7 Factors That Are Influencing Your Art Price That Shouldn't
The purpose of this blog post is to bring awareness, I recommend you do your own research and come to your own conclusions.
My conclusion is the current art world pricing structure is not as it should be - it is racist, it is gender-biased, and it does not reward exceptional art.
I intend to change that, starting with you and me.
When I first started selling my artwork around 2004 (after 4 years of instructional painting). Pricing my artwork was a total guess, I did no real calculations, I wasn't keeping track of cost of materials, how much time it took etc because I was working and my art was a hobby and really I just wanted enough to fund my hobby - buy me a canvas + a hobby lobby gift card and I was your painting slave!
But as more and more people began wanting my paintings and commissioning me for artwork I knew I needed a repeatable price point. And so I began to search for a pricing structure.
Now for those who don't know me, I have an undergrad degree in marketing and hold 2 masters in business, an MBA with a concentration in Management Information Systems, and another Masters in Project Management with a concentration in eCommerce. I worked for 15 years in the corporate world implementing various software solutions and then ended my corporate career managing a team of project managers and implementation consultants.
Throughout that experience I saw EXACTLY how members of the team were getting paid and in my personal experience I knew that skillset, experience, and title played in the determination of salary.
So in the corporate world, the salary computation looks something like the above diagram. Essentially, your salary will increase 1 to 6% every year following a performance review. The percentage of increase is dependent on your skills, experience, and how well the overall company performed.
Some people continue to move up the corporate ladder and others reach a plateau in promotions, but their salary may increase within their paygrade (each step represents a paygrade).
This makes sense.
In the art world, what I found was that the amount that independent artists would get paid could be based on the following 7 Factors* (see cited articles below for evidence).
- location (Atlanta artist vs. an artist in a one-stop-light town)
- medium (watercolor artists vs. oil painting artists)
- sexual orientation
- and the biggest variable that dictates them all is ‘how I feel’.
So for example two artists could be painting in Atlanta, both have 4 years of experience, both do pet portraits. They even learned from the same teacher. But because one feels they are really good so they charge $100 for an 8x10" and the other feels just ok and charges $50…
The result is when the $100 artist gets the comment “that’s kind of high isn’t it”, they then feel like they aren’t charging the right amount - the reason - THEY DON’T HAVE A SOLID FORMULA TO BASE PRICE THEIR ARTWORK.
And BTW - the price per square inch formula and the price by linear inch - are formulas that were not developed for you! More on that in the next article...
This is exactly why artists struggle to take money for their art because there is not a standard, instead their pricing model is mostly based on a feeling and societal labels!
I'm not Ok with doing things as they have always been done.
As a result, I've developed a LOGICAL and non-emotional way of computing the amount you should charge!
If you have listened to our Podcast Artists Soar you will hear me chat briefly about how my overthinking solves problems. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a problem I solved.
My Art Pricing Calculator removes all variables of Race, Gender, Geographical Location and instead bases the price you should charge on Skill and Experience.
Order your copy of the book "Art Pricing Secrets: Ethically Pricing Creativity. The Formula That Works." here.
Articles proving that Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation are Factors in Art Pricing
The following is a list of some of the most recent instances of the art industry's failures in fairly pricing artwork. The purpose of this blog post is to bring awareness, I recommend you do your own research and come to your own conclusions about how the pricing structures are inadequate.
My conclusion is the current art world pricing structure is not as it should be - it is racist, it is gender-biased, and it does not reward exceptional art and artists.
I intend to change that starting with you and me. Help me spread the word, and share this article on your social networks.
Inspire - Motivate - Create!
- “White male artists dominate US galleries”
- “Museum art collections are very male and very white”
- “Gender Bias Reveals Consequences For Female Artists”
- “Christie's sold Teenage, Transgender Artwork for $2.16 Million at auction”.
- This $90 Million Gay Painting Just Broke Art World Sales Records