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How do you price your work?


(Andrea Jeris) #1

I know the auction format lets the market determine the price but you still have to have a starting price. I try to keep consistent according to size but my emotions pull at me to lower the price on a piece I don’t like (that I probably should not be showing really) and to up the price on those that I really love. I don’t differ the price by time spent because buyers won’t see that unless it’s really really complicated vs. obviously simple.

P.S. remember that buyers and artists can read this forum


(Sunny Avocado) #2

I do the same Andrea. I do hear that size/medium should be consistent. But there are some subjects/styles that just take longer than others. And I spend waay more time than I will ever get from my art but I figure I get better and I get faster. :stuck_out_tongue:


(David Kuhn) #3

On the one hand, I’ve heard the conventional wisdom regarding keeping things consistent; that if, for example, you have two 8x10s they should be the same price, because they’re the same size. And like you said, the buyer can’t tell that you put ten times more work into one piece over another, so…

On the other hand, I heard once on a podcast an artist whose work goes for many thousands of dollars say he prices according to how willing he is to part with a piece. With anything that means a lot to him (for whatever the reason) he jacks up the price well beyond whatever else there is that size, and sometimes there’s someone who wants to own it more than he wants to keep it, and they pay the high price. That makes sense in a very basic supply and demand kind of way.


(Sunny Avocado) #4

Interesting, that is an urge I try to fight within myself-to raise a price of a piece I wouldn’t mind keeping around for a while…

I think we all need more demand for our supply… :wink:


(Wendi Vann Johnson) #5

I have 2 pricing tiers in my artwork, and although I sell more locally than online, this idea might be helpful to some. My first tier is original paintings that make the cut to become part of my print portfolio. They are priced with a sliding range variance of $1.50 -2.50 a square inch (smalls are usually the higher end of the range). This pricing range also gives me the freedom to price more complex paintings appropriately.

The second tier is the originals I’m not inclined to invest in reproducing (not my favorites :wink:). They become a classification I call “studies”. I’ll use the word “Study” in the title, so that it implies to buyers that these are my practice canvases. (For example: “Reflection Study”, “Parrot Study”, etc.) In a brick and mortar gallery they are packaged in plastic sleeves and placed with the prints, not hung on the wall. They can be purchased for significantly less than my Tier 1 originals and I feel good about letting them go for less. I don’t feel this system devalues my main body of work at all. The additional benefits are that I can now view them as my “practice works” rather than “fails” and this system also opens my original market to additional art buyers. Just an idea to pass on…

P.S. To further differentiate, I also use a stylized monogram to sign “studies”, retaining my full artist signature for my 1st tier originals.


(David Kuhn) #6

What I’ve been wondering is why do we fight it? Unless, of course, simply moving inventory is the top priority (nothing wrong with that).

Wendi: sounds like a good, well-thought-out system.


(Andrea Jeris) #7

Oh I like that philosophy, thanks.


(Barbara Lemley) #8

Hey…wvannjohnson. Thank you. I never thought of that. Great ideas.
I usually take the size of the canvas and multiply it by 2 and double that. 16 x 20 = 320 x 2=640.00 If it has lots of detail taking a while, I know I can charge 640.00 and expect a good sale. If the work was relatively simple I charge 320.00. So far it works for me. I can always work with a customer if they are shocked by the price. I try not to go under the 320.00 mark. Using your idea is giving me another way to feel better about selling something Im not very happy with. Marking it as a “practice work” would make ME feel better and give the buyer a chance at a good deal.


(Barbara Lemley) #9

It took me years to figure out how to make me happy and not feel like I was asking too much. I usually take the size of the canvas and multiply it by 2 and double that. 16 x 20 = 320 x 2=640.00 If it has lots of detail taking a while, I know I can charge 640.00 and expect a good sale. If the work was relatively simple I charge 320.00. If it was very detailed and extra hard, or a commissioned job involving faces, I charge a little more.
So far it works for me. I can always work with a customer if they are shocked by the price. I try not to go under the 320.00 mark. Using your idea is giving me another way to feel better about selling something Im not very happy with. Marking it as a “practice work” would make ME feel better and give the buyer a chance at a good deal. I dont want to ask too much I fee like Im not worthy, and I dont want to ask too little because it makes me feel like Im giving it away. I want all involved to feel like they got a good deal. I know a lady that even adds the sides of the canvas if she paints that. I never thought about that one either. But, shes awesomely good. :slight_smile: