PRICING YOUR ARTWORK
There are many opinions on how to price your artwork. Now, I have read these opinions and heard others give their opinions, and they vary widely. But when we think about it for awhile, we come to the conclusion that what really matters is...Are we making any sales???
Most artists agree that prices are established by two factors, how good you are and how well known you are. Of course, better known artists can charge more for their work than lesser known, that's a given. But how are prices set?
First of all, paintings are priced by the square inch. Knowledge of a little math helps here. An 8 x 10, for instance is 80 square inches. 5 x 7 is 35 sq. inches, and so on. I read in a book that paintings should be priced between $2 and $5 per square inch. HOWEVER, I know very few artists that can command that money. The person who wrote that doesn't even price the artwork in his gallery at those prices, so I'm not sure where he came up with that formula. I started out at $2 and quickly came down!
One of my mentors gave me a much better way of figuring prices, and her ideas have worked well for me. Yes, she prices by the square inch as everyone else does. But she suggests going to see other artists whose work is similar in nature and quality to yours; check out their pricing, then price your work just UNDER theirs! Then, if your work is flying off the walls, you are too cheap, so raise your prices! And, of course, as you become better known, or if you land a nice place to show your work, your prices increase again, and so on. A gallery on the other hand, will set the prices for you, usually with your cooperation.
I suggest smaller pieces start at $1 per sq. inch, 14 x 18 and up at $0.75 a sq. in. Then 24 x 30 and larger at $0.50 a sq. inch. That may sound cheap to you, but the object here is to sell your work, is it not? THEN, as you start making money you raise the prices accordingly! Slowly though. If you jump too much, too quickly, then you have defeated your purpose. And remember, your area may be quite different than my area. I live where there are artists on every corner it seems, so the competition is quite stiff. There may not be many in your area which is a great advantage to you! You can ask much more for your work, especially if you are good! I say go for it, and again, if you make too many sales or very few sales, that should be a clue.
If you ever get the opportunity, by the way, talk to people who purchase your paintings. Ask what they like about your work, and if they would recommend you to their friends. Be sure to thank them for purchasing, but don't act as if you are a STARVING ARTIST! Congratulate them on the purchase, and let them know you hope to continue the relationship in the future. Be sure to give them your bio and card if possible as well. Collectors like to know your story and share it with their friends as they admire your work in their home.
Well, I hope this gives you an idea of where to start in pricing your artwork. It is not carved in stone, just what has worked for me in my area. You may find it completely different in your area. But, again, remember that unless you have a sponsor who can promote you to all the right people (and some do), you are better off starting low and working your way up in prices. Then, as you become better known or are picked up by a gallery, your prices get higher. I know one artist who gets $7.50 per inch for her paintings, but she is very well known in Florida, and has a list of awards as long as your arm! So, we all must work for awhile to get to that point.
BTW, I've sold 9 paintings this past month at REMBRANTZ Gallery in St. Augustine! Below are my surfboard paintings that sold at the Back 40 A1A restaurant and four of the nine sold at REMBRANTZ, so enjoy and I hope this has helped you price your work!
"SURFBOARDS II and III"
9 x 12 Acrylic on burlap