Friday, December 3, 2010

How Do I Price My Work?

     Now this is a tricky question in today’s economy!  It seems everyone has an opinion about how you should price your work.   Galleries want a square inch price, and damn your time.   Some customers think your price less 20%, sounds close to their liking.
     For me, this has always been a hit or miss affair.  However, we have to start somewhere.  Let’s assume you’re new to the art game.  Start at a reasonable price, based on your time invested.  You will have to determine what this figure is for you, but set the price, then see what transpires.
Among The Workers
by Mark Kohler
     I have always tried to price myself into the market.  I observe other artists, who have priced their work out of the market, and I find a comfortable price range where I feel my work will move. 
     How do I know when I need to raise my price?  When I’m in great demand and I can’t keep up.  That’s the simple answer for all of us.  But if you’ve got an inventory of forty paintings and the phone isn’t ringing, you may want to take a hard look at your pricing.
     My friend Carrie Ballantyne recently had 6 conte drawings at a gallery in Cody, Wyoming.  They all averaged between $6500 and $6900.  At first consideration, you may think this is a lot for a drawing.  But let’s break it down.
     Carrie’s work requires many hours of tedious, detailed drawing.  Her style is photo realistic and there is no shortcutting here.  Additionally, her work is sold in advance, and I dare say, with a waiting list of collectors seeking to add her work to their collection.
Harold Holden
by Carrie Ballantyne
     These two factors alone, combined with top-flight shows that seek her work (like the Prix de West) make a good argument that $6500 for her drawings is a steal.
     I’ll admit it….the pricing game for a young artist is tough, but I would air on the side of caution.  Get paintings moving, and then slowly start to increase your price.  When you’ve no inventory and a backlog of collectors, then you can write your own ticket. 

Content and "Among The Workers" © Mark Kohler Studio.
"Harold Holden" © Carrie Ballantyne.

1 comment: