If you want to be taken seriously, be professional and price your art fairly. Do not price your work too high and certainly not to low. Stick to your prices for one year and review them annually. Most art prices either stay the same or go up. Art prices should never go down.
Invariably when you start making art as a hobby the idea of making money from your creations naturally comes to mind. When someone begins to consider a price for their work they inevitably start looking at the prices being charged by artists they admire. Some beginners feel that they are at the same level as their teacher or a professional artist they admire and they start charging the same prices or higher. Others feel that they are not quite there yet and sell their art for almost nothing. These two scenarios are the most frequent ones that we see.
There are those who feel really good about themselves and others with very low-self-esteem.
What is a fair price?
Renowned art expert Sylvia White mentions two important things. The first being that the buyer must educate themselves about the artist and secondly the buyer must take the artist’s career into consideration when contemplating a purchase. There should be a difference between someone who paints as a hobby and someone who has spent decades as a professional and the pricing of the art should reflect that.
The other problem that always seems to come up in any conversation is gallery price versus artist price. The reality today is that most galleries are taking a 50% to 75% commission. This makes most amateur artists very angry. This anger stems from them not charging enough for their work in the first place. Everyone understands that fifty percent of nothing is nothing right? This resentment makes some artists very hard to talk to and to work with when a gallery attempts to represent them. Their lack of professional experience in working with a gallery causes them to become very radical and an outspoken advocates of self-promotion and direct sales. These artists will almost always charge a lower price to the direct client and a higher one in a gallery relationship. This way of thinking always makes it harder for a gallery to sell their work for them and will actually keep the artist from getting a fair price for their work. It also makes them less likely to be taken seriously by a professional gallery.
The benefits of working with a gallery
One of the main benefits of working with a gallery is that they will assist you in getting a fair price for your work. They will make sure that they get you a fair price for your work. They are your advocate and want to make money too!
Remember this: The first words out of every “direct client’s” mouth will be “deep discount”. Believe it or not I’ve had people offer 100 dollars on a 4000 dollar painting. They want to get the best deal from you. Working with a gallery will prevent you from caving in to these outrageous demands. Many amateur artists are also unaware that some of their clients may be dishonest art dealers who request low prices from them and then take their substantially discounted purchases and sell them at incredible profit to their own clients.
Working with a professional gallery
If you are interested in working with a professional gallery may I suggest that you always work in gallery prices in your studio. By doing this you will always be assured to get what you want for your work. Never ever give 50% discounts! It sends the wrong message to collectors. During my career some gallery owners have posed as clients first to see how ethical I was. They wanted to see if I would sell my work to them directly at a discounted price and cut my current representation out of the deal. Remember you never know who are dealing with!
Remember art is currency.