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On pricing your artwork and creating a career...

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 21, 2013, 8:28 AM


I am going to be speaking at an "Entrepreneurship In The Arts" program later today, and I've been organizing my thoughts.  One subject that is certain to come up; "how do you arrive at a fair price for your original artwork?"  I have some definite ideas regarding that question.

I was always told that the accepted model for artists and artisans, when it comes to pricing, was double your costs for materials, figure out an hourly price (double that for your retail price if you plan to have wholesale/retail differentials), add it up and there's your item price.  I think this model is pure bullshit.

I was also told "charge what the market will bear!"  Again, vague bullshit.  What if you live in a depressed area?  What if you live in a third world country?  What if you're at some artist's ally at a little convention and there is a kid sitting next to you selling her character sketches for $5 each?  

Here is what I think.  There are so many variables when it comes to pricing original art.  You shouldn't base your prices on materials.  Some artwork, like watercolors for example, can be produced with very little overhead.  Some art is entirely digital...no supplies necessary whatsoever!  Some artwork is created with found objects or natural objects...what if your art costs absolutely nothing for you to create it?  It's really what you DO with your materials that creates the value.  Charge for your skill...not your materials.

If you pay yourself by the hour, you might as well go into some other skill trade.  Be a plumber or a lawyer or a factory worker.  You are ~incredibly fortunate~ to be an artist.  You're in a trade where your hours DO NOT MATTER.  You are not trading time for money, like almost everyone else in the world has to, or at least you shouldn't be.  You're trading skill, vision, and technical artistic ability for money, and those are rare commodities.  Don't you dare price your art based on how long it took you to make it.  Do you really think it's okay to charge $20 for a drawing because it only took you a few minutes to do it?  That's a mistake.  Add all the years of your life, plus a few minutes, because that's really how long it took you to do that drawing.  Add the value of your innate ability to create art, plus the few minutes (or hours, or days) that you took to create that art.  Add every mistake you ever made, every sketch you messed up, every practice piece you did, all the hours of sweat and failure you endured while striving to create your own unique style. What is that worth?  $10 an hour?  $20?  $50?  And what if you get better at it, faster at it as the years go by and you perfect your skill...do you charge less because it took less time?  It's an exercise in futility to come up with a formula for pricing your artwork based on the time it took you to make it, so don't even bother.

Instead (and here is where we are all incredibly fortunate to be born in the time we live in) base your price on what the GLOBAL market will bear.  You have the tools handy to do this pricing research right here at your fingertips; just fire up your laptop/tablet/PC and get to searching.  Look for artwork you like, look for artisan crafts similar to your own.  Figure out what your genre is and go there for answers.  Compare prices (there will be a range) and be critical of your own work as it pertains to the global conglomerate of all the other similar artwork out there.  Is your stuff still amateurish?  Are you still learning?  Is it derivative/heavily influenced by a particular style that you see everywhere?  Then price yourself at the lower range while you continue to develop as an artist.  If your pieces are unique, you're creating them in a professional way, your quality is as good as you can possibly produce (and consistent!) and your work ethic is strong, you should be charging at the high end.  

You may just be the person who is happy creating mediocre, poorly-executed character drawings/ cheaply made crafts for fun, and in that case by all means, charge a few bucks for your work and enjoy the pocket change you are making.   I have known very few true artists who feel that way...most of the good ones are driven to improve and excel and won't even consider selling the work they don't feel good about.  So I really don't think that someone who considers him or herself "an artist" should ever be underselling their work to get by if they are confident in their artistic vision, ability to execute, and quality of work.   If you're making beautiful, unique work and you're still not happy with the amount you are getting paid for it, you're doing something wrong.  If you say "but I CAN'T charge more for my work because then no one will buy it", then you have to ask yourself three questions: Is your work not as good as you think it is?  Are you taking the time to showcase your work in the most professional manner possible?  Are you selling your work in the wrong place?  All those problems can be fixed if you just work harder and smarter...if you are truly an artist, you'll be willing to do both those things.

The biggest mistake (and I've been very guilty of this in the past, though in my defense it was because the venue simply didn't exist when I was "coming up" as an artist) is pricing yourself for a certain market.  It'll almost always warp your perception of your art's value.  If you live in an economically depressed area, you may be told to "be happy" with whatever you can get at the local art fair.  If you sell at conventions you'll be competing for the limited funds that young people/students will be able to spend on art.  If you're doing the craft show thing...good luck.  Everyone wants a bargain basement deal.  You might have fun hanging out at the art fair (and for that reason alone it might just be "worth it" for you, if that's your goal), but if you want to really make a LIVING as an artist you'll come away feeling undervalued, and your idea about what art is worth will suffer.  

Instead, price yourself for a GLOBAL market.  Do those searches...seek out other professionals on line.  Forget about what's happening in your local scene.  The tools are all there for you to use, so use them!   There's never been a better time to be a self-representing artist.  You don't need an agent, you don't need a gallery to represent you, you don't need a storefront (I have none of those things).  You just need your skill and your vision and the willpower to go to work in your own best interest.  Learn how to create accurate digital images of your best work (photoshop skills are a must), learn how to write decent copy, learn how to use social networking to your advantage, and get working.

Skin by blissart (modified by merimask)
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:iconkitiaramajere:
kitiaramajere Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013
Well said! This problem is all too common and I like your view.
Reply
:iconuratz-studios:
Uratz-Studios Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Global prices are higher in terms of adding the material costs to my fiberglass mask because there is currency valued at higher or lower values. Also rising material costs vs. converted value of the US Dollar is weak and I have to sell my masks at super high prices. What was worth $300 USD back then now should be $320 for a mask of mine.
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:iconoakmyth:
OakMyth Featured By Owner May 3, 2013
Incredibly valuable advice that's making me seriously consider raising my prices. Thank you again for sharing your wisdom!
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:iconlannax:
lannax Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Professional General Artist
i don't judge what the market can bear i charge what i feel i am worth and fuck them if they don't pay cause it will sell someplace else.
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:iconlannax:
lannax Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Professional General Artist
scuse my english

experience + skill + time + materials = base cost

is the amount offered worth your time? is what is offered what you consider a fair price?

can you turn your nose up at 5.00 a sketch when you are hungry?

do you have a hidden vault of artwork entrusted to an attorney/family for post Mort?

do you pain in hidden messages into your work?
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:icondittin03:
dittin03 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
This is just what I needed to hear just at the right moment. I am about to launch my new website and I've raised prices. I think they are fair and feel good about them, but I constantly get grief about them.

Everyone wants to know how much the materials cost and exactly how many hours went into each item, but seriously, it's the know-how and artistic ability that I'm concerned with. It took me years to be able to make things like I do and to have the confidence to put them out there for sale. I know they are worth exactly what I'm pricing them at, if not more.
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:iconprettylittlealice:
prettylittlealice Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Student General Artist
Bless you. Your work is beautimous.
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:iconshadowkio:
Shadowkio Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013
Thank you!! This is sooo helpful! I've been making bits and peices of jewellery inbetween uni project just to try new things, but recently I've been thinking of trying to make a little bit of pocket change from them, but the price got me stumped. I've had people from everywhere telling me how much to charge but your advice has been the most helpful! Thank you! Thank You! Thank You!!!
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:iconlittlelifeforms:
LittleLifeForms Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
In a similar vein, but more pertaining to logo and graphic designers: [link]

:kitty:
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:iconakireru:
akireru Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Professional General Artist
this is really interesting, thanks for posting!
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:iconchibibutterfly:
ChibiButterfly Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013
like i said on facebook, i totally agree.
It's not just about time and materials, it's also about the life experience behind all of that and then pricing accordingly.
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:iconmadshutterbug:
madshutterbug Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Professional Photographer
Pricing work is always the big Achilles Heel.

And to throw one more pebble into the water and watch the ripples...

If (IF) one also planned somewhat, and worked their 'day job' to the point that the day job now pays them to no longer go there, then it becomes easier to price artwork because the basics (shelter, food, utilities) are covered. If the artwork doesn't sell, the artist doesn't starve, doesn't loose their home, stays warm/cool and illuminated at night.

That, however, is a long road to walk.
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:iconiastartov:
IAstartov Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013
Thank you for the advices! It may be very helpful. :)
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:iconone-small-duck:
one-small-duck Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you so much for writing this.
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:iconzannid:
Zannid Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013
I think that it's a nice sentiment but it isn't always realistic. If you're in a niche artistry or have a large following then it's more likely you can charge what you want. However, for a lot of people the market is flooded with talented people and consumers, especially in this economy, are far more likely to go to someone equally as skilled who's charging less than to go with the person who's holding out on their "fair price".

Now of course, it varies in what craft you are doing, but aside from a few things, people are more often than not undercharging so that their items will sell. It's the choice between selling one piece at $50 or twenty pieces at $30. I've had times before where my profit margin went up because a craft started taking me less time, however there are certain things where speed never really picks up. For some extremely timely things, I've seen people make $2 an hour and that's the current going rate for what they do.

As much as there are consumers willing to save up the money and buy something at fair cost, there are just as many, if not more, who would rather go to a slightly less skilled individual for a cheaper cost. Or, someone equally as skilled since nowadays it is so common for people to have to under-price their work. It's not that they don't have faith in their work, it's that bills need to be paid. There's an imbalance within the perceived worth of handcrafted goods and sometimes, people are just trying to get by in the moment, even if it may be detrimental to their image as a professional artist.

I do think the overall perception of general artistry and hand-craftsmanship needs to be overhauled and the excessive undervaluing stopped but it's a rather complicated matter that doesn't really have an easy solution.
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:icondorothy-t-rose:
Dorothy-T-Rose Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
"the bills need to be paid". That, right there, is the entire problem! If one could possibly eliminate bills, it wouldn't matter how long you had to wait to sell something at the fair price.

~D~
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:icontreyos:
Treyos Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I just wish that I had something worth putting a price on. XD
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:iconcatyjerk:
Catyjerk Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Great topic of discussion! Ever since opening up for commissions (just for pocket change and to increase my credibility and notability as an artist) I have always struggled with the price: trying not to rip off people while not selling myself short. My prices were in the gutter and there are still sites (here, for instance) where I won't take commissions because I feel that people don't know me and won't pay much for my artwork because of that. I based my prices on the time it took me to finish them and since it took me a long time, my prices were laughable. That and I did (still do) have the mindset where, if I priced my art for what it was really worth, people won't purchase it or complain about me overpricing my work. When I asked advice on prices from my friends (some of whom also did commissions and charged quite a bit), they suggested that I start out cheap, despite the face that my art was decent and should have been priced more. Now, I rose my prices but they still are in the dumps and I aim at changing that. I do plan on making graphic novels (I know...just like everyone else v_v) and illustrating for my novels and have been drawing and practicing tirelessly all year -this past month in particular. Do I plan on raising my commission prices? Yes. When I become a more accomplished artist and show people how accomplished I am. I don't want to sell original and personal pieces of mine unless I feel that it's something people would want and I'm willing to give. Selling my illustrations and graphic novels, however, is my aim and that's just as relevant to what you're talking about. I hadn't know there was an "equation" for pricing one's art and I don't think it relevant or accurate at all, either. How is that any to determine what something is truly worth, especially since artwork comes in so many different forms, requires different materials and take varying time frames to complete? Artwork is not the same as a pair of jeans or food or anything that is sold in stores. You can surmise it's value with an equation because something as free and willful as art can't be fit into any frame.

Thank you for this journal! This is a bit inspiring for me, as I -and many other artists out there who deserve more- have always underpriced/undervalued my art, comparing it to others, the long months I spend on each, and lack of recognition for it all. So thank you, Merimask!
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:iconspongekitty:
spongekitty Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much! I ask myself this question every month it seems like, every time a commission request comes, I wonder "Am I asking enough? Is this the time to charge more? Will it drive them away?" because for so many people this is their leisure money... not something set aside for something they need. I think this gives me more confidence in my pricing-- arguably the upper end of the rubber duck market now. Thanks for your thoughts!
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:iconthwack-sandwich:
Thwack-Sandwich Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Hobbyist
Thank you. A very informative and thought-provoking journal entry from a very professional, level-headed individual. It’s also fantastic you take the time to give quality responses to the comments you have received. I found this journal entry very relevant considering I am currently exhibiting an artwork for the first time with a price. It’s funny such a significant topic was never discussed on my course at university!
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:iconshinobi-kitty:
Shinobi-Kitty Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Student General Artist
You really have inspired not only me but I'm sure many to start their own business and price as you have said. I started (recently mind you) making fursuits for people. So far no one has found me, I have no idea how I could advertise myself better. I'm a decent photographer (in my oppinion) and the few people who have seen my style have loved it but it never comes back around to them thinking about buying one. Any advise/ideas how to advertise and at least get people interested in possibly buying?

