12 Tips for Pricing Your Art

I wish I could pull a number out of the hat and tell you how to price your art.

It’s not that easy, as you’ve surely discovered.

I share below some general guidelines as a place to begin.

Art-Pricing Guidelines

Lin Price, Wishful Thinking

Lin Price, Wishful Thinking. Oil and wax on canvas, 40 x 30 inches. ©The Artist

1. Start lower. It’s easier to start low and raise your prices than it is to lower your prices later. But . . .

2. Don’t undervalue your work. Selling your art too cheaply means you’re probably not getting paid what it’s worth.

Also, low low prices set you up for all kinds of problems later and will result in a mess of anger from other artists who see you as “the cheap one.” When buyers see that your work is “cheap,” they question higher prices from other artists.

3. Never ever ever undersell your galleries. You have one price for your art – whether a gallery sells it or whether you sell it from your studio.

Any gallery that gets wind that you sold at a lower price will drop you like a hot frying pan. When the word reaches other galleries (and it will), you’ll be treated like toxic waste.

4. If you don’t have a gallery and don’t want a gallery, you have more pricing freedom than other artists. Even then, I caution against pricing your work too low.

5. If you work faster and are prolific, your prices might be lower than an artist’s whose work takes months to complete. Or they might not be. Because . . .

6. If you can’t keep work in inventory – if you sell it as fast as you make it – it’s probably time to raise your prices.

7. Larger works are usually more expensive than smaller works.

8. Works made from higher-priced materials have a bigger price tag on them.

Works on canvas often command more than works on paper. But then there’s that whole framing thing. You have to frame works on paper.

So how do you account for that in your prices – so that works on canvas are still priced higher even though the framing is such a big expense? This is still a struggle for some of my clients.

Likewise, bronze sculptures have higher prices than carved wood. I don’t know how bronze artists can afford to have anything cast without a financial backer.

9. Artists who sell in smaller or economically depressed communities have found it difficult to ask for prices similar to artists in larger cities.

If you try to sell online, you don’t have just a small-town audience any longer.

10. Conduct market research to find comparables. Look for artists who do similar work using similar materials and who are at a similar point in their careers.

Whenever you compare your prices to those of other artists, make sure you know that the work you’re looking at is actually selling. It doesn’t do you any good to look at prices from an artist whose work isn’t moving.

11. Keep a price list. When someone asks you how much something is, you want to be able to tell them quickly and effortlessly. You don’t want to look like you’re unsure or are pulling a number out of a dark hole. Because, the most important rule when pricing your art is . . .

12. Radiate confidence. It’s remarkable how powerful this trick is. If you’re not confident in your prices, we’ll figure that out. Spend time deciding on the prices, then have confidence in them – knowing that the prices are grounded in reality.

You Might Still Struggle

Even with this list, you may continue to struggle with pricing – especially if your art isn’t selling. Please know that you are not alone.Pricing Your Art With Confidence

Always remember #12 – once you have set your prices, have confidence in them.

What did I forget?

If you need more explanation and guidance, Check out my audio program Pricing Your Art with Confidence. Includes transcript and handouts.

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55 comments to 12 Tips for Pricing Your Art

  • These are great Alyson!

    I would add be consistent with prices within your sizes. If the medium and the size is the same the price should be the same (framing excluded). Often artists become attached to one painting and price it over others that to the viewer are equal. The exception here might be portrait artists who charge more per person within one size painting.

    • Casey: Usually this is true, but I don’t believe that it should always be the case.

      Sometimes an artist is more attached to a certain piece. I may be among the minority, but I think if something has sentimental value and you don’t care if you ever sell it, then it’s entirely within your right to put a higher price on it.

      I’ve also heard one pricing strategy is to price one thing much higher than anything else in the space. I guess there’s some magic involved – people think it’s more important/better. I haven’t heard of that working in real life, but it would be interesting to try it out.

  • When it comes to the cost of framing, there are two things that I think it’s essential to do:

    1. Learn how to do it yourself. Conservation framing is fairly easy to do if you learn a few simple techniques. Plus you can add custom framing as an option for your customers if you want.

    2. If you’re an artist who is selling your work, get a retail sales tax license and maintain it by filing when required. This will allow you to purchase your mat and frame supplies wholesale instead of sending it out to a frame shop.

    • Thanks for these tips, Jacqueline.

      I agree with both, but I have to say something about #1 – Don’t do this if you can’t cut a decent mat. A poorly cut mat will ruin a piece of art!

