As artists, we all want to make a sale but finding that price point sweet spot can be stressful. Luckily there are a few inherent factors to consider to help you put a number on your art.
First, the basics of art pricing:
1. There is no right or wrong way, unless you’re not selling—in which case you need to adjust if selling your art is what you want to do!
2. At a bare minimum, your price should cover your materials, overhead (if you rent a studio), and your time. What’s your time worth? $20/hr? $50/hr? Or are you just happy to make a sale at any rate?
Now let's move on to the 5 Ws of pricing: what, who, where, when and why?
WHAT are you selling?Certain mediums fetch more money. Historically, drawings were used to make studies which were then turned into larger masterpieces. Typically these were done in oil paint. Oil paintings, therefore, fetch the most.
Bigger generally fetches more. Some people actually make a square foot calculation when pricing their art. Also remember that providing a range of sizes will appeal to various budgets which in turn improves your chances for a sale.
Supply and demand affects value. Originals will always fetch the most. If you’re doing reproductions, make a limited edition to up the value of each print. That said, sometimes you can make more in the long run by selling a large number of less expensive reproductions.
WHO are you selling?
You’re selling yourself as the artist when you sell your work. Tell a compelling narrative about yourself in your artist bio to help people get to know you.
If you’re an experienced artist who has won any awards or have received positive media attention, that should all help boost your prices.
Price high and justify!
WHERE are you selling?
Urban centers fetch more.
Do some research and look at the local galleries. Those prices are reflective of what the market is willing to pay. It may be worth the travel expense to exhibit downtown over an area outside of the city.
WHEN are you selling?
Certain times of the year may be better to release your work at a higher price tag, such as around the holidays when everyone is in a buying mode.
If you have pieces that have sat around for some time and you want to clear your inventory, invite your past clients to an exclusive event with discounted works of art—this way you honor their patronage and at the same time aren't devaluing the art that they paid full price for.
WHY are you selling?
There are other options besides selling! You could simply rent your art through galleries or even film and TV shows who typically take 20% off the top of your cost for the artwork.
Ultimately buyers and sellers value artwork both emotionally and intellectually. For example, you may see something that reminds you of your childhood and therefore that connection may drive you to make a purchase. The person standing right beside you doesn't have that same connection and walks away. Personal values always play a role.
For a lot of people, framing is a barrier to purchase. This frame costs around 50% of the price of the art itself. You could frame your art to get it to sell, but generally this is a waste as framing is a matter of taste. Instead, ArtResin it! Artists can consistently charge more for art coated in ArtResin, and it tends to sell faster because it appears more polished and professional.
Finally, when you buy a piece of art, you do not buy the rights. You can’t go and reproduce your new purchase now and make money. You can sell the rights to your work, but that’s a different kind of sale.
In the end, sell your art for a price that you will be happy with. It's your baby. Be proud and never sell yourself short!
How do you price your art? Let us know in the comments!
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