Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Balancing Business with Creativity
This is a timely topic I've been discussing with some blogging artist friends. With the new year, I have sat down and evaluated my costs and my prices. I knew the inevitable would have to happen. I need to raise some of my prices for 2007.
Before everyone jumps ship here, I'll explain some of the reasoning behind this move.
In the world of painting there are a number of hidden costs that the patron may not realize. Lets use a painting that is 18" x 24" in size to see what some of these things are (mind you these prices are specific to my country and what is available to me currently, an artist friend you know might have access to wholesale boxes that I might not):
18" x 24" Canvas $150.00 (example sale price on ebay)
Standard size canvas $12.16
Paint $5.oo (approximately, more if textured)
PayPal fees $7.10
Ebay Listing fee $4.57
Ebay Final Value Fee $5.18
($24.35 total cost here)
Total profit $125.65
Okay, that doesn't sound too bad... until you realize two key things here.
1. A painting this size can take around 10 hours to paint. Add in the time to scan/photograph, write up listings, answer emails, package and make trips to the post office... lets say another 2 hours.
125.65 / 12 hours
The artist is averaging a paycheck of around $10.00 an hour.
2. The buyer will most likely see a gain in the piece (as long as it is done with quality materials and is a well executed piece of art.)
Longterm, who knows how much it will be worth? One thing I do know, cheap Ikea prints or "mall art" will most likely lose value or hold steady over time. A good painting is a solid investment provided it is cared for.
Also, A painting can last centuries - $150.00 is three dinners for two at a decent restaurant. Maybe time spent in total.... 6 hours?
So, while I am aware that my customers may not be pleased about this, I hope they understand that a great deal of thought has gone into this. Too much thought, I've been worrying about reaction for some time now, but I have to do it.
If you bought a piece from me in the last while and then see a similar size going for a higher amount, I'm so happy that you got a great deal on that past work. I do not regret any sale, at any price - all of this has allowed me to learn, to continue painting and build my portfolio.