  • alyson, i’ve heard you say some of this at various other moments. and this is the first time i’m hearing the tip about tracking inventory in relationship to prices — that if you’re selling out, it’s a clue to a price-raising moment. thanks for putting all this info in one place. very helpful to get the overview!

  • Good article. Please write something about my BIGGEST pet peeve. Painters who make sloppy tags (price and/or title) and then stick them directly onto the canvas. This is a huge no no folks. Perhaps show promoters need to add tag advice on there show requirements list.

  • Really great advice. I price by size, figured in a per square inch formula. It’s tricky, because you can’t use the same sq. in. price for large paintings as you do for small ones. If you did that, the small ones would be way too cheap, the larger ones way too expensive. I started to figure this out by taking the sale price of a sold painting of medium size, figuring out the sq. in. and then dividing the price by this number. Then I worked backwards and forwards to figure what the adjustments should be. This price also takes into consideration framing prices. I’ve developed my own framing with the help of an excellent local framer. She sells me raw wood moldings in various profile shapes at a reasonable price, especially when I order in quantity. I then do all the finish work on the frames, so that they look like the very expensive hand finished frames that cost $75 a foot or more. It gives my work a unique look in the galleries. The reputation of the artist (are you well known or just starting out) also comes into play.

  • What would you say to someone (a friend who bought a piece for a song at an auction) who asks for a discount and then wants an even lower price?

    • pam

      I would probably say ” is it your birthday?”

      I would set a price and stick to it….if that person is unwilling to pay the price, then the art work as not found the home that it will be appreciated in.

    • Short answer: NO.

      Short inquiry: Is this really a friend?

      Longer answer: Listen to what Mckenna wrote her.

      Still longer answer: This is why local auctions can do such damage to artists’ prices. I’m beginning to think they should be banned completely.

      • Amen to your comment about auctions, Alyson!

        I quit with the local charity auctions when I saw a piece that I had donated being offered for sale for half my wholesale price at that same charities local consignment shop!

        I bought it of course.
        Why they don’t return unsold items is a complete mystery to me.
        Just say no.

  • I linked over to comment here about discounting and there is Virginia wondering what to do about discounts. LOL.

    I would add just one thing to the list and that is never offer a discount as a way to make a sale. If someone asks for a discount, just say no: “My work has an established market value based on sales for x years and that value is part of what my collectors expect when they add to their collections and when they insure my work in their homes. Perhaps you would like a smaller piece for now or another medium like my (fill-in).”

    And if one really feels the need to discount – take it from the framing or the shipping and avoid devaluing the art work itself. Holding firm to one’s pricing is key which is another reason to be very careful about those initial pieces; as Alyson says in the first tip: start lower.

    Oh… and of course be creative with financing – taking payments (layaway) is sometimes exactly what the discount inquiry needs. They could just maxed out budget or are trying to “justify” maxing out a budget. And giving them the option might just do the trick or at the very least it will underline your confidence about your pricing and the whole discount thing will become a mute point.

  • I really like the idea of a gallery buying work outright & then reselling it without the consignment burdens…Some craftspeople have password protected pricing pages for the retailer to peruse wholesale pricing…I’d love to hear more about this practice, how it applies to fine artists, & how-tos from anyone who uses it…

  • [...] Alyson Stanfield’s blog Art Biz comes Ten Tips for Pricing Your Art. Pretty timely for me, as I am looking at some print venues. It was interesting, being told at one [...]

  • Selling price is a tough one. For me, I’ve found my price-point for my area, and it works pretty well for me. I looked at what others were selling for, made some adjustments, and then I go higher for larger pieces. My prices are in the ballpark, and for where I am now in my career its ok, but I plan to make a move soon, and so the prices can go up when your sales record is steady. You also have to factor in inflation….. and, as time goes by, you gain experience. That adds value to your work. A sculptor friend of mine said to me once, “how long did it take you to create that?” and while I was trying to think of the answer he shook his head and said…”All of your life” i.e. you bring all your life experience into your art— therefore sell it at a good value for your time and talent.

  • Lisa Philipps Goldstein

    Hi Alyson,

    Here’s a formula that an established painter, and friend of mine, suggested for a new painter (at least one who is new at marketing and selling): multiply the frame width and height to determine the price. For example, a 16″ x 20″ = $320.00.

    What do you all think about this format?

    thanks,
    Lisa

    • Lisa: That’s a common formula, but most people call it per-square-inch pricing. In this example: $1 per square inch.

