How to Price your Art
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How to Price your Art

Accurately price your artwork to be competitive and increase your sales!
4.0 (3 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
12 students enrolled
Created by James Corwin
Last updated 4/2019
English
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $13.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 41 mins on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Students will learn to accurately price their artwork to be competitive in the marketplace.
  • Students will learn to build a collection of art and products that cover all price points.
  • Students will learn the importance of consistency in their artwork.
  • Students will learn how to create passive income from their art. Students will make money while they sleep.
Requirements
  • No prior requirements. Just some art that you are ready to sell.
Description

For any artists who are unsure how to accurately price your artwork, this course is for you! Breaking down all the important factors and numbers that go into creating your equation so that you can consistently price your artwork to sell!

One of the biggest questions in the art business is how to price your art. Accurately pricing your art takes a lot of consideration and analysis which I will break down for you.


There are various methods used by artists when pricing their art. You may be familiar with pricing based on the amount of hours put into the artwork, or based on square area of the surface, or pricing based on similar artist’s work and reputation, or even pricing cherry-picked from the sky without validation. All of which have their benefits, however the method that will secure longevity and fairness in your pricing structure and build rapport with your collectors is to carefully create a tiered pricing structure based on the surface area of your artwork.

Who this course is for:
  • Any artist who has created art that they would like to sell to earn money!
Course content
Expand 5 lectures 40:49
+ How to Price your Art
5 lectures 40:49

Introduction: Using this Course to Start, Grow and Build your Art Career

 

Hi, I am James Corwin and I want to first welcome you this empowering course. Thank you for signing up, but you should thanking yourself most for taking a huge step towards starting, growing and building a successful full-time art career.

 
This course is an investment and it is my hope that you will devote time to learning and applying the principles and steps laid forth in this program. If followed entirely as I have instructed, you will achieve great amounts of success. Let’s take this journey together.

 
This course is for any artist whether you are a painter, drawer, sculptor, photographer, digital artist or installation artist, etc. This program is designed to help any artist succeed, regardless of the medium you use.

 
I have set up an incredible team to help you every step of the way. Reach out to them at any time for help and questions. Also engage yourself in the Facebook group. You will be among many other artists and your combined support and encouragement will be powerful in launching your career.

 
Starting

 
Starting your art career is building the foundation for your success so it is important to watch the first videos and not skip ahead. Your art career is a full-time job and it takes time to grow and build your business. However, the speed of your success is entirely dependent on you. You are responsible for your success and what you put into this business is what you get out. If you want to make an incredible living off your art then you have to put in an incredible amount of effort. It is possible to achieve success beyond your wildest dreams, but success doesn’t happen over night. It happens through persistence, hustle and strategic planning.

 
Do you have what it takes to achieve your dreams? How far are you willing to go to achieve them? I work my ass off every day to achieve my dreams because I know they are possible and once I attain them, I set new goals. I never settle for just-enough. I want to break through and see what is on the other side. I once had a well-known artist tell me, you will never get rich being an artist. I said, watch me! And it has been my motivation ever since to prove all the naysayers that an artist don’t need to starve, that you can actually make an amazing income. And at 26 years old, I am do that just. And you can to! But you have to be willing to grind and put in long hours every day, seven days a week. Its not going to be easy and there will be so many times that you want to give up. I have been so ready to throw in the towel so many times. I would wonder why in the hell should I suffer through all this pain and disappointment? But deep down I knew I had no other choice, because I was obsessed with the idea of waking up every day on my own schedule and doing something creative that I loved. And getting to travel all over the world whenever I desired. And share my vision and work with the world and make a difference in wildlife conservation. These are most important to me, so the struggle and the stress to get there is all worth while because eventually I will reap the benefits.

 
Now I own a game reserve in South Africa where I breed african game and I travel all over the world collecting ideas for new work. I make an incredible income and I get to choose where I want to live, which is in the beautiful state of Montana. I get to meet and work with amazing people and make their homes more beautiful with my art.

 
Growing and Building

 
There are many videos in this course to give you the tools to grow your business. These means taking your art and multiplying it in many ways to bring in more income and customers, while broadening your brand and recognition.

