There are so many facets to consider about when creating a
work of art, because this category and subject can get very detailed and
is quite broad based on each individual and style of medium. Whether
you sculpt, paint, sketch, weld, to the many mediums and styles of
painting, colors, textures media etc., you can spend more time in trying
to determine what the final masterpiece will be priced at that what it
took to create it.
Sonya Paz is a professional fine artist/painter
living in San Jose, California. Sonya is also an established web and
graphic designer and has written many articles based on her experiences
in the corporate world and how she manages her fine art business today.
In 1996 - 1998 Sonya wrote the "Funky Thought of the Week" for the
on-line publication Soho Saltmines.
First of all, don't shortchange yourself, YET, be very
practical. Now, this is not to say that you should give your art away
but at the same time don't give your potential customers unrealistic
sticker shock either. Listed below are a few different methods that may
work for you, these suggestions can assist you in some of the wandering
questions that we have all experienced at a point in our artistic
careers. Try one or all of these, experiment, you may find one that
works well for you, based on the size of the piece, time measure and
pace yourself. As you get started with this it can give you a better
idea of your scale for pricing.
1.) Time clock yourself. See how long it takes and use it as
a tool to determine if this method can work for you. Give yourself a
starting hourly wage, add into the sum the supplies "at cost". Add them
up. Based on your hourly wage can determine the cost of your piece.
2.) Add up the materials and give yourself a humble fee,
then times it all by three. For instance your canvas 15.00, usage of
paints 6.00, your humble fee based on a four hour project 40.00. Sub
totaling 61.00, times three 183.00. This is just an example,
you can make your humble fee whatever you feel is fair for you. Work
with the numbers, but feel good about the result.
3.) Let the canvas be your guide.... determine the price of
your art based on the size of the canvas. Give yourself a hard and fast
rule that you charge a specific price per canvas and stick to that
price. You can never go wrong with this method, as long as you are
comfortable with a price for the works that you are producing.
4.) Let the canvas be your grid! Use a simple pricing
structure like a specific cost per square inch. This is another way that
you can be consistent with your pricing and it can give a potential
buyer a good range to work with when considering a commissioned piece.
For example you have a 16" x 20" canvas (320 square inches), your charge
.20 cents per square inch, your total will then be 70.40. For this and
Item #3, have separate grid pricing structures for different mediums
canvas, paper, matboard, cardboard, masonite etc.
5.) Try not to base your prices on your ego or
"originality". Unfortunately not everyone can be a Warhol and it always
better to get your pricing structure to gain in popularity, let your
reputation easily progress.
6.) Keep consistent with your pricing, play it cool and
don't get "green eyes" while you may be on a good selling streak. Buyers
notice this and they will appreciate the consistency.
7.) Be reasonable with your quote on the shipping and
handling, if you are not too sure about shipping costs and prices,
please refer to my article from the November 2000 zine on
"S.O.S. Sonya on
Shipping" there are many tips to shipping fairly.
8.) On all the above suggestions you should factor in
advance all your supplies, do not tack on "supplies" when invoicing your
cheesy and unprofessional. They are purchasing a piece of
artwork, from you, not a bag-o-itemized-deals from Bobs warehouse. If
you do not presently complete an invoice for your buyers, you may want
to think about doing this, if for no other reason than it make a great
impression. You can get a booklet of pre-printed invoices from the
9.) Again, be humble and start easy, it is far easier to
gain your popularity rather than to start high then to have to back
down, this will not make you feel all that great and you do not want to
impair your creative ability. Also, take into consideration if you would
rather sell more in quantity and really get exposed.... This will
create your repeat customer and you can build from there. :o)
10.) You are your own artist, do not worry about what other
artists are doing and getting for their pieces, there are several
reasons for this and it can be from their reputation to what they do for
a living, it can be their own dedicated following, to perhaps where
their geographic location is, it may even be a non productive auction page.
Don't try to figure it out or you may go nuts, put your
creative energy at work on your canvas and work on being successful!
Work with the methods and best of luck with your pricing!