I’d like to discuss how I come up with the prices for dolls, original acrylics, original oil paintings, large art, small art, etc.

I had no clue what to charge when I first started offering art on Etsy or right here, however online guides have been helpful. One can google how much to charge when a person asks to put their art on the front of a book, inside a book, used on a webpage, on and on. There are artist’s guides to pricing. What I found most helpful was to think of how much I want out of the painting, add in several factors which I’ll list, then I come up with a general listing price. I look around on Etsy for art of that style and size then finalize my listing price. I try and tag / use keywords by looking at other art because it can be difficult to know what to say so people find my art. 

  1. How much did I spend in materials to create the piece? From start to finish what did it cost me to create this piece? How long did I work on it? How big is it? What’s it painted on?
  2. After I have an idea of the base cost for production, I add to the amount I wish to collect for the work itself.
  3. I factor in fees from Etsy for listing, renewal listing prices and then the fee from Etsy for selling the item. I factor in a deduction from PayPal.
  4. I have to consider mailing as well as pricing differences from New York to LA and several international areas. I have to consider packaging for mailing.
  5. I have my price that I then check against other Etsy sellers to see if I am close to where I should be. Sometimes I’m higher, sometimes I’m lower.

So if you’ve ever wondered how I come up with the pricing for art, that’s how I do it.

Here are three major issues I’ve had in my profession brought to me by potential customers. This is such a difficult subject because I’m going to discuss, with no ambiguity, the three main issues I face as an artist. While I desire to be tactful, I may unintentionally fall short. Please understand, the information below is not written with an attitude. There is no specific individual targeted. This is just an explanation of my experiences and policies.

  1. I run in to this all the time. My profession is not recognized as a legit profession. I’m just some girl with a paint brush. I don’t have a real job. What I produce shouldn’t be priced the same as other items worked on for an extensive period of time with quality materials.  I sometimes have individuals outright trash art saying it’s not worth it, or I have people want to haggle as if they’re at a garage sale.
  2. I have people tell me they’d like to put my art on the front of their book, in their book or on flyers…..but they can’t offer standard financial compensation or any monetary compensation at all. They all say the same thing, I can pay by free advertisement. Think of all the potential thousands who may see your art…. I can only shake my head…. Let me describe this for you and you tell me if this sounds about right. I’m going to call the electric company and tell them I can’t pay them this month, but, I will show their logo to others. There could be a potential of thousands who see their logo and that could bring in revenue….. How long do you think my lights would be on? Ladies and gentleman, I’m an artist. This is my profession. The same as a person goes to work as a secretary, a shop keeper, what have you, this is my profession. I put in my days work like others. The same way your job keeps your lights on, my job keeps on mine.
  3. Individuals who hold art groups, seminars, classes or promote work for profit or a fee have asked to use my art for free. I have to say I’m a bit taken back by that. No matter the reasons for use, I don’t give my product for free at all but especially to an individual for their financial gain.

Provided is my entry Copyright Revisited and an article on asking an artist to work for free.

Daisy's Valley - SOLD

Moving on to more positive aspects of my profession. I appreciate so much when people connect with what I’ve painted. I appreciate when a person spends their hard earned money to take home something I put on canvas. It’s a wonderful feeling.

This is the second year that I will offer Pay it Forward art. One painting is shown in this entry. I offer 5 quality art pieces through out the year at half or less than half of my normal pricing.  I want people to take advantage of these pieces either as a personal treat or a gift for someone else.  A well matted and framed piece of art is a treasure. I hope this year the pieces I offer as Pay it Forward art will find a wall to call home.

Thank you for listening to me go on about what people actually say to me about my profession. While I hope to learn and grow as a small business I think its best I not allow others to affect the quality of my work, the validity of my copyright (shown on the sidebar) or who I am as a professional.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. My partner in crime requires petting and can’t wait another second. This old girl must be petted right now, without delay. Then I will be discarded and ignored while she saunters away to eat two or three bites from her high quality bowls purchased at a  second hand store. Then she’ll go to her bed with a handmade pillow and blanket that matches my bed. Oh I am so owned by my cat…


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