How to Price Your Artwork for Galleries for a Mutually Profitable Relationship

art pricing

Pricing your artwork can be tricky and very concerning right?  Often times it can feel like such a big or small number and it just doesn't 'feel' right.  

That's where the Art Pricing Formula comes into play.   There is a price that you should be charging for Gallery art placement and that may differ from what you can offer friends and family (should you so choose - that is a business decision you can make). 

In the video above I chat with you about how the Art Pricing Calculator can guide you to determine the price you should charge for artwork to ensure you come out making a profit.

Here is the transcript for readers :) 

Introduction to Pricing Artwork For Galleries


Hey, so we're actually going to talk a little bit about art pricing. And so the other day I asked the question on my Facebook page;
How much does a gallery take in commission?

A 50%,
B, 60%,
C, 30%, so on.

So everybody guessed different answers. And the truth is you're all right. It depends on the gallery.

Recently, I signed up with a gallery and a store where both of them are taking 50%. So, you can imagine if you don't have your artwork priced correctly, you're going to start eating into any particular profit that you might have or any type of owner's draw that you might want to take in order to actually have a thriving art business and to be able to live off your art.

On a fun side note: So I have this fun little thing here that I created that says Exposure is for nudists, not artists.  Grab it here in your size and the color you want.

Galleries have overhead

So getting your work in the galleries is great, it's fabulous. But you need to look at it, not as exposure, but more as this is a collaborative group project. In a way, they are effectively marketing and providing a brick and mortar space, and that's why they're taking 50%.

It totally makes sense because they've got their list of people, they're providing the utilities, they're paying people to sit in the gallery, and so on to sell your artwork. So that being said, had I not used the art pricing calculator, my artwork would not have been priced appropriately and I would have eaten into my profits.



Art Pricing Factors included in Pricing (take a look at the video at 1:45 minutes - it helps!)

So that is one of the ways I use my art pricing formula. And you'll notice here, this is a little bit about it, art pricing formula, it's a spreadsheet that I have some macros and things built in based on your experience level - Spreadsheets are available with the book "Art Pricing Secrets: Ethically Pricing Creativity. The Formula That Works".

So, I am only at an experience level of five [Art Pricing Secrets Book and the Positive Painter Path Guide help you define where you are on your artist mastery career level], which means I can create clients by invitations or referral and I have repeat clients and this is something that I've been doing for a while. (So it's and I don't really know if I'm going to get to level six and level seven). There are multiple levels here. But with the art pricing calculator, you know, I've been at this level for probably about four years. And so this is my hourly wage based on a number of key factors that I put into this art pricing calculator and I've been developing over the years.

This art pricing calculator really kind of saved my butt.

I've got a large piece that's 36 x 48" and it's here waiting to be delivered to a gallery in Tennessee. And so when I look at that one and I put in how many hours I worked on it, the materials and stuff probably cost me 100 bucks. I probably spent 40 hours.

So based on my experience and everything, this is the price that I should be asking for it now. $9,213.47. So based on that, listed in column G would effectively be the wholesale cost. So what this tells me is I have a range of $5,980 that I can get my return on investment. So that return investment is my time and materials and then even make a little extra to live on type of thing.

So that's one of the ways that the art pricing calculator really helps you price your artwork correctly.

How to Price Artwork that Will NEVER go into a Gallery

You'll also notice that on my website I have affordable art. So these are pieces that I don't intend to give to a gallery to sell. 

So for example, here I have a six by six, I paid about $7.50 per panel, I probably spend about 2 hours on each of those. And so if I were to send it to a gallery, I would definitely charge $467.80 because I know they're going to take 50%. (If it's a nonprofit gallery, it's probably about 30%, but most galleries are for profit.) So $467 is what I've charged for that. But because it's on my website, I have some leeway with that. And that's where this wiggle room comes into play. And I know we're in economic hard economic times right now. So there are a lot of people that love my art that can necessarily for these gallery prices.

A Note about Target Audiences: And one thing to note there, most people that go to galleries are going for the larger pieces, not these small ones.  So you kind of have to decide, well, who is my target audience when you create a piece?

And so anyway, galleries can charge this and they have the right target audience to charge that. That is not necessarily my friends and family. (Okay. Love you guys. Don't mean to be rude or anything, but friends and family don't really want to spend $500 on a six-by-six painting, even though totally worth it. These pieces are fabulous. Love them.) Well, so anyway, that's where the affordable art comes in. These are pieces that I know will never touch a gallery. Because, frankly, I don't want them in a gallery. I want bigger pieces in a gallery. So that's another way I use our pricing calculators to use that wiggle room for friends and family type discount stuff.

So a lot of information is jam-packed into 5 minutes and 37 seconds. So if you have any questions about the art pricing calculator, just feel free to pop them in the questions below.

To answer your original question, how much do galleries typically take? It does range from 30 to 50% depending on the type of gallery it is. And go grab the Art Pricing Secrets Book and start ethically pricing your creativity with a formula that works!

I'm Stephanie Weaver. Until next time, stay safe, happy and healthy and happy curating. Bye, guys.

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