 
In the beginning you will want to reinvest all your profits back into building the business. I am still largely doing this 7 years into my business, because I know I am the best investment I can make. By reinvesting my profits I am growing my business and ensuring its longevity. It is also a commitment to my success. My business is my baby and I am going to provide it everything it needs. I keep just enough to live, the rest my baby takes and it needs a lot of feeding.

 
I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t think outside box. I am responsible for my success therefore I don’t rely on outside influence. I take the bull by the horns and create the success. I am going out and finding the buyers for my art. I am creating new products to match with customers. So many artists stay trapped in their studio waiting for a sale to find them. It won’t happen this way. You must be proactive and go out and find the sale. Be unreasonable! This is thinking outside the box. If a buyer is interested in my painting but can’t commit to buying, then I am driving to their house and marching that painting it to show them how good it looks on their wall. This is completely unreasonable, but hey, it’s not if it produces a sale… and I bet you it will! Try it out! Be willing to take unreasonable actions and approaches to growing your business.

 
Expect rejection. I hear no more than I ever hear yes. Hearing yes is like hearing the Gods speaking through the heavens. It is just so rare. But I don’t care about rejection anymore. It used to eat me up. But I found that no doesn't really mean no. They just don’t know how to say yes. This is where becoming a top sales person which help you move them from a no answer to a yes decision.

 
While investing in your business, invest in yourself to become more powerful in the marketplace. If success is you duty, then you need to be a powerhouse seller. You need to know how to convince a buyer to buy your art. I would argue this is more important than being a good artist. A bad artist who is a phenomenal salesperson can sell their terrible art to anyone. Hopefully you are a phenomenal artist, so selling will be easier for you. But you still must devote you time to become a phenomenal seller. There are many training courses available. I suggest Cardone University. There is a video to help you get started.

 
Not only do you need to invest in sales training, you need to invest in training to be a better artist. I talk about this in several videos. You need to be always improving your craft. It is your most important asset. Inevitably you will improve with time, but jumpstart it by taking workshops and studying artists.

 
Let’s Begin

 
I am so excited for you to start! I believe in your success and my team along with myself are hear to help you succeed. I encourage you to get your spouse, family and friends on board with you. They will be a huge resource and support team as well.

 
The videos in this course are so powerful and they will show you how to start pulling in money right away. So I want you to start now so you can begin to reap the benefits. Let’s dive in… headfirst!


Preview 08:12

How to Price your Art

 
One of the biggest questions in the art business is how to price your art. Accurately pricing your art takes a lot of consideration and analysis which I will break down for you.

 
There are various methods used by artists when pricing their art. You may be familiar with pricing based on the amount of hours put into the artwork, or based on square area of the surface, or pricing based on similar artist’s work and reputation, or even pricing cherry-picked from the sky without validation. All of which have their benefits, however the method that will secure longevity and fairness in your pricing structure and build rapport with your collectors is to carefully create a tiered pricing structure based on the surface area of your artwork.

 
Choosing to apply a number to the each square inch of your artwork ensures that the pricing remains consistent regardless of the amount of hours you put into it. 


Let’s take a look at pricing your art based on the time it takes to complete. Perhaps you have created an hourly rate at which you work. This rate is determined by 4 factors: 1. The cost of materials, 2. Your overhead costs, 3. Living expenses, and 4. Your hourly wage. Say for example you are creating a 16x20 painting that takes 20 hours to complete.

You figure your cost of materials are $325

- $15 canvas

$7 estimated paint used

$3 depreciation on brushes

$300 Frame

And your monthly overhead costs are $380

- $300 studio rent

$50 utilities

$30 website


You work 40 hours per week X 4 weeks = 160 hours of work

$380/160 hours = $2.38 per hour overhead

In this case you need to make $47.60 for the 20 hours of painting to cover the overhead costs used.

These costs are tax deductible.

You are making on a living on this painting, so the price must also cover your monthly living expenses.