Here is something one of the people I make a partial for: [link]
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Open a shop on Artfire or Etsy (easily done...you just need a Paypal account so you can accept orders). Or build a website (making sure you can accept either Paypal or credit cards first, and you have to make sure your site is safe and secure...which is why it's so much easier to just let Etsy or Artfire do that for you). Then share beautiful images and your website info with the world. Every time you put up a picture of a piece on Tumblr or Twitter or here in DA, you be SURE to include your link to the site where you sell it. People will see, and if your images and writing are good enough and eye-grabbing, a LOAD of people will see.
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:iconshinobi-kitty:
Shinobi-Kitty Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Student General Artist
Thanks, I'll have to look into that thanks so much merimask <3
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:iconoasiaris:
oasiaris Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The stores Merimask mentions here, Artfire and Etsy, are both websites that you'll have to pay for. If you want to start out with something free, I recommend Storenvy.
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:iconbrouse3318:
BRouse3318 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013
This is so true. I spent a summer going around to art fairs and conventions and it wasn't a very fun experience. Definitely made me feel pretty bad about my work when I was actually losing money on the price of the show. Even when I was charging less than the going rate for similar work people would always think it was too high, or even worse they would try to haggle (which I find a bit insulting).
I guess that's where social media and the internet come in. If you can market your product properly, the people are out there.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Exactly. And now that there are venues like Artfire and Etsy where you can build a site for pennies, there's no real excuse to remain regional. The world is out there waiting. :)
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:iconbrouse3318:
BRouse3318 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013
True. Though I have found that working in the internet to promote your work is a bit different than selling things in person. I much prefer working on line, but there is a lot more involved in promoting yourself and getting your work out there. Nothing you can't do if you put in some time to figure it out though.
It also tends to feel a bit less competitive. I'm much more likely to share ideas with someone online than in person, since mostly when I meet artists at craft fairs I tend to think "I like your stuff, but if these people are in the market for jewelry, I'd rather they buy mine. Sorry."
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:iconbrouse3318:
BRouse3318 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013
This is so true. I spent a summer going around to art fairs and conventions and it wasn't a very fun experience. Definitely made me feel pretty bad about my work when I was actually losing money on the price of the show. Even when I was charging less than the going rate for similar work people would always think it was too high, or even worse they would try to haggle (which I find a bit insulting).
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:iconerevanur:
Erevanur Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013
Very helpful and insightful. Thanks so much for taking the time to share, I learned a lot!
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:salute:
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:iconouchimoo818:
Ouchimoo818 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013
jebus. Best art pricing/ motivational post I have ever seen on the internet. Kudos good sir.
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:icondesmodiadesigns:
DesmodiaDesigns Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
shared. thank you.
*doing some research now*
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:iconmagickdream-creation:
MagickDream-Creation Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Absolutely love this! I will definitely be sharing this on my page on facebook! :D
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:iconartbyzaheroux:
ArtbyZaheroux Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013   Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for sharing this!
This really brings new insight to wanting to live as a professional artist selling her goods. Maybe its time for me to step back and re-evaluate a little. :)
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:iconred-dragon-lord:
Red-Dragon-Lord Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013
It is difficult thing to price art especially our own because most of us are our worst critic. Leatherwork is a little different because it is craft as well as an art if done right. The materials are expensive and to produce a true quality piece, many labor hours go into it. I am trying to build a reputation for quality and uniqueness and I will not undervalue the piece to make a quick sell. Thank you for this very in depth and informative commentary on the subject.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Your pieces are amazing and very nicely done...as long as people can see your work you'll sell it for whatever price you ask.

