With a new baby on the way I have been a bit nervous about how my son would react to the change. I thought it might be nice to do a few things to make him feel extra special during the transition. Up until now his room has been rather barren. Mostly because he’s a tornado, really he is. We have kept very little in his room so he’d have less to destroy, climb, jump off of…etc.
Enter the robots. After a little paint job in his room I thought he might like some artwork. He likes robots, and I liked the idea of getting something that wasn’t super commercial.
A quick Google search turned up some options for robot decals and prints. There were some really cool looking ones on Etsy….and then came the price…. $80? For 3 little prints? I couldn’t really justify spending $80 on artwork for my kid’s room that he may or may not like, and would certainly end up in the trash within a couple years when he suddenly decides he HATES robots!
Well being an artistic type of person I figured I’d just take it upon myself to paint my own darn robots!
Off to the store I went….$35 later I had a couple small canvases and acrylic paint in all the primary colors. This should have been my first clue. Not only have I not painted in close to 20 years, but I was already up to half the cost of what it would have been to order the ones I’d seen on Etsy.
And so it began….sketching, painting, little bits at a time…only when I had time alone….a week later with about 7 hours of time put into it….I had 3 small robot paintings.
Let’s break that down, $80 minus $35 worth of supplies= $45 divide that by 7hrs…. that’s $6.43 per hour.
Was that really worth it? As a photographer with a business I should know better. Our culture completely underestimates the value of art. I’ve had this debate with people in the past. They see a painting worth a thousand dollars, and say, “How long did it take to paint?” And I think that’s just scratching the surface. That artist needed to have a studio space to create the art. They likely went to school or at least took courses and spent months/years perfecting their style. The paint, brushes, canvases. Phone calls to galleries, business cards, website, and those things of course require a phone and internet and a computer. Then there’s the truck they needed to buy or rent to get that artwork to the gallery….it goes on and on, and let’s not forget they still need to be able to eat.
So here I am a big hypocrite with some little robot paintings. I mean, they’re kind of okay….not nearly as nice as the ones I’d seen. Flawed and imperfect, but thankfully he’s 4 and proclaimed, “I LOVE them!” But now he’s got these robots in his room that will never, NEVER EVER be able to go in the garbage. In fact he’ll probably have to take them with him when he moves out and hang them in his first apartment rather than break his mother’s heart.