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How do I price my artworks?

As a creator of artist websites, we have found that many artists unsure how to price their works.
Pricing your artworks can be a challenging task, as it involves considering a variety of factors such as the materials you used, the time and effort you put into creating the piece, your level of experience and reputation as an artist, and the demand for your type of art.

Here are some things you may want to consider:

5 steps you can follow to help price your artwork:

  1. Research the market: Look at how other artists in your field and region are pricing their artworks. Check out galleries, art fairs, and online marketplaces to see what prices are being asked for pieces similar to yours. This can give you an idea of the going rate for your type of art.

  2. Consider your costs: Make a list of all the materials and supplies you used to create the piece, as well as any other costs you incurred (such as framing or shipping). Add up these costs to get a rough idea of how much it cost you to make the piece.

  3. Factor in your time and effort: Consider the time and effort you put into creating the piece. How long did it take you to complete? Did you put in a lot of extra hours or work on it outside of your normal schedule? All of these factors can help you determine a fair price for your art.

  4. Determine a base price: Once you have an idea of the going rate for your type of art and how much it cost you to create the piece, you can start to determine a base price. This should be the lowest price you are willing to accept for your artwork.

  5. Set a final price: From your base price, you can then set a final price that takes into account any additional factors that might affect the value of your art. For example, if you are a well-known artist with a strong reputation, you might be able to charge a higher price for your art. On the other hand, if you are just starting out and do not have much of a following, you may need to lower your price to be competitive.

Remember that pricing your art is ultimately up to you, so you should feel comfortable with the price you set. Don't be afraid to ask what your art is worth, but be willing to negotiate if necessary.

Ok, so how does that help me as an artist price my art?

Ultimately, you are the only one who can determine the price for your art and what you feel comfortable with and sometimes this may depend on whether you want to be a full-time artist or whether it is a part-time gig.

What we can do is give you some structure on how to work out your worth as we believe many artists don't charge enough for their artwork, which may be due to a lack of confidence or knowledge in this area.

Take a look at the following example:

Please note: This is an example based on a painting on canvas and using a conservative hourly rate of $40p/h. You can determine your own hourly rate and costs for yourself if you wish.

  1. Materials cost: ($140+$50+$10+$30+$250 = $480)

    1. Canvas (this includes the price of the canvas and the time it took to purchase)
      Canvas = $100 + 1 hour of my time ($40(h/r) = $140

    2. Paints (keep an eye on how many paints you buy and how often and then compare it to how many works you have created)
      Paints (using on average 2.5 tubes of paint per painting at $20ea.) = 2.5 x 20 = $50

    3. Brushes & painting knives (how long does a brush last when painting on average)
      Brush = $10 (on average need to replace 1 brush per artwork)

    4. Other materials (i.e. cleaners, cloths, erasers, pallets, easels, drying racks etc)
      This may be harder to work out however if you have an idea of the amount you spend on other materials per month you could then divide this value by how many paintings you did that month. Other materials = $30

    5. Frames ($250)
      If selling your artwork framed, how much did this cost you? Frame = $250

  2. Time: (15/hrs x $40 = $600)
    This is an easy one - how long did it take to create the painting? It is a good idea to keep track of the time you spend on each painting. You may be surprised by just how long it takes, so don't sell yourself short. In this example, it has taken 15 hours to create an artwork.
    $600

  3. Shipping Costs: Rolled $40 or Framed $150
    Unless you have a full shipping calculator available we would suggest adding your shipping costs to your artwork. The reason we suggest this is we believe offering FREE shipping is a great way to promote your artwork and it makes it a lot easier for the customer when purchasing.

  4. Marketing ($80)
    Why not add a marketing budget for your art, whether that is to boost your post on Instagram or promote an exhibition you're in? For example, if you added a $50 cost for marketing to each artwork, every time you want to boost a new art piece you could allow $50 to promote it. In this step, you may also like to consider the running costs of your website i.e. the monthly costs $30p/m.

  5. Gallery Commission or Online Art Website: 30% to 40%
    If you are selling your work in a local gallery or on an online art-selling platform i.e blue thumb. You will be charged a commission for selling your artwork, this generally gets deducted from the sale before you get paid.

You may have other additional costs such as GST or rent for your studio etc. You could also average these costs depending on how many artworks you sell per month. For this example, these costs are not included, however, you should think about this as well.

Art Price Table Summary

Materials

Canvas

$140

Paints

$50

Brushes & Knives

$10

Other materials

$30

Frames

$250

Time ($40p/h)

Time taken (15hrs)

$600

Shipping

Shipping costs (framed)

$150

Marketing

Promotion

$50

Website costs p/m

$30

Artwork Price =

$1310.05

Gallery Commission
(30%)

+ $561.45

Total Price

$1871.5 (approx)

Do you know the average wage for an artist in Australia?

