View Full Version : Any artists here?

Mar. 17, 2012, 07:45 PM
I'm trying to start my own small horse portrait business. I've had a few commissions, and have committed to a booth at a horse expo next weekend. I'm bringing a variety of pieces- samples of portraits/commissions, as well as a few pieces I can sell on the spot. I'm just getting into the art business, so I'm not sure what is reasonable to be charging, or how to decide what to charge. The BF works in marketing and insists that I should be charging more (something about how people value expensive things more and will think my stuff is higher quality if I charge accordingly...). I've looked at other horse artists' websites who do work similar to mine and their prices are all much higher than mine (well duh... they've probably been doing this awhile and are well known enough!!). At this point, I have about a dozen recent samples up on my website, and have at least 8 I can display at the expo this weekend. But I'm just not sure about pricing. I really enjoy doing this as a way to support my horse hobby, and I do want to sell or commission at least a few pieces, since I just spent 3 weeks' worth of board $$ on materials (ouch!, but on the plus side, I can cut my own mats now!!). I am hoping I'm allowed to post my samples... http://rbrownart.webs.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=12265601

Anyway, advice on pricing would be much appreciated!

Mar. 18, 2012, 02:31 PM
Well definitely charge enough to cover your costs and give you something extra. Since you are new (and hesitant about charging the market rate), would it be reasonable to charge say 2/3 of what others do and raise your rates as you have more clientele? I think a lot of it is going to be in marketing. I am not a business major but it would imagine it would be worth your while to do your homework on marketing. Good luck!

Mar. 18, 2012, 03:00 PM
I walked through a 'gallery' at the local mall a while back...

I have to say I was FLOORED at what was exhibited and the price tags on some of the things...

The gallery owner - or manager - had sold an unfinished large scale painting for 800 bucks (good for him) somebody else was selling soso postcard size oils for 35....
I mean, they were cute, but not 35 bucks worth...

You have to cover your cost and add a bit of profit, or you won't be in business long.
You have to then gauge the market.
You BF is right, a bit higher tag does - to some - equal higher interest.
But only to a point, hinging on the name of the artist.

Good luck to your show.

Mar. 18, 2012, 03:03 PM
I am an artist. There are several formulas for what you charge.
Time- (hourly rate) + materials x 2 is a standard one.
Matting is not calculated into this, but added on after usually at cost x 2
Hourly rate should be reasonable.
Another is to take the formula above from several similar works ( don't mix media such as painting and drawings) add them together , add up the square inches of the total pieces and divide it into the coat to come up with a square inch price. This allows you to standardize you prices, customers like this approach.
I wouldn't change the prices until you have had at least one event under your belt where you were very satisfied with your sales and or number of commissions you take.
Be prepared, have business cards and a commission form that entails what you get from the client and what you are giving them in return.
Good Luck and have a great time.