**I apologize in advance for grammatical errors**
I understand my work seems expensive, but I also know it’s worth more. But I do my best to keep it as low as possible.
Some responses to emails are “that’s just for artwork?” Yes, it is. A mixer is additional. The additional cost varies based on the model chosen, or you may provide your own. I tell all my clients if you would like to save a few bucks Amazon sells them cheaper, here in Seattle, and drop ship it to me for free.
I work in a full service shop, not out of my home, not in my garage, so I have overhead. It’s expensive too. A quart of my paint (at my cost) varies from $60 (for one color) to over $140. That also doesn’t include a reducer, clear, catalyst, and other related materials I use.
Next, you’re buying AN ORIGINAL piece of art. Not a stick on decal, not a reproduced piece, not a water transfer. Hand painted for hours. I take a lot of pride in my work and I am a professional. I bust my butt on your project. I want it to be the best I can provide for you and for me.
Another response “I see others out there, I can go to them.” If you’re saying this to me to try to change or lower my prices, then maybe I’m not the artist for you. I stand 110% behind my work. I know these machines, and I am extremely passionate about them. I can guarantee I put more work into some than I get paid for.
Lets take a walk through this design:
Looks simple right? It’s the easiest looking ones that are the most challenging sometimes.
I spent a good part of a day for internet research…because I needed to find inspiration. Finally it came to me. Then I do a digital rendering on a mixer to see if I like the vibe of it and if it speaks to the client. Another hour or so…if my computer likes me, less.
From there, I send the design to Zach our graphic designer. He takes the digital concept and draws it out, sometimes modifies it or changes it etc…to what I need. This design took Zach a few hours to vectorize, space properly and added a subtle pattern in the pattern. He plots it out of our plotter, prepped the masking material for layout. (sticky tape like).
After Zach has started, to save time I am disassembling the mixer, removing the hardware, sanding it down and cleaning it for paint. Reassemble it before I apply the design. Since you are trying to put a flat design on a curved object, it takes longer. This design was another few hours to apply. I am really weird about having it perfectly centered. From the under belly to flow under the neck and over the top and down the back. Then, the design has to be the same around the sides.
Once it’s laid out, I finally get to spray some paint. After I am done adding color I take off all the mask and tape. From there to clean up any flaws. Once everything looks good I prep it for clear, clean it up, and make sure no oils from our hand are there. Again, disassemble it for maximum coverage. Abel cleans the booth to prevent any hair or dirt from possibly falling in the gloss as it dries. He spends 15-20 minutes adding a gloss coat. When he is done it takes two days before we can sand it again, then buff it to a glass shine. After that I hired Dave our pinstriper to come in. He adds the final touch of hand painted stripes (shown in second picture). It dries. I can reassemble it, then I spend time doing a photo shoot. Editing pics etc…Box up the mixer, and drop it off at our shipping company.
Lets go to this one below that requires a whole lot more of freehand work.
This design requires a lot of vector time by Zach, and a whole lot of paint time by me. The rivets alone are 3 stages of taping and painting. And prior to painting even making sure they are spaced perfectly. Same rules apply to the shark mouth on both sides. Notice the checkered nose? Yes, seamless. The checkers are measured so that even with the head up, it meets together, not overlapping. This all takes a lot of time. And tweaking.
To two-tone the belly is a pain. It has to look centered on a surface that doesn’t really give you a visible marker. So I double-check a taped-off line from the top, table edge, sides and back. Once I think I’ve got it I proceed to cover the entire mixer with tape and paper to paint it.
The pin-up. The pin-ups face is only an inch big. Compare it to the bolt. A tiny face is hard because you’re trying to make something real sized down to the size of a quarter, with all the shadows, highlights, detail that real size has. This can take me from 4-6 hours just on a face. They are really easy to mess up. You still have the body to paint…
And all we’re taking about on this one is the artwork time and prep. Not even calculating the time on research I spent to make sure all is accurate. Or digital rendering time. Remember these are NOT decals, water transfers etc…They ARE Hand painted. And take many hours to do so. From the basic research, to concept, to vector time, to prepping and sanding, disassembly, to artwork, to finishing.
A gallon of clear (that I use) is nearly $500 alone a gallon with reducer etc…I use expensive products to achieve the results I do. I don’t take a spray can to it and leave the hardware on. I don’t paint on top of the existing KitchenAid color. Everything is done in a professional manner. If you take a few minutes and really look I don’t just paint the top, I paint the undersides to. I make all the colors myself, not out of the can. I go the extra mile. Because I love what I do.
BREAK DOWN per job *AVERAGE Project:
Lets say a $500 project
-Internet Research 2 hrs (shop rate is $65 an hour here, some places its more)
-Prep & disassembly 1 hour
-Base coat 30 minutes
-Zach’s time 3-5 hours
-My time in artwork..Days and I don’t just work 8 hours. I put in 34 hours in last two days.
-Clear, wet sanding and buffing 1 hour
-Assembly 30 minutes
-Actual cost of materials used per this project $134.00 This includes clear, paint, masking material, etc…
=$654. I didn’t even add my time.
Why don’t I charge this, well, because it’s on a mixer. I love what I do. If I charged shop rate people would think I was crazy. They don’t understand how much time and money it takes for each project. Now if I were to do this on a truck or motorcycle, you’re talking thousands. I would get paid for the time too.
So, if you want a $50 paint job, I am ok with that, but I am not your girl. That is why we are also working diligently to provide full color decals of my artwork at a fraction of the cost of custom paint. The decal site is http://www.customkitchencouture.com
And I do a custom painted KitchenAid giveaway twice a year, so keep an eye for those too!
I just wanted to provide insight and paint a picture of what I do. And with all of this, I am still answering emails and doing your renderings. Sorry for the super long blog, but it is the only way I know how to share with you what I do, and the time it takes me.