      Others might use $1.25 or $1.50 or even more per square inch.

      I think it’s perfectly fine to start with this. It helps you with consistency.

      Since you mention “frame size”, I’m wondering if we’re talking about matted & framed works on paper. ???

      • Lisa Philipps Goldstein

        sorry, canvas size. I try to only use gallery wrapped canvas, minimum of ! &1/2 inch depth and then you can get away without a frame and it still looks nice (sides painted black) and you save money on frames. Plus, I think frames are very personal.

      • I have a question on pricing per size when you have a complex figurative vs. a simple landscape or any combination there of. Doesn’t seem fair to price them the same.

  • I have gotten a good idea from experience how I want to price my works of art that are also jewelry but I have not yet worked out how to price my regular fine art (i.e., paintings, drawings, and the like); at least not for the most part. I have decided, however, not to frame works of art on canvas because it seems to me that collectors may have their own ideas how they want to display the piece (even if I prefer the clean minimalist look of naked canvas). On the other hand, my paintings on paper or board are all framed (well, there is one watercolor whose glass broke when I was moving from MD to CT so it needs to be reframed).

    As far as doing my own framing; I so do not have the time but I am tempted to get inexpensive wood framing done and then paint so it’s like a bezel – part of the work not something separate. Something to think about for future works on paper.

  • C’est avec beaucoup d’intérêt que j’ai parcouru votre blog… Cette dernière publication est très intéressante… Mon anglais est “bad’ mais j’ai pu lire également quelques réflexions échangées.
    En ce qui concerne les encadrements, je suis tout à fait d’accord, il faut que vous puissiez fournir un encadrement digne de votre travail, qu’il le mette en valeur.
    Je fabrique mes encadrements… et si par hasard, mais j’ai rarement eu ce cas de figure, un client vous suggère de lui faire un prix si je lui retire le cadre, je réponds non.
    Je lui explique que le prix c’est le prix de ma peinture et que l’encadrement est offert. Généralement après tout est clair. Eventuellement, je lui suggère un paiement échelonné, si je sens que cela “coince”.
    Je m’autoriserai une prochaine promenade…
    Bisous

  • Salut Martine, c’est beau d’avoir une artiste français ici! Moi j’ai arretė d’encadrė… Trop de problemes, et la plupart du temps, le client voulais changer le cadre…Mes peintures sont plus leger sans le cadre, et alors plus facile pour des femmes à transporter…Bisous, Sari

    • Bonjour Sari,
      Merci pour ton commentaire. Tu as tout à fait raison de procéder ainsi… Effectivement beaucoup plus léger et pratique pour le transport.
      Bisous,

      Martine

      • I love it!
        I love seeing this conversation en français on my blog. My French is good enough that I could tell Martine’s post was not spam, but rusty enough that I can’t translate each word.

        Thank you, Sari! And thank you, Martine, for sharing.

  • Alyson, this is a great post. But what should you do when one gallery cannot “keep up” with the prices of another? I understand that depending on where you are in the country (or world) that the cost of living varies. However, shouldn’t your prices remain the same no matter where your work is shown/represented? What do you recommend?

    • Amy: Yes, gallery prices should be the same regardless.
      I’ve heard that sometimes there is a problem when one gallery wants to raise prices. Has that happened to you?

      • Yes, without going into too much detail- I had to stand firm on my prices, but it has caused some tension. I do have some smaller works, but my “showstopper” pieces are larger and more expensive.

  • Thanks for a great blog. I have really enjoyed reading the comments and glad that there is support for sticking to keeping prices in line with gallery prices as well as not going for discounts.

  • [...] Alyson Stanfield (Art Biz Blog) has 12 tips for pricing your art [...]

  • How about pricing Giclee prints. How do I calculate to cover costs as well as making prices appealing?

  • Brad Tate

    Alyson,
    I have just stumbled across your blog as I am researching some information about art marketing. I am currently working on a project for a tribe in Oklahoma where we are trying to develop a centralized marketing effort for the tribal artists. Being that there is almost NO outlet for Southeast Indian Art (native american that is) we are working to penetrate the market and introduce some of our incredibly talented artists to the world in a bigger way. The information you share and the discussions you provoke are incredibly insightful, and will be helpful in explaining to the artists things such as pricing (and I am a huge proponent of ‘if you can’t keep up with inventories it’s time to raise your prices’). It’s a very simple business model, but then again artists are not usually business savvy. Thanks again for your blog! I will share it with others.

