Monday, January 25, 2016

Pricing the Art

Art is not just a painted surface; its an expression - a representation of feelings, emotions, and thoughts in response to how the artist sees it. So, when it comes to the painting for the sheer joy of it,  its quite understandable that artist may not even want to share it with anyone. Its their very private moment that is now out there on the surface not meant to be subjected to the judgement or evaluation.
But when you are a professional, who earn their living by making art, you also make it clear that you have prepared yourself to be vulnerable! You not only invite everyone to be a judge, you in fact, ask everyone to be the critique of the work; right from the choice of the subject, color scheme, layout, process, all the way to pricing! 

How Pricing in Done

When I was starting out, I consulted many artists in regards to pricing the art. To my surprise, most suggested that after many years in profession, they still hadn't figured out a cookie-cutter way to correctly price their work. They try to balance different factors to reach to a correct recipe for the right price but it never seems perfect. There are different ways, yet pricing undoubtedly remains a tricky one. Different artists choose different ways to put a price tag on their work.

Many told me that because art is subjective and so, its juxtaposition plays an important role in the process. Meaning, one abstract art might sell for thousands because it was hanging in a high end museum, whereas another beautifully created realistic artpiece may not even cover the price of supplies when sold from the artist's home.

Some suggested going by the square-inch pricing. Its straightforward to calculate - you find the area of the artwork and multiply it by the $ and round it to the next zero. Its simple and easy to explain to the potential buyer.

Others support the pricing by number of hours times $ plus supplies.

After a while, it slowly became obvious that one should follow what suits them the best without having to compromise the quality.

My Take

Knowing, the process of pricing is your own decision. No matter what method you follow, make sure it does not affect the quality of your work. Keep in mind that :

1. The pricing should be fair

Make a price list and keep it where everyone can see it. Mention clearly what all it entails.

2. Be open

If someone is really interested in something, all they have to ask me for a discount. In most cases, I adjust to the reasonable requests and explain what I cannot.  I even have offered my 70+ hours of work for free because they convinced me so with their kindness! On the other hand, I saved a lovely piece from the hands of a disrespectful person. Disrespect towards art in particular.

And here is the most important one - 

3. The creative spark should be white hot

The passion that gets me to the work, day after day is respect for my talent.  Prime reason why I paint is because I love to do it. Why I make it available to purchase, is to create more art and to create better art.


My favorite subjects are nature and people - both have shaped my creativity in ways that are beyond words.  It makes me so optimistic to open up to others and keep trying to do better. Please share what your thoughts are. And as always, keep chasing your dreams!

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