You have a $1200 home mortgage

Home insurance and taxes are $200

Utilities for your home are $200

You also have health insurance premiums at $400

Car payments, gas, and insurance are $600

Food is $200

This totals to $2800 per month/160 work hours per month = $17.50 per hour. 


You decide your hourly wage needs to be $19.88 to cover all your expenses including overhead of $2.38.

20 hours of painting X $19.88 is $397.60 + $325 materials cost = $722.60

 
Next you must markup your price 100% because the average a gallery takes 50% of the sale price. Your final price on your 16x20 painting should be $1445.20 or rounded up to to $1450 for an appealing sales price.

 
Your objective is to get paid for those 160 hours you work. And this is just to cover expenses! To create a sustainable business, you must also pay yourself a salary so you aren't broke every month and your business must turn over a profit. Understand your business is not you, it is a completely separate entity that requires nurturing. You are not your business’s money. I suggest you create a separate checking account for your art business and add its profits there. Any future business purchase you make will be withdrawn from this account and not your personal account.

 
Next we must determine your salary and your business’s salary.

You decide to create these financial goals to achieve the lifestyle you desire, you must earn:

- $1000 savings ($500 personal, $500 retirement)

$500 Travel to be used monthly or saved for a larger trip

$200 Entertainment/social events

$150 Everything else

Total of $1850 gives you ease and flexibility each month and contributes to your retirement.

Finally your business needs to grow and have a savings account for future expenses in the following categories.

- $500 savings

$400 booth fees/exhibit fees

$500 framing/casting for sculpture

$200 travel

$200 materials

$200 Misc. (printers, computers, lighting, exhibiting equipement, etc)

Total of $2000 gives the business the cash flow it needs to be sustainable and provide the financial resources to weather any economic downturn.

 
Combined you must bring in an additional $3850 per month to actually make a healthy living on your art. Now, let’s calculate your hourly wage to accomplish this.

$2800 + $3850  = $6650/160 hours = $41.56 per hour

20 hours of painting X $41.56 is $831.25 + $325 materials cost = $1156.25

Your painting in a gallery will need to be priced at $2312.50 or $2300 for an appealing sales price.

 
You will need to create AND sell 6 of these 16x20 paintings each month to meet your monthly financial obligations. Sound doable? Most likely not, this is where restructuring our work for maximum output and efficiency is so important and I will explain this throughout the course.

 
If you only want to cover expenses you can price your art to do so ($1450 per piece) and later scale up. This is inevitably how most artists will begin their career. Don’t expect to pay yourself a salary in the beginning. You will want to reinvest all your profits back into the business to make it grow.

 
What if my painting isn’t selling in a gallery? Can I price it at half the cost? I would still cover all my expenses?…The answer here is yes and no. You must create consistency in your pricing, meaning all paintings must then be this cost and not jump between full price and half price.

 
Would it be fair for a collector to come to you and pay half the price for the same painting someone else payed twice as much for in a gallery? Consistency in your pricing is important in creating fairness among your collectors and building longevity. Pricing your art is scalable and will rise with time and recognition. However, when prices vary drastically on each painting, it is difficult for anyone, including yourself to gain a grasp of your artwork’s true value.

 
Here is why the hourly wage per painting does not work. It does not create consistency in your pricing.

 
Say for example the 16x20 painting you created in 20 hours, next takes 35 hours to complete and the following only 12 hours. The times vary because the subject matter was perhaps less detailed in the later. You know you must earn $41.56 per hour.

Here is how they each price out.

- Painting 1: $2300

- Painting 2: $3550

- Painting 3: $1650

Can you see how just a few hours of difference in your painting time can drastically effect your prices? No one can know whether your painting is only worth $1650 or worth $3550, which is over twice as much! With so much variance in your pricing an educated collector would wait for prices to stabilize before investing your art. Or it would leave those collectors who already invested in you confused and possibly angry if they purchased a painting twice as much as the one you sell next. That is like seeing your stock price in the market drop 50%!

