One of the trickiest issues that artists deal with is pricing their work. While there are some well-known, basic, and useful guidelines to follow, not all pricing situations are straightforward. Artists also encounter situations that may not have obvious answers—situations that are usually not addressed in basic art-business advice. When the situation is not clearcut, even experienced artists can find themselves feeling indecisive or worried they are charging too much or too little. Today we will talk about some of the pricing situations you may encounter that are challenging, and factors to consider when you run into them.
Most of us are aware of the standard practices for most pricing situations, which are easily available online or from those who teach about art business. These include pricing in an objective way, perhaps by the square inch, rather than doing it subjectively, based on personal preferences. Consistency in pricing across the various platforms you use and galleries that represent you is also important, as is raising your prices over time in small increments.
But overall, deciding about your prices can be challenging because financial decisions often come with emotional baggage. Your perception of how sales are going can challenge you to stay objective in both your practices and attitudes about pricing. Depending on outside validation for your sense of the worth of your work can either enhance or tear down your self-esteem as an artist, depending on whether things are going well. But since there will always be fluctuations in your sales, maintaining a practical approach to prices can keep you on track emotionally.
While many sales situations are straightforward, others present difficult questions. These include selling to friends and family, establishing your policies for commissions, selling at open studio events, and deciding which geographic markets suit your own price points. Thinking ahead about these situations is helpful so you are not put on the spot and left to struggle to come up with the best reply. Anytime you can state a policy with assurance and clarity to a potential customer you build a little more self-esteem about your prices.
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What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
Rebecca and Jerry have just launched their Fall quarter of live, online sessions with a special focus this time on member participation, plus informative sessions on a variety of other topics. This month also marks the beginning of Cold Wax Academy's 3rd year of teaching sessions, meaning that the member library now has over 80 recordings and other instructional documents available for members. To access this wealth of information and to take part in upcoming live sessions, please visit the membership page at ColdWaxAcademy.com and sign up for one of the two levels of membership available.
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