Pricing Your Artwork with Confidence
An extensive step-by-step guide to pricing artwork and fine craftwork
Updated and revised from the original book.
Painted Jay Publishing, LLC
Author: Alexandria Levin
ebook ISBN: 978-0-9743267-3-3
$8.99 US ebook
First Edition ebook
$14.99 US print
Second Edition book
Book and cover design: Alexandria Levin
Cover painting: Trunk Bottom, ©2009, Alexandria Levin
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Pricing Your Artwork with Confidence is a detailed guide to understanding and calculating the actual cost of creating artwork, while helping artists develop a solid pricing structure with easy step-by-step calculations spelled out in artist-friendly math. This book is written by an experienced artist who believes that knowledge is power.
Topics include: becoming comfortable with money issues, how to separate business and creativity when necessary, the economy and the art market, consistency, sales commissions, raising prices, how to develop growth in your career and as an artist, how not to lose money, and how you already give back and contribute. Included in Pricing Your Artwork with Confidence are numerous examples, tables, and extensive lists for how to find your direct, indirect, and overhead costs, plus how to track material and other expenses, as well as your time and labor.
Beyond the easy math and simple organizational tools, less tangible matters are discussed as they relate to pricing, such as understanding your experience and background as an artist and learning to be objective about your own artwork. Revised and updated from the original printing, Pricing Your Artwork with Confidence is a unique and invaluable tool for any artist who is serious about their professional career.
From the chapter: The Calculations
There was this one nagging moment after this one particular exhibition when I began to sense that something was not quite right. I wasn’t all that sure I had actually made any money from the two sales I had at the reception.
And so, a couple of days later I made a few lists and did a little math, and I soon realized that with most of my painting sales I was earning less than the federal minimum wage for my time. My share of the sale price after commission barely covered the cost and expense of creating the work, and sometimes, not even that. There were times when not only did I not earn anything, but 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 a painter.
Knowledge is Power
I already had complete records for material costs and business expenses directly related to being an artist. I had been keeping track of this information for tax purposes. I knew what money was going where and why. In early 1999, I began to keep track of time, the other part of the equation, which could then be divided into two components; time spent on the creation of each individual piece of artwork, and time spent doing general support work. I knew that I spent a significant amount of time doing essential things besides painting at the easel. I just didn’t know how much that was until I started recording the exact hours.
Knowledge is power. By keeping these records you will know how much work you actually do, and how much money you really spend on creating and sustaining your artwork. These numbers will help form and then legitimize your pricing structure.
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