Art is your passion, not just a hobby.
You are sincere about your craft and the marketability of your work.
You have diverse skills in various mediums.
You have reasonable expectations of what you can charge for your work.
You understand how to price art intelligently.
The title of my blog is How Much is My Art Worth? If you are an artist who sells their art, then that question has probably crossed your mind a time or two. I’m not an expert on pricing art, but I do know a thing or two (or three) about maximizing profits as an artist. Here are four steps that will help you price your art for maximum profit:
Step 1: Determine What Kind of Artist You Are
There are several different kinds of artists out there, some better at marketing themselves and their work than others. Let’s identify which type you are:
The “I Don’t Do Anything but Paint” Type This type of artist rarely advertises their work, let alone promote themselves. They aren’t interested in e-mailing people or writing blogs because they don’t want to be bothered with anything besides painting! The “I Must Make a Living” Type This type of artist is all over the place with self
If you are a professional artist, or someone planning to become one, it is essential that you learn how to price your work. You need to understand the factors that determine your prices.
Too many artists have no idea how much their art is worth on the market. They have never tried to sell their art before and they have no idea how it works. They fall for the myth that “art should not be about money”, or the myth of “starving artists”. They think that if their art is any good, it will sell itself.
Trying to sell your art without knowing how much it’s worth is like trying to play poker without knowing how much your hand is worth. You can save yourself a lot of pain by reading this guide through now and learning how much your artwork is really worth on today’s market.
+ you’ll also learn about pricing strategies, selling techniques, marketing tactics, gallery tips and more!
While it is true that the value of art is subjective, the idea that there are no rules to pricing your art is simply wrong. While you will always encounter people who believe that you can make whatever price you choose, and others who believe that you should sell your art for as little as possible, these beliefs represent a minority viewpoint.
I’m interested in helping artists generate consistent sales and profits from their work. I have seen too many artists undervalue their work and be taken advantage of by galleries and dealers. In addition, I have seen other artists overprice their work to the point where they could not sell it.
I explain my methods for valuing your art in these posts:
How to Price Your Art – Step 1: Start by Pricing Your Art Based on Size
How to Price Your Art – Step 2: Use a Standard Percentage of Retail Value
How to Price Your Art – Step 3: What About Framing Costs?
How to Price Your Art – Step 4: Should You Charge More for Limited Editions?
How to Price Your Prints – Step 5 (Bonus!): Should You Offer Free Shipping?
There is a lot of business advice out there, but most of it doesn’t apply to visual artists. Most people in business are trying to sell a product or service, but selling art is different. They are selling an intangible item and enjoy the process of selling whereas artists focus on the creation and marketing of their art.
If you really want to know how much to charge for your art, you have to look at what it costs you to produce it. If you are profitable, then your work has value. If not, the more you charge, the less work you will get. But if you don’t charge enough, then other artists will be doing the same kind of work for cheaper and may diminish its perceived value in the marketplace.
And if you want to make a living from your art, you need a steady income from repeat clients who are willing to buy directly from you rather than going through a gallery. The best way to do that is by establishing relationships with your customers and keeping them happy with quality communication throughout the process of choosing and purchasing your art.
For example: One artist I know has been painting portraits for about 25 years and he charges $3500 for each one-quarter life size portrait (head & shoulders). He works on average about three
I wanted to add a little bit of text to my blog post this morning that had nothing to do with art sales, but I couldn’t resist sneaking in some reference to the fact that my latest print is available for purchase in my Etsy shop. You know how it is: The urge to sell is so strong!
But before I get into the “how much” part of pricing your art and other handmade goods, I want to take you on kind of a rambling tour of the complex series of thoughts that go into pricing something for sale. (I thought about skipping the rambling to get straight to the tips and tricks at the end, but then I decided it would be more fun this way.)
In pricing handmade goods, like art prints and paintings and other stuff you can hang on your wall or display on your coffee table, there are at least three elements that come into play:
1) How much you spent making it
2) How much time you spent making it
3) What you think it’s worth
These are not unrelated issues! In fact they are deeply intertwined. When we choose how much something costs, we are expressing both how much we value our own work and how much we think someone else might value it. And sometimes one of