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 Tips for Pricing Your Artwork

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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:37 pm

Several of you have identified the problem of knowing how to price your artwork.

Here is your chance to:

  • Ask Questions about Pricing
  • Give Tips about how you price your artwork
  • Provide references and Links on the topic
  • and whatever else you want to share.
Judy

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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:30 pm

Good subject, Judy!
I've got a chance to display some paintings coming up, and I'm trying to decide if I want to try to sell some of them. I was wondering if I should stick to a set method; like 1$ per sq. inch - so an 8 x 10 = $80 + the frame, or if I should just see what others in this area are asking for their paintings. So of course, I'm curious to know what everyone here does to determine prices.
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kopo

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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:33 pm

I'm not a professional artist although I have sold quite a few works. Over about four years I have contributed about 1500$ to charity as I give 30% of any sales to charity. I'm not boasting. One mistake I made was to think I was special. One of my earliest paintings in oil sold for 1000$. That gave me a totally wrong idea about pricing.
You've got to start from why are you selling. (a ) to make a living or (b) to recover cost and give you enough to buy more materials.
If you are an (a) then you need an agent, a gallery, and a first class website to promote your work. If you've got all those then the pricing of the work is out of your hands. You simply inform the agent of what you would like and the price to the client would be determined. The only thing is you've got to sell is yourself.
Hard work, but could be fruitful.
If you are (b) then you are free to give your work away, or simply recover cost or make a little to cover future purchase of materials and the occasional bottle of wine. Or somewhere in the middle.
We want people to buy our work to hang on their walls. Then don't make it too difficult.
How much is your time worth. As a ballpark figure perhaps you may use $45 an hour to cover everything. So all you need to do is to keep a record of the time spent and multiply that by $45 or whatever.
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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:56 pm

I guess I'd like to be somewhere between the two. If I'd ever get motivated enough to join the local Artists' Guild, that might be a start

I've got expensive taste in wine, so I might price myself out of the market trying to swap for a bottle (Petrus, anyone?)!
It would be nice to be making enough to be able to give part of it away to a good cause.
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:14 pm

I fall into Jack's "B" category.

I've always only sold prints of my work, both framed and unframed. I always sold at small street fairs and it seemed that the best rate for my situation was:

$100 for framed and matted 16 x 20 if I did the matting and made the frames myself.

If they were framed with bought frames, I added the total cost of the frame to the $100.

Matted only 16 x 20 prints, were $55 unless there was a special order mat which I did not carry in stock, then the full cost of the full sheet of the matting was added to the cost.

Judy

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Sofie
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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:06 pm

Most of the people I paint with use the 1$ per sq inch pricing, so I started off doing that too, with some adjustments depending on how I felt about the painting. When I put my work in the gallery, I was told my prices were too low. I explained that I wanted to keep my work affordable, but she countered by telling me that by having low prices I was undervaluing myself. We discussed it back and forth and finally came to a compromise at $1.15 per sq inch. I'm just not ready to put my prices any higher than that at this point. I do see where the gallery owner is coming from, though, and I realise that I will have to raise my prices again in the next year or two.
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:57 am

I'm not at the point where I'd sell anything but this thread is very interesting. I did read about artists that price their paintings based on how long the painting takes to complete. When I feel I'm producing more successes then duds I'll probably contact my local art organization and local galleries. I'll need to start painting from my own photographs because I did notice that it was a requirement from one of the local galleries.

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kopo

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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:29 am

Janet having looked at your work on line I can't understand your first sentence. I had assumed you were a regular seller.
I've had my own website now for three years. Only ever sold one work from it. So, in a way it's vanity publishing.
I'm fortunate in having a very understanding wife and for about five years for a month our house became a gallery with a small marquee in the garden. They were quite fruitful days but extremely hard work and kept me tied to the house during opening hours. Some people just came in for a chat and a cup of coffee or tea. Sometimes I felt like an agony uncle.
You must have a stack of works you could put up for sale. It's worth testing the water. But you must never get despondent.
Blimey I am sounding serious.
Jack
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Dale

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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:08 pm

OK I thought I had posted but it didn't show up.

I based my pricing lately on what i rec'd for a paintings I donated to charity for an auctions. The first got $275, the next was $350 and then $400. Then I sold one for $525.

So now i have the three - Upham Stream, Dory's and Fundy Trail that i want to sell for myself. I am trying my best to afford a trip to England in the spring. So they are going in local art shows and I need to put a price on them.
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:52 am

Jack, I wouldn't sell anything rite now because sometimes after I've finished a painting I think it looks ok but give it a couple of months and I usually think "what was I thinking". If my art was to end up on peoples walls that I'm not satisfied with I'd be tempted to go and get it back. lol! That probably wouldn't go over very well. For now I'll stick to practicing, learning new techniques and gaining control. Thank you for your words of wisdom!

