The Value of Art Represents the Value of You.
I am regularly asked by other artists and my clients alike…how to you price artwork?
I find this an interesting question & one with no easy answer.
There is much written about – and I also have provided my thoughts on how to breakdown the various aspects of creating an artwork to get to the retail price. And many of these processes are absolutely valid. As artists we need to understand the cost and quantity of materials, the cost of canvas, of photographing the piece, of paints, of delivery and installation. Add to that marketing & promotion, studio running costs, basic business costs.
And of course, we need to understand & calculate the value of the time it has taken to produce to add to the raw material costs. And that’s the kicker….in my experience that is where things come unstuck.
I see so many artists selling products or services at a very very low price. It is like the ‘starving artist’ mentality has seeped into our consciousness and has formed the basis on how we view the world if we are creative – and in fact how the world perceives us. ie. If I am an artist, musician, writer then my prices need to be low. I need to do this purely for the love of it.
When you google how to price artworks, the recommended hourly rate to use in calculating this is $20 -$30 p/hr. When did it become acceptable to charge specialist and unique skills out at near minimum wage?
Its all well and good to love what we do, but we live in a society where money is one of our primary value exchange. Put simply the amount of money transacted helps form a perception of who you are, and whether you – and your product is worth it.
And if you do not value yourself…how on earth is anyone else going to?
When I first started painting I was simply so excited that someone actually liked my work that I literally gave pieces away. After about 12mths of doing this, earning next to nothing I started selling artwork for between $200 – $900. And that was HUGE money I thought for my work. Yet still not honoring me, my work, the creative process.
The reality of my mindset at the time however was that I was not READY to value my creativity, let alone myself. I was immersed in creativity, yet did not see the immense value that creativity, colour and the service I offer bought to my clients.
Fast forward a few years and I am now happy to place a true and strong value to not only my artworks and my services, but to myself. There is an undeniable value in the ability to create. It is unique, it is personal, it can change lives. It is time that artists and creative thinkers stop underestimating their worth…and start believing, trusting and showcasing the value that they bring.