Friday, 31 August 2007

Money money money

I'm a happy bunny today - I've just been told a local gallery has sold one of my paintings. Big smiles. I'll go and collect my money in a bit - the price of the painting minus their commission. It makes up for the lack of sales last weekend!

Selling art is a funny business. Pricing it is very tricky. I've always tried to be fair with my pricing - selling at the price I consider a good amount for the work done and expertise involved. I have a basic hourly rate in my head that I sort of work around to find the price. Its probably a lot higher than the majority of artists in this locale, but I know I'm better than most of them, or at least I value myself higher because I know I can tackle subjects and techniques that a lot of them can't. I spoke to a botanical artist the other day, who is incredibly talented, and sells his paintings very well. He knows he's good at what he does. He spends hours and hours and long hours on his artwork and works in directly opposing ways to my technique - he will glaze over and over many times on each area of a flower petal, a leaf or a piece of fruit. He wants the finished painting to look exactly the same as the item infront of him, and I think that's incredibly admirable. But I don't paint like that. I use splatter and fluid lines and lost and found edges in my work to show movement and life and much prefer the effect. But should I charge the same price as him? He will agonise for ages over the tiniest piece of colour, I spend ages thinking about the emotional effect my art will convey through colour and line and composition.

A few years ago I joined a local art group and asked the chairman a lot of questions regarding how my art should move forward. He helped me a lot with good wholesome advice based on his expertise and experience. One of the things I asked him was about how to price my work. His advice was "Double it!" which took me aback. "What? Double the prices? Will people pay it"? "Yes", he said, "They will". And he's been right, they have. But then if I join another art organisation which is of a far higher profile (and I'm working on that very thing at this very moment!) do I carry on doubling the prices? I think the answer is probably yes. People expect it. But the work is still of the same quality and calibre as it is now, the only thing that's changed is the price tag. And people will still pay it. I know of an artist who was selling his work through a VERY famous shop in London some years ago, and was asked his price for one particular painting that a member of another countries royal family was interested in purchasing. The artist named his high price and was told to put another zero on the end of it. ANOTHER ZERO????? Yes - it was expected! The price was too cheap otherwise and the prince wouldn't have been interested........ The picture was sold at the higher price. Point made.

So, I think the point I'm making is.......... get me now whilst I'm going cheap ........ so to speak......

13 comments:

hornymaleuk said...

Now that sounds like an offer I cannot refuse!!

Congratulations on the sale. I'm really pleased.

Jackie Adshead said...

Hornymaleuk - Oh, do you want to buy some art then?

Thanks, re the sale. I am too!

RONJAZZ said...

YES, MA'AM. I'm proud of you! I do wish that approach worked for the actor, but it wouldn't. Thre are simply too many to lower the bar.

Now -- how does that affect your outlook on the erstwhile investor? Keep us all posted.

Cherrie said...

Well, then, we must have gotten quite a bargain from you, Jackie!

Congratulations on your sale--I'm glad the predicition I made in my last comment turned out to be eerily accurate!

Jackie Adshead said...

Ronjazz - I'm really pleased you're proud of me! But doesn't that approach work for actors when they get into movies?

I'm still very aware of the erstwhile investor but currently looking at other ways of increasing my profile myself without having to share half my profits with a sleeping partner.

Jackie Adshead said...

Cherrie - Well I sincerely hope you feel that you got a bargain with the painting you bought from me! But of course, the value of it will accumulate too as I amass more fame and acclaim - so I hope you feel you've made a good investment as well!

And yes, it looks like you were eerily accurate in that I've suddenly sold a painting through a gallery this week after the distinct lack of sales at the exhibition last week!

having my cake said...

Ive never been able to work out how art is priced, I mean how can you put a value on the huge emotion a piece of work evokes in one person that might leave another cold. It's such a personal thing.
I suppose you should work out how much time you spent on a piece - in terms of thought and design as well as execution and then award yourself an hourly rate and go from there. If the pieces go out the door without touching the sides, you're too cheap.

Jackie Adshead said...

Having my cake - If I charged by the hour for thinking about the design before I painted it - I'd charge THOUSANDS for my work and probably no one would buy them! So I only have a basic hourly rate for the time spent actually producing it and work from there.

Some of the most upsetting words an artist can ever hear regarding the price of their work is "Is that ALL?"

Lady in red said...

I am not big on art but I do know what I find pleasing to look at and what I dont but could never define any criteria as each piece is different. But I must say that I do like the picture you have on this post.

Jackie Adshead said...

Lady in Red - In that case, if you're not big into art, you've given me a nice compliment - thankyou!

Willsibob said...

Hi Jackie,

Firstly, I love the passion and flair you put into your paintings. Congratulations on the well deserved sale. I have been watching your blog and site, with deepest interest.

On your previous post, re the investor, a gallery location is a difficult choice - a gallery by the docks is perhaps ideal for painters of yachts. A gallery in Soho is going to take a high price.

Just wonder, if maybe exhibiting at related shows would be better - eg. the folsom fair (at least you'd get a trip to the US :-) ), the fetish ball?

Anyhow I'm wandering, well done on the sale, your work is stunning.

Lady in red said...

you are very welcome :-)

Jackie Adshead said...

Willsibob - Thankyou, I'm absolutely delighted you see passion and flair in my work and like it so much!

You've hit the nail on the head regarding the gallery location - and that is one of the reasons I've not gone diving into a partnership with the investor yet. I'm also looking into other more suitable locations, with a higher proportion of erotica lovers, similar to the ones you've mentioned.