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Saturday, May 28

the price is right-maybe

I've been thinking a lot about value these days. How one measures it, decides it, defends it. I wrestle with the simplest part of that equation every year at this time as I ready my work for the first big show of the year. What is my work worth? Is it worth the most I can get for it? Is it worth more than I charge? Less?

A dear friend and talented artist has been telling me for years that I undervalue my work. My prices make her nuts. We discuss it, but the bottom line is that I can tell at what price point my sales tank and so I don't go over that. Yes, a one-of-a-kind hand bound book has a perceived value higher than what I charge, but what good is that when nobody will give me what it is worth? You can't pay the mortgage with perceived value.

And this is a business, after all, not just a creative exercise.

I had occasion to ponder this anew when I got a detailed bill from the hospital that treated me for cancer. I had chemo twice a month for 6 months. Just one of the drugs in my "cocktail" cost over $10,000.00 Twice a month. For 6 months. 10 grand. It boggles me. It looks like the average cost of my twice a month visit was in excess of $17,000. Each time.

As i put the bill down I couldn't help but have a fleeting thought about my own value. Did I really deserve this? Was I worth the quarter million bucks plus this disease will end up costing my insurance company? Am I worth more because I have insurance? What about all the Americans who have no insurance? Do they have a different value?

I think I am valuable to the people who love me, but let's face it. The rest of the world world will not notice if I fade away. Tons of money was spent on my behalf anyway. I guess my sticker price was higher than I imagined.

Perceived value.

2 comments:

jeanne @ juNxtaposition said...

sorry to read of your illnes...but just for the record..you're actually worth less because you have insurance...the bill would be twice that if uninsured...sad..but true

jeanne @ juNxtaposition said...

sorry to read of your illnes...but just for the record..you're actually worth less because you have insurance...the bill would be twice that if uninsured...sad..but true