 
For sculptures and irregular art I would recommend pricing on hourly wage and expenses. This works for sculptures because there will be a limited edition casted with consistent pricing on each casting. Because of its irregularity in size, weight and shape, it is much easier to price based on time it took to complete as each piece is entirely different, you can’t compare.

 
How do I create consistency in my prices?

 
The best way to create consistency in your art is to create a tiered pricing structure based on the square surface area of your artwork. In a tiered system artwork that is smaller in size is higher in price per square inch than larger paintings. This is because time and materials cost (framing/casting) are often similar in price for smaller artwork as it is for big pieces. For example a frame for a 9x12 painting can cost $250 or instead $350 for a 24x36. It would make sense to paint the bigger painting as the framing cost is comparable but the sale price is higher. You also need to make a living on the smaller paintings, if priced too low, they won’t even be worth your time. Consequently if you price a large painting the same as a 9x12 (i.e. $12 per square inch), it may be considered way over priced for your market, if you are just starting. Let’s look at this in example with the 16x20 painting we have been working on.

 
First we need to research our market and find the true value of our art that places us competitively among other artists. This ‘sweet spot’ takes time to discover and it is where your artwork consistently sells at the same prices and is neither overpriced in its market or underpriced… both of which are detrimental to your business.

 
Let’s average the three prices from earlier:

- Painting 1: $2300

- Painting 2: $3550

Painting 3: $1650

$7500/3 = $2500 average

 
We figure we need to bring in around $2500 for our 16x20 paintings. This means that every 16x20 painting we create will be priced at $2500 regardless of how many hours are put into it.

Calculate the price for all the painting sizes using our $41.56 hourly wage to determine the average prices based on size.

 
The smallest size is a 8x10

Let's say you average 10 hours per 8x10 painting for $415.60

Cost of materials and a frame is typically $175

Total average sale price of $1181.20 or $1200

 
The largest painting is a 36x48

Let's say you average 80 hours per 36x48 painting for $3324.80

Cost of materials and a frame is typically $750

Total average sale price of $8149.60 or $8150


Though after some research, we find our market can only support around $800 as an average sale price for our 8x10 paintings. Understand a market can vary on many factors including its demographics, artwork style, materials, subject matter, and your name recognition. If your painting is very contemporary work perhaps you could command higher prices for an 8x10 in New York City, but if you are painting pastural landscapes, they may only be able to sell for $800 in a local downtown gallery of Vermont, for example. However, maybe you do find that larger landscape paintings at the 36x48 size in this local town in Vermont are priced around $10,000. You decide to raise her price slightly from $8150 to meet the market.

 
How to create a tiered pricing system

 
When creating a tiered pricing system it is important to classify 3-4 groups of 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional art into a small, medium and large group. The pricing per square inch will stay the same among that group and then decrease as the paintings get larger.

 
Create your first tiered group by calculating your smallest painting, the 8x10 at $800. The price per square inch is $10. The square area is calculated by multiplying the length by its width (8x10 = 80 in2). This means every painting within the smallest group size is priced at $10 per square inch. Prices have been rounded to create an irresistible sales price.

Next you will create another column for prices within the medium size range. Doing your math and research determine the average value per square inch to charge. Most likely this will be a smaller number than the first group. Do this for your largest paintings as well, again it should be an even smaller number per square inch.

 
Averaging your work hours still creates a balance. Imagine you spent 60 hours on one complicated 16x20 painting that sold for $2500. You are only earning your $41.60 wage. But then the next 16x20 painting takes only 15 hours because it was a much simpler idea to complete. You will still price it at $2500 but you made considerably more per hour ($166.66!) than the first painting! As you create your more art you begin to get more savvy at predicting how long a painting will take you and therefore aim to work on faster paintings because you get paid way more!

 
Consistency in your art also makes it easier to quote prices on your artwork. When you know the price per each size you can quickly let a customer know what the price is and then move them into a sale. This is especially important when someone quotes you for a commission. If you were pricing on hours, you have no idea how long the commission will take you, therefore it is impossible to give an accurate quote, except to say you charge $41.60 per hour. People want to know the final price.

