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Dear fellow artists, I’ve got something important to tell you:
I recently went to a vernissage and learned a lot from it. When I looked at the prices of the paintings, I suddenly felt very, very stupid: There I was, preparing my first exhibition, but only asking for a fraction of the prices the other artist takes, even though my paintings are created in a style which is a lot more time-consuming.
I recently sold a painting for an amount that made me happy at first, though, but now I regret to have given it away for a lot less than what it was worth.
Prices can be a very frustrating topic for artists, but I just realized that it’s not about how much you think somebody else out there might be willing to spend on your art one day. It’s about how much value you give it.
That’s why I just raised the prices for all my paintings. Drastically. So much that I removed all mentioned amounts from the DA submissions in my “Art for sale” folder and will only reveal them in a note.
I don’t want to make other artists look stupid by offering high-quality artworks for a laughable price. My work has my name on it, and I’d like my name to stand for quality. I can’t afford wasting time with doubts and fears any longer.
You think raising prices is risky? Well, if you’d like to be an artist, “Risk” should be your middle name, anyway. I’m paying various costs in order to be a professional artist all the time, but I won’t complain because I love what I do. All I’m asking for is a decent payment for my work, just like anybody else.
When you look around on the web, you see countless of highly talented people offering their artworks for a penny everywhere. But the web is not the real world. Things get distorted there easily.
The truth is that you DON’T sell more artworks when you lower your prices. Believe me, I tried that.
In the real world, there’s one very important fact:
When something is sold cheaply, it can’t be worth much.
People keep thinking that cheap things can’t be good, and they’re usually right. (How much good does cheap fast food do to your body, anyway?) When they see an item that’s obviously of very high quality but offered for a very low price, they see that “price” and “value” don’t match. They think there must be something wrong and won’t buy it.
There’s a worldwide tendency of people’s work being considered less and less valuable. The textile industry already moved to Bangladesh because even China seemed too expensive for them after a while. It’s a vicious spiral that can only lead downwards, so let’s no longer be a part of this.
Remember that artworks have always been luxury. You don’t need them to survive, but having them makes you feel good. They’re great gifts and perfect opportunities to embarrass your friends and neighbours. They’re unique expressions of the human mind and a part of the artist’s life you can buy.
Besides, more and more people like to get them as an investment which will become more valuable in the future.
The sentences “There’s always someone who does it cheaper” and “There’s always someone who does it better” are simple facts, but they should not frustrate you. You simply have to stop caring about what everybody else seems to be doing. The freedom of the mind is a very important characteristic of artists, right? Just stop getting nervous when you browse the web and keep this in mind:
- DON’T lower your prices! Never. Ever. Potential buyers would only wait for you to lower them more and more, until you’re worn out enough to give them away for free. Like this, you’d never be taken serious as an artist. Do the opposite: Raise the prices until you start feeling dizzy when you look at the numbers. When you announce that you’re never going to go lower again, people will feel the pressure of buying before you go even higher.
- If you’ll be sitting on your artworks for a while after that, you even have another reason to raise the prices because time is money.
- Yes, it can take a few years for your artworks to be sold, but when they do, you’ll be very proud of having been patient. Until then, stay creative, promote yourself and keep offering new items to keep people interested.
- If someone asks you to draw or paint something for a very low price, always say No. Don’t let mean skinflints exploit you.
- Get your work exhibited in public, where people are less distracted than on the web and have the chance to stand in front of your artwork and fall in love with it right away.
- Get in touch with other artists, make useful contacts and try to find out what the “real” art world is about. Don’t make the same mistakes I did by focusing entirely on the internet for a long time.
Please recommend this to all artists you know, so that the dumping of creativity no longer finds new breeding ground.
Thank you for reading and have a great day,
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/msbluesja…
Knowledge follows the will to change...
Hi! I'm Rieke, a traditional artist from Germany who grew up drawing comics and cartoons, animals and nature and simply loves to draw and paint. I’m mainly self-taught, but learned how to use acrylic paints at a College of Further Education.
I'm one half of a creative team of sisters who work together closely, so I'm glad to have a spare brain, pair of eyes and hands roaming the house.
My older sis, Jelka , creates gorgeous one-of-a-kind art dolls and I'm happy and proud when I can paint their faces and body parts.
Jelka is also a great author and comic artist and helped me to improve most of the artworks you can see in my gallery.
My family and pets, telling stories, humour, learning about animals and the search for chemical-free insight keep me together.
Interests: caring for my pets (dog & cat), music (playing bass guitar), learning about nature and animals, yummy organic vegan food
Favourite musicians: Rory Gallagher, Stray Cats, The Beatles, Kate Bush, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, Sonny Landreth, Jimi Hendrix, JJ Cale
Favourite authors: Terry Pratchett, Cesar Millan, Scott McCloud, André Kaminski
Favourite artists: Don Rosa, Mort Drucker, Tome & Janry, Rien Poortvliet, Paul Kidby, André Franquin
Favourite words: Brot (bread), FWOOMP, Phalacrocorax carbo (Great Cormorant), Pi-pa-po, GLOOING
Traditional art commissions: Finally made a price list! See my DA journal here: rieke-b.deviantart.com/journal…