    • Yes, Brad – you have found a gold mine of information! Alyson is very savvy and has great insights.

      I would caution one thing in your comment: keeping up with inventory is a contextual issue and raising prices is not always the answer. Here’s why:

      If I can only make 50 of some item in my line each month, and I market my line to 100 shops and galleries and they each can sell 1 a month then I have over sold my widget. It is not that it is in high demand, but rather I have put it in front of too many clients for me to sustain the inventory. The “demand” is self-inflicted.

      On the other hand, if I have (which I do) 40 to 50 active retail shops and each month they sell out of all I can make of One design, but barely sell anything else of mine (which has not happened yet), then I might then want to raise the price to slow sales of that item and to give the rest of the line more equality. Especially if this piece is on a lower price point then the average selling prices. But not being able to keep up with demand is not ALWAYS cured by a higher price. If you are presenting hand-made art pieces, there is a fine line you walk price-wise and it is better to see slow increases in prices (very slow) then to just willy-nilly try to reap profits that may not be sustainable. It’s a fine line.

      Meanwhile: if you can increase production “volume” there is automatically an increase in profits as your COGS (cost of goods sold) are less per piece. Pricing is a math problem and without doing the math, you can way undercharge (never good) or way over charge (also never good) and then not be competitive in your genre. Only a “celebrity/established” name or significant CV will help get us above average prices. Demand is not always the catalyst and in fact, often is unrelated.

      I knew an artist in the 90′s who did extreme basketry. It took a full week to create each basket. They were remarkable. Often several feet high and very complex. But at that pace – to sustain herself, she needed for each basket to reap a week’s wages and that meant a fairly high price per piece in the galleries. But – despite their beauty and refinement, she never could be paid what she needed. The baskets piled up. It wouldn’t matter if she were in one gallery or 20, sales would not sustain her labor levels. She began making more conventional woven items (still with amazing grace and refinements) and quickly was in demand all over my state and she couldn’t make them fast enough. But she was priced to make a good and decent living and she stuck to that pricing into the mid-2000′s. She moved and I have no idea what became of her, but it was quite a lesson. She was grateful for the livelihood and the occasional sale of her “extraordinary” art baskets were icing on the cake for her.

      For most of us, we are grateful to be able to make our living from our art forms, but few of us will be joining the infamous 1% from our one person studios. And raising prices without true cause, won’t increase that likelihood and could shut down demand – so be careful walking this thin thin line.

      • McKenna: In this scenario, do you think there’s a difference between production work and one-of-a-kind stuff?

        • I am glad you brought this up, Alyson. Yes, but… (gotta love that “but!”)… even with a oil painter who never works with prints and is in very high demand can be lulled into thinking that price increases are the “answer” when demand increases. But there is still a yellow flag on the course. Market saturation, other artist’s entering the same venue or nearby venue creating similar work (or not) at a lower price, or any shift in the market can happen in a heartbeat. If you have not “earned” your prices, you can see demand disappear. The buying public is fickle and easily distracted by other shiny objects down the street. So it really requires deep thought to raise a price. If an artist never has a chance to pile up any inventory and is working full time trying to do that, well, that would be detrimental to creating work for possible one-person shows, so that might become an issue. But what if you work in pointillism and they take two or three days to finish a 6 x 8 inch piece vs someone who can finish a 6 x 8 FOOT canvas in a few hours? Should the two pieces be of the same value? Back to my friend and the basketry work…Just because WE want to go crazy with our time and dedication to an ideal artistic expression, doesn’t make it worth collecting. Art buyers like ever other purchase we make must have a value proposition that we also are willing to buy into for us to part with our money. Reversing that: just because you can afford to buy the most expensive car ever produced, you still have to like how it looks and makes you feel when you drive it. Buyers are still people who need to be validating a purchase, too.

          And again, all bets are off if you have reached some level of special recognition and your work is sought out nationally and your name is well-recognized: Chihuly,
          Warhol, etc – or you just had a showing at the Tate. But for the vast majority of artists, the goal is creating and being paid a fair livelihood.

          Brad did not stipulate if the artists work in crafted pieces, or 2D or??? But if they are not at least charging enough to sustain themselves AND demand keeps them furiously producing, then a price increase is a clear pathway. Every other scenario is very nuanced.

          Hope that clarifies?
          Mckenna

    • Brad: I’m glad you found me, too! I was just in Tulsa in October for the Oklahoma Arts Conference, which was lovely.

      I’m very curious since you say “almost NO outlet” – curious as to how you will be building your business plan.

