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Making Money Through Art. Pricing and Presentation of Artwork to Sell. Pricing Basics. Most galleries and art dealers will take a 50% commission. Art prices are market driven, so know your market. Keep pricing consistent. How to Price Your Work. Research. Visit many galleries

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Making Money Through Art


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  1. Making Money Through Art Pricing and Presentation of Artwork to Sell

  2. Pricing Basics Most galleries and art dealers will take a 50% commission. Art prices are market driven, so know your market. Keep pricing consistent.

  3. How to Price Your Work • Research. • Visit many galleries • Check out the pricing of similar work • Be sure to compare medium size, style, subject matter, and artist • Do not be afraid to ask questions. • Ask gallery personnel how well similar work is selling at different prices. • Check out the resume of the artist and see how their career compares with yours.

  4. How to Price Your Work • Create a formula. • Formulas can be very effective to keep your pricing consistent. • Many formulas are based on size, but they can be based on the cost of materials, labor, etc. • Keep any formula simple—many clients will ask how an artist prices their work and trying to explain a complicated formula based on materials, labor, grocery bills, mortgages, etc. is a turn off. • Feel free to work backwards; select a price you are comfortable with receiving after all of your research is done and reverse engineer a formula. • Example: You want $2400 for a 30” x 40” painting (30 x 40=$1200 x 2= $2400), so your formula would be based on a $2 per square inch pricing.

  5. How to Price Your Work • Have a minimum price. • It is fine to set a minimum price for your work. This way, smaller works are not undervalued due to a formula. • Be consistent.

  6. Formula Examples • Length + Widthx Pre-Determined Number • Formula for an 8” x 10” painting: • 8+10=18 x 30=$540 • Length x Width x per Square Inch Cost • Formula for a 24” x 36” painting: • 24 x 36=864 x 1.75=$1512

  7. Pricing No-No’s • Erratic pricing • Paintings of the same size, date, medium, subject matter, etc. are priced at different prices. • This is very unnerving to clients as they are unsure of the value of your work. • Undercutting • Selling your work for different prices in different places. • This also makes it more difficult for clients to know the value of your work. • Dramatically Raising Prices • Having a drastic shift in the price of your work may keep buyers away.

  8. Pricing No-No’s • Pricing Too High • Pricing your art too high will immediately keep potential buyers away in the present and future. • De-valuing Your Art • Lowering your prices de-values your artwork and can hurt already established relationships • Adding Too Much for Framing Costs • Being Unsure About Your Pricing • When an artist is unsure about their pricing, it conveys both un-professionalism and an unstable value for the work.

  9. This presentation is from Visual Art Exchange’s “Business of Being an Artist” educational series. For more information, visit www.visualartexchange.org.