I often get asked this question by creatives. To be honest, when I first started out it was a huge dilemma to figure out what to charge.
Initially we all start at the bottom, and charge minimal prices, jut to “test the waters” and see if anyone will like our art style
As you get better at your craft, and spend more time, energy and effort into your work, it’s only natural to start increasing your prices too.
Initially it may feel uncomfortable, and you may experience “imposter syndrome” - questioning whether anyone would value your work any higher
This is perfectly natural and is part of the growth process as an artist. I often question myself too, BUT there reached a point in time, where I looked back and said, surely my art is worth more than I’m charging
After some research into pricing artwork, I came across this formula, and I apply it to each piece I create:
Width x height x price per square inch.
You may ask, but what is a suitable price per square inch?
Well that’s dependant on a variety of factors:
1. Cost and quality of materials
2. Experience and skill
3. How common your art style is
4. How well known and respected your work is
The lower end of the spectrum is as little as 20p /square inch. As you gain confidence, and your work gains momentum and exposure, you can adjust that price by increasing it gradually.
Generally Artists increase their prices every year by 10% from the previous year.
Another factor that really plays a part in pricing is scarcity. If you only offer a one-of-a-kind piece, and limit yourself to not recreating it ever again, naturally the price will be higher for that piece.
To remain authentic, many established artists advise emerging artists to take that route.
This is the main formula I’ve personally used for my paintings in the latest collection for example, True Value is 150 x 100 cm, which is 60 x 40 inches. Square inches are therefore 2400. I’ve multiplied this by 50p/inch = £1,200
Another great way of pricing is to set an hourly rate that you want to pay yourself.
Formula 2 is:
Price of materials + (hours x hourly rate) = wholesale rate x 2 = retail price
Hourly rates can start from as little as minimum wage, and gradually be increased as you gain popularity and your audience grows to like and respect your work
Its very important not to undervalue and underprice your work. This makes it harder for other artists to sell their work too, especially if someone less experienced offers to recreate their piece at minimal price
It's also unethical to offer to create another artists work, this is known as art plaigiarism, and is illegal
I’ve previously used both formulas and they have justified the pricing of my artwork. I hope this was helpful to you.
In addition to both these, there is also a third formula which is quite common, but which I personally have never used
(Height + Width) × Multiplier
"Multiplier" here would be a set price decided by you, the artist, after taking into consideration:
Skill and technique,
Originality of design
These are factors that I have found useful, and are by no means conclusive, or industry-set. I do hope that the information I have shared in this blogpost is useful, and if you have any questions or comments, I'll happily answer them below.