      Keep me posted on what happens.

      • AND to Brad: I, too, am interested in how you will be building your business plan. One thing I would advise: Buy every book on marketing you can find that relates to the Art business and start with Alyson’s GREAT and very successful book available with a few clicks: I’d Rather Be in the Studio!

        http://artbizcoach.com/irbits/

        Good luck!
        Mckenna

  • Chris

    When pricing your art, remember that X amount of % will be paid to tax. So your price should always be what you expect + X% tax.

    This is something very few clients seem to understand. To them $25/hour sounds like a ripoff but when you remove 32% you get a low/mid-range salary (Depending on your country of course)I do wish more people understood that it’s not all profit.

    Another issue is the low value of the USD, I can’t charge nearly enough from US clients as I can European because of it’s low value but at the same time, I need to be charging a certain fee to be able to feed myself living on the bare minimum which honestly has caused many US clients to back down. You should never undermine your work but sometimes you may need to charge minimum wage just to get the job. Of course, the better you are the better paying jobs and once you’ve passed a certain wall you can start charging high-range prices :)

  • Chris, it’s a real shocker when you look at crafts like jewelry…I was curious as to how to make beaded things, & was looking at the cost of materials…I compared that to the prices now on Etsy or Amazon for the same items…It seems that many crafters are just charging the cost of materials on finished pieces…Now fine art is supposed to be a different price classification, but it gets squeaky when you actually look at the price differential…& now I am becoming foggy on what exactly the difference is between the two- usefulness? multiples? originality? Perhaps I shouldn’t have peered into that world…When does a craft piece become a work of art? Intention?

  • I can speak from both sides. I craft jewelry and have a line of photography, too.

    The fogginess you are experiencing from looking at etsy is mostly caused by a lack of professionals and/or full-time art-creation-dependent individuals. Most on Etsy launched with a thimbleful of business skills in much of the “shops” you find on etsy. I do mentoring work with many and they rarely know what COGS (cost of goods sold) means let alone how to do any of the needed math. They are very often just doing “crafts” as a hobby and really just make enough to buy more “beads” or whatever. It is very foggy math and not to be considered a benchmark of any kind.

    My work has won a few awards, been in some shows, made me “famous” twice of TV and has garnered more than a few accolades and is often called “art jewelry”. But I just consider myself lucky to have had this creative livelihood support me for nearly 20 years. And it can be called anything at all – including “stuff made from stuff I find without burning fossil fuels” which is more or less my tag line. The age old “what is art” discussion is akin to “what is love” and … I have no idea. But I love doing something creative that people think is artful. Yippee.

    But back to etsy – it is a shameful practice for so many to set-up “shop” with so little knowledge, but that’s the cyber world at work in a very democratic fashion.

    BTW… I charge a min. of $120 per production hour. I do not have an assistant or staff in my world so I am the chief bottle-washer, web master, photographer, PR and graphics person, and so on and so on. So I am (and so many artists are in the same situation) usually hard-pressed to get more than 20 hrs. in my studio a week. THAT time is my paycheck and it has to cover the rest of the 20 to 30 (or 40 this time of year) hours I typically work each week. And I live in a very expensive part of the planet so… just saying…

    And of course – if one is using expensive materials ( I don’t have this issue as I find my raw materials ) then the whole game changes. Accredited Metal Smiths – especially Goldsmiths – are a whole other level of business acumen and sales of 14 or 18K fine jewelry with gemstones won’t be in a “craft store” or even most boutiques – so that world is closer to 2D. Getting space in a “proper” marketplace, gallery, or finer establishments is not much different then the competition for wall space in a Fine Art Gallery. Getting a name for yourself in the higher-end Crafted Art Jewelry World is also a very tall ladder to climb and pedigree matters.

    Meanwhile, Esty purveyors are often none of the above and often they are not apples or oranges, but more closely resemble bananas.

  • Mckenna!
    Thank you…! Oh so helpful…I feel the fog clearing… Thank you…applause… (very well said)… I guess if you hang around bananas, you start to think like one… I will examine my fruit more closely…

  • Oh you’re welcome, Sari!

    Back to the original list that started this discussion. I want to add to:
    11. Keep a price list. When someone asks you how much something is, you want to be able to tell them quickly and effortlessly. You don’t want to look like you’re unsure or are pulling a number out of a dark hole. (and I love your lead into the confidence dance, Alyson! Yes…say your price with confidence!)

