Affordable Art as an Option

If you had asked me 10 years ago or even 5 years ago whether artists should identify some works as less expensive alternatives to their higher-priced art, I would have said “No way!”

I’ve had a change of heart.

I believe artists should sell more work and make more money – however they can.

I’d like to investigate this more thoroughly in future posts, but I want your opinion right now.

Deep Thought

Do you identify certain works as more affordable on your site or in your marketing?

What do you call lower-priced art?

How does it differ from your higher-priced art?

How and where do you promote it?

Send to Kindle

63 comments to Affordable Art as an Option

  • I’m glad you’re addressing something I’m struggling with on my website. I do mainly small 3×4 acrylics and frame them and I feel there are two distinct price points based on the complexity of the painting and the value of the frame. I can separate where I show them for sale ( the location and clientele of the shop) but don’t know how to do that on my website – neither price seems to suit them all and I haven’t found “categories” to separate them into.

  • I completely agree with you!! On every point. My change of attitude towards offering affordable art, is a result of watching other artist’s pages on Facebook.

    Part of my business plan for 2013 is creating ‘affordable’ art. I will offer this on my website and Facebook.

    Lower-priced art will be priced up to £150, the smaller pieces available below £50.

    The point being – I can reach a wider spectrum of buyers. The cheaper art serves as advertising, and a method of building my email list.

    The more affordable art is much smaller, and the images are popular selections from my larger work. As yet, none of the ‘affordable’ art I’m working on incorporates any of my ‘girls’. It’s animals, symbols, houses in my usual style of work.

    I’d intended on creating the affordable art, using just acrylics & collage. My main art, while incorporating acrylics & collage as a background, is predominantly oil paint. As I am working on these smaller pieces, I find I’m using oil paint as well. Therefore, the differences in ‘affordable art’ is just smaller, simpler images.

  • At the moment, I am creating a second website where I can post my new work because it is so different from my ‘usual’ work and I will need to increase prices, as the paintings are very time consuming. Somehow, I don’t feel it is a good idea to mix the two works; they are so different in mediium, style and price. I think having various prices on the same website would confuse clients. Simultaneously, I am considering either a third website, or an online retail venue such as etsy to sell small works and merchandise made with images of my paintings. For this, though, I feel that I should use a pseudonym because I don’t want my clients to feel that my work has been ‘cheapened.’ I have had an internal conversation about this for some time and this seems like the best thing for me to do. I would love to hear from others. Meanwhile, I think three venues are the way to go.

    • I have 2 websites to separate my 2 styles. My prices for each are different but I don’t put my prices on my websites so it’s a moot point. I started out using a pseudonym but soon dropped it. I now refer to myself as “K. Henderson” and “K. Henderson Fine Art” and that’s just so I don’t get confused.

  • This is interesting to read what others have to say and what you are struggling with Susan, it sounds complicated to have to seperate your work on different sites. I have seen some artists’ websites with art for sale categorized by price. I always thought that was odd, but maybe it’s straightforward and realistic and buyers might appreciate something like that and not be confused by the different genres.

    I’ve been having an internal dilemma as well, as I sold so many small paintings this year at $135 a pop. To me it just seems like a lot of work for little return and want to raise my prices but am scared that I will loose buyers. I get my images to people via Facebook, Twitter, Blog and Email Newsletter each day. I only made a few sales this past year of medium sized work and no large painting sales. I guess I’ve figured out how to market these smaller paintings to people who are willing to spend under $150, but haven’t figured out how to market medium to large sized work and that is something that I would like to do- raise instead of lower my prices. I guess it could depend on who you’re marketing, how and where.

    I’ll be looking forward to reading what others have to say.

  • I have been supporting myself as a quilt maker for more than 31 years by doing a selection of fine craft shows, working with galleries and having my own open studio. For almost all of this time, I have made a selection of smaller items as well as more expensive wall hangings and quilts. The one time I tried to eliminate the smaller items after I had received some prestigious awards I noticed that my sales plunged.