I think leatherwork is tough, because it has a "craft" history but really, what you (and I) are doing with it is making art. Leather just happens to be the medium, like clay or stone or whatever. It provides an additional challenge, to show that it's more than utilitarian. This is why great pictures and good copy are so important. :)
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:iconred-dragon-lord:
Red-Dragon-Lord Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013
I couldn't agree more. Your words and your art are inspiring. Thanks for sharing both.
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:iconihni:
ihni Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013
Well said.

I, personally, have my own method when it comes to setting prices to what I do; the more I love the thing, the higher price I set. If I really love a drawing/painting/whatever, I will put a crazy high price on it ... because my art things are my babies. I created them, I remember every part of the process ... and if I'm pleased with the result, or if it looks good on my wall, then the price will be high. If someone - against all odds - are willing to pay that price, well then that means that they probably love the piece as much as I do (or at least almost) and my baby will get a good new home ...

I don't sell much, though. Probably because of my high prices :p but I don't mind. I'm not a professional, like you are.

Either way, I liked reading this. Thank you for the inspiring text.
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:iconartbyzaheroux:
ArtbyZaheroux Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013   Traditional Artist
That's how I feel as well! :) Very well put!
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Honestly, that's my secret too. :) I really REALLY love everything I make. Every single piece is special, and I do my very best work every time. If you don't feel pride and deep love for everything you do at some level, you can't defend the value and you won't have the conviction to ask for a fair price.
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:iconbandeau:
bandeau Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I did enjoy reading this, but one part made me twitch. I am an illustrator and run a small illustration company that is 90% digital work. I paint, sculpt, craft etc, and digital is by far the most expensive when it comes to materials. The programs alone run me over $2,000 with another $1000 or so every time I need to upgrade, with another $800 - $1200 for computers and add another $600 for tablets and external hard drives. It's a misconception that digital artists have little to no overhead, especially if you run your computers like a workhorse until they break down yearly. Other than that though (can you tell it's a pet peeve? Haha) brilliant article!
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:iconlittlelifeforms:
LittleLifeForms Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
MeriMask, great article, thank you!

Hey Bandeau, that was exactly my thought too! Using computers in your full-time job is expensive. Fact.

Then I remembered that there are quite a few free low cost to free options for many of the products out there. Need to do 3d? Use Blender (free). Digitally Paint? GIMP has come a long way. Sketchbook Pro is $60, and a workhorse (with limitations). There are alternatives to Wacom products (not the same high quality as Wacom, but useable none-the-less).

Yes, if you are at a certain level in your profession (such as an illustrator) and need not only to compete, but have to produce files in industry standard formats, you just can't get around using PhotoShop, Maya, Mudbox or other high-end products. And you have to dole out the $$$$ for that, every year or so.

But if you are creating art on less standardized area (ie, self published comics or manga artist, for example), you might have the luxury to use the cheaper or even free alternatives. I'm thinking the article was looking at that aspect, rather than the dog-eat-dog world of commercial art.

Just my 2 pieces of eight :D

:kitty:
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Ah! That's a very good point (I'm ignorant about digital art because I make things with my hands!). But yeah I see your point and it's true; to be competitive and global you DO need reliable and current tech, which adds to overhead.
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:iconrosygirl:
rosygirl Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I definitely agree with all of this. A great message for any who want to live off their art.

I used to be very curious about the pricing of stuff until I finally did it for myself for the first time a little over a year ago. A teacher at my high school asked me to make a replica of his parent's house out of clay for their anniversary. Originally, before I had started, we priced it at $50. After I had finished working on it and the end product exceeded both our expectations.

I was almost terrified about asking him for more than what we had agreed on when he suddenly insisted on doubling the price. I realize I was very lucky to have such an agreeable person to work with but it also made me realize that people who truly appreciate the art will be willing to pay a price that fits its value.

This awesome first experience will greatly help me later on should I decide to sell again and make me sure not to underestimate myself or my arts' worth and I think others need to come to the same realization.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
You were lucky! Most young artists get ripped off by cheap people who tell them they're worth less. Which makes too many young people think their art is worthless! Which is a freaking crime. Love your art, learn to see it objectively, defend its value, understand what's good about it, build on that, and you'll be producing pieces that are worth real money.
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:iconmarrinwolf:
MarrinWolf Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013
The whole concept of applying your experience to the price holds true for any job. Think of jobs that require years of schooling, those people get paid more because of their life experience, training, etc. So really there should be no reason as to why an experienced artist wouldn't get paid more.

