Making a living as an independent artist is no walk in the park. Not only do you have to produce enough work to make up your income, you also are responsible for marketing, selling, and shipping/delivering it to your buyers. Being an independent artist also means you have to be a bit of a business person too.
One business aspect that many artists struggle with is how to price their art. If you price it too high, you won’t get a ton of interest. But if you price it too low, you won’t make enough to sustain your art business. So, what is an artist to do? Follow these do’s and don’ts for pricing your artwork for successful sales!
DO research the pricing of comparable artists.
Start your pricing process by looking online at other artists who do similar work to see what they’re charging. Focus on those who have a similar style, medium, experience level, and market to you. Take note of their ranges to gauge what has been successful for them.
DON’T sell yourself short.
Underselling your work and abilities will lead to serious burnout. Figure out a reasonable hourly rate for your skill level and stick to it—the average hourly wage for fine artists is around $25. Use that as a baseline and modify it based on how quickly or slowly you work (the more experienced you are, the faster you’ll likely work and the more you can charge per hour, and vice versa). Keep a record of the hours you spend on a piece, and then factor in the cost of materials as well.
DO be consistent with your prices.
If you currently have or someday want professional representation, be sure to price your art the same as it would be through a gallery. Galleries will not want to work with you if you’re selling directly to your (and their) customers for a lower price point. Since customers will go to you to get the deal, there’s nothing in it for the galleries. If you only plan on selling independently, you won’t have to worry about this. But if you do have representation, keep your gallery and studio pricing consistent.
DON’T let emotion affect your pricing.
A lot of emotion goes into your work, but that emotion won’t hold the same value for customers. After you finish a piece, wait a little while before setting a price, to give yourself time to become less attached and become more objective. Take a step back and base your prices only on time, materials, and physical attributes.
If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind artwork to make your space more inviting, Tobi Collage offers inspired quilt collages at fair and affordable prices. Browse through the fiber art in my online shop or get in touch about a custom piece today!