Abby, Asleep on Daddy's Shoulder: This was one of my first portraits...Well, it was first after I drew it four times!
I had three people send emails this week asking that I present the one question that as artists we all struggle with at some time or the other...What should I charge?
"How do you set your prices"...I'm going to give my contribution to this question and hope others will chime in, giving some feed back on how you arrived at your starting prices and the thoughts or formulas you've used as you raised your prices.
When I had enough confidence to start selling my work, I checked out what others artists in my medium were charging for portraits and used that as a guide. I set a price schedule for my commissioned portraits that I thought I could live with...that was neither at the bottom or at the top, knowing that I could raise it later...and I priced my original still life drawings using the same price schedule.
What I charged for my originals that first year paid me about seven dollars an hour after presentation expenses (mat, glass, frame ect.) were deducted. My Originals started at $185 and LE's were $49. I used a 5x mark-up to figure the print price.
I have increased the price on my originals considerably over the years, but still use the 5x mark-up as a guide for pricing my Open Edition Prints (presented with a backing board and packaged...$30-39). My Limited Editions are double the price of the Open Editions...(presented in a double mat/certificate of authenticity and packaged). Artist Proofs are double the price of Limited Editions...(presented same as LE's).
**I feel the prices on my original drawings are now comparable to others of the same quality and such that if sold in a gallery I would be satisfied with my 40-50% commission. Also by using a 5x mark-up for prints I can afford to wholesale them to retailers and still make a profit.
One thing that I firmly believe is this...your price should be your price...regardless of where you sell your art. Consumers resent one price on the web and another at a gallery and yet another at art fairs. Your price should be consistent across the board.
This is a very simplified explanation, when you get into it there are many other things to take into consideration depending on the medium you work in and your venue and hopefully others will comment on these things.
So I ask you: When you were just beginning, how did you decide what to charge for your art? What formulas, if any do you use today? How do you know it's time to increase your prices?
We need some words of wisdom for new artists.
The "Chat Line" is open...I'm is anxious to hear your thoughts and ideas on these questions. And as always, please feel free to comment on what others have to say.
Have a wonderful weekend,
Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques
PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment.