Category: Personal Development Written by Rebecca Smith
It’s no surprise that being a professional artist can be an arduous task with little to no reward if you do not know how to market yourself and your artwork correctly. As an artist, you understand the intricacies and nuances that go into each aspect of your métier. From the moment of inspiration to purchasing materials and finally, to the actual creation of your art piece, everything counts.
An even more daunting task arrives in the form of actually getting your work into the homes of potential clients; who are they? And will they see the same value you see in your art? This article will detail the key steps to effectively pricing your art and helping you land a steady stream of income as a professional artist.
Let us be honest here; pricing your artwork is no easy task. Your art piece is unique. It is not a mass-produced vase from Home Sense or an artful knick-knack from IKEA’s aisle of doom. You poured in the blood, sweat, and tears (as well as the necessary hours) to create something wholly unique and personal to you. So, how do you price it?
Never Sell Yourself Short
Remember, you are a professional artist, and this is your livelihood. Making art pieces takes time and money (just like any regular job). Do not sell yourself short because you are working in a conventional workplace. Your hard work matters just as much as someone who works an office job. With that being said, consider giving yourself a living wage. You are trying to provide for yourself and possibly a partner or even a family. Need more guidance on how to price your art? Go by the hour.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hourly wage for fine artists is an estimated $31.26. For Canadians, the rate is around 20.56 CAD an hour, according to PayScale.
Understand the Market You Are Selling To
When you create art to be sold, think of the type of client you wish to attract. Do you want your art sold from an online shop? Your physical store or sold in a prestigious gallery in an affluent part of the city? Where you sell your art can quickly help determine the price.
Be Honest, Be Consistent
With that said, please be consistent with your pricing. Changing the price to a slightly higher number due to increased material costs is no big issue, but also be transparent with your price listings. Do not keep your prices shrouded in mystery. According to the Artwork Archive, it is best to avoid having potential customers ask for the price of your artwork. It could lead many to believe you are constantly changing your prices, basing them off the person asking or their level of interest. If you want to create a good rapport with your potential clients, being honest and consistent is critical. Seeing the price upfront gives the client a better chance of deciding whether to purchase your art piece.
Do not hesitate to share the hidden value behind your artwork. This can range from years of experience creating art, studying in the university to earn a fine arts degree to the very material you require to make your art pieces. Methods used are also of value. Empty Easel explains the importance of sharing every aspect that goes into your art-making. Share every minute detail of the material you invest in. Photographers can use a special kind of paper to print their work or use high-quality ink. Painters are often known to up the value of their work by mentioning they build their frames or stretch their own canvases. Every effort counts and holds value. Once people understand these qualities, they will understand your reasoning behind the price you allotted your art piece.
Market Yourself: Social Media is Your Friend
Finally, we live in an age where you can be your spokesperson, your brand ambassador if you will. Trust in the power of social media to share your artistic creations with the world. This enables you easy access to a world of potential clients, and a healthy following can help surround your art with some much-needed buzz. An online presence is an asset with many people accustomed to an online shopping experience. Having your website to house your perfectly curated portfolio also adds to your credibility as a professional artist, giving you more appeal to clients and some leeway into your pricing.
Pricing your artwork takes time and a lot of thought, but it is not an impossible task. Remember that your hard work has value, and never offer your art for a ridiculously low price or, worse yet, for free. Exposure does not pay the bills.
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