Optus’ Biz Think Tank has chosen one hundredth gallery to be their featured business during the next month! Please click below to check it out!
This very cool stop-motion video was shot by Keith Melder, one of the photographers currently exhibiting at one hundredth gallery until Sunday 2 October 2011.
The video goes for just over a minute and is well worth a watch, espcially with sound! Please click on the image below to get it started.
Stop Animation: Keith Melder
Music: Blue Monday, New Order – 1983
Many artists are not business people. They do not come from an economics, science, or mathematics backgrounds. Some do, but many do not.
Artists are artists. They are creative people that transcend economics, science, and maths. They are people that pour their hearts and souls into their art; and into creating something that has not existed before.
Many artists would love to live off their art. They would love to give up their ‘employer derived income’ and live off the proceeds of their art. They would love to create for a living and get paid for it… not in the ‘starving artist’ kind of way, but in a more comfortable ‘I can eat and pay the rent and bills with money to spare’ kind of way.
Unsurprisingly, many of the artists that I have been speaking with during the past 6 months do not have a pricing strategy for their artwork. Actually, I lie. Their strategy is to get as much as they possibly can for their work to ensure sales.
When you pour your heart and soul into your artwork; and when you want other people to want your work, a pricing strategy for artists is usually not top of mind.
So, here are three simple tips to help artists price their work.
1. Start with your base costs
Art can be an expensive business. It is very important that you keep track of how much money you spend on producing your artwork. The vast majority of artists do not know how much their artwork cost them to produce; even though it is one of the simplest things to work out.
Keep receipts for everything, especially for the materials that you use to create your artwork. Canvases, paint, brushes, mediums, solvents, clay, wire, paper; anything that you buy or are given to use on your artwork. If you buy a whole tube of oil paint but only use 10%, then apply 10% of its cost to your base cost.
Don’t forget to count the services involved in producing your artwork. Photographic processing, kiln firing fees, canvas stretching, models, props, framing, hanging systems, presentation systems, studio fees, printing press rental. All of these costs contribute to your base costs. You may even want to determine
how much electricity, gas, and water you used to produce an artwork.
Add all of the above costs together to determine the base cost of your artwork. If for example, all of your costs for a painting come to $100, then this is the base cost of your artwork.
You now know how much you need to sell the artwork for to break even, and how much you need to sell it for to make a profit.
There is a very simple rule of thumb that the wholesale/retail industry works on. This isn’t true for everyone but it will give you a start. Generally speaking you will multiply your base cost by 2 to get a wholesale rate and then multiply it by 2 again to get your retail rate. In other words, if you are selling your artwork direct, then you should multiply your base cost by somewhere between 2 and 4 to get your sale price.
If you are selling through a gallery, don’t forget to add their commission to your price!
2. Calculate what your time is worth
The calculation of the base cost above does not necessarily take your time into account; and this is a very important factor in determining the price of your work.
The standard work week is 38 hours. This equates to 1976 hours per year. The number 1976 is important as it will help you determine what your hourly rate is.
Without going crazy, work out what sort of gross salary you would be comfortable with to do your art full time. Is it $50,000 per year? $60,000, or $100,000?
Regardless of the figure, divide it by 1976 to get your ideal hourly rate. Here are some examples…
- $50,000 = $25.30 per hour
- $60,000 = $30.36 per hour
- $70,000 = $35.43 per hour
- $80,000 = $40.49 per hour
- $90,000 = $45.55 per hour
- $100,000 = $50.61 per hour
Keep a rough record of how long an artwork takes you to produce and multiply your ideal hourly rate by the number of hours it took you.
For example, if a painting takes you 6 hours (on and off) to produce and you’re happy with $50k a year, then your time cost for the artwork is $151.80. If you’re a photographer, how long did the shoot take? How long did the post-processing take?
If you add this amount to the base cost in point one, you will have an even better ‘cost’ of your artwork and won’t need to randomly multiply the base cost as previously suggested.
3. Research your competition
Bill Henson can sell his limited edition photographic prints for $15,000 (or more) each; paintings by Picasso sell for millions.
I’d suggest that you are probably not competing with these artists, but if you are I am privileged that you are reading this.
