I think I’m still fine handing the business aspect, since I come from a design background—where my eye for typography, layout and balance comes into play—but no, the business model is not a perfect fit to calligraphy. I explain the best that I could, defend/protect myself firmly without being rude; tone is important, it shows your professionalism. Keep your dignity and pride in your work without undermining yourself guys…!
For pricing, it was a struggle too; I compared the pricing of fellow (some of you here!) calligraphers online, judge my skills against them, and other variables such as the local market/demand. Mine is a little high (compared to @Schin and @thefozzybook) but also due to the availability locally, and I do hope to sustain this prices for a couple of years actually without having to mark up once in a while. Agree with @Linda Y, clients can’t tell. Some over-expect and expect a perfect piece, losing the organic handwritten field and blame you for your lack of skills. It’s bizarre.
My issue, is the same question, when to say no. I could be receiving the stationery a week in advance, and names only 2 days before. Not to say that it couldn’t be done (for a mere 100 names or so), but they tend not to take into consideration the job queue/status. I know @schin has her google calendar out for all, but I do have other job commitments and my organiser is kinda private, with personal activities and other miscellaneous works within as well so I’m not that keen on sharing…
So with rushed/tight deadlines and overlapping projects, how do we gauge yes/no? And after the surcharge for weekend or rushed work, they would add names at the eleventh hour. I love calligraphy and I’m fortunate to let it contribute to my salary, but all these late nights after work or late names has somehow taken a toil on my body; I’ve been sick a handful of times in these couple of months. Any suggestions/advice?