    Yes there were times when I was advised that I was hurting myself by making the smaller items but I also found that by having work that was readily affordable, customers would also take the time to look at the larger pieces and when the time was right they would purchase them. I think it is very important that the smaller works have the same standards and quality as the larger pieces. After all, who is going to purchase a large quilt if the potholder they bought from you fails immediately.

  • I definitely believe in having some affordable art and used to have a section on web page so designated. It was usually determined by size but occasionally I tossed another one in as opposed to putting it on sale. I was greatly influenced by the thrill I felt at buying my first real art ( a photograph) as a teenager. I have also watched my son acquire a very nice collection which he could never have started without some lower priced pieces around by some favorite artists. I would consider it an honor to be the gateway acquisition to someone’s future art collecting addiction!

  • This is a very thorny topic.

    While there are legitimate arguments in favor of selling some of ones work at lower prices (very small pieces, editions of etchings, etc.). But within the body of ones usual work- say ones oil paintings- I think one has to be careful not to create the impression one has some work that “just isn’t worth as much.” I think artists might learn something from art museums.

    Imagine a Museum Director or Curator giving a guided tour of a show of new acquisitions. Grandly gesturing to a particular painting, she brightly exclaims the Museum bought it at auction at Sotheby’s in New York and that nobody else had wanted it so it went for a really low price. It would never happen. Art Museum employees are expected to always present anything the Museum is displaying as being vital, important, and valuable. Whether or not this is right, this is just the way it is. And in general the practice probably has helped museums survive to keep their doors open another day.

  • Yes, I think because I do have first time collectors buy a small piece, and then come back and buy a second painting, affordable makes sense. But, the price point is $1600.-to $2600 for my smaller pieces. This spring, I will be participating in the Affordable Art Fair in NY.

  • I like to keep a small inventory of tiny originals to offer entry level collectors. This way they can easily purchase an original piece now and hopefully when they have more discretionary income they will come back to purchase a larger more costly work.

  • I’ve been watching my sales the past few years, looking for trends. One that I’ve noticed is that smaller works, those around $350 or less in price, seem to do better than my larger more expensive works. I’ve also noticed that several of my collectors that buy one of these smaller works come back the next year and buy another one. So I’ve made a real effort to keep creating these small canvases – it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped working in larger sizes, it just means I’m doing both now.

    I tend to market these works through a few galleries I work with as well as having the occasional direct sale through my website. So far so good. The galleries have been positive about this, finding that these smaller pieces are easier to move.

    But, I never market these pieces as “less expensive alternatives” to larger pieces. I just include them the same as my larger ones in my marketing efforts. The change I’ve made is in how I group my work when selling or promoting – I will make a cohesive effort to promote works of the same ilk at the same time (and this somewhat stems from the fact that I work in batches, creating several small works at once, so they tend to get promoted at the same time).

  • I want people to enjoy my art. I have always tried to offer some very reasonable works – usually small works I consider “studies” or unfinished or unframed pieces and I sell them really cheap. Works best at art and craft fairs around holidays. I just put them in a stack and let the potential buyers go through them. These buyers have been the source of later full price sales or commissions.

  • I am definitely a believer in affordable art, however, it’s not separated from my more expensive art on my website. I list artworks for sale all one one page, chronologically by year (newest works first) and the prices are right next to them. I charge by the square inch so smaller pieces are less expensive than larger pieces. Though I do have another section on my website for prints, which, are inexpensive.

    When I first started making “minis”, smaller pieces that are priced lower, I was selling quite a bit of them online through facebook for example as well as at art fairs. However this past year (which was a pretty good year for selling art for me, with the exception of the art fair sales , which seemed to be down) I found that my medium to larger size pieces sell better than the minis. Also, some of the minis I was working on, ended up being rather time consuming, and I felt that pricing them really low (150 dollars or under) was devalueing my time in the studio, and, people would see small paintings and expect to pay a nominal fee, but didn’t realize the amount of work went into making tiny paintings. I usually bring out my minis (and some larger pieces) to art fairs too, as I thought they would be good quick sells. But I found art fair sales were down this year for me, though I ended up getting more sales directly to me through the internet or larger works.