Dale, That's an excellent way to price your paintings. I know you'll have no problem selling your paintings. So in advance I hope you have fun in England. Smile

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kopo

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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:20 am

Janet I have just looked again at your painting entitled 'Bedouin Boy'. That would look good hanging on anyone's wall.
Please do enter an exhibition in your area. The experience alone will give you a totally different insight into the art world. Not always pleasant, but you gotta know the competition .
I've just handed in some paintings for an exhibition and as usual I registered them and left only exchanging half a dozen words whilst surrounded by people talking at each other but listening only to themselves.
That's one of the reasons why I'm a bit of a recluse.
Jack
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Dale

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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:48 am

Janet. I know how you feel. Quite a few years ago, before I re-entered the workforce, my friend and I started up an art club using our church facilites. It was, as we referred to, a support group for insecure artists. We had guest artists come in and give lessons on occasion but it was primarily for us to learn from each other. Every year, we would host an "Originally Yours" art show. While I was involved, the artwork didn't have to be framed. It would be more like a flea market with tables of art. They went to a different, more formal art show later but we had a lot of fun. And it was popular with the buyers because the prices were lower not having to buy a frame that may not be the best and there was a lot more art to choose from. This gave everyone the confidence to sell their art and to help pay for their supplies.

Jack - I loved how you described listening to people around you. Are you really a recluse? I am the opposite. Put me in a room with all sorts of strangers and I love it...so many people to meet - all with their own interesting lives.
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kopo

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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:12 am

I can easily become irate at shallow people. And it shows so it's best if I keep out of it. My wife is exactly the opposite so we make a very balanced team.
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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:23 pm

Dale, I don't think pricing according to what something sold for at a charity auction is a very accurate way of doing it. Usually things sell for much less than the actual value, or, if a person feels strongly about the cause, things can sell for much more than their worth.

I also think that setting an "hourly wage" isn't accurate either. Some paintings can be worked on for the longest time to get them right while others just work like magic. The fact that a painting was done quickly does not reduce its value; it could be a much better painting than the one laboured over for months. That's why I think setting a price based on size is the best. You can do it on a variable scale, with 11x14 paintings priced between X$ and XX$, depending on how you feel about them, and so on. It also makes a difference if they are framed or not. All my paintings are unframed - if anyone wants to frame them after purchase I can recommend a framer, but I only use wrapped canvas so framing is not really necessary. Smile
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Dale

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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:17 pm

I think I will do some calculations based on a combination. if i know that my artwork sells at a certain size around a certain price, I will see how that translates into price/sq " and see how that goes. Must get my calculator out.
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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:16 pm

I go to local frame shop/galleries, artist guild shows, coffee shop shows and art fairs, plus check local artists' web sites to see not only the art, but how it's priced. I figure $1.50 per sq. inch would put my paintings somewhere around medium to low-medium prices - so on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being expensive) - I'd be at 2 - 3. I'm thinking I'd want to charge more for a custom portrait than my other paintings, so maybe $2.00 sq in for portraits.

I'm also thinking it might be good to round up odd amounts. So if the price worked out to 190, make it 200. Or if it's 190 + 45 (frame), make it 250.
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:10 am

Thank you Jack for your kind support! I'll give maybe another year an reassess at that point how it's going.

Sofie, good point regarding the hourly wage. One way might be to check out the local galleries as Callie mentions and see what other paintings of similar size are going for. I think where you're geographically selling your art can probably affect the price as well.

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kopo

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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:27 am

Sorry if I am stating the obvious but bear in mind that a good gallery is likely to have a mark up of 60 to 70%.
Jack
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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:46 am

We have a lot of "amateur" galleries around here. Groups of artists will get together and take over an old warehouse or other derelict building. A few blocks from me is a coffee shop that has a separate art gallery and there's a restaurant with a wine bar/gallery attached to it. Then there's the gallery/frame shop about a mile away that shows local talent - these artists aren't in any of the "up-town" galleries.
We've got a good range of options around here. This was an old factory, now it has artists' studios upstairs and gallery space on the main floor. They exhibit a wide range of artists/art, not just established/pro artists:

http://www.foundryartcentre.org/

Just have to do some nosing around to find out what's selling for what kind of prices
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kopo

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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:12 am

You are so fortunate Callie. I live in an artistic desert. We are supposed to be moving to a smaller house on the coast. But when I see the number of framed paintings hanging around it's either them or us.
Jack Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:40 pm

We do have a framing store that sells paintings as well but I think what Jack said about the markup would be similar. I'll need to do a little research to find other options. I'm not exactly in an artistic desert (I like that one) but it certainly doesn't have the options Callie is describing. You're so lucky Callie. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:52 pm

Galleries should not actually be adding a markup to paintings. Galleries usually take a 30% - 40% commission (or 60% commission in higher end galleries) on the sale of a painting. But if you sell through galleries, your prices should be the same wherever you sell your paintings, so your prices would have to be raised across the board, so that you would get what you want for your work after the commission has been taken off. This is another reason why great care should be taken in pricing. I keep my prices the same at galleries, art shows and fairs, on my website, and out of my studio. Of course there is room for dickering at an art fair where I have a booth, and I offer friends and family prices from my studio to friends and family. Wink
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Tips for Pricing Your Artwork   Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:13 am

Sofie, good points and when I'm ready I'll have to keep that in mind. Smile

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