Are you willing to pay the price? “For what?” you might ask? Well, for my art, of course! Indeed, despite the somewhat dramatic title of this article, today we are simply going to talk about your investment in art, and more specifically in my art.
Pricing my work has always been one of the most complex tasks for me, because I want to please people while pleasing myself. In other words, I want to be rewarded for my work while having the satisfaction of making you a gift.
Thus, I first set my prices based on the following criteria:
- the number of hours worked on the piece;
- the medium used (oil paint);
- the size of the canvas;
- the importance and relevance of the subject for me (except for commissions, in which case your wishes are my commands).
These criteria led me to set prices that seemed at first too low, then too high. In both cases, I felt uncomfortable, out of sync with my inner artist. It felt like I was not offering my paintings at their true value. In the process, I also noticed that, because of my generous nature, I was thinking too much about your wallet instead of mine.
I then decided to set my prices according to the most used formula in the industry, namely the size-based pricing:
By the linear inch:
Height (H) + Width (W) x X factor (artist’s rating) = Price of the artwork
In this case, my rating (X factor) refers to my experience, my exhibitions, my notoriety, my awards, my articles in the press; in short, it would be difficult for me to establish a price, since I am a beginner in the profession, but I don’t want to sell my paintings at a ridiculously low price that would not take into account my artistic talent.
By the square inch:
Height (H) x Width (W) x X factor (multiplier) = Price of artwork
In this case, the X factor also depends on the experience of the artist, his exhibitions, his fame, etc. and is chosen at his discretion.
In applying these formulas, I realized that they could also result in gigantic price disparities depending on the size of the canvas.
So, after reading many blog posts and books on art pricing and doing a lot of soul searching, I have come to the conclusion that the right price for my work is the one I feel most comfortable with. This means that if I have no regrets about selling you a piece of art at a certain price, it is the right price.
The more I paint, the more I become aware of my artistic abilities and attribute a non-negotiable value to my works. The price given is therefore the price that suits me and hopefully suits you. I’m now much less apprehensive about this, because from my personal experience as an art buyer, I have come to understand that an art lover buys a painting for what it awakens in him (a memory, an emotion, a dream, a fantasy, a vision, a thought) and not for its price.
Therefore I’m not the best option for someone who is just looking to decorate their living room for the best bargain. Otherwise, I’m devaluing my art and killing my business.
These words may sound brutal to some, and I apologize for that, but I express them out of love and respect for my art. On the other hand, I believe that art is literally priceless, which is why it can be found at all prices, from the most affordable to the most exorbitant, regardless of the artistic nature of the work.
So, it seems that subjectivity dominates when it comes to prices in the fine arts world. Nevertheless, I sincerely hope to count you among my buyers and collectors one day. This would be the most beautiful gift for me as well as a totally fair exchange I think, because I would offer you a piece of my soul in painting, which is quite uncommon, isn’t it?
It is therefore with great pleasure that I invite you to explore my shop and make us both happy!