How to Price Your Art

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So many young artists struggle with pricing their artwork. My prices changed a lot for a couple years when I was just starting out. While there isn't a definitive answer for how to price your art, there are several different ways you can go about it.

how I price my originals

I actually have several different ways that I price my art depending on what I'm selling. For my original art, I price it by the square inch. As of now, my price is $1 per square inch; however I'll be raising my prices to $1.50 per square inch in 2018. To figure out the price of your work using this method you need to multiply the length times width (L x W). My work is usually always 22x30"-inches (22 x 30 = 660). As of now, that would mean my art will be priced at $660. When my prices increase in 2018 the new price of my work will be $990. 

(L x W) x 1.5 = Price
(22 x 30) x 1.5 = $990

This is also the method I use when pricing for commissions. It's very easy to explain the price and allows me to give a solid quote when someone inquires. I always dreaded saying "Well, the price will depend on the medium, subject matter, amount of time, detail, etc...". Now I just tell people "It will be $80 for an 8x10"-inch drawing, etc.". Easy!

how i price my limited edition prints

For my Signed & No. prints I use a different method. The printer I use to scan and create my limited edition prints charges me a set price depending on the size of the print. I take that cost and double it to get the price. For example, a small print would cost me around $37.50 to have made. I double that cost to get $75, which is what I charge for my small Signed & No. prints. This is a really easy way to price art prints. The costs that go into making original art always vary, so it would be a really inconsistent way to price my original work.

Also, if you're selling on platforms like Etsy you'll have the cost of the listing, shop fees, transaction fees, and others that will effect the actual cost of creating and selling your art. By simply doubling the cost to have a print created you make sure to cover these additional expenses while still making a profit.

Cost x 2 = Price
$37.50 x 2 = $75

how i price my open edition prints

For my open edition prints, I just add $10 to the cost of the print. So whether I sell a small, medium, or large print my profit is always $10. If it costs me $15 to make a print I'll price it at $25. This is another great way to price work when selling on a third party platform where you have additional fees for selling. Those costs can cut your profit down, so while it may look like you're making $10 off each sale, in reality it's more like $5 or $6. So be mindful of these fees! 

The reason I decided to price my open edition prints this way instead of by the square inch or by simply doubling the cost is because the price would significantly increase by the size of the print. To me, open editions are fun and affordable art. I want to keep the prices low, especially since I have more expensive art available (originals and signed & no.).

The largest open edition print I make is 24x36"-inches, and the cost is triple that of the small print. I wouldn't feel right about charging a lot for an open edition print, so keeping the price low is important.

in conclusion

A lot of artists feel weird about putting a price on their work. There are always going to be people who tell you that your prices are too high or too low. I'd say you need to value your own work and price it in a way that you feel good about. If someone says my art is too expensive, I let them know that I offer more affordable prints. If someone says I need to raise my prices, I thank them and feel very flattered. At the end of the day, I feel confident about what I charge for my work. And I use different pricing methods because each one holds a different value and I want to know that I'm pricing my work fairly. 



Shaylene ReynoldsComment