I’m adding your other message here too before I reply: i apologize heavily if i came off as rude or said anything offensive but
not everyone can just ‘flip a burger’. it may not be on the same level
by any means to what money artists deserve and can make, but it’s
disheartening to see someone further propagate the thought that food
service workers don’t matter as much as an artist or anyone of any other
profession would.

Firstly… absolutely no worries. You did not come off as rude nor said anything offensive. And you are absolutely correct in calling me out on making phrasing that implies food service industry workers don’t deserve or matter as much. *I* am sorry that I spoke poorly and continued the idea that food service workers do not matter.

So let me clarify here, and hopefully I do a better job.

I 100% am in the group of EVERYONE deserves at least a living wage, no matter what employment they are doing. I don’t care if you are flipping a burger, creating the next cure for cancer, greet people at the door at walmart, or sell cars (random jobs, just to say that I don’t care if it is a ‘skilled’ profession or not). EVERYONE 100% should make a living wage. that means you can at least pay for food, clothing, housing, utilities, and everything involved in simply living, off of your wage. Right now people who work the fast food industry which is what most people mean when they say flipping burgers, do not make a living wage. Not even close. And that is not right, not at all. ANY job should pay a living wage, and I do believe that there should be laws put in place to prevent companies from being able to weasle around it (like the companies where 40 hours is full time, so they work their partimers 39 hours and then don’t have to pay for insurance and other full time perks). I have seen that happen to dozens and dozens of people including my own child, and I am NOT pleased by this. I don’t *care* what job you are working, you 100% matter and you 100% deserve to be treated fairly.

So that part said… let me explain why I say that there is a difference between flipping burgers and doing art. Right now in the art community, because of big chains/knock offs in china/etc, young artists (and also experienced artists) are charging less than even a base living wage. I have watched friends sit down and do a commission and timed it out, plus their cost of materials, and often they are making 10 cents an hour or less. That’s right, there’s quite a few artists out there who are basically paying YOU to commission them. That goes under the part of all people deserve a living wage, and I firmly stand by that beginning artists should charge what they would receive from ‘flipping burgers’ at a fast food restaurant. Because jobs like that are generally called entry positions. They are positions for people with little to no work experience or further education. They are there because you *can* walk in with no experience to mcdonalds, and they can teach you how to do the job. This also includes being a cashier at a grocery store. Working at hobby lobby or any craft store. Literally ANY entry level position.

The way things are *supposed* to work, but thanks to our wonderful oogliarchy and the screwed up economics going on out here, is that those jobs are generally considered base level pay for being able to live. (which is why again, living wage at the minimum is something that should be instated). The thing that makes artists a step up from ‘burger flipping’ is that as they increase in education, they in turn will be paid at a higher level for greater skill.

To keep it simple, let’s just stay in the food industry. You start out cooking at mcdonalds. You should be making a basic living wage. But hey, you love cooking. And so you go to culinary school. You upgrade! Now you are a sou chef (I don’t know the exact levels of cooking education so my apologies here if I skip a bunch) and will be paid accordingly at a higher rate, for higher skills and education. Wow, hey, more school, more skills, now you’re the head chef in a restaurant! More skills, more education, higher pay.

So the real phrasing I should have used is… compare your skill level to what is the standard for *other* jobs at those skill levels. If you are just starting out, it’s totally okay to charge your clients what you would make if you were ‘burger flipping’ (please again, I use the term literally to mean the BARE basics of the food cooking part of hte industry, where you start in a fast food restaurant and you.. flip burgers). But don’t charge less than that. Because that is a baseline default. When you grow more educated and level up, yes charge what you would charge if you were a cook in a place that actually cooks to order different dishes. And more educated? Now you’re getting into sou chef at really nice restaurants. More educated? Head chef. Even more educated? Head chef at extreme high end restaurants.

See? Food industry, service industry, cleaning industries, hotel industries, art industry, writing industry, etc etc etc it does not matter WHAT industry you are in, always be paid what you are worth in ability, skill level, and education.

it is easier said than done in the food industry though, as you are dealing with big multimillion dollar companies that tell YOU what you make or they fire you. Those industries need our support, the food service workers especially in the lower branches, NEED the help of all of us to bring them up to be able to get a living wage.

However.. artists? We need our own voice. We need to stand up and say ‘this is where I am, this is what I charge. We are our own worst enemies to each other, as it’s not a CEO saying “I will only pay you $5″ but it is our fellow artists who are en masse saying ‘our work is only worth $5″. We are the ones shooting ourselves in the foot, we are hte ones who can pick ourselves up.

I truly hope that made more sense? Let me know if not and exactly where I”m going wrong so that I can sort it out.

And again, I am very sorry that I perpetuated that stereotype.