The Art of Selling Yourself Short
As artists you need to think in terms of yourself as running a small business. Business seek to make a profit. For many artists that is very small. However their is every chance you are paying people to take your work home.
I often see works with prices less than the price it costs to put on the wall, for the sake of making a sale. Even if you don't value your efforts, you don't need customers to follow suit. We have enough friends trying to get their hands on our work for next to nothing.
As professionals its time to stop selling yourselves short. How do you know you can't get more for your work if you don't ask?
Here's something based on an article I read recentlyL
Pricing artwork is difficult for all artists, for most of us it’s a blind guess and none of us knows for sure if we’re meeting our costs letting alone making any money. Here is a formula I found online. Step one is knowing — what it cost you to put it on a gallery wall, online or market stall.
Costs include: Art supplies, framing, gallery hire or market fees, galleries commissions; advertising and marketing costs, packaging and postage, online fees and admin costs like phone calls.
Labour: Something for your time and effort for first times or emerging artists this will not be an hourly rate, but you want something for your time and effort. I increase this cost with each exhibition I host or take part in. It work is unsold I may reduce the price at the end of each year.
In other words you should be charging something for your experience and skills even if for now that’s five dollars so if you’re happy with $10 in your pocket. The price is:-
Costs plus $5 = sale price
This is your bottom line – the minim amount you’re willing to bank.
I should never see $10 to $15 on an original piece hanging in a commercial gallery or even a market. (Even if you are sharing the gallery with others). It’s time to start valuing ourselves as artists even if others do not. Carolyn Edlund recommends you bottom line is actually twice the costs plus profit amount. You can read her article online.
Canvas and frames often start at $10 so I know local artists are currently selling their work to low.