Go to art galleries, framing shops, furniture shops, and interior design specialists. Find out what they are charging for their pieces. How do they compare to yours? Is yours better? Is yours more exclusive because it is a one-off? Is there more work in yours? Does the artist of the other pieces have a name in the industry? Are they well known?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you know where you and your artwork is positioned. If you are too close to your own work to know the answers, get some objective friends to help or see a gallery owner (like me!) for some independent advice.
If you have done the calculations above in Points 1 & 2, and have determined that the cost of your work is (e.g.) $251.80, but you can see other artworks that are of a similar quality to yours selling for $1,000, then maybe your artwork should be valued at somewhere between $800 and $1200?
Don’t be shy, but do try and stay reasonable. At the end of the day, artists are responsible for pricing their work. If you don’t ask for the price that you will be happy with, I can guarantee that you won’t get it.
Artists also need to consider things like their intellectual property, their studies, their technique, professional memberships, their point of difference, their expertise, etc. etc.
Pricing artwork is not a science; it is more of an art, so artists should be quite good at it!
Use the points above as a guide to help, but please also make sure that you are always striving to achieve what you want to achieve out of your art; financially or not.
What if we summoned the courage to take full responsibility for our careers instead of placing our future in someone else’s hands?
What if we used our creative abilities to think up new and exciting ways to market our work?
What we embraced the very real fact that artists are entrepreneurs?
What if we stopped making excuses, and started making choices?
What if we worked harder at building relationships with people who have shown interest in our work?
What if we were less afraid to step into the spotlight and stopped hiding behind our work?
What if we stopped expecting our art to “speak for itself” and became the passionately vocal champions of our own work?
What if we stopped worrying about accumulating lines on our resume and focused our energy on building relationships with would-be collectors?
What if we told everyone we met that we are artists and confidently invited them to see our work?
What if we stopped blaming the economy?
What if instead of spending money on entry fees, we invested in marketing classes?
What if we stopped waiting for external approval?
What if we worried less about “the art world” and focused more on creating a productive and consistent studio practice?
What if we finished what we started?
What if we stopped searching for a quick fix?
What if we developed discipline?
What if we stopped treating out profession like a hobby?
What if we talked less about what we want to do, and skipped right to the actual “doing” part?
What if we stopped apologizing for being artists?
What if we asked for help when we needed it?
What if we stopped feeling afraid/ashamed/nervous about making money?
What if we learned to price our work in a way that doesn’t under-valued our skill and experience?
What if we stopped comparing ourselves to others?
What if we were less afraid?
What if we spent just as much time marketing our work as making our work?
What if we reached out to help other artists instead of seeing them as competition?
What if we stopped waiting to be rescued?
What if we rescued ourselves?
If you haven’t already, please sign up to http://baangandburne.com/blog/ as it is a great place to visit when you’re ready for new ways to expand the possibilities and opportunities for your art career.
one hundredth gallery is for everyone new to art and we know that we can help you get your head around some of the great questions posed by Baang + Burne.
As you may have read, we recently tested a not-so-new way of selling artwork. We ran a silent auction of three artworks as a part of introducing new art and new artists to the public.
Whilst there was sporadic bidding on the artworks, all three passed in for between $565 and $610. I hadn’t mentioned it previous posts, but the original listing price on each was $1950.
With the artist’s expectations now reset, all three acrylic on cardboard paintings from 1998 and 1999 are now priced at $990. All three paintings are extremely vibrant; are of generous proportions, are framed (with glass) and can be viewed in the gallery at 49 Porter Street, Prahran.
one hundredth gallery is for everyone new to art.
As a part of introducing new art and new artists to the public, we are very excited to test a not-so-new way of selling artwork.
We have three artworks for sale via a silent auction. The three pieces are framed acrylic on cardboard paintings from 1998 and 1999. All three paintings are extremely vibrant; are of generous proportions and can be viewed in the gallery at 49 Porter Street, Prahran.
Updated prices can be viewed on the auction page.
You’ve got to be in it to win it, so please get your bid in by 4.00pm 31 July 2011.
Not so fine print – Your auction bid includes GST. Successful bidders may pick the artwork up from the gallery. Postage and Handling costs are additional to the winning bid. The artists reserves the right not to sell the artworks if expectations are not met. The highest bid (at any point in time) for each artwork will be posted on this website. All bidders will be informed if their bid is surpassed up to one hour before the auction ends. No artist was harmed in the making of this auction.
The auction page can he found by clicking here.