There is such joy and satisfaction in being “artistic”… in letting the inner soul out from your heart through your hands, sharing your beliefs and secrets with the world. A friend of mine likened art to having a baby. Blood, sweat and tears go into producing this baby. How could you not feel maternal about it? You loved it into existence and it pleases you. You want to share it with the world but you are so involved with it that to you it’s priceless….so you have a hard time pricing this art baby for what it’s worth.
I come to this crossroads over and over again. I am much, much better than I used to be. Awhile back I put pricing guidelines in place in my mind, but depending on circumstances such as did the water heater break and I really need X number of dollars to fix it or I know this person cannot afford the work but I really, really like them. Pricing simply goes out the window.
To defy the odds and be a successful artist making a living at making art, know your worth. Too many artists undervalue their work. Recently my eyes were opened to this fact when I visited a newly opened store filled with work by other artists and artisans. Beautiful hand painted works of art on canvas were priced so low by the time the store takes their cut and the artist pays for the canvas and paints they will be lucky to be making minimum wage. How can one ever think of leaving the job they despise to pursue a life of art making less than minimum wage?
I have done a lot of research on how to price art work and I would like to share some of them with you as well as my own pricing structure. These are only guidelines and each artist must find that comfort zone that lets you feel the price is fair for both the buyer and the artist.
Canvas prices range from $ .65 to $2.25 per square inch. Oils command higher prices. Murals range from $35 per square foot to $50 per square foot. Design work and sketches go from $100 to $500 depending on the complexity of the project. One can also come from the hourly side. I charge no less than $50 per hour. Sometimes I make as much as $100 an hour. I have years of experience behind me and and thousands of pieces of work floating around the country. I have written 15 books and numerous articles for the craft industry and illustrated 5 books in the publishing industry. I know that my work is worthy of the price I command and when I get the guts I will raise my prices again.
Artists…how much is a day of your life worth?