    I also try to offer another way of having affordable art – layaway sales. I’ve sold some more expensive pieces this way by having a payment plan for the art (say three payments over the course of three months, and then the art goes home with the buyer once the final payment comes in. All payments are non refundable if the person suddenly changes their mind (so I make sure I make that clear when going over the layaway plan). That way people can put together smaller, more manageable funds toward a piece that maybe they could not afford in one payment.

    So, I think for this year I am going to concentrate on medium and some larger size pieces since they sell the best for me, but I will still try and keep some smaller and simpler paintings for sale that are under 150 dollars for the more casual art buyers. I’ve also notices some art shows in the area like to have a section of the show devoted to “minis”, which are usually more affordable art, as well as a section for the larger, more expensive pieces. So I do think people are embracing the concept in general.

  • Also I should add, whenever I do a show at a gallery, I try and have a selection of differently sized art, and since I charge by the square inch, this means I will have some large, expensive works, as well as some medium, mediumly-priced works, and some smaller, less expensive works. I think it’s good to try and cover the bases, price wise, at shows

    • All the advice on this issue has been helpful, thanks! I also follow this particular approach: I charge by the square inch, create my paintings by Think Big – Paint Small so that I can reach a wider audience through galleries, gift shops, and internet. I enjoy creating smaller works: it lets me grow in my art. And it’s heartwarming to please a buyer who can only afford so much — talk about appreciation! Also interesting to find that customers can feel in control of their budget by the square inch when it’s time to commission a piece from a smaller work.

  • This is a topic that I have debated with several people. I believe that it is important to have an affordable line. I call it “the bread and butter” line. I am a jewelry designer/metalsmith. The spot price of metals has soared and the economy has not. I specialized mostly in silver, however, today I am all over the place trying different materials to make things affordable to the buyers while still making one-of-a-kind art jewelry. It is a challenge. If people like my work, but are unable to justify the cost of a sterling silver necklace or bracelet, they more often will be happy buying a pair of earrings. Not my favorite thing to make. Another way that I am thinking of going is using leather or more beads in my work with a reduced amount of silver. I have also been trying out some of the newer base metals, particularly, bronze.
    Truthfully, I am just getting back into my art and am in a new location, so right now all of this is my beliefs not based on any results. Have just done one show in December and the most expensive piece I sold was $250. Everything else was small and relatively inexpensive. Right now, this is trial and error for me.
    Thanks for listening and I am learning a lot from everyone’s posts. Jude

  • As a potter this is very easy. I can make inexpensive items like soap holders and mugs that people are comfortable buying. They often come back later and purchase a more expensive piece which makes me think that the inexpensive item helped to build a trust or some other bond.

    • luise h.

      For me it is a matter of offering a wide selection of sizes as well. I also charge by square inch on flat panels but when pricing three dimensional work I also have to consider difficulty of design. Cost of materials has gone up but customers understand that. Separating different price levels has never occurred to me.And having all different price points allows “something for every one”. I have made glass Mosaics and cold worked glass since 1984 and this approach works for me. And I also find that buying a smaller, less expensive piece establishes that first step that often leads to larger purchases.

  • Thank you for posting this topic. I’m an artist who is relatively new to online sales of my art. I have visited many websites to get an idea of how other artists price their work. It varies greatly.
    I agree with the comment made by Ann Brauer.
    Personally I put a lot of effort into my work-big or small. And my output is often slower because I don’t feel that every painting I create is a masterpiece worth posting (but maybe I’m wrong about that too). Lately I have begun pricing my work at lower prices because frankly, I want them to be attainable. Hopefully this will generate word of mouth and return customers wanting one of my bigger paintings when they have the means.
    My thought is that affordable doesn’t have to mean “cheap”.
    Thank You.

  • Prints offer an affordable alternative to originals and can be reproduced in the size that best suits the customer’s needs.

