Recently I have had some of my students, clients and other artists ask me, "How do you price your artwork?" This has never been my favorite topic, as there are so many variables to consider when discussing this question. l know that there are other artists out there that may not agree with some of my opinions and methods, but keep in mind that l am no expert and that there are many ways to price your artwork. These are just some of my opinions and methods that work for me.
I truly believe in order to understand how the art market works and where your art would fit in, you need to know the art by other artists that is for sale in your area. So l would strongly suggest you get yourself out there, and see what is going on in the art world around you. Art is generally priced according to certain criteria, and these criteria have more to do with what’s going on in the market place then you as an artist. People like galleries, buyers and collectors put dollar values on art. You might think your art is worth one thing and the market might have another idea on what it really would sell for. When l started selling my art, l really didn’t give much value to my work nor thought to what artwork was selling in my area, this was a huge mistake. All l knew when l started selling my work, was l wanted to create art in hopes that people would like it. Although this is important and yes l wanted my artwork to get out there, l wasn’t selling it at my potential market price nor putting enough value in my artwork, until Martello Alley Gallery started representing my work. I have been selling my artwork at a Gallery now for over 2 years and the market can surprise you from time to time. In saying this, l think if you stay prolific, offer fair market prices for your artwork you can succeed.
I wanted to sell my work at prices that made sense to me and to my potential clients, and l also wanted to be consistent in my pricing. I wanted my prices to be fair, in comparison to other artwork selling in the area. You need to be objective about your art and your experience. In order for your prices to make sense, you need to be honest and objectively evaluate how your art measures up to other art out there. In order to make valid comparisons, you need a good idea how the quality of your art stacks up against those of other artists, especially the ones who you will be comparing yourself too. So if you have been doing art for 2 years, try not to compare yourself with an artist who has been doing art for 20 years. I think you get the picture. Being honest like this, is not always nice but it is necessary to start selling your work. It is also important to base your pricing on facts not your feelings. I try not to get emotionally attached to my work, and put an emotional value towards my paintings, instead l think of the market value.
So here is the method that works for me. I pay myself per hour and then l add the cost of the materials. (Your worth per hour $ value x hrs spending doing your artwork + materials = painting price.) There are other methods out there, but this method works for me. I believe that this method would work great for those who have little or no sales experience, and who haven’t sold much art.
Once you start to consistently sell your artwork, you could then revisit your prices and increase your dollar per hour value. I also take into consideration when selling online or out of my studio that these are going to be wholesale prices, and that selling out of a gallery is retail prices so l do have to factor in the expense to sell out of a gallery.
As an artist l think it is important to be able to offer your art to everyone, and not everyone who really likes your art will be able to afford it. So having affordable options, such as a drawing, a print or a small painting is important. This is how l look at it, your art is essentially your signboard, or a banner, the more art you sell, the more places you post it, such as social media, then the more people see it, the more you are getting your name out there and the better known you get. People want to make sure that they are spending their money wisely, so if your artwork is priced fairly, and people are buying it then your doing the right thing.
I am interested to hear how you price your art, ? Please feel free to comment as l would love to hear from you.
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Happy painting and selling. Have a Beautiful day.
I am hoping that l can be inspirational and informative. I feel that paying it forward is a great way to live.