There's an artist in my area who goes to conventions and other events and he sort of combines sketch art with performance art. He draws your request in 20 minutes right in front of you. Every time I see him I buy something if I can afford it because it amazes me. He started out pricing low and has now made his sketches priced at $30. The price is doubled if more than one person/creature is to be drawn. I find it to be fair even though I find myself going ouch at my wallet at conventions. He always has a crowd of people because showing of his skill brings people in to watch and that usually is enough to get someone to buy something.

I think he is so succesful with c
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
See...I'm reading that and I'm thinking that he's selling his work so cheaply. Who can do that? How many people can just draw for an audience, consistently and reliably every time? It's a crime. He's rare, and he should be selling his work like it's precious and not worth the same as dinner at a restaurant chain. :/
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:iconmarrinwolf:
MarrinWolf Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013
I just realized my comment got cut off...oh well anyways.

He makes a living at it actually and he sells other things. He has premade prints and he's just recently started making t-shirts. Though I'm sure you'd consider those cheap as well. ^^;

I believe what he is doing is making himself more well known. He's slowly raising the price of his products as he's raising a loyal customer base. Rarely does one person purchase just one item from him and they keep coming back to him. Which means in short term yeah it may seem cheap but in the long run he's actually making some decent money. I won't be surprised if in the future he is able to ask $100 dollars or more for something because people will recognize him and want his work. I'm sure he also knows that if he asks for like $100 dollars for one session right now he'll most likely get only a couple of customers and that he wouldn't make enough money to make it worth while.

I can understand what you're saying though because his talent is rare but if he went out demanding a high price now it would be poor business sense for him for where he is and for where/what he wants to draw. It's not that people don't appreciate his work, it's that his customer base doesn't have a whole lot of money. $30 may be a dinner at a restaurant chain to you but for some of his customers that's their food money for the week. For what they lack in money they often make up for in advertising by showing off his work and by being long term customers. Many people once they known about him start putting money aside to buy work for him once they know he is going to be somewhere. And in the future his customer base will have better paying jobs and be able to afford more.

If he really wanted to make a lot of money I'm sure he could try for a different customer base but it wouldn't be what he enjoys. He often states how happy he is that he can actually make a living at what he does because hardly anyone can. He's proud that he's successful in a convention setting and he's even begun going to conventions across the U.S. So he is making a choice by sticking to a specific market instead of doing global marketing like you were saying, although he does sell stuff online. But it's that exact market that he enjoys working with and making relations in.
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:iconaiika:
Aiika Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Student General Artist
I've had some thoughts about that myself since I'm a "begining artist". I study art at university (as I did for most of my life) and try to come up with fun, different things. My own problem? Probably the problem of everyone in the market or almost, I tend to underevaluate my art which causes me to either not even try to sell it, or be so happy I've been able to sell something that I sell it stupidly low. Honestly? In cegep I sold a painting for 2$ just so I could buy myself something to eat at the break(and then learned later my aunt would of bought it). I also started being interrested in selling other stuffs than traditional art such as cat ears(good quality, latex,re-used real fur, clip-ons) But I find there's probably not a market and given all it took me, I would have to sell those at LEAST 50$ just to keep a bit in my pockets, while most people would rather buy cheap fabric ones and then loose them the day after.

Market is a huge problem, and so is underestimating your own art.

In the end today, I finally dared enter one contest at school to test my own worth, but I fear not winning anything might bring me down even more(I'm aware it shouldn't but it's so hard i don't know what to do)

I'm glad you shared your ideas on how to price yourself. It's not something easily learned and you tend to make a lot of mistakes before you can get it right. It's probably not yet time for me to abide by your rules since i'm a learning artist but I whish the time will come some day. All in all, I'm glad whenever I can get an artist such as yourself to give even just a bit of helpfull information. So thank you a lot.
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Really before you can consider yourself a professional artist, you're going to need to be better at defending the value of your art. That only comes with time, attitude, and dedication. You have to be your own biggest fan. If you don't know what's great about your work (even if it's just one small thing) and you don't love it intensely at some level, no one else will.
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