    • Actually if any artist is interested there is a site, Bluecanvas, for artists to post their work, respond to other artists work, get their work into the Blue Canvas Magazine and allow people access to make prints of posted work as well as i phone covers, etc. giving the artist a percentage of the product. Pretty cool.

    • Hi Barney, I enjoyed attending your presentation in conjunction with Art Expressions Gallery in San Diego last year. It is great to see your “face” and comments here. I agree about prints being a wonderful way to share work and often create prints of my work. I recently said to someone…It would be hard for me to know that all music was only played live…and ONCE. I am grateful for the prints I own and happy the artist created them.

      I would like your thoughts about signing prints. I notice some artists selling prints with TWO SIGNATURES – a pre “PRINTED” one, plus a second “ORIGINAL” signature.

  • I’m a slow painter and make my living with my paintings. I try to paint the best paintings that I can. No, I don’t create “something for everyone”. Some people won’t be able to afford my art, others will. That’s Free Enterprise and Capitalism.

    When I send out emails/newsletters of my work I indicate “This piece is one of my smaller paintings” which usually means “cheaper”

  • Hello,

    This is a topic that I have been thinking about the last days. In my state or country, it´s not very common to buy art. Of course there are collectors who buy expensive art but I am just starting in this and I don´t have buyers or targets at this time. Also I know people who would like to buy art, but art is not a primar necessity, such as eating. Maybe if the art is cheaper, they could afford it.

    I make videos and photographies. Sometimes producing a video is very expensive, only paying the short crew, such as the sound designer or maybe just me and also If we are talking about 4 or 6 months of working at this project. So, I have a video that the production cost was around 10,000 dollars. Of course I didn´t pay them, because part of them was the salary of a friend and I, and both agreed to start producing without payment, trying to sell later.

    So the thing is I have to sell the video maybe 5 dollars per download, and having that price I would need to sell about 2,000 video downloads.

    So I was wondering if i lower the price, maybe to 2 dollars, and increase sales. BUT!! HERE IS THE BIG QUESTION! IF I SELL MY VIDEOS IN A LOW PRICE, I THINK THAT IN THE MIND OF PEOPLE, A CHEAP THING IS A SYNONYM OF NOT QUALITY. Because people is used to pay more money for things that do have quality. So, is this a contradiction or bad idea?

    • Mariana, $2-$5 seems extreme but without knowing what exactly you’re selling maybe it’s fine.

      Personally, I wouldn’t price that low unless your video is only 3 minutes long. If it’s 30 minutes or more and you’re teaching a technique, then by pricing it $15-$30 per video download, you will be attracting a set of people who can afford internet service and be able to afford to come back to you again and again.

      Of course, you still have to market your videos and let people know you offer them.

      If you’re really concerned, have a variety of classes, some lower priced $10 and some higher priced and see for yourself which sells better. :)
      good luck!!

      tejae

  • I think this discussion really centers around the artist wanting to sell more. I increased my prices this year and sold more than ever! So I’m not sure that price alone is what makes that happen. The smaller ones are cheaper, so they often go faster….but then sometimes folks will buy more than one at a time! (In one case I gave a steep discount to a related pair vs just the one.) I recently had an open studio tour and offered notecards of my work and some mousepads. The latter was very popular, maybe because it was near the holidays and they were a bit unusual. I think that’s a way to encourage people to have some of your art in their midst. I’m concerned that if I have some paintings too low, it will confuse the collector…and often the small ones are almost the same amount of work as pieces a bit larger. I do offer 10% discounts to my collectors (anyone who bought my a work in the past), which seems to be quite an incentive. Obviously, I also will deduct the price of the frame if they prefer to do that themself.

  • Low price work is something I’ve just started doing, for several reasons.
    1 Let’s a collector see if they like my style and look. No matter how good a photo, it doesn’t look the same on the web! Especially if there’s any impasto.I hope it will keep me in front of beginning collectors, so when they can afford a large piece, they’ll think of me.
    2 I’m keeping an 8×10 format for the genre so no confusion. Will have it’s own web page when I have more inventory.
    3 It’s part of my training – I limit muself to 2 hours per piece and push myself on “seeing”and getting it down right the first time. If I can also do plein aire, so much the better.