The average artist's salary in Australia is $76,649 per year or $39.31 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $59,446 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $100,000+ per year. Obviously, these are just averages -you may charge and make less or much more than this. These values are only here to give you a guide based on over 65 different artist salaries in Australia.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the median weekly earnings for artists in Australia as of November 2020 were $1,190. This figure includes both full-time and part-time workers and is based on data collected from a sample of the population, so it is not representative of the entire artist population in Australia. It is also worth noting that earnings can vary widely within the arts industry, and may be influenced by factors such as the type of work an artist does, their level of experience, and the demand for their work.


What are the most common mistakes artists make in pricing?

  1. Spending too much time on low-profit art
    It's understandable to be concerned about spending too much time on an activity that doesn't seem to be generating much profit. However, it's important to consider the value that creating art brings to your life. If you enjoy creating art and it brings you joy, then it may be worth continuing to pursue, even if it doesn't generate a lot of profit.

    At the same time, it's also important to be realistic about the potential for profit in any venture. If you're not seeing much financial return from your art, it might be helpful to consider ways to improve your sales and marketing efforts or to explore other avenues for monetizing your work.

  2. Being afraid of charging full market price
    It's natural to feel nervous or uncertain about charging the full market price for your artwork. It's important to remember that you have spent time, effort, and resources to develop your skills and expertise, and you deserve to be compensated for your work. It's also important to remember that you are providing a high-quality creative service, and your customers will be willing to pay a fair price for them.

    Here are a few tips that may help you feel more confident about charging full market price:

    1. Know your value: Take some time to research and understand what similar artwork is being offered in your market. This will help you determine a fair price for your own offerings.

    2. Communicate your value: Make sure your customers understand the value they are receiving by buying your art. This can help justify the price you are charging.

    3. Offer multiple pricing options: Consider offering different pricing tiers or packages to give your customers flexibility and allow them to choose the option that best meets their needs and budget. This might be achieved by selling prints of your originals.

    4. Don't undervalue your work: Remember that charging less than full market price can devalue your art and make it difficult to increase your prices in the future.

    It's important to be confident in the value you are providing and to charge a fair price for your products or services.

  3. Using Instagram as a sales catalogue:
    Overall, while Instagram can be a useful marketing tool for e-commerce businesses, it may not be the best platform for managing a sales catalogue.

    There are a few reasons why using Instagram as a sales catalogue may not be a good idea:

    1. Limited functionality: Instagram is primarily a social networking and photo-sharing platform, and its e-commerce features are limited. It does not have the same level of functionality as dedicated e-commerce platforms like Udo, Shopify or WooCommerce, meaning it is difficult to manage a large catalogue of products.

    2. Limited discoverability: With Instagram, it can be difficult for potential customers to discover your products unless they are already following you or actively searching for your brand. This can make it difficult to reach a wide audience and drive sales.

    3. Limited customer interaction: Instagram is not designed for customer interaction and support, so it can be challenging to provide the same level of service as you would on a dedicated e-commerce platform.

  4. Being afraid to sell your art:
    It is completely natural to feel nervous or anxious about selling your art. After all, you have likely put a lot of time, effort, and emotion into creating your pieces. It can be difficult to let go of something you have poured so much of yourself into. However, it is important to remember that selling your art can be an important part of being an artist. It can help you to support yourself financially and to get your work out into the world where others can appreciate it. It can also be a way to connect with others who appreciate and value your work. If you are feeling nervous about selling your art, you might try setting small goals for yourself, such as selling a certain number of pieces or exhibiting your work in a local gallery.

  5. Procrastination & overwhelm when creating:
    If you are struggling with procrastination and feeling overwhelmed when creating something new, here are a few additional strategies that might help:

    1. Start small: Just make a start rather than trying to tackle everything at once. Instead, start with a small, achievable task and build from there. This can help you get into the flow of things and make progress without feeling overwhelmed.

    2. Set a deadline: Giving yourself a deadline can help you focus and stay motivated. Make sure to allow yourself enough time to complete the task, but not so much that you feel like you have an endless amount of time.

    3. Find your optimal work environment: Experiment with different work environments and find one that works best for you. This might be a quiet office, a bustling coffee shop, or something in between.

    4. Take breaks: It's important to take breaks and give yourself time to recharge. Step away from your work for a few minutes every hour or so to stretch, walk around, or do something enjoyable.

    5. Seek feedback: Asking for feedback from others can help you stay on track and make sure you are headed in the right direction. Consider sharing your work with a trusted friend or mentor and asking for their thoughts and suggestions.

    6. Break the task down into smaller chunks: If the task feels overwhelming, try breaking it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. This can help you feel more in control and make progress without feeling overwhelmed.


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