Next week I will participate in a panel with other artists to discuss the 'art of pricing'. There is an art to everything and pricing artwork to sell is no exception.
While pricing in and of itself is not necessarily an art, it's just slapping a number on a tag, right? It is obvious if you have ever helped with intake for an art exhibit that it takes some expertise to slap the tag with the 'right' number.
There is always one artist in the exhibit who will price a piece so low, in order to sell it, that they instantly under value their work and the whole exhibit. Even more common however is the artist who will ask 'the big price' when a piece or the exhibit is clearly not 'big price caliber'.
Often emotions play a big role in the pricing decision; the artist loves the piece themselves and doesn't really want to part with it, the artist is feeling a little insecure or hasn't done their homework and therefore misjudges the level of the exhibit, or they mistakenly believe that they should be paid for every minute they labored on a piece. What one must remember is that often an artist's work does not evoke the same emotion from their audience as it does for them and this is an important consideration when pricing their artwork to sell.
There are of course more things to consider when determining the right price to generate a sale, this is just a short list, but in summary; when pricing you should ask yourself; Do I want to sell this piece or do I just want to display it for the viewer to enjoy? What is the caliber of the exhibit and the artists who will be exhibiting with me? Will those viewing the exhibit be of the same caliber? Finally, consider; What is a price that will then validate me as an artist and cause me to feel like I have been 'well enough' compensated for my effort.
If you have a chance please consider joining us, the many viewpoints on the subject should provoke some good discussion.