  • Randine Dodson

    Timely question as I was just trying to price a series of animal portraits i finished and I was getting talk back from myself saying, “they have to be lower”. Normally I paint abstracted landscapes which just naturally in my case seem to demand a heftier price tag. The animal portraits are generally 16×20 and they are fun – although they took as long to paint as my landscapes. I have a feeling I will price them maybe 30%-40% less than the others – but i also think there may be a market for them to be reproduced as giclees and prints EASIER than my landscapes. So they may pay off in that way.

  • I’m finding an increasing number of patrons are going for what I call “functional art”; that is: pieces that can be put to – or at least justified as having – practical use. For example, I’m selling a lot of mid-scale ($60 – $170 range) pepper mills and coffee grinders both domestically and abroad while high-end pieces (urns and vases, for example) priced at $300 and up tend to move more slowly. So, I’ve ended-up pushing the “practicality” and “functional” benefits of my work.

    • I really appreciate your post. It reminds me that I did set out to produce both Fine and Functional Art. I have my photographs printed on ceramic tiles, which can be hung or used for trivets. But I have a new printer who can also print on cutting boards and make relatively affordable coasters. I have also had some reluctance to adding what could seen as kitcsh and devalue my art work, but from what you said I think I should at least make a separate section on my site for the functional pieces.

  • Yes I do identify certain works as more affordable. My smaller studies I do as preliminaries to larger studio works I sell all of the time as just that studies. I even now have a promotional “Sale” tag on them. Whatever gets people to see my art and eventually buy it is the direction I’m always going to take:)

  • chris may

    small works sell here better than my larger. I also price by the inch so that makes them less expensive. this isn’t a big ‘art area’ and ppl are often nervous that they might like a big (expensive) painting, then take it home to find themselves scorned! a small one is less of a risk. there are more smaller homes, (and incomes) too, where a big painting would simply look odd. smaller is easier for me as well, so I’m very much enjoying this trend and will work it to my best advantage. I enjoy esp that the smaller (12×16 down to a 5×7) can be done in one afternoon, when I am most excited by the subject. instant gratification!

    so I can then, very happily, make a large inventory, and I would much rather sell 2 small works for $150-300 then hang onto a larger one for $600. I work fast so this works for me. and I also find that ppl will come back for another, or get a commission (getting a discount!).

    I also do tiny 3×4 watercolor/ink sketches for cards. they are my value/color studies for larger works, so they already did their job–put them in a photo note card and they are very nice $5 original artwork note cards. I like using those for my thank yous for larger works.

  • Good point. I started participating in a group sales venue, and my lack of low price-points is telling.

    OTOH, the last time I went to an art fair, my market plan of having unframed pastels was a huge success. Also, that has been moderately to greatly helpful in other venues.

    I’m still looking for another way to make a lesser-priced art, and the struggle is to make it make sense with the other price schedule.

    Good post.

  • My question would be … can you do this by mixing fine art and craft, on the same web page or in the same gallery, without diluting the value of your high-end work? I work with beads, I do a unique beaded fine art technique I have invented myself, the fine art is relatively expensive, and I have sold a few pieces, but the same technique could be used for crafts and jewelry (I have considered selling my tools and teaching the technique, no one is doing it to my knowledge – see http://www.bjasmine.com). I worry though if I do that, would I be perceived as a “craft” artist and not a “fine” artist? There is a definite price resistance when you have that label. A piece I create can take up to a month to complete. The supplies are costly. I also do a number of styles and techniques in art generally, I am planning to set up distinct portfolio sections on my web page. I am seeing a number of different artists doing that. I am wondering what kind of impact that has?

    Brad … isn’t “functional art” a euphemism for “craft”? In one group I was in, one artist defined the difference between “fine art” and “crafts” as “craft pieces have a functional secondary purpose, fine art is art for art’s sake”. There seems to be a taboo or a lower-class designation for crafts. I think this is wrong-headed, I think craftwork should have as much value as fine art, but it seems this is not the case.