    But here’s one other part to consider at that highly electrified moment: You also want to avoid seeming that you have a price for well-dressed people vs less well-dressed people. While you might know the price of a certain piece when asked, in some cases it is better to pause and say something like, “I have two prices in my mind at the same time, so let me check to be sure” and then get the price list out (or look on the back of the piece) and then give them that price (with confidence). They will feel secure and there will be no question in their minds about an “official” price. It is a subtle distinction, but important if you don’t have posted prices. A venue I am at on a regular basis has millionaires and celebrities walking around all the time. They are very sensitive to being overcharged. They trust and take comfort in a written-in-stone price.

  • Lola just got voted off Work of Art: The Next Great Artist…For those who watched the episode before this one, she was videotaped saying that she jacks up the price of things if she thinks the people are moneyed…(the street art sale)…This is highly unethical & one of the reasons it is accepted art world policy to always have a price list easily accessible, so that cannot happen to unsuspecting patrons…
    *& thank you again Mckenna, your insights are, well, just so, insightful!!!

    • I watch The Next Great Artist and find it very interesting. People are pushed out of their medium & comfort zone. Kind of inspiring. As for Lola, not only was she unethical vis a vis the pricing, but she had no qualms about have people deface the other contestants work on the wall art challenge. Good riddance I say!!

  • One of the things that bothers me about etsy is exactly what McKenna mentions about the hobbyist sellers charging unconscionably low prices because they just want to keep buying supplies. Some of them even say so, but that’s not much consolation to artists who want to make their living from their work. Why am I still there? Mostly because my own website is not visited nearly as much as etsy though I am planning on changing that in 2012. But also, etsy fees are very low (and yet people complain about them – of course these are the people who don’t charge realistic prices).

    Of course, I have my (strong) doubts that many of my target audience visits etsy, but perhaps some do, so again, another reason for staying there a little longer. On etsy I offer mostly jewelry (one of a kind, labor intensive, art work) rather than paintings. I don’t know what the audience for fine wall art is like but I’ve heard some of those artists complain about being neglected.

    What it comes down to, in my opinion, is that no matter who you are, if you are going to be serious about your art, either give it away as gifts, or sell seriously.

    I don’t watch TV enough to know this show, but it sounds like someone wasn’t very bright (as well as being unethical!).

  • Very interesting and informative discussions.

  • Imogen Skelley

    I really enjoyed reading this and it made a great deal of sense – thank you!

  • Katie

    Great article and so many informative replies, I am still reading them! I have been painting since I was a teenager but only now have I decided to try and show my art. Prior to this, I have sold three pieces to friends and given many away to friends and family. The pieces I sold to friends ranged from $40-$75 each for stretched canvas about 14″ X 18″ and these were prices that my friends and I came up with together. I did feel as though this price would more than cover the cost of materials, even without buying whole sale or raw. It didn’t provide any profit but I wasn’t looking for that at the time.

    I don’t want to undersell my work or undermine other artists but I also respect that I am an amateur with no traditional schooling in art and I live in a major metropolis with a raging art scene. I’m also not an artist by trade- I have a career in both education and freelance writing.

    I conclude from the article that the prices I’ve been using thus far are a good starting point but I had another idea that I thought I would run by my fellow artists.

    How many of you have offered your art for free to local businesses? Just to get your work and your name out there to be seen? Coffee shops around here always welcome you to show your work there and put it up for sale with a small commission so I’m aware of that option but what about something like a nail salon or donut shop? Even a doctor’s office? They usually have bare walls and a high amount of traffic. I can see two downfalls: people in these places are not likely to inquire about purchasing the art (although they might ask about the artist) and these businesses could quickly close down or move locations and you would have no idea.

    Still, I’ve toyed with the idea of simply giving the art away once or twice to a local business in hopes that it would be seen and in order to be able to say that my work was somewhere on display.

    Thoughts? Comments? Horrible, horrible idea?

  • Katie, don’t do it! Offer to hang your work with your sales info and give a percentage to the establishment if it leads to sales. Many businesses are happy to do this. Chances are, if someone likes your painting, they want ‘that one’, (not something similar) and if you gave it to the business you’ve lost a sale! I can think of many other scenarios that will not benefit you. Present yourself as a professional artist looking for respectable, attractive venues and the business owners will respond.
    Only give your artwork to loved ones who you know will treasure it.
    As for pricing, I paint several subjects, and have a separate pricing structure for each subject. And, I will price a painting higher if it is very detailed and took a lot more time to finish. Pricing structure is a guideline for me, not written in stone.