austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

And she's always screaming and shouting

Also during the lull between panels we got the squirrel mini-badge to go around bunny_hugger's puppet Chitter's neck. I'm surprised that given the number of people carrying puppets around there weren't more people getting mini-badges for them, or adding accessories like the scarf she had Chitter wear. The scarf was in part self-defense: the Chitter squirrel she has is a not particularly rare model and tags like this help sort out ownership. Mini-badges would also help.

Another little pastime for me was marvelling at skylerbunny for taking action on something that, actually, he and I had talked about before. See, one of the things we have noticed is that furry artists tend to be impoverished, even beyond the normal levels of impoverishment to be expected for furries or artists or the intersection of those sets. And our quick diagnosis of why is pretty simple: they set commission rates way too low.

Our analysis is that, basically, artists have roughly the same economic niche that consultants have: there are a fair number of clients who could be talked into buying their services, and there's a not irrational fear of having no clients, and this seems to encourage making sure that one is never short of work by setting the rate low enough that you'll never be turned away. And that's fine if all you want is to fill your hours with work. But the first rule a consultant is supposed to learn --- and I say this admitting that neither of us made it in consulting roles, at least so far --- is to figure out how much you want to earn per hour. Then figure out how long a job will take. This tells you where to set your rates.

This perhaps sounds obvious. But I know, for example, that woodlander recently did a little bit of selling commissions for icon work at three dollars per icon. At that rate, he's earning less than minimum wage if the icon takes more than 25 minutes to do. Yes, I know some people want to draw just to draw and are happy making enough to afford their art supplies and maybe lunch, but, there's a lot of people out there under-pricing themselves.

So skylerbunny was exhibiting his desire to put some kind of floor under artist prices by arguing with Skrimpf, a rather talented fellow in Artists' Alley, that he just was not charging enough and should be asking for more and if he wasn't going to ask for more skylerbunny was just going to refuse to buy anything until he charged more. This was a particularly pathological case, as Skrimpf was steadily putting up possible suggested prices about would maybe seven dollars be all right for a three-by-five badge in colored pencil and maybe six would be all right perhaps less if skylerbunny saw it and didn't like how it came out and ... Well, skylerbunny was having none of this.

One of the most popular psychology pieces of the past decade, on the Internet at least, has to be the Dunning-Kruger Effect which indicated that people who were really incompetent at a task vastly overrated their abilities. Skrimpf has whatever the inverse of that effect is, and don't tell me that won't be a popular Internet Psychology Idea for the future: while he's quite skilled and has a distinctive and entertaining style he doesn't seem to believe he's reached even a minimum level of competence. If his prices were about four times what they are, this might be attributed to putting forth a pleasantly humble bit of salesmanship. As it is, I had to fend off his offer of an extra print for free just because I was buying some.

skylerbunny would go on to get a badge which looked very nice and captured his persona in a way not like anyone had done before. The only thing he found to fault in the badge as it turned out was that Skrimpf failed to put his signature on it. I'm not sure how much skylerbunny bid up the price from what Skrimpf was asking, but I know it was something nonzero, and good for him.

Trivia: Reuters's first news scoop came on 10 January 1859, in summarizing a speech the King of Sardinia was giving to the opening of parliament. Oddly, folklore would for decades accept that Reuters's first scoop had come the week before in reporting a speech by Napoleon III on New Year's Day, even though the content had appeared a day earlier in the Times of London. Source: The Power of News: The History of Reuters, Donald Read.

Currently Reading: An ABC Of Science Fiction: Twenty-Six Excursions Into The Fantastic, Editor Tom Boardman Jr. With 26 stories, by authors with last names that go through nearly every letter of the alphabet (X is represented pseudonymously) in 222 pages these are very short things prone to punch-line endings you can see coming from several dozen pages back. Still, Arthur C Clarke, Damon Knight, Chad Oliver, Frederick Pohl, Clifford Simak all bundled together, who's going to find serious fault with that?


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