Shit, This is Going to Be Expensive

Read How I Got Into The Arts Here:

Important Things to Know:

If there’s one thing you should know about me, is that I like to dream. Dream Big. Unfortunately that is not cheap. Let’s talk about how this project has spiraled out of financial control.

The Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant is for $2,000, which is a good chunk of change to make a piece of art.

And from the get go I had intended on spending every cent of.

My final installation will have the following dimensions.11’ x 11’ x 11’ and weigh roughly 500lbs. Let’s break down the costs.

200 feet of Film: $517.80
22 Panels of P95 4’ x 8’ Acrylic: $1,973.84
688’ of Aluminum: $1,305.00
Hardware: $250
Extra Tools: Something like $200
Grand Total: ~$4,245

Wow Alex, how did you go so far over budget?

Well…. For starters, I did a rough estimate cost of the project before I started and came to about $3,000, which was manageable because this is something I’ve really wanted to make for a while now, and the Creative Pinellas Gallery is a perfect place to show it. But still I missed the mark by $1,000. How?

God. Damn. Russia.

Let’s talk about the metals market. Metal is speculative, just like oil. Therefore, it can move very quickly based on world events. Usually they don’t when the world is stable, but between the pandemic and everything else the global supply chain has been ludicrous and impossible to predict.

In October of last year I did this project, which both used aluminum and acrylic:

So I used those prices in my initial $3,000 calculation. The aluminum tubing, with dimensions of 1 x 1 x 1/8” wall came in 24’ lengths, and was $35/tube. A 1/8” x 4’ x 8’ acrylic panel was $75. That would come out to $1,015 and $1,650.

But when Putin decided he wanted to make my life harder as justification for starting war, the prices in these products jumped because of fuel, and in the metals market, speculation. Metal commodities don’t like unrest in the world.

And that cost me an extra $550. In the span of 2 weeks.

My solace? Mark at MGA Sculpture Studio also had to order stainless steel for a sculpture at the same time. 14,000 pounds of steel. The price had jumped from $3/lb to $3.79 in less than 2 weeks and equated in a price difference of ~$11,000.

I guess I felt a little better.

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