Near the end of COLLAGE JOY, several students wanted to know how I priced my artwork. So for those of you who asked, here you go!
My goal is to price my art so that it sells soon after I launch it as a collection. I look for the “pricing sweet spot’“ where potential buyers see its value, while at the same time, honoring my art (and myself) with a price that reflects the highest good of all.
Obviously this takes a bit of experimenting, but I take some of the guesswork out of the process by first researching how other artists who are at a similar stage in their art careers price their artwork.
Here is the exact process I follow:
Step One. I make a list of Instagram artists that appear to be 1) at a similar place in their art biz careers, 2) creating similar type art (mixed media collage), and 3) in the same sizes that I create. Then I go to each artist’s website or Etsy, and list what sizes they create and their prices for each. I also note whether they are selling their pieces framed or unframed, and whether their art is selling for the prices listed. If they have many unsold pieces, this could mean that their art is priced a little too high for the market, which is good information in choosing my prices.
Step Two. Choose a price for each of my collages that are in the ballpark of what other artists like me are selling for. Again, if an artist is not selling at the price they’ve choosen, they could be pricing a tad too high. Conversely, if they sell out quickly, they could probably sell for a higher.
Step Three. To make this process a bit more standardized, I choose the smallest collage in my collection and figure out its linear square inch. For instance, if a collage is 4” x 4”, I add 4 + 4, which is 8 linear square inches. If I wanted to sell this collage for $60, I would divide that price by 8 (its linear square inches) to determine the price per linear inch, which in this case would be $7.50. Now I can use this number to determine the price for larger collages.
For instance, if I had a collage that was 6” x 6”, I would first add 6 + 6 to determine its linear square inches, which is 12. Then I’d multiply 12 linear square inches by the price per linear inch of $7.50, which gives me a price of $90 for a 6” x 6” collage.
However, I don’t completely stick to this formula, but rather use it as a guideline when selecting my prices. To make sure my 6” x 6” collage sells soon after I list it, I might choose to go a bit under $90, say $85, to make the price more appealing and increasing the chance it will sell during the first day of the collection launch.
As my collages consistently sell at the $7.50 per linear inch price, I will slowly increase this number to give myself a raise, which also increases the value of both the past and future art I create over time.
Bottom line (for me) – the real price of a collage is the price someone is willing to purchase it for.
I am grateful to artist Amanda Evanston for teaching me the linear square inch method of pricing artwork.