Putting a Price on Art
Why Is It So Hard To Do?
Putting a price on art. It’s one of the hardest things an artist has to face. Figuring in the cost of supplies is the easy part. But for many of us, putting a price on the work itself stirs up feelings of dread and a general sense of yuckiness. We may have differing reasons, but the general consensus is that our work comes from within. A piece of our souls were put into each and every creation. How can you possibly put a price on your soul?
For me, it’s a bit of that, but only on some things. With commissioned work, it doesn’t seem to bother me. My method for putting a price on art was fairly simple. I researched other artists online who were doing similar work and compared their rates. I priced mine similarly to keep me in a competitive range. It really was as simple as that. However, it’s a little more difficult for me when it comes to something I did that started off as a personal project. There are other factors such as backgrounds that I don’t normally include in commissions, non-standard sizing, and a level of creativity that doesn’t necessarily take place in a commissioned pet portrait. And yes…a much greater piece of my soul.
There is a much greater aversion to handling business and marketing. Now, this is something I know I have to do in order to make any money at all. I’ve considered finding an agent or online galleries to handle that part for me. But, the drawback is that I don’t get all the money. The agent/gallery gets their cut. The question then boils down to whether or not I’m willing to pay that price for not having to deal with doing the marketing myself.
I’ve come across several programs which basically teach you how to do this yourself without becoming a sellout or giving your work away for dirt cheap. I may eventually consider taking one of these classes, but of course, they aren’t cheap. They all seem legit and have 100% money back guarantees. One of them even has the guarantee that you will make back the cost of enrollment within a year. It’s not that they’re outrageously priced, but I’m on such a tight budget that anything beyond the absolute necessities is (at the moment) out of the question. However, I figure that if it’s something that can be taught in such a way that I can be comfortable with the process…AND it will allow me to not have to pay an agent a cut of every piece that I draw…then why not?
What about you? Are you comfortable with putting a price on art and if so, what’s your method for pricing your work? Or, do you find it a yucky, dreadful chore that you’d gladly trade with cleaning the bathroom with your own toothbrush? Let us know in the comments below.