Oh, dear god(dess).
This is the thing that drops me to my knees. This is what makes me clench my fists and shake them at the heavens. This is the reason why I'd rather binge on Netflix, safely tucked in bed, than even bothering to sell my wares... Pricing.
Pricing is a bitch.
Go check out Etsy, Amazon, your local galleries, art sites, etc. You can find art (let's say prints, since that's what my main focus is) that ranges anywhere between $5-$5,000. Fine. There are lots of variable here such as:
Who are they? How long have they been in the biz? How popular are they? How "skilled" are they? Where do they live? Is there something that makes them stand out, like a physical limitation that may have otherwise inhibited their ability to do art, but because of perseverance and grit they manage to create (look up Chuck Close - he's amazing and severely paralyzed, but was also kinda famous before all that happened so, chicken/egg...)
How long does your process take? How much money do you spend on materials? How many years did it take for you to get as skilled as you currently are? How much time and money do you spend on testing reproductions? How much time does one invest on marketing, web design, online shops, customer building, promotions, social media, etc.? (here's a hint, just round whatever number you may be guessing up to infinate).
Do you make hard calculations of the metioned above and create your price in a litteral mathematical way, or do you make it "affordable?" What is affordable? Do you do the noble thing and price it super low so that anyone and everyone can have art in their home, though you risk actually losing money in the end? Are you a charity? No. This is business. Also, by pricing low, do you risk appearing as though you're selling junk? So, you take the emotions out and charge what you're worth? Worth. What am I worth? Ugh. Now it's supremely personal. Taking one's self away from art is like taking the very soul away from a person. You can't. It's art. Every drop of paint is personal. Every brush stroke was preconceived, second guessed, and scrutinized, and becomes a reflection of one's skill, judgement and creativity. But what is that worth? Does the pricetag reflect personal worth, thus the becoming art for the elite with fat pockets? I don't know. This is why I hate pricing...
So, I try to find some common ground, affordable, but somthing that still indicates that I have worth both personally, and in skills, but I still hate it. Every now and then I get asked to do commission work. I want to hide in a hole, though it certainly is flattering. The idea that I'm painting something FOR someone else is nauseating, my nerves almost can't handle it. But then I have to stick a price tag on it? Fu......dge.
So, I ask you, what do YOU do? How do/would you price your wares? Do you find it as paralyzing as me? ...I hope so. xo