Are you unsure how to price your art? Does it seem like you are giving your work away? How can you justify your prices to collectors? You work hard to create good art, yet you feel like you might be losing money with each sale. Maybe you see others making big commissions from your art, yet it feels as if you are earning almost nothing from your work. Are you tired of feeling ripped-off by people who bargain to get your work cheap? Are you ready to stop being lost about something so essential to your general well-being?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then Pricing Your Artwork with Confidence is the book for you!
Stop worrying about how to price your art and take positive action! Eliminate fear, set your own policy and gain control. The well-informed artist is a confident artist. Gain the respect that comes with being professional about your business dealings. Knowledge is power! The solutions laid out in this book include easy step-by-step calculations described in artist-friendly math. Give yourself the opportunity to begin making good money with your artwork. Financial security begins with putting an end to losing money, and then having a clear plan for growth. Having the desire to improve your situation is the first step on the road to success.
From the chapter: The Calculations
A few years back, after selling artwork for a period of 16 years, I began to feel that something was not quite right in the pricing department. After making a few lists and doing a little math, I soon discovered that I was often earning less than the federal minimum wage for my time. My share of commissions would barely cover the costs and expenses of creating the work, and sometimes not even that was covered. On occasion I made less than zero. I was actually paying money out of my own pocket to sell my art.
This was when I began to make extensive and accurate lists for myself as an oil painter.
Knowledge is power. By keeping certain records you will know how much work you actually do, and how much money you really spend on creating and sustaining your art. These numbers will help form and then legitimize your pricing structure. You can even put together a simple version to show clients if price ever becomes an issue.
Math is your good friend. This is really basic and easy. It’s not scary at all. Just list, add, multiply and divide. Take it one step at a time. All you need is a pad or some scrap paper, a working pen and a calculator. A decent calculator can cost as little as five dollars. Use my charts or buy one of those pale green ledger pads and a cheap binder and you’re all set.
Forget the rumors that real artists cannot do math. That’s another one of those stereotypes meant to keep us from cluttering up our artistic minds with supposedly mundane, yet complicated things. It’s a lie. Artists use math all the time, just like we use carpentry and chemistry. Think of all the measuring you do. You will see that keeping track of your costs, expenses and hours is not so hard. Master this and you will have a wonderful sense of control. Math is your friend.
Pricing Your Artwork with Confidence - Table of Contents
About artists and money, About this book
1. Pricing Rationale
2. The Calculations
Knowledge is power, About overhead expenses, Calculating costs for figuring overhead,
Two other issues in considering overhead, About running averages for finding overhead expenses, Time sheets, A living wage, Math is your friend, Putting it all together, Beyond the bottom line, A few more notes
3. What Goes Into a Painting
Monetary expenses, Time/work/labor directly related to artmaking, Time/work/labor directly related to business and career, Experience and background as an artist, Level of technical skill, creativity, originality
4. What Goes Into Other Mediums
How to make your own material and expense lists, How to make your own time and labor lists, Preliminary material lists for 19 other mediums, The added expenses of made-to-order commissions
5. Giving It Away
Art should be free, wheeeee, give it up for me, Exhibiting for free, Non-profit exhibiting, The costs of exhibiting, Open studios, Loans and rentals, Donations, Donations - a few of my experiences, Donations - developing your own policy, Giving it away with the help of galleries, Affordable art, Selling too low
Being consistent with your pricing structure, Cheap art, Affordability, Selling out of the studio, Studio sales events, What to do with artwork that just needs to go, Holding steady,
Consistency in discounting
7. Sales Commissions
Definitions, Calculating sales commissions, Non-gallery commissions, Paying commissions on framing, Paying commissions to galleries, Galleries and discounts, Commissions on studio sales, What galleries do for their percentage, In conclusion on commissions
8. Raising Prices
About raising prices on your art, The outside economy, Perceived value, Overpriced artwork, How to raise your prices, Your price list
Growth in your career, Growth in business, Growth as an artist
10. The Variable Factors
Definitions, The economy and the art market, Price ranges in the art market, Cumulative experience, Being objective about your artwork, The issue of quality, plus two cents,
Checking your career level, Comparing creativity levels, Reputation and recognition,
Definitions, Why art in general has value, Finding the value in an individual piece of art,
The value of the artist as a concept, That’s right!
Five damaging myths, Reality
About funding, Lack of funding equals diminished creativity, Contributing to the general economy
14. Some Assorted Final Thoughts
Confidence, In addendum to starving, Mediocrity, Being an artist, Being grateful,
Pricing Your Artwork
An extensive step-by-step
guide to pricing artwork and
Painted Jay Publishing
Author: Alexandria Levin
6x9 trade paperback, 144 pages