    • Brandi, Wow! Talk about walking a fine line! If one accepts your colleague’s definition, then the answer to your question is clearly, “yes.” Yet I believe there are qualitative and artistic dimensions that allow what might normally be considered, “craft” to cross over into the arena of “art.” For example: I can create a vase that would be generally accepted as “art.” But with the addition of a pepper mill mechanism, I add a functionality that makes the same piece attractive to a wider audience. At the end of the day, I leave the art/craft argument/decision to others.

    • I have heard the definition “high craft” (vs low craft I guess?) to designate high end “functional” items vs pure fine art or vs. ‘low’ craft.

      Personally, I do think any art that is functional is craft and not “fine” art (I.e. it’s only purpose is visual, it has no practical functions), however I do not think craft is a bad word or denotes something that is not “good”. I mean vases, for example, ostensibly are useful for putting flowers in them, but we all have seen high end, beautifully made, and very expensive, vases that are considered collector’s items. As for your website, I would split them up into categories, say purely fine art as one category, and then jewelry or other items in other categories. You’re not designating one as “lesser” than the other but I do think it would be odd to have a painting next to a piece of jewelry on a portfolio page. LIke how many artists will split up their art portfolio sites with drawings vs paintings vs scultpures. That way each category gets its own space….. I’ll check out your site. Your description of what you do sounds intriguing. Good luck whatever you end up doing!

      • Lynette — Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I will think them through. I agree that I should separate them into categories, but I’d prefer to call the “crafts” Functional Art. I mean no one can sue me for saying that! Thanks for taking a look at my website. I look forward to hearing your opinion.

        A funny little story — years ago I worked at the San Francisco Art Institute, which had an acclaimed pottery program and studio. Since all the work was considered “Fine Art,” each piece, e.g, vase or platter, etc., had to have a hole or slash of some kind to prevent it from being functional! Now I get it.

    • Brandi, I see your beaded mosaics as art (extremely patient art!), but then I work in fabric on canvas board, another unusual (and often slow) medium. (http://wwwjuliaberkley.com). I don’t believe teaching classes in your technique devalues your work — lots of artists do this. I do think that if you have higher-end work and less-expensive quick-sale work or merchandise, they shouldn’t be grouped together. It looks like your website may be in progress? Let me know off-list if you’d like any feedback on it. Best wishes –

  • I sell small (8 x10/9 x12) works on paper for $15/$20. My price per square inch for canvases is more in line with those of similar artists though. The benefit of selling at that low price point is that folks that are afraid to commit to a larger work or don’t have the budget will buy them. I paint them concurrently with larger works and use up what is left on my palette. My cost is less than $2 so the profit keeps me in supplies in leaner times. I do this only on my Etsy site not my regular site
    I’d rather have my prices be approachable for everyone than count on only selling to collectors and interior designers.

  • Hi Lynnette,

    I think you must have looked at a different website because I don’t do any beaded work. It sounds beautiful though. I’ll have to take a look at it and I’ll look at your website too.

  • I happen to like making small paintings that just don’t fit as well with the larger gallery work – they are looser and unvarnished. I call these sketches. So this work is on my website as “small seas” and generally doesn’t have a gallery markup. (the logic of this I would actually argue heatedly with any other artist, but I do it myself anyway – but I have been increasing the prices slowly) This also meets a specific audience – I know I have collectors who simply only buy these, and many of them! They come back but a large piece just isn’t what they want. In fact most galleries don’t want them even with a markup because they just aren’t expensive enough to justify the wall space cost.

    I also looooove making drawings! I have drawings that are only on sites like eBay and Etsy. They’re not even on my website.

    Both these are potboilers. I know how many I can do in an hour and they are priced accordingly. I have specific days dedicated to making these so as not to distract from the regular painting.

  • I am so happy this topic is being discussed here as I was just thinking about it yesterday.
    I enjoyed reading everyone’s posts and learning how each artist deals with “affordable art”.