 
Competitive and Comparable Pricing

 
When researching your market and determining your pricing, you want to be competitive. Your art will compete for buyers who are similar in style, subject matter and recognition. To be competitive you can either be priced slightly under their evaluation to grab up market share and the customers who prefer quality art for the most affordable price. This is typically everyone’s first thought. Or you you can price slightly above the competition and brand yourself as the best money can buy. You are selling quality fine art and there are a lot of people who will pay for the best. Both make you competitive. Being in the middle among everyone is not competitive. You want to dominate. Go for being the best! Don’t undersell yourself and be the cheapest in the market. Sure it might be more appealing, but you don’t want to carry that reputation.

 
Comparable pricing is important to uncover in your research as well. How do your prices compare to other artists like you? If you are technically advanced in your artistic skills but just starting your art career, it is okay to make the leap to higher prices because you are comparing yourself to a similar market. Sure name recognition is important, but most people buy art because they like it, not because of the name. Most of my sales are made to people who have never heard from me, but they see the value in the art that I do and I compared myself to other artists who are just as talented at painting wildlife. So begin to discover other art like yours and see what prices they are selling at in your market. It may be easy for you to scale your prices up, or in some cases down.

 
Raise your prices over time

 
Slowly raise your prices over time. There are many factors that contribute to your increased prices. Auction records can raise your prices especially if the piece consistently sells for over the asking price. This is an indicator that the market values your art more than you do. Consistent and frequent gallery sales can indicate a demand for your work. You can raise your prices slightly without affecting the demand. Artists on average raise their prices 10% per year. You will also be raising your prices with name recognition and to be competitive within your market as you improve. Also the economy plays an important role in your numbers. In a good economy it is easier to raise your prices higher and faster than in a down-turned economy. Also inflation over time will increase the pricing of your art.

 
Where to start

 
Do the math to start and determine what you need to make on every painting. Then research your market and other artists who create art similar to yours. How well are they selling? What galleries are they in? What are their prices? By analyzing the market you can compare your pricing and determine how competitive you want your art to be. Don’t be too quick to overprice, however. This is easy for most artists and they target way higher than their market and discover their art doesn’t sell. It is very bad to lower your prices especially if you have already sold a few. You will want to start low and raise your prices with time. You will soon discover if your pieces sell quickly you may want to raise them a little more. If they don’t sell at all, perhaps you are too high.

How to Price your Art
22:34

Creating Art at all Price Points

 

You will want to create art that covers all price points to increase your selling potential. Create both high end expensive artwork that costs thousands of dollars all the way down to products that cost $10 or less. Doing this ensures that there is a buyer for your product at all income levels.

 
Time and time again you will hear from customers, “I just love that, but I can’t afford!” It is your duty and obligation to create something they can afford. Perhaps it is a limited edition print of the art that you can sell them for a fraction of the price, or even a poster of your art that costs $25!

 
Be creative and begin designing various products around your art so that you can target every buyer within your niche. For example I am in the wildlife niche. I am going to target everyone who loves animals and fine art. I have my very expensive original paintings that I sell to wealthy collectors, but I also have my prints and even pillows with the same art on it but only cost $35. I sell hundreds of these pillows. The buyer still gets a piece of my art without spending $10k for it.

 


What can you do now to meet every price point? You don’t necessarily need to create new artwork. Use artwork you have already created and turn it into new products. This ensures you have consistent income coming to you every month and not relying on, and waiting for the expensive original paintings to sell.

Creating Art at all Price Points
01:53

Creating Consistency in your Art

  

Creating consistency in your art is extremely important to your brand. Most artists strive to have a specific look and style to their art that is recognizable and appeals to customers. You want someone to walk into a gallery and immediately be able to identify your work on the wall because it is consistent in style with your other work. While you may vary your subjects, naturally your technique and style will emerge and remain consistent.

 
I am a wildlife artist so I paint animals around the world, sometimes though I paint a landscape. My characteristic style is a very detailed subject with a loose, contemporary background. The colors are very bright/vibrant but realistic. Also, typically, the subject matter is peaceful portrait style paintings.

