I was thinking about the whole “I won’t commission an artist who has low rates” thing (actually brought up by who makes some very good points with his take on it on his tumblr obsy3.tumblr.com/ ) and it still makes no sense to me as to why that would be the case.
So many people have poked holes in that logic with the fact that you could simply pay the artist more or tip them. I made more tips as a bouncer standing around doing nothing than I have as an artist. The few tips I have made from my art are usually from other artists who have purchased my work, and a scant few from some really good clients. Not saying that’s wrong, but it does make me think.
There’s also another factor that a person with that mentality might not consider in that an artist’s rates can and will go up over time. You never know, they may eventually go up so far that they are well out of the price range that’s normally affordable. So you could have done yourself a favor and got a piece of that artist’s work (maybe threw them some extra) and be able to say “I got a work from them way back when. I supported them in their early days”. Not a bad thing to hang your hat on.
Then one also has to factor in that each individual artist’s experience with the market is different, sometimes regardless of skill, so judging individual artist’s rates on your perceived ideal art rate would probably not serve you well in the long run. Sometimes an independent artist is having a slow month so they might be inclined to lower their rates to get a little work. Other months they may be swamped and their time is at a premium so they need to charge more to make it worth the effort. Artist’s economic lives are fluid with ebbs and flows just like most everyone else.
I’m sure I can go on about this for a while, but I think I’ve covered most of what I wanted to talk about. Bottom line: if you want some art, get it. Life is short! If you feel they aren’t charging enough then throw em some more.