What is My Art Worth, Anyway?

That’s the million dollar question!

Plato was right: beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

There are Picassos, that in certain parts of the world, wouldn’t fetch five bucks, yet the experts agree they’re worth millions.

Because somebody, somewhere, is willing to pay that. They want it badly enough.

THAT is the worth of art.

And that’s what makes it so darn hard to price.

At S2 Seminars, we’ve noticed artists either charge nothing or next to nothing. Or they think too much of their own work, price it in the Picasso-range and wonder why they starve!

Finding the sweet spot is the trick.

Here are five basic art pricing tips:

1: Determine your art. What is your art? Define it. How do you categorize it? Is it similar to other art?  (Of course, you’re unique, but find some similarities.) Does it have a genre?

2: Find and follow your peers. Who makes similar art? Who is in their market? Is that your market? Where do they sell their art? Do they sell locally, regionally, nationally or internationally?

3: What do they charge? These similar artists’ prices will be good launching pads for calculating what you should charge for your art. Do you have similar education, years of experience, style, customer, etc? Examine each similarity and difference to find your price.

4: Pick a Price. How much do you need? Let’s say you want to make $40,000 per year to cover your costs, expenses and have a meal out once a month (slightly over the poverty line!) You determine you can charge $2000 for each piece of your art. Therefore, you need to sell 20 pieces per year. That’s just over 1.5 per month. Now you need a plan. How will you sell two pieces per month?

5. Test. Test. Test.  Once you’ve found a price that feels right, test it with your customers. If nothing sells, it’s too high. Think of it like putting your house on the market. The real value of an agent is in pricing your house so you get the most money in as little time possible.

Whether you’re a painter, sculptor, writer, musician or singer, knowing the value of your art is key to making a living from your art business.

Pricing your product is just one of the business skills you’ll learn from S2 Seminars. To check out our latest workshop visit our Events page.

Shelley Goldbeck, 
www.S2Seminars.ca

 

Shelley Goldbeck, DTM is a partner with Susan Cramer in S2 Seminars, Eradicating Poverty in Artists by Teaching Business Skills. 

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