 

If you are just beginning your artistic journey don’t be too quick to pick a style and subject as this can easily change with time. Follow your passion to start and the more you paint the more your style will emerge. This is what you will become recognized for. Be unique and original. Too many artists follow the market and what is hot that people are buying, always jumping around. I used to be one of these people, chasing the market for sales. It worked to some extent but at the sacrifice of my happiness. I wasn’t happy or proud of the paintings I was creating. I consulted an artist about this and they said to paint whatever I wanted regardless of what people will say, they don’t have to see it, and don't be concerned whether it will sell! I took this advice and decided to paint a rhino that I admired deeply in Africa. It turned out to be one of my best paintings of all time and I sold it the day I finished it for way more than I had ever asked before. My career soared from there.

 
Follow your heart and passion and create what inspires you. This will invariably produce the best results and people will be attracted to this. Subconsciously I believe they can tell when passion is backed behind a painting versus a painting that was just created for an easy sale. Furthermore you will be passionate when you share the painting with a potential customer.

 
Once you have discovered your style and subject matter, stick with it! See it through and don’t be quick to jump to something else. I saw that I could paint wildlife better than I could paint landscapes and western art, so I chose to pursue wildlife and I am glad I did! I put all my focus into improving this style and subject matter while creating a name for myself in the wildlife art niche. You consistency will be your brand and name. People will collect you throughout time for the unique art you created therefore give them something that produces the same quality and style every time!

Preview 03:31

Creating Passive Income with your Art

 

As an artist and creator you have a powerful opportunity to create passive flows of income with your art. When you create art you hold a copyright to that image and idea. You can use this image and idea in very many ways to produce products and produce an income. If you are a sculptor you can reproduce the sculpture hundreds of times.

 
There are companies set up to take your images and print them on various products such as t-shirts, pillows, blankets, bags, pants, towels, cups, hats, shower curtains, etc. And this barely scratches the surface of the possibilities. The best part is that these companies can receive your order, produce the product and ship it directly to your customer without you ever having to touch it. It’s amazing and you should be utilizing this service as soon as you have an image generated. Then list these products on all your sales channels for ultimate exposure and selling opportunity.

 
The idea of passive income is to put your art and ideas to work for you so that they are generating money while you sleep, providing you consistent flows of income long into your career.

 
Another passive flow of income are prints. Once your art and idea has been created you have the copyright to reproduce this image as many times as you wish and continue to make a profit from it. Your earning potential here is virtually uncapped. If you create open edition print series you can sell an infinite amount of the image. The work has already been done which is creating the original art and the product, your job now is to promote the product and find a manufacturer who will produce and distribute the product for you every time an order is placed. You pay for these services, but your profit margins should be high enough to earn you a decent profit. My profit margins for my prints is 87%! Meaning I make 87% of my sale price and 13% goes to the manufacturer and distributor.

 
Be creative and consider all the possibilities you have to generate income with your art. Perhaps you offer online art workshops that are prerecorded and you sell the videos for $25. You put in the work initially to create the video but now you have you the potential to sell thousands of these videos.

 
Be careful not to cheapen your brand by adding too many cheap products such as coffee mugs and puzzles and towels. There is a fine line between being cheap and commercial and maintaining a brand that sells high end fine art. You can explore the potential avenues of various products but keep them consistent with your brand and market. Perhaps your art would do very well on puzzles and cheaper products because you have decided to appeal to a wider audience with more affordable artwork. It is best that you decide on the focus and direction of your brand and stick to that.

 
Thomas Kinkade is great example of an artist that commercialized his work and reproduced it on thousands of various “cheap” products. He made millions of dollars but at the sacrifice of being stereotyped as a kitsch/“chocolate-box” artist. Many artists want to avoid this stereotype like a plague and don’t create any products other than their original art. I can understand this, but they are missing a valuable opportunity to increase their market and revenue. I personally believe it is very important to have additional passive flows of income because an artist’s sales are never consistent. Truthfully you never know when your next original art piece will sell, so you need a backup plan to cover the bills. What will your backup plan be?

 

Creating Passive Income
04:39