Fine Art Pricing Calculator
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Artists have a difficult time pricing their work. They seem to believe that there is some sort of magic behind the process. As such, artists often short sell themselves or are taken advantage of by the art buying public, or by commercial galleries that may have a different set of financial interests. Because artists don't factor in all of the costs, they often end up pricing a piece such that they are making below minimum wage, or even loosing money when they actually sell a piece.
Likewise the art buying public have a difficult time pricing art because they are used to purchasing mass produced products, and do not fully appreciate the time, skill and effort that goes into creating a unique and custom piece of art. An art customer that normally would find it unconscionable to pay another human being below the minimum wage, will often expect a fine artist to sell her works at a reduced price, not because of any malice, but because of ignorance. It is therefore the artist's obligation to help educate potential buyers. The process is simple:
When selling art through a gallery you need to realize that the gallery has different incentives. They do not care about you, or care that you are fairly compensated, or that you are even making minimum wage. Because wall space is finite, they want to sell the art as quickly as possible, so that they can put up a new piece. In some respects they are like a restaurant business in that they only have a finite number of tables, and so they want customers to come in, eat, and leave as quickly as possible. There are only two ways for them to sell it quickly: to have good art, and to have it priced below it's true value.
Never let a gallery tell you what your art is worth, because there is an inherent conflict of interest. If they sell art below market value, they still make a killing even if you don't make a dime. Never let a gallery tell you that you need to sell your art at a reduced rate because you are unknown. Figure out your minimum hourly rate, and then as you mature as an artist, or find that you can't keep up with demand, steadily increase your rate, year after year.
This simple calculator takes away the mystery of pricing art.
Equations:Price of Piece= (hours*salary_per_hour + materials_cost + frame_cost) / ((100-gallery_percentage)/100);
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
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