- On December 16, 2015
5 Questions for Pricing Your Artwork
Pricing your artwork is never easy, even if you ignore the tension between the creative process and the idea of your art as an object-for-sale. However, balancing this tension and pricing your work must be done if you intend to sell your art. Even if you are represented by a gallery who will determine the ultimate price of your art, you should know your value and what you are comfortable accepting.
Once you’ve embraced the idea of your art as a product, you must understand the marketplace in which it will be sold. This marketplace is influenced by a number of factors ranging from the esoteric and aesthetic to the grittiest of capitalist considerations (such as sales history, collector base, demand and investment potential).
Additionally, the artist will need to consider commissions, marketing costs, materials, time investment and availability of works.
Clarify the pricing problem by answering the following questions:
1. Who / What Is Your Art Comparable To?
quantify creativity might feel uncomfortable at first, however, art (like most commodities), is sold according to predefined criteria and ignoring this will only act as a barrier to potential collectors.
2. Why Do You Create Your Art?
Comparable pricing is not always the end-all of selling your work. The reason you make your art can be critical. As Simon Sinek says; “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” What is the driving force behind your art? Tell a story that connects your audience to your “why” and you may find that they resonate with your intention and raise the value of your work.
3. Who Is Your Audience?
4. Previous Sales?
5. How Do Potential Collectors Find You?
You never know when opportunity may knock so it’s important to always be ready to answer. How will you connect with potential collectors of your work? Do you always carry business cards? Does your website convey why you make your art, what it is, and where to buy it? Will you only sell through galleries or are you your own best sales person? There is no answer that will fit all artists, so it’s important to target the channels that make sense for you and your work. The character of your collector base will also drive this process- some collectors will only buy through galleries while others never will. Understanding this can make all of the difference in your career.
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“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates a talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
– Stephen King