Pricing your art can be a challenging task – you would like to secure a price that represents the time and expense you have devoted to your work, but it must still be reasonable and appealing to buyers. How should you balance both sides while considering other factors? The rest of this guide will work to get you started on your pricing journey.

Principles of pricing for new artists in the market

Consider the Market:

While it is obviously important to price your art pieces according to their own merits, it is also incredibly important to consider what is going on in the art world around you.

  • Consider the pricing of other artwork similar to yours by artists of similar popularity.
  • Compare current prices of art with different sizes, styles, and mediums.
  • Remain objective about your art and about where it is when considering the bigger picture. Invite someone who knows your work, but isn't too close to give you a fair valuation of your work (ask them how much they would pay for such a piece).

Basic Pricing Strategy:

  • Determine an acceptable hourly pay.
  • Multiply this by the hours you have spent on creating the work.
  • Add cost for materials

If for example, you settle on an hourly pay of $20 and you have spent 20 hours on creating the work, and have used materials in the amount of $100, your calculation will look like this:

20 hours x $20 hourly rate = $400

Material costs = $100

Price for the artwork = $400 + $100 = $500

Tip: Expand your appeal and try to offer pieces at various price points. 

Principles for pricing for artists with a sales history

Price your work based on your documented results, sales, and exhibit history. Art sales are not immune to the ups and downs of the larger economy. Artists must make the necessary price adjustments to reflect market conditions.

How to price your prints (Limited edition)

Fixing prices for limited editions is not much different from the strategy outlined above:

  • How much does it cost to produce an edition of 30 pieces, and how many hours do you spend doing it?
  • Divide this by the number of pieces to get the price per unit.

Remember that ideally, all editions need to sell out!

When Pricing Your Prints, the Two Primary Price Factors are the Following:

  1. Print type and quality
  2. Quantity – If only 10 prints are made, this is more exclusive than an edition of 30 pieces. Therefore, the 10 pieces should be priced higher

Other factors to consider

  • Your exhibit success and other achievements in the art world
  • How long have you been selling?
  • Additional costs, such as gallery commission fees, may also need to be taken into consideration.
  • If you sell the majority of your works over a longer period, you should consider adjusting your hourly rate upward or factor in a price increase of 10% on your existing artwork.
  • Can you justify the price? Can you break it down and explain it to another person? If not, it may make sense to review your pricing.

Do you need further help pricing your art?

If so, you are welcome to send an e-mail to our expert, Anders Cederholm – He can give you an objective valuation and perhaps a few tips.

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