The Art Pricing Calculator That Is Designed for the Artist's Success

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How to price your artwork - the Art Pricing Calculator

Over the last several articles we have explored the 

  1. 7 Factors That Are Influencing Your Art Price That Shouldn't

  2. The 3 Common Art Pricing Formulas and How They Are Failing You

So now the question that you've been dying to know is: what is the right formula?!

Here is the explanation of my Art Pricing Calculator that:

  • IS NOT Racist,
  • IS NOT Gender Biased,
  • IS NOT location-specific,
  • IS this generation's model for pricing your artwork so you can sell online AND drive towards making a LIVING WAGE!



Explanation of the New Pricing Model for Art

My formula is specifically for Living Artists who Sell Artwork Online or without the aid of a gallery.  

For artists working with Galleries: Use my formula and add the % that the gallery is compensated for the sale, because, in truth, they earned it (they have rent, lights, marketing, expenses, and such - but do not diminish your fee below your wholesale cost)

My formula is a 2 part formula to calculate the cost you should charge for a piece of art.  

  • Part 1 of the formula is to calculate the Wholesale Cost. (note: COM means Cost of Materials)
  • Part 2 is to calculate the total cost. 

In this formula, you have 2 variables we are going to solve for: “Hourly Rate” and “Experience Factor”. 

Let’s start with what we know:

We Know that experience comes with time and practical application of a learned skill. 

According to Dreyfus & Dreyfus Model for Skill Acquisition, there are 7 Phases of Skill Acquisition that everyone goes through as they progress in their skill sets, art is not exempt from this progression.  

The 7 Phases are:

  1. Novice
  2. Advanced Beginner
  3. Competent
  4. Proficient
  5. Expert
  6. Mastery
  7. Practical Wisdom

  We also know that the Retail Market has a set range of markup:

  • The Retail markup can range between 100% and 350% (which is 2 and 7 times, and in some cases more) the cost of wholesale according to
  • According to the Art Marketing Podcast, who also run Art Storefronts, you should mark up your price at least 200% over the cost (which equates to 4x the cost).  
  • The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook, 15th Edition: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines retail costs, lists the sale of original art ranges from 25-200% of the original fee depending on the type of graphic work.  This breaks down to a factor between  1.25 to 4.25  times the wholesale cost. 

So if we use the industry-standard that Art Storefronts and the high-end that the Graphic Artists Guild identifies as a maximum of 200% markup, we now have a factor of 4x the wholesale cost. 

BUT then is it fair that a Novice artist gets 4 times the markup cost when we know that they spend more hours creating a single piece than a master and very likely their artwork is not at the same level as a master?

The answer is no. 

That’s where my formula goes even a step further to ensure that a novice makes less than a master.  The formula has divided the 4 times retail factor among the experience levels, called the Experience Multiplier. 

This experience multiplier is then used to calculate the hourly wage. 

The hourly wage range is based on the Bureau of Labor in 2020, where the minimum amount earned was $9.41 and the maximum salary range was $59.09/hour for visual artists.  With the knowledge of $59.09/hour, I could then derive a paygrade shift between the 7 levels.     

Your hourly wage is increased 20% for each year that you remain at that skill level. 

Why 20% increase? 

Because as the artist, you are also the business owner, the HR department, the legal department, the networking agent, and IT specialist - you deserve a 20% increase each year you are in business. 

THE RESULT, MY PRICING MODEL IS BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCE LEVEL and a pricing structure that drives towards a living wage!

Order your copy of the book "Art Pricing Secrets: Ethically Pricing Creativity. The Formula That Works." here

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