I am an abstract acrylic/mixed media artist and generally work no larger than 30×40". I’ve met a woman who does realistic wall murals. She has a good web site and does the work in her studio on canvas, rolls it up and mails to the client. She would like to have someone available to do abstract murals. It will be challenge for me to work so much larger but I’m excited about giving it a try!
Details have not been worked out yet but I need information about what things to be aware of before I sign a contract. Here are some things I know.
1. The muralist would charge me a small monthly fee to have my images on her web site.
2. She said to price my work for her as I like and she will add her commission on top of my price. I don’t want to over or under price my work. What is the usual commission in these circumstances? She said to base it on what I need to make per hour plus materials. Materials for a large mural would be a large factor to consider too. She usually ends up charging clients $30 to $50 a square foot.
3. So we need to come to an agreement on her commission and sign a contract that is beneficial for both of us. She would hire me as a sub-contractor per job.
Jan, regular readers and subscribers know that I don’t like the idea of her "marking up" your artwork. That means she can get any price she likes and give you only what you requested. What if she marks them up 100%? I doubt this seems possible at this point, but I strongly dislike you giving control over your pricing to anyone. I’d rather you give her a list of your prices with the commission listed on it.
I also dislike that she is charging you for Web site space AND her commission. So, I would offer a very small commission. What that is, I’m not sure. Perhaps others have an idea. The smallest commission I’ve heard of (from art consultants or interior designers or even nonprofit spaces) is about 20%. But none of those charge the artists for anything else (like Web site or gallery space). Perhaps a good model would be a vanity gallery or co-op gallery–where there is a space rental fee or monthly dues in addition to a commission.
After having reread that last paragraph, I would negotiate a "No Web site fee" in your contract and a set commission fee. This would be more of an incentive for her to sell your work.
Can anyone else please help Jan out?
Image (c) Jan Heigh, Ampersand.