Friday, December 13, 2013

Stories about love, labour, creativity and recognition...

Once upon a time... at a market, a man came up to me with 3 kids. The kids loved the hats I had made. The man came up to me and said: "12.50 euro is a good price for these 3 hats, you make amazing things and you can see you love what you're doing." And handed me the money.

I looked at him and asked him what he did for a living. He was a painter. So I asked him if he liked what he was doing. And yes, he loved it so much he went into business for himself and he did well. I asked him if he could come over to my house to paint a room. Sure, he said, let's talk business. I explained what I wanted done and asked him how many hours of work would that be? He replied and said it was at least a day's work.

8 hours then? I asked and he replied yes. So I gave him 4 euro and asked if he could come by the week after so I could get the paint for him. He looked at me weirdly and asked, what the 4 euro was for. I told him that was his fee and he started laughing. Are you crazy, he said, I work for at least 25 euros per hour without the supplies I need.

So I looked at him and asked: So why do you expect me to work for 50cents an hour?

This is just one of the many little stories I can tell you about about how a lot of people look at Handmade items. They are willing to pay hundreds of euros for machine made items, because it has a special label/brandname on it. But for something that took hours to make by hand with love, it couldn't be more then a few euros.

Another story I can tell you is about a photographer. This guy makes the most beautiful pictures of your new born and or family. I met him at a market and he loved my hats. So I contacted him, see if he would make a deal with me. I would make him some photo props (cocoon, hats, whatever he wanted) that he will be able to use over and over again. And all I asked for in return was one picture of my children together.

He came back to me with a proposal. I would make him 2 cocoons and 4 hats (images included) and he will give me exposure. Because a picture of his would be worth so much more than 20 hats in total. So I was a bit shocked and asked him if he really charged 400 euro for 1 picture. I was puzzled at how people could afford a whole set of pictures.

So I thanked him for his offer and told him politely no thank you. And no I don't need his exposure.

Because I don't drive to the office every day or collect a steady paycheck at the end of the month, doesn't mean that what I do is not work.

I love what I do. And I put a lot of time and love in what I do. And I think what I do is worth something...

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