The Question on Every Emerging Artist's Mind.
I’ve asked the wonderful artists here at The Arthouse Collective to let me know their concerns and questions they have in their day to day life as an artist. It doesn’t surprise me, as an artist, that most are struggling with 'How do I price my work?!'. Every artist does and it’s especially hard to price your work when you’re the one creating it!!
MY ADVICE ON COMMISSION:
This is always a hard situation when you first start out doing commission work! I remember when I first started I used to judge my clients on their age and how much money I thought they had and would price them accordingly.. Don’t do that - that’s a terrible idea!
A couple of suggestions I have would be to determine a general base rate - and yes it can feel a little cringe but set it above what you would usually price something and never drop below that. So for example, for me, custom artworks start at $275 as the base rate and then depending on the job, I go up from there. I find it hard telling people sometimes that it’s $275 but some people don’t even flinch and others never reply after that so I’ve worked out it must be somewhere in the middle.
MY ADVICE ON GENERAL PRICING:
Another suggestion I have would be speak to an agent - a commercial agent or an artist’s agent or gallery owner. See what they think about your time vs your standard of work. I know when I do work for my commercial agent I get paid a lot more than I would personally charge but they take into consideration your time and don’t take your perceptions of your own work into consideration. Agent’s value your work so it’s good to get an opinion from someone who knows the business and isn’t friends or family.
And finally, do some research. There are a number of great stores that sell artwork (The Arthouse Collective) like Signed & Numbered in Melbourne, even Greenhouse Interiors - although that is at the top end of the market . If you have a look on these pages and see the general price range for a print, similar size and style to yours then you can see what people will pay / are already paying. From there you can determine where your work fits within that range. (Never judge your work off sites like Etsy or Society 6 type places - they are highly flooded and completely undervalued in most circumstances!)
ASK THE PROFESSIONALS:
We spoke to commercial illustration agent, Katie Perrott of The Illustration Room, about her thoughts on how to fairly price your work.
“It’s a tricky to answer because confidence in quoting comes with experience, knowledge across industry prices, backing yourself and your work.
I never advise underquoting, I am very much against this approach. The flow on effect for for your work and the industry as a whole is bad for everyone.
If a client wants your artistic talent and your creative flair on their project they should expect to pay a fair fee. If not, I think you are better off not going down the path of feeling undervalued and making it all about money, that's a creative spiral. You know what you need to cover your material costs, how long it will take you to do and what you need to make a living, it's like any other job, no one out there works for $2 per hour. Start fair and remain confident in what you are offering.'
What are you thoughts? Do you have any suggestions for our artists? Leave a comment below!