Sometimes I have the occasional experience of a person dropping their jaw when I inform them of the rates for face painting, balloon twisting or any of the other skilled entertainers I can provide for my clients.
Sometimes I have the opportunity to educate that person on what it takes for an artist or entertainer to reach a stage of their career where they actually get to charge for their work. You see if I said I was a doctor or carpenter jaws just wouldn’t drop. But mention art and artists and still to this day in Australia there is that person who thinks we do it just for fun.
Every artist I know who charges for their work has spent countless hours learning, practising, sweating their butts off to perfect their art. The first years spent showcasing ones work is usually done without pay. Unlike a new doctor or carpenter we do not have the apprentice years paid for. We usually have to keep a second job so we can feed ourselves and pay the rent. It is ridiculous that this very fact is not recognised at large.
The face painting workshops we take costs money, the circus school we attend costs money, the make up course we complete costs money, the magic school we attend costs money, the balloon twisting workshop we take costs money, the acting school we attend costs money, the music degree we take costs money, the art degree we have cost money. And we haven’t even accounted for the fact that the majority of these skills require specific equipments and materials, and yes, they cost money also.
You see there is a whole lot of fun to be had in all fields of work and I believe it is our attitude and gratitude that makes it so. Our area of work comes with the same challenges we can all face at one time or another no matter what the skill is we are trying to learn. We also come up against the impossible day where picking up the brush seems futile or we just can’t get that design to work, or the plates to balance or the card to disappear fast enough. It is a job like any other with it’s own special pros and cons.
In conclusion we finally, after years of giving our time for free just so we can be involved and get experience, start charging for our time and skill.