I recently spent time with a group of So Cal women artists, networking, learning, strategizing and supporting. If you have the opportunity to meet with a community whose goals and aspirations align with yours, I highly recommend it! We talked about everything: Materials and media… studio space and scheduling… local sources and exhibition spaces… and so much more.
Interestingly, the topic generating the strongest emotions was pricing. None of us is a world-renowned artist with a massive following, benefactors and patrons; so we talked about how to determine a fair price. How to decide what our art is worth.
WHAT IS YOUR ART WORTH?
It was interesting to note our varied and diverse perspectives and value systems. Some people wanted an hourly rate. Others wanted to cover costs plus make a living wage based on average sales. Some worked another job for the money and made art for the joy, so would practically give away their art. Some of us had sold our work for years and others were just jumping into the game.
There were so many ideas…
There were so many questions…
- If you price too low will collectors be dissuaded, assuming the work isn’t worthy?
- If you price too high, will anyone have a look and make a purchase?
- If too low, are you demeaning yourself, your talent, your value?
- If too high, are you overestimating the same, feeding a pipe-dream with no end-game success?
- How much is a fair profit? Is art a profit and loss industry?
- Is it valuable to use online resources like Art Price Calculator?
- Should you base your pricing on similar art you see on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter?
We ran the gamut.
The discussion was clarifying for me. I had to evaluate why I made art and why I wanted to sell it. In the end, I clarified my personal philosophy.
- I love to make art.
- I have to make art.
- I will make it whether or not I sell it.
- I want to share the art I make.
- I want art to be affordable to everybody.
- I want to make things that even the most limited budget can access, because I firmly believe that art should be in every home.
- Art creates mood and atmosphere, energy and light.
- Art makes a difference.
- Art matters.
So I looked at my site and made some pricing adjustments. Some items were too low, costing less than the price of materials. I rectified that. Other items were too high, based on the price-per-square-inch formula a local artist suggested when I moved to Southern California just over a year ago. I made sure there was something for everybody, beginning with original art at only $25.00. For those who simply cannot afford even a $25.00 piece of art, I sell handmade cards, greeting cards, prints, pillows and other “functional art” in my print shop. And I’ve been known to barter and trade, so don’t be afraid to ask!
I feel good about offering a wide range of options, while also honoring my value as an artist.
By The Way… If you see a painting here or on one of my social media accounts that you simply must have, contact me directly. I’m willing to negotiate! 😄