Putting a price to my work

Graphic design quickly became a great hobby for me since I started contributing to Arcticons, and I have been able to contribute to other projects too, but it still feels wrong when I make money out of it

Published 08 Jul 2022, 557 words, ~1 min. read.
Tags:
design | foss | personal | ramble | thoughts |

I have to say, I don’t know how this didn’t cross my mind when I talked about my opinion on Impostor Syndrome, since when it comes to Graphic Design, I do have quite a lot of mixed feelings.

It’s so weird. How can I dare to design 400+ icons for free for Arcticons, and then ask for a commission after doing a profile pic that might as well be another icon? How did it cross my mind to give a free icon to an indie dev making an app that isn’t even FOSS but I liked a lot, and then request money from open source projects that just need some graphics for a website?

I feel like a hypocrite.

I struggle because of this. I don’t know how much to ask for. I sometimes feel like I could have asked for more since I put a lot of effort into something, and the client would probably agree with me, but other times I feel like my work isn’t worth it, even if its good, because there are probably some free resources that would do the job just fine, or a designer that would have done it for free somewhere, but they came to me still. Sometimes I even replicate a free resource and just modify it to fit with the customer’s requirements. How much of my work is actually worth paying for?

Yet another thing that bugs me is how different pricing can be in different countries. I know that pretty much no individual in my area would be willing to pay the cheapest price I have offered for a profile picture or a logo, “It only took you an hour to make”, “I could have done it too”, “Won’t you give me a friend’s discount”. Thankfully, the situation has not happened yet, most of the commissions I’ve done are from people in countries where graphic design is more appreciated, so I don’t feel as bad when I ask for more than $15 USD for a single logo.

However, sometimes I start thinking how just a different kind of conversation would have ended up with me doing it for free, if they asked nicely, or they were in X or Y situation, or just because I like the design I did so much I just want them to show it to everyone! regardless of how much time it took me.

On a more positive note, I am quite proud of my work. Yeah its not always the cleanest it could be. Donno, Arcticons’ maintainer knows it better than anyone (thanks for putting up with my mistakes lol). The fact that I am able to make money, out of a hobby, with completely free software, both in price and freedom, its completely mind-blowing. I am so grateful for all that.

After all, I did put effort into learning how to work with Inkscape and its quirks, I’ve watched hours of tutorials that could’ve been spent in videogames or books or even “a real job”. So yeah, I do deserve to get paid, most of the time.

Excuse the random ramble, its been a while since I’ve left my feelings go wild in my writing so, thanks for putting up with me.

Also If you have a commission let me know! But please treat me nicely ;)


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