have my own way of pricing and understanding a person in one go.... Explain to them what you have done, how you achieved it and show them every detail of your work.... Then ask them for a sensible offer based on all the information and how much they want it.... You already have a price in your head, its what we would like to get. If the offer is an insult to you, dont be shy... Let it be known!

If they offer you something close to your head price, let the haggling begin.. If they off you way over your head.... Well, then your on a winner.

Be nice to do something I coiuld sell.... be a while yet lol
 
In regard to sharp edges. They can be a tool to create a bit more depth by making objects in the front stand out a bit more (further to the back everything will generaly be a bit "blurry". They can also be part of the texture of sommething. If the guy was wearing a helmet instead of a hoody making a crisp edge for the helmet not only draws it more to the foreground but is also part of the texture.

As for doing a bike at cost price. If you can use it for shows that is not a bad idea, its always good to have a big show piece at hand and it will give you some practice on a bike without having to worry too much about messing stuff up (once they start paying you for it you won't get away with that :) ).

A bike isn't much different from a helmet being that good prep work is 90% of the endresult. I would be a bit picky with the theme though and make it something "mainstream" (skulls/flames etc). It's a show piece so you want it to to bet to the taste of as much as your audience as possible (pink my little ponies with fluffy hearts, how ever well executed may not sit well with a lot of the "though biker boy's" :p.
 
Honesty is the best policy. Tell them how much it cost you to make, and then ask them what they think it's worth, if they are good people they will give you a honest answer. If they are a-holes they will try to low ball you and nit pick your work to try and get you to lower your price. I am a professional a-hole so trust me I know. I love the helmet! It is worth more than 4 bills in my opinion
 
Anyone looking to make good money from airbrushing , it probably won`t happen unless you can build yourself up a good name. That takes many years. You are doing great work at the moment. If it`s just a hobby, as mine is, when it comes to pricing, i take into consideration the amount of pleasure i received out of creating a piece of artwork i am proud to show anyone. That counts for a lot and that comes back to you , not in money but job satisfaction.. I `m not suggesting that you give your art away at a ridiculous price. But It`s the same with any hobby. You will never get paid for the amount of hours you put in. So long as you get something reasonable , without going overboard on the price. At least it pays for ongoing materials etc, and gives you a good feeling knowing that you have created a piece of artwork that someone was willing to pay for. I have been airbrushing for 7 years and have sold everything i have done. I`m still broke , LOL. There`s an old saying. " Many small fish are tastier than one big one." I have done a couple of skateboard helmets using customers helmet, where i have quoted $ 150 ( Aus dollars) and the customer has volunteered to pay $200. And yet i have done some really detailed pieces that i`m sure were worth good money, but have not sold easily. An airbrush artist in my town charges $400 upwards for a motorcycle helmet, plus the cost of the helmet. Who cares, just enjoy the moment. Cheers from Brushahhh.
 
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