art, Musings

It costs how much?

One of the things I truly dislike about being an artist is telling potential buyers how much my art costs.  I am often glad that I am hidden behind my computer screen.  This being said I wanted to explain why art directly from an artist costs more.

  1. We are not mass producing our art.  Yes, you can go to Kohl’s, target or an online store and buy art much cheaper.  But when you do this you are purchasing something mass produced.  Something that is not unique.  Something that millions of other people have in their home.  Stores can sell their art so cheap because they buy in bulk.
  2. Art supplies are not cheap.  Big box stores get discounts on their ink and other materials.  I watch for sales on canvases at my local art store, and purchase my paint online.  I try to offer options other than framing, to help with cost, but overall my supplies are very costly.
  3. Shipping isn’t really free.  I put in a reasonable amount in the price, but if I sell across the country, I lose money.  Yes, I could make shipping a line item, but how many purchases do you make when you have to pay for shipping?  I skip items that charge for shipping too!
  4. Time…. I don’t even calculate this.  Some times a painting flies off my brush, and then there are times that I am pulling my hair out.

How do I come up with my prices?

I use a formula given to me years ago.  Then I tweak it to make it more reasonable.  I try to keep the same prices for each size, as how would you feel if you hear that others got your same painting for much less?

I do sell some older paintings at a reduced rate…..sometimes its about it getting the right home.  Usually if they don’t sell, I paint over them.  But some paintings I just can’t bring myself to paint over, so I wait patiently for its owner to claim it. I do also offer other options, such as prints for those that really love a piece but just can’t afford it.

So the next time you see a painting for more than you expected, I hope you will remember the reasons behind it.  And if you decide to purchase the painting, you will be making an artist very happy.  It takes a lot to create, and continue trying to create.

And think of how you would feel if someone came to your job and offered you less for your work. Or scoffed at you.  This is my job.  I am trying to pay for my supplies, and make a living.  Not get rich, but make a living doing something I love.

Thank you to those that understand and purchase art for their home.

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7 thoughts on “It costs how much?”

  1. Thanks for the explanation. I always wondered how painters priced their works. And, clearly, there is a lot of time, cost, and love to account for.


    1. I’m glad I helped you understand. I’m one of the more reasonable priced artists and people are still surprised. Large paintings need a lot of paint and aren’t cheap to ship. I try hard to be fair, but it’s not easy. So much competition with box stores and other artists. Thanks for commenting!


  2. I bet it’s not easy! I guess your profile as an artist (and probably other factors) comes into it to?

    I love the painting at the bottom of the post, by the way. I’m enjoying following a few artist bloggers.


  3. Some artists and more on for experience. I do not. I live in an area that’s very rural, so I try hard to keep my art affordable. I’d rather see it go home than sit in my home waiting! I’m glad you like the painting. I’m a huge fan of color… in case you could not tell. Lol


    1. I love that style of bold color and brush strokes. There is another artist, which I don’t know his name, but he does these type of paintings with the Eiffel tower. Gorgeous!


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