    I am curently dealing with “life” getting in the way of plans and my website is down.

    A QUESTION— How does an artist use Facebook to make sales of their art?
    What do you say at an opening or at a meeting with a potential client, new acquaintance? “Look me up on Facebook? (or is Facebook just included on printed materials?)

    • Speaking for myself, I direct people to my actual website, which has all my info on there. Facebook is more of an add on to direct people to my website and also to interact with fans. I always post work in progress photos of artworks that I am working on on facebook (and my blog, and other social media sites). The sales I made through facebook were mostly people who had been following along my work in progress photos or my latest artwork posts and got excited for the piece and wanted to buy it and then contacted me. But I would not use facebook as your only web presence. It’s important to have your own portfolio site that you can control completely. (and make sure you have links to facebook and your other sites on your website to build traffic).

  • It is very difficult at first. No one takes me seriously. I try to promote my art work at exhibitions and special events. I also set up website and join social network. Good Luck Everyone !!!

  • Thanks for the feedback.

    Any recommendations for a new website host?
    My Apple iWeb website ended mid 2012 and I am looking for a new way to set it up again.
    I own my domain name: CatherineNewhart.com

    • well, i learned how to design sites (html and css, some javascript). You can see my website that I designed if you click on my name. So if you know how to design a site, who your host is irrelevant. However, if you don’t know anything about design, then I would get a wordpress site. Good luck.

    • Check out wix.com. It is free and very intuitive and many templates. I’m working on my second website through them.

  • 1) Host recommendation: A Small Orange
    2) Regarding the initial blog post (after having read everyone’s thoughts): I definitely have smaller, more affordable, works in both genres – bead weaving and painting/drawing – I work in. I’ve only recently gotten back to doing pen and ink vignettes – this time mostly over watercolor washes – but in the small size of 5 by 3 inches. I’m only just beginning to show them A) at my weekly Bread and Chocolate gig, B) online on facebook and in my etsy shop. I haven’t decided when I’ll be putting them on my website.

    At the moment promoting my work is my biggest problem in all areas, not just small versus large works.

  • An absolutely fascinating thread. I love reading about this from artists’ perspectives as I come at it from the art lover’s/ potential buyer’s non- artist side. I have only very recently started acquiring art and I think for a newbie high prices are very scary and would prevent me from even considering. But if an artist whose work I love also had a print or small thing that was cheaper it might make me feel braver and thus get a toe in. I found that once I had got *something* I was less intimidated. I also found that I just loved having an original work which I hadn’t realised. So I would say having something affordable is wonderful for us non-artists and non-habitual art patrons. Otoh, I can see how it is extremely tricky to get the balance right as you don’t want to undersell yourself and for the work to seem cheap/ not valuable. Then don’t galleries iften determine pricing?

  • Something was bothering me about all those posts about art by the square foot, but I couldn’t put it into words. Of course, the simple and smaller work might be priced lower, but I have some small work that I price just as high as some of my larger work. But I just read a quote from James Whistler who said, “An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.” And to me the labor of the piece is the “craft” and the vision of the piece is art.

  • Thanks everyone for your recommendations. I also have a question about multiple signatures on prints. Often, I see a pre-printed signature PLUS an original signature. For me, I find it to be distracting, especially if the signature is “larger” and “busy”. Any thoughts about this?

  • On the subject of “AFFORDABLE ART”….Here is a link to a website sent to me by a fellow artist in San Diego, Chuck McPherson..Chuck is a very successful artist/gallery owner/bon vivant. This artist is a friend of his and they are going to have a competition paint out… or something like that…

    NOTE: I read the “Adult Content…” WARNING and then looked at ONLY the first two images – a female (partial) and “Hades”…(which I DID NOT find offensive). Then I went to see his “affordable art” with “FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED” comment. I noticed multiple “SOLD” notices under images and thought his site might be of interest.

    Ihttp://www.stergulzart.com/adultwarning?get=%252fgreek-gods-and-goddesses%252feros