How to Price Artwork - Draftsmen S3E18
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What a great episode, thank you Marshall and Stan! Loved hearing all of the stories, I learned a lot from hearing them.
I love the advise of 'being needless' and learn when 'to walk away.' The part where clients offer more exposure...maybe it depends who they are going to expose you to and if it will open up more doors for you.
I operate in a different realm, a lonely realm but I very definitely consider it a realm within the 'art' world in general, I illustrate for aviation publications and provide freehand portraits of the flying machines for private clients - a very mechanical and technical realm but through it I get to inject my personal expression and ultimately have my say and it's because of that recognized style that I am established and am able to price my work, it's always a balancing act though between being affordable enough to keep busy and being priced right to be respected. Unlike more abstract or 'natural' artists I could never 'name my price' as it were because in the art world the technical realm is looked down on as more design or illustration but I strive to be recognized as an artist and am definitely working my way to that high price.
Loved the video, thanks for putting this together. I have some ideas on negotiating I'd like to share, but I have to caution that I've never sold a piece of art in my life. However, I have sold creative services as a software designer for almost a decade. I'm definitely curious to know what @Stan Prokopenko and @Marshall Vandruff think of these strategies. For each scenario I'm focusing on the student working for exposure being approached by a potential buyer for commissioned work. This scenario is most interesting to me since it's where I'm at in my art career. For each scenario let's say the artist values the work at $200 and the buyer starts the negotiation at $100. (1) The "I'm busy" method. You could say "hey buyer, I'll sell to you for $100 but that's honestly low for me and I have a lot of other projects, so it's going to take me a while to get around to working on this. If you paid $200 I'd give this a higher priority and guarantee delivery by x." I like this one because it signals to the buyer what you're actually worth and still gives them the option to commission you for their initial price. It's similar to Marshall's "table of delivery dates and prices" method but more simplified. (2) The "negotiate against themselves" method. You could say "hey buyer, that price is too low, do you have another number in mind?". They might say a number higher than you were even thinking, which would be fantastic and really motivate you to do a stellar job. It also sets your base price higher which makes future negotiations much easier. Obviously this could only happen if you refrain from posting your prices anywhere. I'd be curious to know if that's a good move or not. (3) The "BOGO" method. "Sure, I can do $100 if you agree to buy 2 pieces instead of 1". It's still more work for the artist, but like they said in the video, the experience is more important, so why not secure an extra deal if you're taking a lower rate? (4) The "referral method". "I tell you what, I'll sell it to you now for $200 but if you can get 2 of your fiends to buy a piece from me I'll give you a $50 discount per referral and I'll extend the same deal to them." This has the potential to really get your work in more places because your incentivizing the buyers even more to share your work and get more people to buy. At some point you have to raise your base price as Stan pointed out in the video, at which point you could combine this with method #1 to steadily increase your base price. I'd definitely welcome some critique / feedback on these methods. P.S. Like I said at the beginning, I've never sold art, but I've either used or seen other use the strategies above for selling creative work / services. They don't always work and yes you do run the risk of turning someone off, but honestly fighting for your bread is something I think most buyers will respect and appreciate. Often times I find the buyer's price is based on ignorance anyways and they might welcome an education which makes the story of how they got their piece all the more interesting but I digress.
this is useless, pricing advice should be about how to value your time, based on skill, project, time investment, output, and how much you need money. "you dont want it don't buy it" thats great, unless you are very well known (and they pay for your fame not skill) or people don't really need your work (anyone can be replaced) that is not going to work. When do you charge by hour, when you charge by project, when to try and sell just random stuff (5 min horse sketches) how to get clients for each, how to raise prices based on quality and client interest.. what are the skill levels of "beginner, intermediate or pro" that would have been much more interesting..
It's nice to hear this from people with experience. And it's reassuring that the advice is consistent with what people generally told me. Great listen =D
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